Shakespeare - Plays - William Shakespeare
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Shakespeare

Shakespeare
Shakespeare

Around 1600 AD, in the time of Queen Elizabeth, it was still a pretty new thing to write anything in English rather than Latin. William Shakespeare took advantage of the Renaissance: people had translated Greek and Latin plays into Italian and English, and more and more people were reading them. Everyone was excited about these new stories, and Shakespeare brought the new stories to ordinary English people - even people who couldn't read.

Shakespeare took Ovid's old story of Pyramus and Thisbe, and turned it into Romeo and Juliet. He took Plautus's play Menaechmi and turned it into the Comedy of Errors. He also used real historical events, like the life of Henry V, as the inspiration for his plays. But unlike Greek and Roman plays, Shakespeare's plays didn't have a chorus, or (generally) musical accompaniment, and he didn't limit himself to two or three speaking characters.

More about Elizabethan England

Bibliography and further reading about Shakespeare:

Elizabethan England
Modern Europe
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Karen Carr is Associate Professor Emerita, Department of History, Portland State University. She holds a doctorate in Classical Art and Archaeology from the University of Michigan. Follow her on Instagram, Pinterest, or Twitter, or buy her book, Vandals to Visigoths.
Karen Carr is Associate Professor Emerita, Department of History, Portland State University. She holds a doctorate in Classical Art and Archaeology from the University of Michigan. Follow her on Instagram or Twitter, or buy her book, Vandals to Visigoths.
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