martes, 13 de mayo de 2014

Types of Shakespeare's plays

Shakespeare wrote 40 plays during his life, can we classify them? There is a controversy about the classification of his plays as they are very different. We are going to classify it as the general one. 

Fuente: writing

There are three types of Shakespeare's plays: comedies, tragedies and historical plays.

Comedies (16 plays)
Shakespeare wrote 16 comedies between 1589 and 1610. These are the characteristics of Shakespearian comedies:
  1. Multiple plots
  2. Separation and unification
  3. Clever servant
  4. A struggle of young lovers to be together
There is a subgenre called tragicomedies, which mix comedies and tragedies. An example of tragicomedy is The Winter's Tale (1610).

Here is the list of comedies:
  • The Two Gentlemen of Verona (1589-1592)
  • Taming of the Shrew (1590-92)
  • The Comedy of Errors (1592)
  • A Midsummer Night's Dream (1595)
  • Love's Labour's Lost (1595-96)
  • The Merchant of Venice (1596-98)
  • The Merry Wives of Windsor (1597)
  • Much Ado About Nothing (1598)
  • As You Like It (1599)
  • Twelfth Night (1599-1601)
  • Measure for Measure (1603)
  • All's Well That Ends Well (1604)
  • Pericles Prince of Tyre (1606-08)
  • Cymbeline (1610)
  • The Tempest (1610)
  • The Winter's Tale (1610-11)

Tragedies (12 plays)
Shakespeare wrote 12 tragedies between 1593 and 1610. These tragedies follow the definition of a general tragedy: the main characters has a bad ending. These are the main characteristics of tragedies:
  1. Fatal flaw: Shakespeare's heroes are flawed, so they finally had a bad ending.
  2. Fall of nobleman: Shakespeare's plays have nobleman with wealth and power who always fall. 
  3. External pressures: Fate, evil spirits and manipulative characters all play a hand in the hero's downfall.1
There is also another subgenre called "love tragedies" in which the main characters have bad endings but with a story of love.

This is the list of tragedies:

  • Titus Andronicus (1593)
  • Rome and Juliet (1597)
  • The Tragedy of Julius Caesar (1599)
  • Hamlet (1599-1602)
  • The History of Troilus and Cressida (1602)
  • Othello (1603)
  • The King Lear (1605)
  • Macbeth (1606)
  • Antony and Cleopatra (1607)
  • Coriolanus (1607)
  • The Life of Timon of Athens (1608)
  • Cymbeline (1610)

Historical plays (12 plays)
Shakespeare wrote 12 historical plays. The source to write about this was the book 'Chronicle of English Book' by Raphael Holinshed. This type of plays has some characteristics:

  1. They are based on English kings
  2. Shakespeare's source 
  3. They have Tudor propaganda
  4. They show how good things were with these kings: despite all the wars and bad things, the kings of Shakespeare's historical plays did a good job.

Here is the list of historical plays:
  • Henry VI, Part I (1591)
  • Henry VI, Part II (1591)
  • Henry VI, Part III (1591)
  • Richard III (1592)
  • Sir Thomas More (1592-93)
  • Richard II (1595)
  • King John (1596)
  • The Reign of King Edward (1596)
  • Henry IV, Part I (1597)
  • Henry IV, Part II (1597)
  • Henry V (1598)
  • Henry VIII (1612)

Genres of Shakespeare's Plays

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