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Faust and Gorboduc
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The English drama of the 16th century showed from the beginning that it would not be bound by classical rules. However, we could say that it borrows features from the early dramatic forms adding others, fitting more with the Renaissance way of thinking. These early dramatic forms could be the mystery, miracle, and morality plays and they focused on the religious and moral themes that dominated the Christian imagination during the Middle Ages. The morality play, usually, called a "morality", presented religious and ethical concerns from the point of view of the individual Christian, whose main concern was the salvation...
Gorboduc and Dr Faustus the heritage of the medieval dramatic form of the morality plays is obvious. Indeed, the fight between good and evil and the Christian didactic and moralizing messages are omnipresent and would remain in the whole Renaissance literature. But, Christopher Marlowe as well as Thomas Norton and Thomas Sackville, pioneered the use of blank verse which many of his contemporaries, including William Shakespeare, later would adopt. Besides, each play added its originality: Gorboduc in the revival and modernization of the Senecan tragedy and Dr Faustus by tackling very contemporary issues as well as usual moral questions.

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Dylan Thomas was born on October...Dylan Thomas was born on October 14, 1914, in Upland, Swansea. His father, David John Thomas, received a degree at University College Aberystwyth and was valedictorian in English, he taught English at Swansea Grammar School. His father, quick tempered and intimidating had a beautiful, sonorous voice for reading aloud which Dylan inherited. Florence Hannah Williams, Thomas's mother, was a tailor before she was married. Thomas was a troublesome child. He stole money from his mother's purse, and lied about it. While his mother was in denial about this, his sister Nancy was becoming very irritated. From 1925-1931,he attended Swansea grammar school, where his father taught. He was a small, pretty boy, and was bullied at school, until he became aggressive and rebellious. Merric, 1 In 1931 seventeen year old Dylan Thomas left school and became a reporter on the South Wales Evening Post, although he was not successful. He reported a lacrosse game once, except that he was in a pub and the game had been cancelled! He was later fired. Merric, 1 He began drinking around the age of fifteen. He would sneak into pubs with a friend. He later entered amateur dramatics, and appeared with his sister in Hay Fever. In Shakespeare's The Merchant of Venice, Thomas was in a pub again, and missed his cue. Merric, 1 In 1933, Thomas began publishing some of his poetry. He submitted a poem to a BBC competition, and it was read on the air. During 1934, he moved to London, where alcohol took over his life. While he was in London Thomas published his first volume of 18 Poems. This was his first taste of success. Three years after living in London he met his future wife, Caitlin Macnamara. Merric, 1 Thomas's first broadcast was in 1937 for the BBC. His job was to read other poets' works on the air. He began to read his own works with the company of well-known poets like Auden and Spencer. Merric, 1 When WWII began, Thomas was worried that he would be drafted, fortunate for him he was judged medically unfit. Some of his neighbors thought that he was a "conchie" "concienting" objector and was often attacked. For a while he thought that he would have to work in a Mauritius factory. Thomas said, "deary me, I'd rather be a poet any day and live on guile and beer." Instead, he worked in a documentary film unit under one of John Griersons five disciples, Donald Taylor. Thomas began to sober up and became serious and focused on his writing. During this time, he was living with friends, however it was said that he was abusing their hospitality. Ferris 2, 59 During 1943, he began his career in freelance broadcasts on national radio. His voice was perfect. Being short of funds, Thomas always asked for his money in cash and in advance. In 1946, Thomas's poem, Deaths and Entrances was a success for him and his publisher J.N. Dents. Soon he began touring through the United States. He was spending a lot of money on alcohol, was fired, and asked to moderate his lifestyle. The number of people who showed up at his tour confirmed his reputation as a charismatic leader of poetry who was charming but disruptive. Thomas was a heavy drunk, and on his last show in the U.S., he collapsed with alcohol poisoning, dying shortly after being taken to a hospital in New York. He was thirty-six years old. Dylan Thomas was buried at St. Martins Church in Laugharne. Ferris 2, 61 Dylan Thomas was a man with a certain talent. He was a poet. Some say he was brilliant and others say he wrote nonsense. Whether he was a genius, or an idiot, we may never know. However, many critics say he was a brilliant man who had a problem. On the other hand, some authorities feel his influence could have been derived from his Welsh background or from being an alcoholic. With many poets, love might have been another influence as well. "Religion, such as he knew it, was direct and natural; the symbolism of religion, as he uses it, is poetry, direct knowledge. Religion is not to be used: it is simply part of life, part of himself; it is like a tree; take it or leave it, it is there." "“ Karl Shapiro Cox, p. 26 In order to understand Thomas' poetry you have to understand his religious background. Karl Shapiro says that it is essential to know Thomas's religious beliefs, otherwise you do not know what Thomas's thoughts are reflecting on or from where they are coming. Cox, p 27. He also says that religion is not something Thomas does, it is what Thomas is, and therefor religion is going to be part of his poetry, because that is what he knows. Puritanism directed Welsh life and thought. The Puritanism influence was inescapable. Walters, p.6 An example of his religious poetry is the poem Incarnate Devil. It is about the Garden of Eden, and the snake, representing the devil, trying to persuade a man to eat the forbidden fruit. The fruit is god in disguise, and he comes from this fruit and turns into a fiddling warden. This poem has biblical influence including the Garden of Eden. Thomas could not have been inspired from anything but religion when he wrote this poem. Thomas' Welsh background was a direct influence on his poems, also along with the Welsh culture and tradition were the Anglo-Welsh writers that affected him. Moynoban, p. 74. Geoffrey Moore wrote in an article: The national felling engendered by so many hundreds of years of Welsh speaking survives now without the actual bond of language. The harp of Wales sounds in the ears of Welshmen whether they are archdruids from Bangor or boyos from the back streets of Cardiff. Without being hopelessly mystical about race, one can with some confidence assert that both it and environment have an effect on the nature of a people and the art that springs from them"¦the spirit of place and of country is an inescapable influence. To this degree, and to the degree that Dylan Thomas opened himself to the scenes and people and manners of the place in which he was born, it is meaningful to talk about the Welsh quality of his work. Cox, p. 27 Thomas' earliest works show his strong Welsh influence, but he was less aware of it. When he moved from Wales, he realized that his poetry was strongly affected by his Welsh culture. He felt himself belonging to his native culture. Ferris 1, p. 67. In a note with his Collected Poems, he writes: I read somewhere of a shepherd who, when asked why he made, from within fairy rings, ritual observances to the moon to protect his flocks, replied: "I'd be a damn' fool if I didn't!" These poems, with all their crudities, doubts and confusions, are written for the love of Man and in praise of God, and I'd be a damn' fool if they weren't. Cox, p. 29 Thomas was very careful to have evidence of his statement before setting it forth. His estimation of his poetry comes from his Welsh tradition, life, and thought. This tradition can be explained by Thomas's confidence in his romantic and apocalyptic manner. "It was his Welsh environment which offered a background of thought and culture fostering belief in the more primitive, mystical, and romantic conception of the poet". A feature of old Welsh poetry is the duality of nature, of unity in disunity, of life and death, and of time as an eternal moment rather than as something with a separate past and future. The basis of this is an oxymoron. Thomas, Dylan Marlais, p. 17 The poem, Today, This Insect was written while Thomas was living in Whales, inspired from his Welsh experiences, and his Welsh background. Today, This Insect is about an insect and his loss of ability to write. It says that his thoughts are not producing any sense and this is resulting in the destruction of Genesis and Eden. The Insect feels he is a monster and is being destroyed by his feelings, or thoughts. This poem is also about Thomas being an alcoholic. He came to terms in this poem, saying that his alcoholism is blocking his thoughts and he is destroying his Welsh religion. This is stated when he talks about the destruction of Genesis and Eden. The "monster" is himself when he is under the influence, and that is when he destroys himself. In some of Thomas' later poems, the characters are portrayed as being between man and God, a prophet or a man mediating. In the poems Author's Prologue, Over Sir Johns Hill, and Poem on his Birthday this is exemplified. The subjects in these poems are imbued with a special wisdom. Thomas, Dylan Marlais, p. 20 Thomas let alcohol consume him. His addiction began at age 15 and continued until it killed him. Drinking was an everyday event, stripping him of his money and ability to write. Some critics and poets of Thomas' time say that his poems were too incomprehensible to understand. His poetry went from brilliant poems of love to ungraspable poems of wombs and tombs, and sex and corpses, to try to protect himself from the reality of adulthood. Middleton, p. 376 While Thomas was a heavy drunk, his poems also had emphasis on birth, prenatal life, the relation of parent to child, growth, the relation of body and spirit, of life to death, of human and animal to vegetable, and similar themes. A poem that has some of these relationships is This Bread I Break, which talks about the growth of bread, it is not very clear what the poem is saying, but it follows the steps bread takes before it becomes a loaf. The poems he wrote with these themes remain confusing, disturbing, and never completely understood. During his time, the most perceptive critics and poets had little idea of what his poems were about or what he was trying to say. Thomas's poem, On a Wedding Anniversary, shows the relationship of a man and a woman, and how in spite of their love for each other, it is no longer lasting. He showed this with the description of a gloomy, stormy day, and described the closing of doors, which was symbolic of the lives of these two people. In another poem, The Tombstone Told When She Died, the death of a woman brings such pain to her true love that he spends his life thinking of her suicide and how he hurt her. He goes back to her grave, kisses death on the lips, and joins his love. Thomas's poems express great love and what people would do for each other. They are not all confusing and hard to understand, but lovely descriptions of what has gone on in the lives of many characters. His religious background influences most of his poems, and the others are from personal experiences or just from the heart. Some seem to think that alcoholism had an extreme influence on Thomas's poetry; however, there is no real evidence, or strong argument that can actually hold to this. The use of religion and Welsh background falls right into place. He speaks of God in many of his poems. Every poet is inspired someway by his or her background, which is inescapable. Moreover, Dylan Thomas does not speak of things that are totally irrelevant, only thoughts that are complex. Thomas shows strong Welsh and religious background in his poetry, along with some poems that are very far-fetched. The only direct influence on his poetry is his background. Being an alcoholic did not influence Thomas as much as some critics say.   

Dylan Thomas was born on October 14, 1914, in Upland, Swansea. His father, David John Thomas, received a degree at University College Aberystwyth and was valedictorian in English, he taught English at Swansea Grammar School. His father, quick tempered and intimidating had a beautiful, sonorous voice for reading aloud which...

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Hamlet is launched extremely well because...Hamlet is launched extremely well because there is no long drawn out introduction to the plot. The story begins almost immediately with a brief yet concise 5-scene Act entailing the state of affairs within the Court of Denmark. Each scene contributes to the overall exposition significantly and Act 1 effectively captures the interest of the audience, introduces the key characters, establishes the conflicts and creates and maintains the dominant atmosphere of the play. In Act 1 "“ Scene 1, the audience is instantly shocked into interest by the exchange of short, sharp speeches between the very nervous sentries of the castle. What follows is the audience's discovery of the frequenting appearance of a Ghost and the sentries' plans to have Horatio, a scholar, attempt to communicate with it. The setting for this scene is atop a castle, resting upon cliffs high above the ocean. It is midnight, creating a more sinister atmosphere, apt for following story and the medieval time period to which it is set. When the ghost finally appears to Horatio and the others, the audience discovers through their inferences that the ghost has a strong likeness to the late King Hamlet of Denmark. The conversation that follows gives the audience a brief understanding of the current situation in Denmark, involving the details of preparations for war and revelations of conflict with Fortinbras of Norway. Scene 1 therefore serves as part of a good exposition in that it: Captures the interest of the audience with the short stabs of nervous speech between the sentries, It introduces the characters of the Ghost, the sentries Marcellus, Barnardo, Francesco and Horatio, It establishes the situation with Fortinbras and the appearances of the mysterious Ghost as points of interest and future conflict, And it contributes through mood and setting to the dominant atmosphere of tragedy within the play. Scene 2 jumps to within the castle, where the court mourning for King Hamlet has seemingly just finished and the newly appointed King Claudius is apparently making his first address to his nobility. During this gallant speech, the audience becomes informed that Claudius has married Hamlet's mother, Gertrude, rather hastily after King Hamlet's death "“ attention is then drawn to Hamlet, still in deep mourning for his father. He drifts into a soliloquy where he contemplates the act of suicide rather than go on under these "difficult" conditions. After Horatio, backed by 2 others, describe the ghost they have seen to him, Hamlet drifts into another soliloquy where he this time he briefly voices that since his father's spirit has come in armour "“ there has been some foul play. Scene 2 therefore serves as part of a good exposition in that it: Captures the interest of the audience with new characters throwing light on the situation in Denmark as well as on Hamlet himself - making the audience yearn for more information about what is going on, especially at the close of the scene where Hamlet comes to the conclusion that there is something suspicious about, It introduces new and important characters such as Claudius, Gertrude, Polonius, Laertes and Hamlet and provides a brief look at their outer personalities, It provides more insight into the conflict hints at the underlying conflict between Hamlet and the newly married couple as well as the conflict within Hamlet himself, And it contributes to the dominant tragic atmosphere mainly due to Hamlet's soliloquies which provide insights into the workings of his mind and hint at his imminent, tragic demise. Scene 3 brings the audience into the midst of a seemingly "typical" family of the Court of Denmark, being Polonius' family. This scene introduces Ophelia and brings notice of the love affair between her and Hamlet to the audience. It also shows the running of this family environment, where Polonius and Laertes give constant, stern "advice" to Ophelia who remains ever so obedient. The setting provides much needed relief and contrast to the mystery and extreme seriousness of the first 2 scenes. Scene 3 can be said to serve as part of a good exposition in that it: Captures the attention of the audience with their realisation that Polonius and Laertes are not who they appear to be to the court "“ in fact they both are vain, domineering and arrogant men which raises the question of who in the play is really being ""¦true to thyself", It introduces the character of Ophelia who is a sweet and innocent young girl of interest to Hamlet, It surfaces the conflict between Ophelia and Polonius/Laertes as well as their negative underlying sentiments of Hamlet, And it contributes to the dominant tragic atmosphere with the revelations that Hamlet's "friend" Laertes as well as his supposed love interest Ophelia aren't entirely true to him leading to questioning of who is loyal to Hamlet? and what is going to happen to him? Scene 4 takes the audience back to the setting of scene 1, where this time Horatio and Marcellus wait with Hamlet for the appearance of the ghost. When it appears, Hamlet is startled at first, but soon composes himself and follows the ghost to learn of what it knows and hear what it has to say. Marcellus gives the famous remark "Something is rotten in the state of Denmark" to virtually close the scene. This scene, although rather brief, serves well as part of a good exposition in terms of captivating the audience within the story. The main purpose of the scene is to create the necessary suspense leading up to the ghost's astonishing message. The tragic atmosphere is built-up with the underlying impression of gloom and doom about, due to the presence of the ghost and its mysterious message. There are no characters to introduce in the scene, nor new lines of conflict to mention. This leaves the scene's aims to merely be to capture the audience's attention and to contribute to the dominant tragic atmosphere of the play, both of which are successfully achieved in the scene. Scene 5 is the key scene of the plot. You would deduce that all of Hamlets subsequent actions in the rest of the play stem from this scene. The ghost signifies sufficiently to Hamlet that it is his father. It then clearly announces the guilt of Claudius in his death and in marrying his wife "“ Claudius having murdering his own brother thus obtaining the crown and Gertrude. The ghost describes how the murder was performed and implies a plan for revenge to Hamlet involving the feigning of insanity. This scene serves as part of a good exposition in that it deeply captures the attention of the audience with the stunning revelations of Claudius' deceit and betrayal of his own blood. The conformation that the ghost is Hamlet's father is what first grabs the audience's attention. The exposé that follows ensures their captivation within the plot. The scene establishes the impending conflict that will occur between Hamlet and Claudius later on in the play, due to the light that the ghost has just thrown upon Claudius' integrity. The scene contributes to the dominant tragic atmosphere in that there is the realisation that seeing as Hamlet is now on a quest for revenge, there is only one way in which it can end "“ death, which is tragic in itself, but made out to be more so in the play. Act 1 effectively captures the interest of the audience, introduces the key characters, establishes the conflicts and creates and maintains the dominant atmosphere of the play. Each of the 5 scenes contribute significantly to the overall exposition which launches the play extremely well.   

Hamlet is launched extremely well because there is no long drawn out introduction to the plot. The story begins almost immediately with a brief yet concise 5-scene Act entailing the state of affairs within the Court of Denmark. Each scene contributes to the overall exposition significantly and Act 1 effectively...

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