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Sunday, June 11, 2017
Wisdom from William Shakespeare--Carolyn R. Wilker
his time, William Shakespeare, poet and playright, knew a thing or two about
the stage, but his work covered many areas of life. Biography.com
says “over the course of 20 years,
Shakespeare wrote plays that capture the complete range of human emotion and
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
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.