Monday, October 23, 2017 | ePaper

Remembering Shakespeare

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Abdullah-Al-Musayeb :
The 451 birth and 399 death anniversary of William Shakespeare is on 23rd April. William Shakespeare was born 450 years ago on 23 April, 1564, and died at 52 years on the same date in 1616. The poet and playwright was born in Stratford-upon-Avon, England, the third child of eight to his middle-class parents, John and Mary Shakespeare. The whole world will pay homage to the respect of Shakespeare on this day.
There is hardly any person who does not know the name of Shakespeare. Shakespeare is an unforgettable literary figure and it is not exaggeration if we say that literature is nothing without him. The playwright, poet, and actor, William Shakespeare , was born in Elizabethan England in the 16th century. He wrote plays that appealed to both the commoner and the kings, the queen and the nobles, and he wrote as well as performed in his plays. His plays were performed in London at the Globe Theater and in Stratford at The New Place Theater. He is referred to as William Shakespeare , Shakespeare , or the Bard by countless fans of his work around the world.
William Shakespeare, the literary legeand of Enlish literature who brought the fancy world and the real world in a same line through his writings. Shakespeare explored poetry and drama but it is drama that brought fame for him. Even his dramas are poetically crafted. Poetry is inseparable from his writing. He is both the poet and dramatist who wrote 154 sonnets and 37 Plays but he is ever remembered for his  world famous dramas like Hamlet, Macbeth, The tempest, Romeo and Juliet, Othello and many more. He is also the most quoted writer in the history of the English-speaking world after various writers on the Bible. "To be, or not to be: that is the question:" (Hamlet), "Frailty thy name is woman" (Hamlet), "Fair is foul, Foul is Fair" (Macbeth),  "All the world's a stage, and all the men and women merely players: they have their exits and their entrances; and one man in his time plays many parts, his acts being seven ages" (As You Like It) are the most oft quoted lines more that tell about the crucial reality of life.
 Shakespeare had attributed a new form of writing style Iambic Pentameter in his poetry and Soliloquy in his plays. His  lyrical poem is of fourteen lines that had ten syllables per line and with his plays, divided into three quatrains followed by a couplet. Its rhyming scheme is abab cdcd efef gg. However, Shakespeare's writing style of plays was much more different from other writers of his time. His plays have introduced the readers with a new style specially with the Soliloquy that Shakespeare used in his plays largely. Soliloquy is a dramatic technique of speaking alone on the stage. It is a dramatic convention of exposing to the audience the intentions, thoughts and feelings of a character who speaks to himself while no one remains on the stage. For instance, "To be, or not to be: that is the question....." "Frailty thy name is woman" are the most oft quoted soliloquies in Hamlet.
Shakespeare had a great contribution in developing the English language, he developed and reshaped the language. Before Shakespeare's time, English language was on the whole not standardised. His works contributed significantly to the standardisation of grammar, spelling, and vocabulary. Shakespeare introduced about 1,700 original words into the language, many of which we still use (remarkably despite the significant changes in the language since Shakespeare's time). These include: "lonely," "frugal," "dwindle," and many more. In addition to all the words, many phrases that we use daily originated in Shakespeare's work. When someone talks about "breaking the ice" or having a "heart of gold" or when someone uses any number of other phrases , he is using Shakespeare's language.
Therefore, almost all students of English, native and non-native speakers, have to study the works of William Shakespeare. William Shakespeare was the most influential writer of all-time, bringing a lyrical element to plays about great kings and poor paupers alike. His iambic pentameter verses utilised a natural rhythm of the English language and his themes as well as his literary devices continue to inspire and influence writers even now in the 21st century.
(Abdullah-Al-Musayeb, Dept. of English, Comilla University.  E-mail: musayeb41@gmail.com)

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