William Shakespeare (1564 – 1616), the great English writer and the most performed worldwide dramatist whose work has been translated to all languages of the world. His work hasn’t just deeply reverberated in worldwide theatres, but also in other artistic fields such as music, paintings and film. It is assumed that he had written 34 dramas, 154 sonnets and a couple of songs.
His early work was written with exuberant language and lots of humor, focused on political problems or love stories in which he celebrates youth and freedom. Amongst them, the most famous drama is “Romeo and Juliet”, a love story about unhappy lovers from Verona. The beginning of Shakespeare’s mature time of artistic creation was the beginning of the 17th century through which he regenerated European and world literature. Particularly stands out the tragedy “Hamlet” which came along at the end of the Renaissance era, in which he points out the inability of man to exterminate evil.
Thence, “Othello”, “Antony and Cleopatra”, “Macbeth” and “King Lear”, work that reveals the beginning and end of human nature and fate. In his later artistic creation, so called dark comedies or problematic drama arise amongst which the most popular are “Troilus and Cressida” and “Measure for measure”. In these dramas prevails irony and loathing over human levity and villainy and compromise in social lives.
The latest Shakespeare drama brings readers a world filled with ghosts and unusual events, dramatic plots and conflicts are solved in a miraculous and fairy-tale manner, the characters are not realistic, but are more like characters from fairy-tales and folk stories. The end of Shakespeare’s artistic creation is variously graded. One says that the author has exhausted his creative energy, and others say that Shakespeare has greeted the end of his life in calm and forgiving manner and in a visional depiction of life as a dream. (Željka Šaravanja)