Shakespeare’s plays are not gardens but a jungle.

Shakespeare’s plays are not gardens but a jungle.

William Shakespeare produced most of his known works between 1589 and 1613. He wrote most of his plays as ‘quarto texts’. A few of his plays were printed in his lifetime, though they appeared more voluminously after his death. His first collection of works as printed in 1623. We can say Shakespeare’s plays are not gardens but jungle in many senses such as in a variety of genres and themes and characters.

Romantic Comedies

His most comedies are the romantic type. The main theme of his comedies is love. In his comedies, a lover usually experiences a set of obstacles before they united. All conflicts get resolved at the end. His romantic comedies are all set in an imaginative world far away from the dull and dreary world of everyday life. There is a cardinal characteristic of Shakespeare’s romantic world of the union of realism, fantasy, and philosophy.” With humor, Shakespeare deals with serious issues.   

  •     All’s  Well That Ends Well
  •     The Comedy Of Errors
  •     Love’s Labour Lost
  •     The Merchant Of Venice  
  •     The Merry Wives Of Windsor


Shakespearean tragedy is primarily concerned with one person the tragic hero. A tragic hero is a person of the high social estate, raised above the rest. He undergoes suffering because of his tragic flaw or the error of judgment.

  •     Romeo and Juliet
  •     King Lear
  •     Othello
  •     Macbeth
  •     Hamlet
  •     Cymbeline

Roman plays

All these plays are set in Rome deal with similar subjects and make use of the same source- North’s translation of Plutarch’s lives. Dominika Klenova states that Shakespeare uses his source material as a framework, which helps him develop his own conception of treating drama out of biography. He also develops his idea of the Roman character and elaborates on him at both the ‘national ‘and individual level.

  •     Julius Caesar
  •     Antony and Cleopatra
  •     Coriolanus

Problem plays

While most of his plays fall into the above-cited categories of tragedies, comedies, or histories, there are some plays of Shakespeare do not neatly fit into any of these categories.

  •     All is well that ends well
  •     Measure for measures
  •     Troilus and Cressida

Historical plays

According to Michael Hattaway, Shakespeare’s history plays are related to history mainly by offering representations of historical figures and the creation of theater out of historical events. Shakespeare’s primary source for his history plays was Raphael Holinshed Chronicle of England, Scotland, and Ireland.

  •     Richard II
  •     Richard III
  •     Henry IV
  •     Henry V

Did Shakespeare commit mistakes in his use of English ?

 It will be our mistake if we say that Shakespeare committed mistakes in his use of English. 

Difference between Shakespeare's English and Modern English.

Language must have changed in the course of a long time. Elizabethan English shows the style of old English. I.E. inflected English had case-ending for the nouns, terminations for the verbs, and the like. by the end of the 16th century, most of these inflections had ended, though some remained as it is, and the influence of the earlier inflected stage still affected the language. often when we interrogate into the history of some Elizabethan idioms which seem to us curious we find that it is a relic of an old usage.

there are numerous cases in the poet's works where a verb in the present tense has the inflection- s, though the subject is plural: cf the following lines in Richard II,

"These high wild hills and rough uneven ways
Draws out our miles, and makes them wearisome."

The verb 'draws' and 'makes' appear to be singular: but probably each is plural, in agreement with its plural antecedents hills and ways: s-es being the plural inflections of the present tense used in the Northan dialect of old English. In the southern dialect, the inflection was eth: in the midland en. when Shakespeare was born all three forms were getting obsolete: but all three are found in his works, eth, and en very rarely, es or s many times. 

A dramatist makes his character lively, and tells his story through their mouth: he is not like a historian who writes the story in his own words. the English of a play which meant to be spoken must not be judged by the same standard as English of a History which is meant to be read. for considering how much more correct and more regular in style. in speaking, we begin a sentence one way and we finish it another, some fresh idea striking us or some interruption occurring. speech is liable to change constantly as swiftly turns the thoughts. 


Edmund Spenser was patronized by-

By whom Edmund Spenser was patronized? 

Edmund Spenser contributed 1568 a number of Visions and Sonnets from (Petrarch and Du Bellay) to an edifying Theatre for Wordings'. Spenser obtained in 1578, through his college friend G. Harvey, a place in Leicester's household, and become acquainted with Sir Philip Sidney. With Sidney, Dyer, and others, formed a literary club styled 'Areopagus'. In 1579 he began the 'Faerie Queene' and published his 'Shepherd's Calendar'. In 1580, he was appointed secretary to Lord Grey De Wilton, then going to Ireland as lord deputy, and acquired Kilcolman Castle in county Cork. Here he settled and occupied himself with literary artwork, writing his elegy ' Astrphel or Sir Philip Sidney and preparing the Faerie Queene for the press, three books of this work being entrusted to the printer on the poet's visit to London in 1589. He returned to Kilcolman and penned ‘Colin Clouts Come Home Againe’ printed 1595. The success of the Faerie Queene led the printer, Ponsonby to issue in 1591 his minor Verses and Juvenilia, in part, rewritten, as ‘Complaints’.

Changes In English language in Historical Events 1

Changes that occurred in English Language after Norman Conquest

The Norman Conquest changed the whole course of English language. French became the language of social prestige and status. French words entered the English lexicon. More than 10000 French words found their way into English words associated with government, law, art, literature, food, and many other aspects of life.

English language gradually disappeared as a written language, which resulted in the removal of borders on development of language; grammar became simplified as people started finding the simplest way to talk with people, who did not speak English as their first language.

 The pronunciation of English changed to some extent under the influence of French, as did the spelling. E.g. the old English ‘cw’, ‘sc’ and ‘c’ became ‘qu’, ‘sh’ and ‘ch’. The spelling of cwen changed into queen, scip to ship and scolde to should, English grammar took on  a few French structures , such as putting in adjectives after nouns in some expressions – attorney general, secretary general, surgeon general, . Since, Englishmen became desirous of learning the language of the ruling class, a large number of them learned French or Latin.

However, the Normans conquers on the other hand, had to learn English and translate it into Latin, since there was the need to understand English law , as a result , this period  saw an upsurge in the translations of English Material n to Latin.

DEATH BE NOT PROUD - A bright example of metaphysical poetry by John Donne.


This poem a great example of argument with an abstract form, which is known as personification that is death in this poem. It appeared in the collection “Holly Sonnets”


Death, be not proud, though some have called thee

Mighty and dreadful, for thou art not so;

For those whom thou think'st thou dost overthrow

Die not, poor Death, nor yet canst thou kill me.

From rest and sleep, which but thy pictures be,

Much pleasure; then from thee much more must flow,

And soonest our best men with thee do go,

Rest of their bones, and soul's delivery.

Thou art slave to fate, chance, kings, and desperate men,

And dost with poison, war, and sickness dwell,

And poppy or charms can make us sleep as well

And better than thy stroke; why swell'st thou then?

One short sleep past, we wake eternally

And death shall be no more; Death, thou shalt die.


Simplified Explanation

In this sonnet, Poet is asking to death a question. In very first line of the poem we get to know that poet has used capital letter for the word “Death” which means death has been personified here as a living person. Therefore, it is now possible to talk with death. So he asks death why does she proud on her. Of course, we find in living word some call her mighty some name her powerful. In addition, it is true that she is inevitable. Nevertheless, poet does not take her as powerful and mighty. Moreover, he says to death if you think that, you have killed so many of us are not killed. Poet says Death that she cannot kill him. Here he refers her as poor and he is demeaning death in this line. Poet compares death to rest and sleep. He thinks death is nothing more than a sleep or a state of rest. He says to Death you are much more pleasure some for people than sleep. When you kill someone there remains only bones and soul reaches some another place as soon as someone dies. This idea of the poet resembles something like that have been described in Hindu philosophy in The Bhagwad Geeta that soul is immortal only body dies. No one living or nonliving can harm soul. Soul delivers immediately acquires a new body. 

Poet again humiliates death. He says you are a slave to fate, kings, and chances. As in real life, we find that death comes through many kinds of excuses sometimes in the form of murder by goons; accident, sometimes and punishment by kings or judiciary, sometimes in face of disease or pandemic in some cases humans intentionally choose death as an excuse of escape from worldly matters by the means of suicide. 

As we have seen in earlier lines poet compares death to sleep or rest. In a life, many persons consume narcotic drugs, wines, and herbs such as opium; Poet says that their effects are more powerful to sleep someone than death. Poet scorns Death why she feels pride on her. 

In concluding couplet poet has said that whenever someone dies he does not die but dies the Death itself. Because soon after the moment we become a soul and soul is immortal. So here, poet says to Death that you die; we do not when you come to us. 


Francis Bacon – English statesman and philosopher; precursor of British empiricism; advocated inductive reasoning (1561-1626) .

Francis Bacon

Brief Bios

Francis was born on January 22, 1561 in London. His father Sir Nicholas Bacon was a lord Keeper of great Seal and mother as the daughter of Sir Anthony Cooke. In the age of 13, he went to Trinity College, Cambridge. On June 27, 1576, he was admitted to Gray’s Inn. Bacon’s stay in Paris also gave him an opportunity to acquire a high degree of proficiency in the French language. His father died in 1579. 

The first edition of Bacon’s “Essay” was published in 1597 He managed to obtain Knighthood July 1603. In 1604, he was confirmed-learned counsel. In the autumn of 1605, he published his Advancement of Learning. In the summer of 1606, he got married to Alice Barnham. In June 1607, he obtained legal office and became solicitor General. In 1607, he wrote “Cogitata et Visa”. In 1608, he wrote "In Felicem memoriam Elizabethae". In 1609 appeared the Wisdom of the Ancients. New editions of Essays were published in 1607 and 1612. In March 1617, bacon was appointed Lord Keeper .In October 1620 he published the Novum Organum. In 1621, he was created Viscount St. Albans. 

In March 1626, driving one day near Highgate and deciding on impulse to discover whether snow would delay the process of putrefaction, he stopped his carriage, purchased a hen, and with his own hands stuffed it with snow. As a result, he was caught a chill and was taken to house of the Earl of Arundel, where on April 19, 1626 he died of bronchitis.

This the way Shakespeare recalls his best Friend.

Sonnet 30: When to the Sessions of Sweet Silent Thought

William Shakespeare

Poem Text

When to the sessions of sweet silent thought

I summon up remembrance of things past,

I sigh the lack of many a thing I sought,

And with old woes new wail my dear time's waste:

Then can I drown an eye, unus'd to flow,a

For precious friends hid in death's dateless night,

And weep afresh love's long since cancell'd woe,

And moan th' expense of many a vanish'd sight;

Then can I grieve at grievances foregone,

And heavily from woe to woe tell o'er

The sad account of fore-bemoaned moan,

Which I new pay as if not paid before.

But if the while I think on thee, dear friend,

All losses are restor'd, and sorrows end.


This is a sonnet number 30 penned by William Shakespeare. The poem is a remembrance in which the poet is offering like an obituary to his friend named ‘W.H.’ who has recently passed. This is one of the best examples of Shakespearean sonnets. The first three quatrains are arising problems and in the last couplet is giving solution.     

Quatrain 1 - Rhyme Scheme - ABAB

When to the sessions of sweet silent thought

I summon up remembrance of things past,

I sigh the lack of many a thing I sought,

And with old woes new wail my dear time’s waste:


When to the sessions this phrase refers the time when the poet remembers his past friend who has gone beyond the reach of time means have died. There also arises the memories of things that have lost somewhere in the past or the things which the poet could not achieve in his life. He feels pain for many things, which he wanted to own but could not due to any reason. Moreover, these old memories waste his time when he wants to pay his time to his dear friend.   

Quatrain 2 - Rhyme Scheme - CDCD

Then can I drown an eye, unus'd to flow,a

For precious friends hid in death's dateless night,

And weep afresh love's long since cancell'd woe,

And moan th' expense of many a vanish'd sight;


Here in this second quatrain, the poet expresses his grief over the long-lost friends. Unintentionally his eyes wet. He has lost many precious friends in dateless night literally, which means death from which nobody comes back. 

Quatrain 3 - Rhyme Scheme - EFEF

Then can I grieve at grievances foregone,

And heavily from woe to woe tell o'er

The sad account of fore-bemoaned moan,

Which I new pay as if not paid before.


Then poet feels agony in his heart he grieves like never before over the things he has already grieved. One by one all the stories come into his mind. He felt as if he had never grieved before like this time. 

Couplet - Rhyme Scheme - GG

But if the while I think on thee, dear friend,

All losses are restor'd, and sorrows end.



In this couplet, the poet overcomes his grief when he recalls his dear friend. He thinks that whenever he remembers his friends all his thoughts of the past forgone. According to him, God has consoled him by giving him memories of so loving friends. All the things restored refer that memories of his dear makes him rather bear all the problems. 

Iambic Pentameter

A poetic meter consisting of a line with five feet in each of which the iamb is dominant. Pentameter is a line of verse with five metrical feet, each consisting of one short (or unstressed) syllable followed by one long (or stressed) syllable.

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