The Real Theater of Unreal Shakespeare
The glory of English literature – William Shakespeare and the London Theater – flourished at the same time. The work of Shakespeare, who remains the most remarkable playwright in the world, was the highlight of the English Renaissance art. The Theatre of Shakespeare developed into the versatile model of the universe: the focus of the eternal individual and society issues. The great surge of dramaturgy and dramatic art development was caused by ultimately conditional staged principles of English Renaissance theater. The main emphasis was transferred to the semantic content and the acting. Furthermore, the genius of Shakespeare merged the drama and the stage heretofore achievements together.
The glorious history of Shakespeare’s Globe Theater began in 1599. At the time, London was known as the city of performing arts enthusiasts. The public theaters were emerging in succession. The Globe was built on the south bank of the Thames River by the theatrical company the Lord Chamberlain’s men to whom Shakespeare belonged. Namely, the staging of Shakespeare works and other Renaissance playwrights made the theater one of the most important centers of English cultural life (Kennedy and Gioia 1365). It was a time when amateur stagecraft transformed into a professional one. The Globe was octagonal and accommodated according to various sources up to 2,000-3,000 people. The representatives of different sections of society had an opportunity to attend it. Nevertheless, the structure of the building and the allocation of seats were strictly classified due to the social position. In general, the theater, where the greatest Shakespeare’s plays were performed, was not a place of impressive decoration and staging. With no roof, no curtain, poorly designed, with the only one privilege – balcony, the Globe was magnificent by virtue of the audience imagination. The exterior poverty of the building demanded the active perception of the performance from the public. Shakespeare and other playwrights hoped for the great scenes to be constructed by the power of audience minds.
Moreover, all the brilliant Shakespeare’s dramaturgy would remain invaluable if actors did not bring it to an audience. Thus, apparently the actors of the time were talented and high-skilled.
World Literature Treasure
The main asset of the Theater of Shakespeare is yet the works and the author himself. William Shakespeare managed to express more profoundly than anyone else all the spirit of the time and life of his people. During his tenure at London’s Globe Theater, he wrote 37 plays, which reached into the world literature treasury. Shakespeare’s poetic historicism was properly appreciated and understood centuries later. The priority of the right and wisdom of people over the will and fate of an individual is the basis of Shakespeare drama. The ideal of human and deep philosophy of life is voiced by his immortal heroes. Hamlet, Othello, King Lear, Timon of Athens reveal the deep abyss between the aspirations of people and the reality they face. The corrupting power of money, the fall of the moral level of the person under the influence of the private interests’ free play describe the society and the ongoing changes in the feudal order. William Shakespeare, the great expert of human hearts, found the key to the minds of people, who stand on the edge between two eras. He showed the way the noblest natures become a victim of rough, brutal force born by the controversial development of the society. The stories of his heroes, despite their tragic finales, strengthen the belief in the ultimate triumph of a man.
Thoughts and actions of Romeo and Juliet, Macbeth, Othello, Hamlet are known all over the world. Ironically, about the person who created all of them almost nothing is known. There are enough proofs that William Shakespeare was born in Stratford-upon-Avon, started an actor career in London and came back to Stratford until his death in 1616. The rest of the biography of the prominent English poet and playwright is very controversial. Shakespeare’s name has always been shrouded by mystery. There left no manuscripts; no portraits made during his lifetime, no reviews of his contemporaries. According to different sources, his personality is so much multifaceted as the characters he created. Many questions are not answered. For instance, if the outstanding Shakespeare was just a literal fiction, nothing more than a close-nit team of authors, or he was a real man deprived of genius, who was rewriting the well-known life stories. Besides, maybe he was a nobleman hidden behind the face and/or name of a little-known provincial actor. Whoever he was, there is still a perception of William Shakespeare as an extraordinary and innovative person. He put into words the passions of life and the tireless search of a curious mind. Nevertheless, accepting the last suggestion, William Shakespeare had to start his life path as a young man without money, powerful family connections and a university education to become a playwright of all time. After leaving his wife and children, he moved to London in the late 1580’s. In a very short time, he managed to become the greatest playwright (Potter 2-9). He makes his audience admire, cry and laugh, feel the anger, glory, pain. He appeals in his works to the educated and the unlettered, poor and rich, sophisticated citizens and ingenuous villagers. While his rivals merely could survive, a man of tens of talents, an expert of different fields reached the wealth and spent the last years in the best house of his hometown. It all seems an incredible success at the background of the self-made protagonist story that still resists other explanations.
However, it does not matter who wrote those imperishable works since they give people such a rush of emotions and a new look at the world. There are no analogies to the unique Shakespearean tragedies and sonnets in the world, and it is unlikely ever to occur. The revealed secret of the real master Shakespeare’s personality would enable to open the curtain to the deeper explanations of his works, and social processes of the time.
In conclusion, it is hard to overestimate his contribution to the development of theatrical traditions. He opened a new era of dramatic literature. Subsequently, his works outgrew his life and saved the urgency and interest till the present day.