The Renaissance and It’s Affect on William Shakespeare’s Works

2369 Words Feb 9th, 2013 10 Pages
It’s very easy to see William Shakespeare as an amazing literary genius who had a perspective on life that, to simply put it, no one else has ever had. However Shakespeare was the product of the English Renaissance. The English Renaissance was a cultural and artistic movement spanning from the later 15th century until the early 17th century, it is associated with the Italian Renaissance which started in the 14th century. Like most of northern Europe, England did not get the full effect of the Renaissance until about a century later and the height of the English Renaissance is considered to be in the Elizabethan Era (1558–1603). The Renaissance was how all of Europe moved away from the Middle Ages and into the new world. The Renaissance was …show more content…
Iris is the messenger of the gods, Ceres presides over agriculture and Juno is the queen of the gods. Shakespeare did not limit himself to Greek and Roman texts, one of his most famous play, Hamlet, was based on a Norse legend composed by Saxo Grammaticus around 1200 AD (Mallibard, 2000). “Roman dramatist Seneca was a major influence on the plays of William Shakespeare, particularity the tragedies Titus Andronicus, Hamlet, and Macbeth and the history play Richard III.”. The plays of Seneca that most contribute to aiding Shakespeare’s plays listed above are: The Trojan Women, Phaedra, Thyestes, Agamemnon and Hercules Furens. Many of the elements that appeared in Seneca’s plays are evident in Shakespeare’s plays, including: a preoccupation with torture, mutilation, incest and corpses (Titus Andronicus), a stress on witchcraft and the supernatural (Macbeth), the existence of vaulting ambition in the prince (Macbeth and Richard III), the ghost that calls for revenge (Hamlet and Macbeth), the self dramatization of the hero, especially in death (Hamlet and Macbeth) and the frequent use of stichomythia# (Richard III and Hamlet). (Egendorf, 2000). Romeo and Juliet, one of Shakespeare's great tragedies was based on the story of Pyramus and Thisbe, who were two character of Roman mythology. (Ovid, 1 ACE). A scene in A Midsummer Night’s Dream also features the poem Pyramus and Thisbe. All of Shakespeare’s plays that were set in Rome have four distinct elements in common:
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