Sunday, June 11, 2017

Wisdom from William Shakespeare--Carolyn R. Wilker

In his time, William Shakespeare, poet and playright, knew a thing or two about the stage, but his work covered many areas of life. says “over the course of 20 years, Shakespeare wrote plays that capture the complete range of human emotion and conflict.
Besides his plays, poems and sonnets, other official documentation of his life come from church and court records. Of his education, there is little information, leaving historians to surmise where he attended school, and others to doubt how he could write so prolifically and so well. There were other historians who supposed his works to be the product of other men. Yet the grammar schools at the time taught about the arts, so he may have had a good educational base. Sources that affirmed his work included the Queen’s court where Shakespeare and his fellows performed.

All the world's a stage,
And all the men and women merely players;
They have their exits and their entrances,
And one man in his time plays many parts
His acts being seven ages.

By the late 1590s Shakespeare was selling his plays, though selling his plays and acting didn’t comprise the main part of his income. James Shapiro wrote in his book, The Year of Lear: Shakespeare in 1606, that Shakespeare collaborated with others early in his career, and on five of his last ten plays.
Unlike plays now that are repeated night after night for a period of time, Shapiro said in his online video at the site, that Shakespeare’s patrons expected a new play every day. Shapiro calls the schedule an exhausting one. Shakespeare read and wrote late into the night, all without the benefit of caffeine or tea, neither of which had been introduced to England at the time. He and his men would rehearse the next morning, then they would present the new play later that day.
 The biography states further: “What seems to be true is that William Shakespeare was a respected man of the dramatic arts who wrote plays and acted in some in the late 16th and early 17th centuries. But his reputation as a dramatic genius wasn't recognized until the 19th century.”
Shakespeare would have known grief too, as everyone does at some time or other of life. One of his children, a son, died at age 11. The biography at this site only states the fact. Perhaps this was the time he wrote: “Give sorrow words; the grief that does not speak whispers the o’er-fraught heart and bids it break.”
This particular biography doesn’t deal with his faith, but it shows that he was baptized, returned home from London during the 40 days of Lent when the theatre was closed, and that he was buried at the church and his death recorded there. Perhaps another biography would tell more.
What can writers today learn from Shakespeare? Probably about his persistence. He kept at it, working at other jobs, staying close to the theatre scene, learning and continuing to write until he’d written enough that people took him seriously.
If God puts it on your heart to write, then keep on writing. Though you have family and another job to pay bills, find a way to get your words written. Submit your work and follow through. And may your words bless others.


Glynis said...

That's some good words of advice from Mr. Shakespeare and from you. Passion usually dictates what gives us peace. Writing is definitely one for me. That said, I cannot imagine working well into the night without the benefit of my many cups of tea!

Persistence is a good word. Nicely said, Carolyn. Thanks.

Peter Black said...

Thanks Carolyn. Your biographical sketch of this prince among bards is both informative and inspiring.
I'm grateful for my writing outlet via the weekly column and our TWG blog, here (admitted I often modify one of my column articles).
For now, I've been led back into pastoral work on a volunteer associate basis, helping a pastor friend in a rural congregation, as well as continuing with community residential services and one of my old loves - music. This may only be for a season in life, and those writing dreams may yet be reawakened and projects come to fruition. ~~+~~

fudge4ever said...

Producing a play every day - wow, I didn't know that about Shakespeare. Very interesting piece, and it definitely shows his persistence.
I didn't like Shakespeare at all when I was in school, but now that I work in the schools, I really enjoy it.
Pam Mytroen

Peter Black said...

Hmm, in retrospect, Carolyn I said more about myself in my comment above than I said in commending your post. My point was however, that your bio sketch of Shakespeare prompted some self-examination regarding where I am in my writing journey.
Again, I thank you. ~~+~~

Carolyn R. Wilker said...

Hello all,

I started with a quote by William Shakespeare and decided to check the quote and see what else I could learn. That's when I discovered he had to write a new play for each day! Yikes. Thought it was worth sharing for those of us who struggle month after month on a big piece of work. Glynis, neither could I write all night, even with a cup of tea.

Pam, I wasn't sure about Shakespeare at first, but I did like attending the plays in Stratford after we'd studied it. I found some of them pretty heavy, such as Merchant of Venice and Richard III, but I loved the costumes and theatrics and the opportunity to go to the theatre, something my family ordinarily didn't engage in. Still love theatre and live plays and have gone since a number of times.

Peter, I can see how this could get you to examine how you work.

Thank you, all, for your comments.

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