William Shakespeare

The Satirical and Discursive Poetry of Alexander Pope

The Satirical and Discursive Poetry of Alexander Pope

On May 21, 1688, English poet Alexander Pope was born. Pope is regarded as one of the greatest English poets, and the foremost poet of the early eighteenth century. He is best known for his satirical and discursive poetry, including The Rape of the Lock, The Dunciad, and An Essay on Criticism, as well as for his translation of Homer. “Nature and nature’s laws lay hid in night; God said “Let Newton…
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Sir Francis Bacon and the Scientific Method

Sir Francis Bacon and the Scientific Method

On January 22, 1561, English philosopher, statesman, scientist, jurist, orator, essayist, and author Sir Francis Bacon was born. Bacon has been called the creator of empiricism. His works established and popularized inductive methodologies for scientific inquiry. “Knowledge, that tendeth but to satisfaction, is but as a courtesan, which is for pleasure, and not for fruit or generation.” — Francis Bacon, as quoted in Valerius Terminus: Of the Interpretation of Nature (ca. 1603) Scholasticism…
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Giovanni Boccaccio and his Famous Decameron

Giovanni Boccaccio and his Famous Decameron

On December 21, 1375, Italian author, poet, correspondent of Petrarch, and important Renaissance humanist Giovanni Boccaccio passed away. He is best known for his masterpiece ‘The Decameron‘ told as a frame story encompassing 100 tales. You haven’t heart about the ‘Decameron‘? You definitely should, simply because it is the masterpiece of European Renaissance literature. In its 100 stories it provides us with an intimate contemporary view into medieval and early Renaissance European…
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Miguel de Cervantes and his Knight of the Sad Countenance

Miguel de Cervantes and his Knight of the Sad Countenance

(Probably) on September 29, 1547, famous Spanish novelist, poet, and playwright Miguel de Cervantes Saavedra  was born. His magnum opus, Don Quixote, is considered to be the first modern European novel, a classic of Western literature, and is regarded amongst the best works of fiction ever written. Moreover it has been translated into nearly every major language, making it one of the most widely distributed books after the Bible. Miguel de Cervantes’ influence on…
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Max Reinhardt – From Bourgeois Theatre to Metropolitan Culture

Max Reinhardt – From Bourgeois Theatre to Metropolitan Culture

On Sep. 9, 1873, Austrian-born theatre and film director, intendant, and theatrical producer Max Reinhardt was born. Through the dramaturgically motivated use of the revolving stage, sculptural decorations, the work with fixed side towers and staircases as possibilities for performing, the circular horizon with its depth dimension, the indirect lighting, the play on podiums projecting into the auditorium, and on the arena stage, the mass direction or the chamber play concept, Reinhardt…
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The Tragedy of MacBeth and its Historical Background

The Tragedy of MacBeth and its Historical Background

On August 14, 1040 AD, Mac Bethad mac Findlaích, Mormaer of Moray, today better known as Macbeth, killed the Scottish King Duncan I. to become the new King of Scotland. But, he has to commit further murder to maintain his power. So far the story goes. Most of the rest we know from Shakespeare‘s adaptation of the historical events is merely pure fiction.[2,3] Macbeth’s life, like that of his predecessor King Duncan…
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Brush Up Your Shakespeare

Brush Up Your Shakespeare

On April 26, 1564, English poet and playwright William Shakespeare was baptized in Stratford-upon-Avon. He is widely regarded as the greatest writer in the English language and the world‘s pre-eminent dramatist. Shakespeare‘s works, including some collaborations, consist of about 38 plays, 154 sonnets, two long narrative poems, two epitaphs, and several other poems. His plays have been translated into every major living language and are performed more often than those of any other…
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August Wilhelm Schlegel and his Shakespeare Translations

August Wilhelm Schlegel and his Shakespeare Translations

August Wilhelm Schlegel (1767 – 1845) On September 8, 1767, German poet, translator, and critic August Wilhelm Schlegel was born, who became a foremost leader of German Romanticism. He is best known for his translations of Shakespeare‘s works into German. August Wilhelm Schlegel attended the school in Hannover, followed by the University of Göttingen, where he enrolled in 1787. At first, he studied theology, changing to classical philology and aesthetics later on.…
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Jane Austen, a Keen Observer Always with a Twinkle in the Eye

Jane Austen, a Keen Observer Always with a Twinkle in the Eye

On December 16, 1775, English novelist Jane Austen was born. She is considered to be one of the most widely read writers in English literature. I do really appreciate Jane Austen’s novels, esp. her famous ‘Pride and Prejudice‘ and also ‘Emma‘ or ‘Nothanger Abbey‘ which all of them I can recommend to you if you haven’t read them up to now. I personally like Jane Austen’s style of narration, always with a little twinkle…
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