Hellen Keller

 

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Helen Keller

Famous as

Writer, Member of Socialist Party of America, Campaigner of socialism, women’s suffrage and several leftist social causes

Born on

27 June 1880

Born in

Tuscumbia, Alabama, USA

Died on

01 June 1968

Nationality

United States

Helen Keller is an iconic name that finds a starry place in history. There is possibly no one on this earth who has never heard of her name even for once in their life. Keller was the first deaf and blind woman who had created waves as a writer, political activist, and lecturer. She is regarded as an extremely powerful example of dynamism and advocacy for people with disabilities. Keller is remembered for her autobiography 'The Story of My Life' and other brilliant essay compilations like 'Out of the Dark'. Keller had written various books and essays on socialist and spiritual topics. Generations after generations have known Keller so well through various film, television series and documentary adaptations produced, depicting the story of her life. Keller had been the guiding light of the American Foundation for the Blind for which she had raised funds. Keller had won many posthumous honours like being named in hospitals and physically challenged foundations. After she died she was awarded with Alabama's The 50 State Quarters program, listed in Gallup's Most Widely Admired People of the 20th Century and a bronze statue of her was added to the National Statuary Hall Collection. Keller was the first deaf and blind woman who completed her Bachelor of Arts degree. Keller's name will remain in the memories of future generations and pages of history.

Helen Keller Childhood 

Helen Keller was born as Helen Adams Keller on 27 June 1880, in Tuscumbia, Alabama, USA. Keller’s family lived in a land and home which was owned and built by Helen’s grandfather. Helen was born to father Arthur H. Keller who was attached as an editor for the Tuscumbia “North Alabamian” and had served as a captain for the Confederate Army and mother Kate Adams who was the daughter of Charles Adams who had fought for the Confederate Army during the American Civil War, earning the rank of brigadier-general.

 

Helen’s father’s family origin traced back to Swiss ancestor Casper Keller. According to reports one of Helen’s Swiss ancestors had been the first teacher for the deaf in Zurich. Helen had mentioned this coincidence in her first autobiography, stating “that there is no king who has not had a slave among his ancestors, and no slave who has not had a king among his”.

 

Helen had not been born as a deaf and blind child but had been affected by an illness which her doctors stated as “an acute congestion of the stomach and the brain” which now is believed to have been either scarlet fever or meningitis. The illness did not remain with her for long but brought in deafness and blindness in her. As a child Helen could only communicate with Martha Washington who was Helen’s family cook’s daughter. Martha understood much of Helen’s signs. Helen used 60 of her home signs while communicating with her family. In 1886 Helen was sent by her mother while being accompanied by her father to seek the help of Dr. J. Julian Chisolm, an eye, ear, nose, and throat specialist in Baltimore, for advice. This was the first time that Helen was sent for a professional learning process and her mother had taken this step after getting inspired by inspired by an account in Charles Dickens' “American Notes” of the successful education of another deaf and blind woman, Laura Bridgman. Dr. J. Julian Chisolm referred Helen and her father to Alexander Graham Bell, who was then working with deaf children at the time. Bell further made Helen and her family go to Perkins Institute for the Blind where Laura Bridgman had received her formal education. Helen had found her instructor in Perkins’ former student Anne Sullivan (who was visually impaired for 20 years) who was personally referred by Michael Anaganos, Perkins’ director.

 

Education

Anne Sullivan started teaching Helen by arriving at Helen’s home in March 1887. Anne initially taught Helen how to communicate by spelling words through her hands. Anne gave a clear picture of all the words and Helen learnt the symbolic ideas of water, mug and all other things. Keller had a protruding left eye which we get to know from most of her profile photographs. Both of Keller’s eyes were replaced when she turned into an adult, with glass replicas.

 

From May 1888 Helen started attending Perkins Institute for the Blind. In 1894, Helen Keller and Anne Sullivan moved to New York to get special education from the Wright-Humason School for the Deaf and educate under Sarah Fuller at the Horace Mann School for the Deaf. In 1896 Keller and Sullivan moved back to Massachusetts and Helen entered The Cambridge School for Young Ladies. In 1900 Helen was admitted to Radcliffe College, where she lived in Briggs Hall, South House. Mark Twain greatly admired Helen Keller for her efforts and helped her greatly in introducing her to Standard Oil magnate Henry Huttleston Rogers, who along with his wife funded Helen’s education. In 1904 Keller received her graduation from Radcliffe College at the age of 24. With this Helen became the first deaf and blind person ever to earn a Bachelor of Arts degree. 

 

Later Years 

Helen had remained in close alliance with the Austrian philosopher and pedagogue Wilhelm Jerusalem who was the first person to assess and discover Helen’s immense literary talent. Anne Sullivan had remained Helen’s companion for several years. Anne married John Macy in 1905. Her health declined somewhere around 1914.

Keller recruited Polly Thompson to keep her house. Thompson was a young Scottish woman who had no prior experience dealing with deaf or blind people but she managed well and became a secretary to Helen. Polly always accompanied Helen and became a constant companion in the later years.

 

Socio-Political Activities 

Helen Keller became a world renowned writer and a magnificent orator. She is remembered even today for her tremendous efforts and contributions in advocating the cause of people with disabilities and many other social causes. Helen was outright in rejecting Woodrow Wilson’s policies as she was a notable radical socialist. Helen played an integral role in promoting birth control, suffrage and was a pacifist in ideas.

 

Keller was a socialist and believed in radical changes than parliamentary socialism which according to her was “sinking in the political bog”. In 1912 Keller joined the Industrial Workers of the World (known as the IWW or the Wobblies).

 

In 1915 she found the Helen Keller International (HKI) organization along with George Kessler which devoted its work and research in the areas of vision, health and nutrition. In 1920 Helen greatly helped founding the American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU). Keller was accompanied by Sullivan in 39 foreign country trips.


Together Helen and Sullivan visited Japan where Helen became a favourite of the Japanese people. During her travels and political visits Keller met several American Presidents from Grover Cleveland to Lyndon B. Johnson and became friends with many famous individuals like Alexander Graham Bell, Charlie Chaplin and Mark Twain.

 

Helen Keller was greatly interested in activism because of her extreme concern for blindness and other disabilities. She regularly wrote for IWW from 1916 to 1918. She stated in one of her writings on social activism, “I was appointed on a commission to investigate the conditions of the blind. For the first time I, who had thought blindness a misfortune beyond human control, found that too much of it was traceable to wrong industrial conditions, often caused by the selfishness and greed of employers. And the social evil contributed its share. I found that poverty drove women to a life of shame that ended in blindness”.

 

Keller remained a Socialist Party member for which she actively campaigned and wrote many pieces in support of the working class from 1909 to 1921. Keller supported Socialist Party candidate Eugene V. Debs in all of her presidential campaigns.

 

Writing Career 

Helen had written 12 books which were all published besides writing various articles. One of the earliest known Helen’s written piece was when she was eleven years old The Frost King (1891). There had been growing allegations that Helen had copied the book from “The Frost Fairies” by Margaret Canby. The act of plagiarism was condemned and Helen’s work was thoroughly investigated. It was found that Keller may have experienced cryptomnesia and had forgotten the story written by Canby read out to her but had subconsciously remembered the storyline. Keller was 22 years old when her autobiography, “The Story of My Life” was published in 1903 which received help from Sullivan and Sullivan's husband, John Macy. In 1908 Keller wrote “The World I Live In” which talked about her feelings of the world she felt living inside. In 1913 a series of essays on socialism, “Out of the Dark” was published. In 1927 Keller’s spiritual autobiography “My Religion” was published.

 

Final Years and Death 

Helen Keller was attacked by several strokes in 1961. She was confined to her home in the final years of her life. On September 14, 1964, President Lyndon B. Johnson awarded her with the prestigious Presidential Medal of Freedom which is regarded as one of the United States' highest two civilian honours. Keller died in her sleep on 1 June 1968 at her home, Arcan Ridge located in Easton, Connecticut.

 

Film and Television Adaptations 

Keller’s life and times have been made into many television series, films and documentaries. She herself appeared in a silent film, “Deliverance” in 1919 which told the story of her life in a melodramatic and allegorical style. “The Miracle Worker” is a cycle of dramatic works heavily derived from her autobiography, “The Story of My Life”. Each of the various dramas describe the relationship between Keller and Sullivan, depicting the teacher’s leading role in calming Keller from a state of almost feral wildness and making her take up education, activism, and intellectual celebrity. The common title of the cycle echoes Mark Twain's description of Sullivan as a "miracle worker." Its first realization was the 1957 “Playhouse 90” teleplay of that title by William Gibson. Gibson adapted it for a Broadway production in 1959 and producing an Oscar-winning feature film in 1962 which starred Anne Bancroft and Patty Duke. It was remade for television in 1979 and 2000. In 1984, Helen Keller's life story was produced into a TV movie called “The Miracle Continues”. The Hindi movie, “Black” which came out in 2005 and directed by Sanjay Leela Bhansali was hugely based on Keller’s life.

 

Posthumous Awards and Honours 

In 1999 Keller’s name got listed into Gallup's Most Widely Admired People of the 20th Century. Keller lends her name to the Helen Keller Hospital in Sheffield, Alabama which was dedicated to her. In 2003, Alabama honoured Helen, who was considered as Alabama’s native daughter, on its “state quarter”. There are streets in Getafe, Spain and Lod, Israel which have been named after Helen Keller. On October 7, 2009, a bronze statue of Helen Keller was added to the National Statuary Hall Collection.


Helen Keller Timeline:

1880 – Helen Keller was born on 27 June

1886 - Helen was sent by her mother while being accompanied by her father to seek the help of Dr. J. Julian Chisolm, an eye, ear, nose, and throat specialist in Baltimore, for advice

1887 - Anne Sullivan started teaching Helen by arriving at Helen’s home in March

1888 - From May, Helen started attending Perkins Institute for the Blind

1891 - One of the earliest known Helen’s written piece was when she was eleven years old The Frost King

1894 – Helen Keller and Anne Sullivan moved to New York to get special education from the Wright-Humason School for the Deaf and educate under Sarah Fuller at the Horace Mann School for the Deaf

1896 - Keller and Sullivan moved back to Massachusetts and Helen entered The Cambridge School for Young Ladies

1900 - Helen was admitted to Radcliffe College, where she lived in Briggs Hall, South House

1903 - Keller was 22 years old when her autobiography, “The Story of My Life” was published which received help from Sullivan and Sullivan's husband, John Macy

1904 - Keller received her graduation from Radcliffe College at the age of 24. With this Helen became the first deaf and blind person ever to earn a Bachelor of Arts degree

1905 - Anne Sullivan married John Macy

1908 - Keller wrote “The World I Live In” which talked about her feelings of the world she felt living inside

1909 to 1921 - Keller remained a Socialist Party member for which she actively campaigned and wrote many pieces in support of the working class

1912 - Keller joined the Industrial Workers of the World known as the IWW or the Wobblies

1913 - A series of essays on socialism, “Out of the Dark” was published

1914 – Anne’s health declined somewhere around 1914

1915 - She found the Helen Keller International (HKI) organization along with George Kessler which devoted its work and research in the areas of vision, health and nutrition

1916 to 1918 - She regularly wrote for IWW

1919 - She appeared in a silent film, “Deliverance” which told the story of her life in a melodramatic and allegorical style

1920 - Helen greatly helped founding the American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU)

1927 - Keller’s spiritual autobiography “My Religion” was published

1961 - Helen Keller was attacked by several strokes which confined her to her home in the final years of her life

1964 – On 14 September President Lyndon B. Johnson awarded her with the prestigious Presidential Medal of Freedom which is regarded as one of the United States' highest two civilian honours

1968 - Keller died in her sleep on 1 June




الساعات المكتبية

الساعات المكتبية

السبت : 8-10

الأحد :10-12

الاثنين:1-3

الثلاثاء:8-10

الاربعاء:10-12

أعلان هام

أرجو ا من جميع الطلاب الذين طلبت منهم الحضور لمكتبي لأخذ المقاطع الصوتية فيما يخص مادة الاستماع التواصل معي غدا الاثنين وبعدغد الثلاثاء وذلك للأهمية ولقرب موعد اختبارات منتصف الفصل وتقبلوا فائق تقديري

أرجوا من جميع الطلاب في حال مواجهة أي صعوبة أو التباس في فهم اي نقطه من المقررات التي ادرسها لهم عدم التردد في الاتصال بي ومراجعتي في مكتبي مع امنياتي القلبية لكم جميعا بالتوفيق والنجاح واوصيكم ونفسي بتقوى الله والجد والمثابره

سلام من الله عليكم جميعا -- ارجو  ان يكون الجميع قد استمتع بعطله جميله ونرجع ونقول من طلب العلا سهر الليالي ---ارجو من كل الطلاب العودة بقوة وحماس الشباب للنهل من العلم والله يوفقكم ويرعاكم

اعلان هام للغاية لطلاب Eng002وطلاب Eng001سوف يقام امتحان مهارة الاستماع في اخر اسبوع دراسي ---يوم الاثنين الموافق 23-6-1433----أهيب بكل الطلاب الحضور والحرص والا سوف يعتبر غائب ويفقد درجة الامتحان --واسال الله لكم التوفيق والنجاح وارجو عدم التردد في سؤالي في حال وجود اي استفسار ---ولا تنسونا من صالح الدعاء

سلام من الله عليكم 

أهيب بكل الطلاب الذين تغيبوا عن الاختبار الفصلي ان يراجعوني الاحد القادم باذن الله تعالى الموافق 11-1-2015 الساعة العاشرة صباحا وذلك للاهمية


سلام من الله عليكم جميعا يا شباب ---نزل جدول اختبارات الفصل الدراسي الثاني للعام الجامعي 1432-1433 ومرفق لكم صوره منه ---ارجوا منكم جميعا الجد والاجتهاد والمثابره فما هي الا ايام معدودات وتجني ثمار جهدك ---نسأل الله لكم التوفيق والنجاح وحاضرين في اي وقت لأي استفسار او سؤال ولا تنسونا من صالح الدعاء--


سلام من الله عليكم اعزائي الطلاب ارجو من الطلاب الذين تجاوز غيابهم الثلاثون ساعة سرعة تقديم اعذارهم الرسمية .

أخر يوم لتقديم الاعذار الاربعاء الموافق السادس والعشرون من ديسمبر 2012

نزل اليوم الجدول النهائي للامتحانات وارجو من الجميع الجد والاجتهاد وعدم التردد في الاتصال بي لأي توضيح أو استفسار مع أمنياتي القلبية للجميع بالتوفيق والنجاح

هااااام وعاجل : تم تغيير موعد اختبار اللغة الانجليزية الثلاثاء المقبل الموافق الاول من يناير 2013من الساعة التاسعة صباحا حتي العاشرة والرع صباحا بدلا من الثانية عشرة ظهرا وحتى الواحدة والربع كما هو معتاد سابقا ارجو من الجميع الانتباه والله الموفق

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من مشاهير الادب الانجليزي







William
Shakespeare



The English playwright, poet, and actor William Shakespeare
(1564-1616) is generally acknowledged to be the greatest of English writers and
one of the most extraordinary creators in human history.



The most crucial fact about William Shakespeare's career is
that he was a popular dramatist. Born 6 years after Queen Elizabeth I had
ascended the throne, contemporary with the high period of the English
Renaissance, Shakespeare had the good luck to find in the theater of London a
medium just coming into its own and an audience, drawn from a wide range of
social classes, eager to reward talents of the sort he possessed. His entire
life was committed to the public theater, and he seems to have written nondramatic
poetry only when enforced closings of the theater made writing plays
impractical. It is equally remarkable that his days in the theater were almost
exactly contemporary with the theater's other outstanding achievements—the
work, for example, of Christopher Marlowe, Ben Jonson, and John Webster.



Shakespeare was born on or just before April 23, 1564, in
the small but then important Warwickshire town of Stratford. His mother, born
Mary Arden, was the daughter of a landowner from a neighboring village. His
father, John, son of a farmer, was a glove maker and trader in farm produce; he
had achieved a position of some eminence in the prosperous market town by the
time of his son's birth, holding a number of responsible positions in
Stratford's government and serving as mayor in 1569. By 1576, however, John
Shakespeare had begun to encounter the financial difficulties which were to
plague him until his death in 1601.



Though no personal documents survive from Shakespeare's
school years, his literary work shows the mark of the excellent if grueling
education offered at the Stratford grammar school (some reminiscences of
Stratford school days may have lent amusing touches to scenes in The Merry
Wives of Windsor
). Like other Elizabethan schoolboys, Shakespeare studied
Latin grammar during the early years, then progressed to the study of logic,
rhetoric, composition, oration, versification, and the monuments of Roman
literature. The work was conducted in Latin and relied heavily on rote
memorization and the master's rod. A plausible tradition holds that William had
to discontinue his education when about 13 in order to help his father. At 18
he married Ann Hathaway, a Stratford girl. They had three children (Susanna,
1583-1649; Hamnet, 1585-1596; and his twin, Judith, 1585-1662) and who was to
survive him by 7 years. Shakespeare remained actively involved in Stratford
affairs throughout his life, even when living in London, and retired there at
the end of his career.



The years between 1585 and 1592, having left no evidence as
to Shakespeare's activities, have been the focus of considerable speculation;
among other things, conjecture would have him a traveling actor or a country
schoolmaster. The earliest surviving notice of his career in London is a
jealous attack on the "upstart crow" by Robert Greene, a playwright,
professional man of letters, and profligate whose career was at an end in 1592
though he was only 6 years older than Shakespeare. Greene's outcry testifies,
both in its passion and in the work it implies Shakespeare had been doing for
some time, that the young poet had already established himself in the capital.
So does the quality of Shakespeare's first plays: it is hard to believe that
even Shakespeare could have shown such mastery without several years of apprenticeship.



Early Career



Shakespeare's first extant play is probably The Comedy of
Errors
(1590; like most dates for the plays, this is conjectural and may be
a year or two off), a brilliant and intricate farce involving two sets of
identical twins and based on two already-complicated comedies by the Roman
Plautus. Though less fully achieved, his next comedy, The Two Gentlemen of
Verona
(1591), is more prophetic of Shakespeare's later comedy, for its
plot depends on such devices as a faithful girl who educates her fickle lover,
romantic woods, a girl dressed as a boy, sudden reformations, music, and happy
marriages at the end. The last of the first comedies, Love's Labour's Lost
(1593), is romantic again, dealing with the attempt of three young men to withdraw
from the world and women for 3 years to study in their king's "little
Academe," and their quick surrender to a group of young ladies who come to
lodge nearby. If the first of the comedies is most notable for its plotting and
the second for its romantic elements, the third is distinguished by its
dazzling language and its gallery of comic types. Already Shakespeare had
learned to fuse conventional characters with convincing representations of the
human life he knew.



Though little read and performed now, Shakespeare's first
plays in the popular "chronicle," or history, genre are equally
ambitious and impressive. Dealing with the tumultuous events of English history
between the death of Henry V in 1422 and the accession of Henry VII in 1485 (which
began the period of Tudor stability maintained by Shakespeare's own queen), the
three "parts" of Henry VI (1592) and Richard III (1594)
are no tentative experiments in the form: rather they constitute a gigantic
tetralogy, in which each part is a superb play individually and an integral
part of an epic sequence. Nothing so ambitious had ever been attempted in
England in a form hitherto marked by slapdash formlessness.



Shakespeare's first tragedy, Titus Andronicus (1593),
reveals similar ambition. Though its chamber of horrors— including mutilations
and ingenious murders—strikes the modern reader as belonging to a theatrical
tradition no longer viable, the play is in fact a brilliant and successful
attempt to outdo the efforts of Shakespeare's predecessors in the lurid
tradition of the revenge play.



When the theaters were closed because of plague during much
of 1593-1594, Shakespeare looked to nondramatic poetry for his support and
wrote two narrative masterpieces, the seriocomic Venus and Adonis and
the tragic Rape of Lucrece, for a wealthy patron, the Earl of
Southampton. Both poems carry the sophisticated techniques of Elizabethan
narrative verse to their highest point, drawing on the resources of Renaissance
mythological and symbolic traditions.



Shakespeare's most famous poems, probably composed in this
period but not published until 1609, and then not by the author, are the 154
sonnets, the supreme English examples of the form. Writing at the end of a
brief, frenzied vogue for sequences of sonnets, Shakespeare found in the
conventional 14-line lyric with its fixed rhyme scheme a vehicle for
inexhaustible technical innovations—for Shakespeare even more than for other
poets, the restrictive nature of the sonnet generates a paradoxical freedom of
invention that is the life of the form—and for the expression of emotions and
ideas ranging from the frivolous to the tragic. Though often suggestive of
autobiographical revelation, the sonnets cannot be proved to be any the less
fictions than the plays. The identity of their dedicatee, "Mr. W.
H.," remains a mystery, as does the question of whether there were
real-life counterparts to the famous "dark lady" and the unfaithful
friend who are the subject of a number of the poems. But the chief value of these
poems is intrinsic: the sonnets alone would have established Shakespeare's
preeminence among English poets.



Lord Chamberlain's Men



By 1594 Shakespeare was fully engaged in his career. In that
year he became principal writer for the successful Lord Chamberlain's Men—one
of the two leading companies of actors; a regular actor in the company; and a
"sharer," or partner, in the group of artist-managers who ran the
entire operation and were in 1599 to have the Globe Theater built on the south
bank of the Thames. The company performed regularly in unroofed but elaborate
theaters. Required by law to be set outside the city limits, these theaters
were the pride of London, among the first places shown to visiting foreigners,
and seated up to 3,000 people. The actors played on a huge platform stage
equipped with additional playing levels and surrounded on three sides by the
audience; the absence of scenery made possible a flow of scenes comparable to
that of the movies, and music, costumes, and ingenious stage machinery created
successful illusions under the afternoon sun.



For this company Shakespeare produced a steady outpouring of
plays. The comedies include The Taming of the Shrew (1594), fascinating
in light of the first comedies since it combines with an Italian-style plot, in
which all the action occurs in one day, a more characteristically English and
Shakespearean plot, the taming of Kate, in which much more time passes; A
Midsummer Night's Dream
(1595), in which "rude mechanicals,"
artisans without imagination, become entangled with fairies and magic potions
in the moonlit woods to which young lovers have fled from a tyrannical adult
society; The Merchant of Venice (1596), which contributed Shylock and
Portia to the English literary tradition; Much Ado about Nothing (1598),
with a melodramatic main plot whose heroine is maligned and almost driven to
death by a conniving villain and a comic subplot whose Beatrice and Benedick
remain the archetypical sparring lovers; The Merry Wives of Windsor
(1599), held by tradition to have been written in response to the Queen's
request that Shakespeare write another play about Falstaff (who had appeared in
Henry IV), this time in love; and in 1600 the pastoral As You Like
It,
a mature return to the woods and conventions of The Two Gentlemen of
Verona
and A Midsummer Night's Dream, and Twelfth Night,
perhaps the most perfect of the comedies, a romance of identical twins
separated at sea, young love, and the antics of Malvolio and Sir Toby Belch.



Shakespeare's only tragedies of the period are among his
most familiar plays: Romeo and Juliet (1596), Julius Caesar
(1599), and Hamlet (1601). Different from one another as they are, these
three plays share some notable features: the setting of intense personal
tragedy in a large world vividly populated by what seems like the whole range
of humanity; a refusal, shared by most of Shakespeare's contemporaries in the
theater, to separate comic situations and techniques from tragic; the constant
presence of politics; and—a personal rather than a conventional phenomenon—a
tragic structure in which what is best in the protagonist is what does him in
when he finds himself in conflict with the world.



Continuing his interest in the chronicle, Shakespeare wrote
King John (1596), despite its one strong character a relatively weak play; and
the second and greater tetralogy, ranging from Richard II (1595), in
which the forceful Bolingbroke, with an ambiguous justice on his side, deposes
the weak but poetic king, through the two parts of Henry IV (1597), in
which the wonderfully amoral, fat knight Falstaff accompanies Prince Hal,
Bolingbroke's son, to Henry V (1599), in which Hal, become king, leads a
newly unified England, its civil wars temporarily at an end but sadly deprived
of Falstaff and the dissident lowlife who provided so much joy in the earlier
plays, to triumph over France. More impressively than the first tetralogy, the
second turns history into art. Spanning the poles of comedy and tragedy, alive
with a magnificent variety of unforgettable characters, linked to one another
as one great play while each is a complete and independent success in its own
right—the four plays pose disturbing and unanswerable questions about politics,
making one ponder the frequent difference between the man capable of ruling and
the man worthy of doing so, the meaning of legitimacy in office, the value of
order and stability as against the value of revolutionary change, and the
relation of private to public life. The plays are exuberant works of art, but
they are not optimistic about man as a political animal, and their unblinkered
recognition of the dynamics of history has made them increasingly popular and
relevant in our own tormented era.



Three plays of the end of Elizabeth's reign are often
grouped as Shakespeare's "problem plays," though no definition of
that term is able successfully to differentiate them as an exclusive group. All's
Well That Ends Well
(1602) is a romantic comedy with qualities that seem
bitter to many critics; like other plays of the period, by Shakespeare and by
his contemporaries, it presents sexual relations between men and women in a
harsh light. Troilus and Cressida (1602), hardest of the plays to
classify generically, is a brilliant, sardonic, and disillusioned piece on the
Trojan War, unusually philosophical in its language and reminiscent in some
ways of Hamlet. The tragicomic Measure for Measure (1604) focuses
more on sexual problems than any other play in the canon; Angelo, the
puritanical and repressed man of ice who succumbs to violent sexual urges the
moment he is put in temporary authority over Vienna during the duke's absence,
and Isabella, the victim of his lust, are two of the most interesting characters
in Shakespeare, and the bawdy city in which the action occurs suggests a London
on which a new mood of modern urban hopelessness is settling.



King's Men



Promptly upon his accession in 1603, King James I, more
ardently attracted to theatrical art than his predecessor, bestowed his
patronage upon the Lord Chamberlain's Men, so that the flag of the King's Men
now flew over the Globe. During his last decade in the theater Shakespeare was
to write fewer but perhaps even finer plays. Almost all the greatest tragedies
belong to this period. Though they share the qualities of the earlier
tragedies, taken as a group they manifest new tendencies. The heroes are
dominated by passions that make their moral status increasingly ambiguous,
their freedom increasingly circumscribed; similarly the society, even the
cosmos, against which they strive suggests less than ever that all can ever be
right in the world. As before, what destroys the hero is what is best about
him, yet the best in Macbeth or Othello cannot so simply be commended as
Romeo's impetuous ardor or Brutus's political idealism (fatuous though it is).
The late tragedies are each in its own way dramas of alienation, and their
focus, like that of the histories, continues to be felt as intensely relevant
to the concerns of modern men.



Othello (1604) is
concerned, like other plays of the period, with sexual impurity, with the
difference that that impurity is the fantasy of the protagonist about his
faithful wife. Iago, the villain who drives Othello to doubt and murder, is the
culmination of two distinct traditions, the "Machiavellian" conniver
who uses deceit in order to subvert the order of the polity, and the Vice, a
schizophrenically tragicomic devil figure from the morality plays going out of
fashion as Shakespeare grew up. King Lear (1605), to many Shakespeare's
masterpiece, is an agonizing tragic version of a comic play (itself based on
mythical early English history), in which an aged king who foolishly deprives
his only loving daughter of her heritage in order to leave all to her
hypocritical and vicious sisters is hounded to death by a malevolent alliance
which at times seems to include nature itself. Transformed from its
fairy-tale-like origins, the play involves its characters and audience alike in
metaphysical questions that are felt rather than thought.



Macbeth (1606),
similarly based on English chronicle material, concentrates on the problems of
evil and freedom, convincingly mingles the supernatural with a representation
of history, and makes a paradoxically sympathetic hero of a murderer who sins
against family and state—a man in some respects worse than the villain of Hamlet.



Dramatizing stories from Plutarch's Parallel Lives,
Antony and Cleopatra
and Coriolanus (both written in 1607-1608)
embody Shakespeare's bitterest images of political life, the former by setting
against the call to Roman duty the temptation to liberating sexual passion, the
latter by pitting a protagonist who cannot live with hypocrisy against a
society built on it. Both of these tragedies present ancient history with a
vividness that makes it seem contemporary, though the sensuousness of Antony
and Cleopatra,
the richness of its detail, the ebullience of its language,
and the seductive character of its heroine have made it far more popular than
the harsh and austere Coriolanus. One more tragedy, Timon of Athens,
similarly based on Plutarch, was written during this period, though its date is
obscure. Despite its abundant brilliance, few find it a fully satisfactory
play, and some critics have speculated that what we have may be an incomplete
draft. The handful of tragedies that Shakespeare wrote between 1604 and 1608
comprises an astonishing series of worlds different from one another, created
of language that exceeds anything Shakespeare had done before, some of the most
complex and vivid characters in all the plays, and a variety of new structural
techniques.



A final group of plays takes a turn in a new direction.
Commonly called the "romances," Pericles (1607), Cymbeline
(1609), The Winter's Tale (1611), and The Tempest (1611) share
their conventions with the tragicomedy that had been growing popular since the
early years of the century. Particularly they resemble in some respects plays
written by Beaumont and Fletcher for the private theatrical company whose
operation the King's Men took over in 1608. While such work in the hands of
others, however, tended to reflect the socially and intellectually narrow
interests of an elite audience, Shakespeare turned the fashionable mode into a
new kind of personal art form. Though less searing than the great tragedies,
these plays have a unique power to move and are in the realm of the highest
art. Pericles and Cymbeline seem somewhat tentative and
experimental, though both are superb plays. The Winter's Tale, however,
is one of Shakespeare's best plays. Like a rewriting of Othello in its
first acts, it turns miraculously into pastoral comedy in its last. The
Tempest
is the most popular and perhaps the finest of the group. Prospero,
shipwrecked on an island and dominating it with magic which he renounces at the
end, may well be intended as an image of Shakespeare himself; in any event, the
play is like a retrospective glance over the plays of the 2 previous decades.



After the composition of The Tempest, which many
regard as an explicit farewell to art, Shakespeare retired to Stratford,
returning to London to compose Henry VIII and The Two Noble Kinsmen
in 1613; neither of these plays seems to have fired his imagination. In 1616,
at the age of 52, he was dead. His reputation grew quickly, and his work has
continued to seem to each generation like its own most precious discovery. His
value to his own age is suggested by the fact that two fellow actors performed
the virtually unprecedented act in 1623 of gathering his plays together and
publishing them in the Folio edition. Without their efforts, since Shakespeare
was apparently not interested in publication, many of the plays would not have
survivedز

Qutation

 







The wood -Apoem by Charlottte Bronte

 

The Wood a poem by Charlotte Bronte

 

THE WOOD
Charlotte Bronte

But two miles more, and then we rest!
Well, there is still an hour of day,
And long the brightness of the West
Will light us on our devious way;
Sit then, awhile, here in this wood--
So total is the solitude,
We safely may delay.

These massive roots afford a seat,
Which seems for weary travellers made.
There rest. The air is soft and sweet
In this sequestered forest glade,
And there are scents of flowers around,
The evening dew draws from the ground;
How soothingly they spread!

Yes; I was tired, but not at heart;
No--that beats full of sweet content,
For now I have my natural part
Of action with adventure blent;
Cast forth on the wide world with thee,
And all my once waste energy
To weighty purpose bent.

Yet--sayst thou, spies around us roam,
Our aims are termed conspiracy?
Haply, no more our English home
An anchorage for us may be?
That there is risk our mutual blood
May redden in some lonely wood
The knife of treachery?

Sayst thou, that where we lodge each night,
In each lone farm, or lonelier hall
Of Norman Peer--ere morning light
Suspicion must as duly fall,
As day returns--such vigilance
Presides and watches over France,
Such rigour governs all?

I fear not, William; dost thou fear?
So that the knife does not divide,
It may be ever hovering near:
I could not tremble at thy side,
And strenuous love--like mine for thee--
Is buckler strong 'gainst treachery,
And turns its stab aside.

I am resolved that thou shalt learn
To trust my strength as I trust thine;
I am resolved our souls shall burn
With equal, steady, mingling shine;
Part of the field is conquered now,
Our lives in the same channel flow,
Along the self-same line;

And while no groaning storm is heard,
Thou seem'st content it should be so,
But soon as comes a warning word
Of danger--straight thine anxious brow
Bends over me a mournful shade,
As doubting if my powers are made
To ford the floods of woe.

Know, then it is my spirit swells,
And drinks, with eager joy, the air
Of freedom--where at last it dwells,
Chartered, a common task to share
With thee, and then it stirs alert,
And pants to learn what menaced hurt
Demands for thee its care.

Remember, I have crossed the deep,
And stood with thee on deck, to gaze
On waves that rose in threatening heap,
While stagnant lay a heavy haze,
Dimly confusing sea with sky,
And baffling, even, the pilot's eye,
Intent to thread the maze--

Of rocks, on Bretagne's dangerous coast,
And find a way to steer our band
To the one point obscure, which lost,
Flung us, as victims, on the strand;--
All, elsewhere, gleamed the Gallic sword,
And not a wherry could be moored
Along the guarded land.

I feared not then--I fear not now;
The interest of each stirring scene
Wakes a new sense, a welcome glow,
In every nerve and bounding vein ;
Alike on turbid Channel sea,
Or in still wood of Normandy,
I feel as born again.

The rain descended that wild morn
When, anchoring in the cove at last,
Our band, all weary and forlorn
Ashore, like wave-worn sailors, cast--
Sought for a sheltering roof in vain,
And scarce could scanty food obtain
To break their morning fast.

Thou didst thy crust with me divide,
Thou didst thy cloak around me fold;
And, sitting silent by thy side,
I ate the bread in peace untold:
Given kindly from thy hand, 'twas sweet
As costly fare or princely treat
On royal plate of gold.

Sharp blew the sleet upon my face,
And, rising wild, the gusty wind
Drove on those thundering waves apace,
Our crew so late had left behind;
But, spite of frozen shower and storm,
So close to thee, my heart beat warm,
And tranquil slept my mind.

So now--nor foot-sore nor opprest
With walking all this August day,
I taste a heaven in this brief rest,
This gipsy-halt beside the way.
England's wild flowers are fair to view,
Like balm is England's summer dew
Like gold her sunset ray.

But the white violets, growing here,
Are sweeter than I yet have seen,
And ne'er did dew so pure and clear
Distil on forest mosses green,
As now, called forth by summer heat,
Perfumes our cool and fresh retreat--
These fragrant limes between.

That sunset! Look beneath the boughs,
Over the copse--beyond the hills;
How soft, yet deep and warm it glows,
And heaven with rich suffusion fills;
With hues where still the opal's tint,
Its gleam of prisoned fire is blent,
Where flame through azure thrills!

Depart we now--for fast will fade
That solemn splendour of decline,
And deep must be the after-shade
As stars alone to-night will shine;
No moon is destined--pale--to gaze
On such a day's vast Phoenix blaze,
A day in fires decayed!

There--hand-in-hand we tread again
The mazes of this varying wood,
And soon, amid a cultured plain,
Girt in with fertile solitude,
We shall our resting-place descry,
Marked by one roof-tree, towering high
Above a farmstead rude.

Refreshed, erelong, with rustic fare,
We'll seek a couch of dreamless ease;
Courage will guard thy heart from fear,
And Love give mine divinest peace:
To-morrow brings more dangerous toil,
And through its conflict and turmoil
We'll pass, as God shall please. 

 

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