Top 10 Best William Shakespeare Plays

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In the days when technology is off, where cars and motorcycles (check out top motorcycle shoes that you can use these days :-)) are not in place when fashion is not really an issue,  are horses and damsels, kings and queens, the poets and the nomads.

The world’s most famous playwright and poet: William Shakespeare lived about 500 years ago. His influence on English literature was immense. Are you familiar with his greatest works? Check out a few of his greatest works below.

Who Is Shakespear?

1. Hamlet

In ‘Hamlet’ – probably written between 1600 and 1602 – Shakespeare applied the technique of the so-called ‘revenge tragedy’. This genre was very popular at the time! The story is about Claudius, who kills his brother and thus becomes king of Denmark. Whether or not it is bad enough, he also takes over his brother’s wife. Claudius thus becomes the stepfather of the young ‘Hamlet’. The latter wants to honor his murdered father. ‘Hamlet’ competes with Claudius in an inimitable way. “To be, or not to be, that’s the question” and “There’s more between heaven and earth” are famous quotes from the play “Hamlet.”

2. Macbeth

“Macbeth” is known as William Shakespeare’s shortest tragedy. Also, an unprecedented amount of blood flows into this! The story is largely based on the history of the Scottish king Macbeth, who took the throne in 1040 by killing Duncan I of Scotland. He would have been encouraged by three witches for this. In order to maintain its dominant position, Macbeth is forced to sow fear and destruction. This eventually led to his own death. After the first performance, the piece was often played. A salient detail is that many actors felt fear of playing; fatal accidents occurred in a number of productions. ‘Macbeth’ has been filmed several times in recent decades. The piece has also been edited into a television series.

3. Romeo and Juliet

‘Romeo and Juliet’ – officially ‘The most excellent and lamentable tragedy of Romeus and Juliet’ – is counted as one of Shakespeare’s earliest tragedies. This piece was written between 1591 and 1596. Most probably William Shakespeare was guided by the story ‘Mariotti and Gianozza’ by Masuccio Salernitano from 1476. Since 1900 a total of more than 40 film versions of ‘Romeo and Juliet’ have been made. The musical ‘West side story’ also counts as a version of the well-known story. In 2001 Theo van Gogh made the television series ‘Najib and Julia’. Here we witnessed the blossoming love between a Moroccan pizza courier and a hockey girl from The Hague. All films make it clear that an unlimited expiration date has been assigned to the subject of ‘romantic love’.

4. King Lear

Exactly in between “Othello” and “Macbeth,” William Shakespeare wrote the compelling tragedy “King Lear.” How many masterpieces can a man produce! In ‘King Lear’ the audience witnesses the struggle of the main characters when it comes to justice, authority and reconciliation. Although ‘King Lear’ – as the main character is called – wants to arrange his succession to the best of his knowledge, he is guided by his love for one of his daughters in particular. This does not just let the other daughters happen. Possibly Shakespeare was inspired by a notorious lawsuit – in which one of the three daughters tried to declare her father insane – that took place during that period. In this respect, the story is also mentioned of a mayor who could not achieve a good division of his property.

5. Othello

In ‘Othello’ – from 1603 or 1604 – everything revolves around the themes of love, jealousy, revenge and ambition. The play makes it unmistakably clear that noble people can also fall if they are guided by these qualities. It was up to the ‘King’s Men’ to perform ‘Othello’ for the first time. The story goes that Richard Burge – at the time the main actor of the company – has masterfully portrayed the lead role. Shakespeare probably used Richard Knolles ‘The History of the Turks’ as a source. It described in detail the conflict between Venice and the Ottoman Empire in the sixteenth century. Although this was a lengthy conflict, William Shakespeare managed to explain the story briefly and concisely.

6. A Midsummer Night’s Dream

Just like ‘Much Ado About Nothing’, ‘A Midsummer Night’s Dream’ is also counted among the romantic comedies. Unique to the latter piece is that it is not based on an older story. In ‘A Midsummer Night’s Dream’ we follow the adventures of four young, loving people and a group of amateur actors. Almost all scenes are set in a beautiful moonlit forest. Perhaps it is the light story that has inspired many to make a film adaptation. This piece is also frequently performed in the opera. Nice to know that Shakespeare also worked on ‘Romeo and Juliet’ when he wrote ‘A Midsummer Night’s Dream’.

7. The Tempest

‘The Tempest’ was performed for the first time in 1623. In that year it was also published in the ‘First Folio’. In fact, it was given a place of honor as the opening piece. ‘The Tempest’ was therefore extremely popular at weddings during that period. It is worth mentioning that ‘The King’s Men’ – the group where Shakespeare himself also played – was allowed to perform this play for the first time. A big difference with other plays by William Shakespeare is that he follows the neoclassical style in ‘The Tempest’. In other words, there is unity in time, place and action. The public recognizes the time, as mentioned in ‘The Tempest’, as the time in which they themselves live.

8. Julius Caesar

In 1599 William Shakespeare wrote the tragedy ” Julius Caesar”. Although the title suggests that Caesar shines in all companies, his character appears in only three scenes. Central to this work is the plot against this Roman politician. The murder and its consequences on society are also extensively discussed. Historians think that with ‘Julius Caesar’, Shakespeare wanted to draw attention to his concerns about the succession to the throne in England. In the same period, the then queen – who was very old – refused to appoint a successor. Many residents of England feared the outbreak of a civil war. Shakespeare probably used ‘Plutarchus’ by Thomas North as the source for ‘Julius Caesar’. It is a series of biographies of famous Romans and Greeks.

9. Much Ado About Nothing

In ‘Much Ado About Nothing’ we discover the romantic side of William Shakespeare. This comedy is set in the Sicilian town of Messina. Claudio and Hero live here. Slightly overwhelmed by feelings of love – at least for each other – this couple decides to get their friends Beatrice and Benedick to form a love couple too. Eventually, the intrigues get the upper hand! ‘Much Ado About Nothing’ was probably first performed in 1614 during a festival prior to the marriage of Elizabeth and Frederik V of the Palatinate. Many operations followed. Most of these are made for television. In 2005 the BBC made a contemporary version of it. The first film adaptation was probably a silent film from 1913. Exactly 80 years later the first major film adaptation followed.

10. Richard III

The history piece “Richard III” was probably written in 1592. As with other works, William Shakespeare drew on “Richard III” from “The Union the Two Noble and Illustrious Families of Lancaster and York” by Edward Hall. Furthermore, historians think that Shakespeare was inspired by Thomas Mores’ ‘The History of King Richard the Third’. Richard’s personality was described in great detail in this biography. “Richard III” was known as an extremely corrupt and sadistic ruler. For years he played the political leaders as puppets. Above all, he enjoyed his own malice! ‘Richard III’ is counted as one of Shakespeare’s best plays. This piece has also been performed particularly often.

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