Read

Shakespeare’s mental vaccine

  Disaster has always been an important content and theme of dramatic narratives. Shakespeare’s plays are undoubtedly the highest achievement of British drama during the Renaissance and an important part of British literature. In many of Shakespeare’s plays, a particularly peculiar and terrifying calamity is described – the plague. This is so because he has experienced and witnessed a dangerous and special time with frequent plagues.
  In Shakespeare’s life, he encountered many major plagues. Peter Ackrod mentions in The Life of Shakespeare that in 1564, the summer of the year Shakespeare was born, in less than six months, some 237 inhabitants passed away, accounting for 10% of the total population of the parish. 1 in 10, only one-third of babies born in town live to their first birthday. Shakespeare, who was still an infant, was taken by his mother to a nearby village for refuge, making him a survivor of the plague.
  Shakespeare was indeed a survivor and a lucky one in God’s favor. In the summer of 1592, the large-scale Black Death outbreak in London continued until 1594, killing one in every 12 residents, and Shakespeare, who was making a living in London at that time, was able to get away again. Like his contemporaries, he was always threatened by plague and death, and his career has been plagued by plague many times, many of his neighbors, friends and audience died in the plague, but he survived the plague It’s a miracle that came down and wrote the immortal play.
  Due to the spread of the plague, the London Public Theatre was forced to close in February 1593 and did not reopen until a year later. Shakespeare and his theatre were in trouble when the Privy Council ordered a ban on performances within 5 miles of London after the public theatre was briefly opened after an overnight rain. For those who were engaged in literary and artistic creation at that time, the most important thing was to find a patron.
  As we all know, the most important patron in Shakespeare’s life was the Earl of Southampton. The long poem “Venus and Adonis” is dedicated to the Earl of Southampton. The poem was published in April 1593. This is the first poem known to be published by Shakespeare. The whole poem has a total of 1194 lines. The creation of the long poem was at the time of the plague in England. The main material of this long poem came from Ovid’s The Metamorphoses. The young Shakespeare’s ideal was to become Ovid’s successor in England. Shakespeare wrote this long poem, on the one hand, because during the plague, he urgently needed to win the trust and support of his patron, the Earl of Southampton; Inferior to the Cambridge students like Marlowe and Spencer, who used to ridicule Shakespeare as a country bumpkin who didn’t understand grammar.
  When the poem was published, its popularity was unexpected by Shakespeare himself. It is said that almost every woman from a noble family in London has a copy of “Venus and Adonis” on her desk, and it is also popular among Cambridge students and students of the Four Law Schools to copy Shakespeare’s verses. It can be said that what really made Shakespeare famous overnight was this long poem written during the plague. It is through this poem that Shakespeare’s talent was appreciated by the Earl of Southampton.
  From December 1592 to 1593, the public theatre in London was closed due to the plague; after a brief opening in 1594, it was closed again in April and mid-May of the year due to new epidemics. This repeated tossing caused some actors to change careers during the epidemic, a large number of troupes were disbanded, and very few troupes survived.
  Shakespeare himself still insisted on preparing for the reconstruction of the troupe during the period of the plague. He knew that many troupes would not be able to persist, and the one who persisted would be the final victor. It was in February 1594 that Shakespeare completed the revenge tragedy Titus Andronicus, the first Shakespeare to be published. Then he created several historical dramas such as “Richard II” and “King John”.
  Shortly after the plague, also during May 1594, the “Housekeeper’s Troupe” was formed under the patronage of Baron Henston. Shakespeare also joined the troupe, and he contributed all the plays he wrote in the past as the capital of his shares. There are eight shareholders in the troupe, and Shakespeare is one of them. The Shakespeare Chronicle shows that it was from 1594 that he began his great collaboration with Richard Burbage.
  During this period, Shakespeare, as the main actor and screenwriter of the troupe, wrote and acted. In 1594, “A Midsummer Night’s Dream”, “Romeo and Juliet” and “Richard II” premiered in succession. During this period, as the first stage of Shakespeare’s creation, he completed “The Futility of Love” (1594), “A Midsummer Night’s Dream” (1596), “The Merchant of Venice” (1596), “Henry IV” (Part 1/ 1596), The Merry Wives of Windsor (1597), Henry IV (Part 2/1598), Much Ado About Nothing (1598), Henry V (1599), Julius Caesar ( 1599), “As You Like It” (1599) and other important plays, especially “Hamlet” premiered in 1600, the same year the Jixing Theatre opened, and formed a competitive pattern with the Globe Theatre. On the eve of the Earl of Essex’s rebellion in 1601, Shakespeare’s troupe performed Richard II at the Globe; Shakespeare’s Twelfth Night also premiered that year. Perhaps to bring some joy and comfort to the passive world-weary people after the plague, Shakespeare wrote many comedies after the plague.
  However, the good times did not last long, and a large-scale plague broke out again in 1603, making the already turbulent country’s situation even more precarious. The plague that year killed 1/5 of the population. During the plague, Shakespeare never put down his pen, and after the epidemic ushered in a turning point in his personal fate. Together Were Together (1605), Macbeth (1606) and other hit plays, and a considerable amount of income every year.
  Following Othello in 1604, Shakespeare devoted himself to the writing of King Lear in 1605, which was completed by early 1606 at the latest. Perhaps in the immediate context of the plague, Shakespeare had King Lear use the words “revenge, plague, death, chaos” in his curse on his daughter Reagan and her husband Cornwall, and rebuked her for being “a man hiding in The carbuncle of the plague in my corrupt blood.” The exact timing of the script’s creation has been controversial in the academic circles. Some scholars are based on Gloucester’s line in Act 2, “These recent solar and lunar eclipses are not a good omen”, and the solar and lunar eclipses that occurred in September and October 1605. According to the phenomenon of eclipse and lunar eclipse, it is speculated that the creation of “King Lear” was around the end of 1605.
  Since then, Shakespeare has entered the most mature creative period of his life.
  Shakespeare’s plays show people’s attitude towards death – not denying death, but giving it special meaning and gaining wisdom from it. In tragedy, those who are destined to be destroyed by fate do not leave the world casually. On the contrary, they have a special mission, and they always through philosophical language, the spirit of human nobility and rationality is seriously and fully conveyed, just like Hamlet. Only after completing such a mission will they leave the stage in a solemn manner.
  Great art is the spiritual vaccine bestowed by great writers on the world.
  Shakespeare wrote his most brilliant poems at a time when viruses and plagues threatened humanity. When Shakespeare looked at the impermanence of life and the truth of existence with rational eyes, he affirmed the human pursuit of love, freedom, and perfection buried behind it, the moral decrees from the ideal kingdom of beauty, and the divine inner light that transcended religion. , all make us feel that the plague stops at the poetry of the poet. For Shakespeare, who was immersed in art, the plague was almost non-existent. By creating a world full of light and poetry, he reveals what made Shakespeare so special in the stellar Renaissance.

error: Content is protected !!