Otázka: William Shakespeare
Is often called England´s national poet and the „Bard of Avon“ or simply „The Bard“.
His surviving works consist of about 38 plays, 154 sonnets, 2 long narrative poems and several other poems.
His plays have been translated into every major language and read all over the world.
He was born in Stratford-upon-Avon on 23rd April, 1564 as the third child of Mary and John Shakespeare and was raised in Stratford.
At the age of 18 he married the 26-year-old Anne Hathaway who bore him three children: Susanna and twins Hamnet and Judith. Son Hamnet died of unknown causes at the age of 11.
But he left his family behind and travelled to London to become a playwright. In London he started a very successful career as an actor and writer. He was also part owner of a playing company called the Lord Chamberlain´s Men, later called the King´s Men. The company built their own open-air theatre on the south bank of the river Thames – the Globe.
Going to the theatre became very popular in the 1600s and Shakespeare became a very popular playwright. Even Queen Elizabeth I and King James I admired him very much.
Few records of Shakespeare´s private life survive, and there has been considerable speculation about such matters as his physical appearance and whether the works attributed to him were written by others.
When Shakespeare eventually retired and moved back to Stratford he was a rich and successful man. He died on April 1616 and is buried at Trinity Church in Stratford.
His plays are often classified as being either tragedies or comedies or historical plays.
Among the best known tragedies belong Romeo and Juliet, Julius Caesar, Hamlet, Othello, King Lear and Macbeth.
Famous comedies include The Taming of the Shrew, A Midsummer Night´s Dream, The Merchant of Venice, The Merry Wives of Windsor, As You Like It, Twelfth Night, Much Ado About Nothing, The Comedy of Errors.
From the big number of historical plays let us name for example Henry VIII. and Richard III.
Romances were named Pericles, The Winter´s Tale, The Tempest.
Shakespeare published narrative poems on erotic themes, Venus and Adonis and The Rape of Lucrece, A Lover´s Complaint.
Romeo and Juliet differs from the other tragedies because heroes are not destroyed therough the faults in their character but by the hatred of their two families. After the death of the two lovers comes a reconciliation of the two clans.
Hamlet, Prince of Denmark gets revenge on his uncle for the murder of the king – prince´s father.
The action of Othello takes place in Venice. Iago whispers to his friend Othello that his wife Desdemona is unfaithful to him. In a fit of jealousy Othello kills her and when he learns the truth he stabs himself to death.
Macbeth tells a story of the Scottish king Macbeth and the path to power through crime.
Shakespeare influenced great world novelists such as Thomas Hardy or Charles Dickens. The psychologist Sigmund Freud drew on his psychology. The most important translator of Shakespear´s plays into the Czech language was Josef Václav Sládek.
The Globe theatre had to face many problems of that times, for example it was destroyed by fire and burnt to the ground and rebuilt again, or it was closed because of plague. Today, the original theatre was demolished , but ites replica was built and is a popular tourist attraction in London.