1599: A Year in the Life of William Shakespeare: Winner of the Baillie Gifford Winner of Winners Award 2023
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Shakespeare provavelmente viu o primeiro incidente (ocorreu em uma apresentação judicial de sua empresa) e ouviu sobre o segundo (o que pode ter inspirado a cena do quarto igualmente chocante em Hamlet, que também envolve uma rainha e um jovem indecoroso, impetuoso e armado). Not even London's dramatists escaped the ban, which also decreed that "no plays [were to] be printed except they be allowed by such as have authority. Desde Coleridge, a visão predominante era que o poeta não só transcendeu sua idade, mas também, nas palavras de Coleridge, escreveu "exatamente como se fosse de outro planeta". It was the most tumultuous of times and Shapiro has produced an extraordinary work bringing Shakespeare to life in one of the most important years of his life. He struggled to put words in the mouths of actors, and to discover ways to present thoughts without speech, and to present ideas implicit in Tacitus, Hayward, and others.
The book is both eminently readable and scholarly in equal measure and it is perhaps the closest any of us will get to Shakespeare. The Elizabethan theater had replaced some of the lost fabric of Catholic life, the liturgical underpinnings of communal life prior to the Reformation, and the Queen followed a leery course of not arousing one side or the other—Catholic or Protestant—which Shakespeare played up to in one play after another, always inscrutable, not advocating for one side or the other. Shapiro argues that these plays were a turning point in his career – as he moved away from popular and formulaic plays to a more demanding spectacle.The audacious focus on just one year pays off magnificently, and this solid book isn't a page too long . A Year in the Life of William Shakespeareby James Shapiro is tonight, Thursday 27 April, named winner of the Baillie Gifford Prize for Non-Fiction ‘Winner of Winners’ Award. Read these as well and make up your own mind - they certainly give another fascinating alternative perspective to the familiar plays (especially Hamlet, that features prominently in Shapiro's book). In this gripping account, James Shapiro sets out to answer this question, "succeed[ing] where others have fallen short.
His ruminations on Henry V, Julius Caesar, As You Like It and, of course, Hamlet are both rigorous and resounding. Take a popular play and a run of just a fortnight and around 15 per cent of London's adult population would have seen it. Theatre in Britain can never have been both so influential on and so reflective of the society it served. Read more about the condition Very Good: A book that has been read and does not look new, but is in excellent condition. But he did not escape unscathed: Jonson was branded with a “T” for Tyburn, Elizabethan London's site of execution, on his thumb.The book is really a wonderfully deft interweaving of historical and cultural context, physical and social description, the politics and economics of Shakespeare’s work as a professional actor and co-owner of the Globe theatre. James Shapiro's outstanding 1606 (Faber), in which the Jacobean Shakespeare gets his due, follow[s] Shapiro's magnificent take on the Elizabethan one in 1599. Whether you are interested in Shakespeare's London and times, or in the four plays of 1599, or Shakespeare himself, Shapiro's book should be rewarding. But thanks to Shapiro's exemplary work, we can see just how much the personalities and issues of his time did affect the plays, and how Elizabethan audiences would have smiled at allusions lost on their modern counterparts. This book is about the year 1599 and how what was going on in 1599 affected Shakespeare and his plays.
As interesting as I found the history, I was more intrigued by Shapiro's discussion of the four plays of 1599. But it is not necessarily their factfulness that makes these books so special, it is the stories about people, ordinary and extraordinary. a stunning exhibition of scholarly intelligence by an academic deeply committed to arriving at the truth.His reviews have appeared in The New York Times Book Review, Times Literary Supplement, the London Review of Books, and other publications.
Shakespeare wrote four of his most famous plays: Henry the Fifth, Julius Caesar, As You Like It, and, most remarkably, Hamlet ; Elizabethans sent off an army to crush an Irish rebellion, weathered an Armada threat from Spain, gambled on a fledgling East India Company, and waited to see who would succeed their aging and childless queen. They had some pretty kooky plans to do so, including but not limited to kidnapping people and brainwashing them into murdering Elizabeth. Wolfgang Haase, long-time editor of ANRW and the International Journal of the Classical Tradition (IJCT). An ambassador's report tells how she "had a petticoat of white damask, girdled and open in the front, as was also her chemise, in such a manner that she often opened this dress". He is particularly eloquent when addressing the thorny issue of the religious affinities of the Shakespeare family.His book lays bare, too, assumptions about the writing life that come to us from the 18th-century romantics. To demonstrate that Shapiro profiles in rich detail the London and England of 1599 and the concerns that dominated public consciousness: the half-cocked invasion of Ireland by ill-supplied and under-trained troops (many of them impressed) led by Lord Essex; a feared Spanish invasion by yet another Armada ("the Invisible Armada"); political censorship and its chilling effect; and uncertainties as to succession as Queen Elizabeth aged and her reign approached its end. In 1599, perhaps the decisive year in Shakespeare's life, art and politics collided to an extraordinary degree. Inevitably, in a book that aims to show the seminal nature of a year, Shapiro sometimes tries too hard.