Friday, April 17, 2009

1600 to 1609: Shakespeare, Pericles, Prince of Tyre to Shakespeare, Cymbeline

Shakespeare. British. 1608. Play. Pericles, Prince of Tyre. Marital misadventures. Loses wife and child then reunited with his wife and child. Bourgeois romance. Hilarious.

Ben Jonson. British. 1609. Play. Epicene, or The Silent Woman. Morose tries to disinherit his nephew, Sir Dauphine. He marries the “silent” Epicene who turns into a raging shrew. He begs Sir Dauphine to take her off his hands. The nephew reveals that the “wife” is a boy he has trained.

Beaumont and Fletcher. British. 1609. Play. Philaster, or Love Lies A-Bleeding. Arethusa in love with Philaster is saved from marriage to a lecher.

Shakespeare. British. 1609. Poetry. The Sonnets of Shakespeare. Composed between 1593 and 1601. Three quatrains and a couplet. Numbers 1 – 126 addressed to a beloved male friend. Numbers 127-152 to the malign, but fascinating “Dark Lady.” Numbers 153-154 probably early poetic exercises. Themes: decay by time and the immortalization of beauty and love in poetry.

Shakespeare. British. 1610. Play. Cymbeline. Iachamo bets husband that he can seduce Imogen. Produces “proof” through subterfuge. Ends happily.

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