Shakespeare's the Winter's Tale
Cambridge Scholars Publishing, 2009 - 190 páginas
Purchase of this book includes free trial access to www.million-books.com where you can read more than a million books for free. This is an OCR edition with typos. Excerpt from book: Such is, I believe, a fair illustration of what has long been familiar to me as the supreme excellence of Shakespeare's ripest, strongest, and most idiomatic style. Antony and Cleopatra is pre-eminently rich in this qualit)1; but there is enough of it in The Tempest, The Winter's Tale, Coriolanus, and Cymbeline, to identify them as belonging to the same stage and period of anthorship. But I can find hardly so much as an earnest of it in Julius Ccesar; and nothing short of very strong positive evidence would induce me to class this drama with those, as regards the time of writing. The historic materials of this play were drawn from The Life of Julius CcKsar, The Life of Marcus Brutus, and The Life of Marcus Antonius, as set forth in Sir Thomas North's translation of Plutarch. This work, aptly described by War- ton as Shakespeare's storehouse of learned history, was first printed in 1579, and reprinted in 1595, 1603, and 1612, not to mention several later editions. The translation was avowedly made, not directly from the Greek, but from the French version of Jaques Amyot, Bishop of Auxerre. The book is among our richest and freshest literary monuments of that age; and, apart from the use made of it by Shakespeare, is in itself an invaluable repertory of honest, manly, idiomatic Elizabethan English. No abstract, nor any extracts, of the Plutarchian matter can well be given here. Suffice it to say, that in most of the leading incidents the charming old Greek is minutely followed; though in divers cases those incidents are worked out with surpassing fertilitj' of invention and art. But, besides this, in many places the Plutarchian form and order of thought, and also the very words of North's racy and delectable old English, are retained, with such an embalming for immortalit...
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