Shakespeare Is Also Called the Bard


William Shakespeare (April 26, 1564 – April 23, 1616) was considered as the world’s renowned dramatist and the greatest writer, poet and playwright in English language. Shakespeare often mentioned as England’s national poet and the ‘Brad of Avon’.

Some of the famous Shakespeare’s legacy includes 38 plays, two long narrative poems, 154 sonnets and many other poems. The popularity of his work can be seen in the fact that almost all his plays have been translated nearly in every language of the world and performed throughout.

Shakespeare preferred the blank verse for his poetic forms, as he was considered as the master of using blank verse. He used iambic pentameter in his poetic work which means that his diction normally don’t rhyme and constitute ten syllables a line, and has recited with a stress on every second syllable. It is important to mention here that the blank verse used by him in his early poetic forms is fairly different from the one noticed in his later plays. Although, the sentences happened to start, pause and finish at the end of lines, they keep the reader involved throughout.

Due to the strong hold on the blank verse, Shakespeare was able to temper with its cadence. The variation used by him bring a new strength and malleability to the poetry used in his plays. We have so many instances from Julius Caesar and Hamlet. Look at the extract below, which is taken from Hamlet where Shakespeare showing his class of using blank verse to convey the excitement of Hamlet’s mind:

Sir, in my heart there was a kind of fighting

That would not let me sleep. Methought I lay

Worse than the mutines in the bilboes. Rashly—

And prais’d be rashness for it—let us know

Our indiscretion sometimes serves us well…

— Hamlet, Act 5, Scene 2, 4–8 —

The practical working of the theatre and the Shakespearean poetic ingenious works hand in hand. Most of themes of his stories were the inspiration taken from the classical sources such as Dante, Petrarch etc. Shakespeare integrated vigorous adaptations of the plot to the ancient themes. He also integrated the sub-plot techniques to help explore as many sides of a life situation as possible. He so skillfully crafted the chronology of events that every sub-plot make direct link to the main plot. Aristotelian idealization of a plot is pretty much obvious in Shakespeare’s plays.

Shakespeare was greatly admired for being a poet and dramatist at the same time during his life time, but it was after the eighteenth century when his popularity graph further reached to the point of apex.

Shakespeare’s work was greatly acknowledged during the Romantic Age. However, his work fascinated the Victorians as much as the George Bernard Shaw went to the extent of expressing his appreciation of his work among Victorians as ‘BARDOLATORY’. Such remarks can be seen from different people from different ages and shows us the importance and popularity of his work throughout the history of English literature.