King Lear is a tragedy written by William Shakespeare. It depicts the gradual descent into madness of the title character, after he disposes of his kingdom by giving bequests to two of his three daughters egged on by their continual flattery, bringing tragic consequences for all. Derived from the legend of Leir of Britain, a mythological pre-Roman Celtic king, the play has been adapted for the stage and motion pictures, with the title role coveted by many of the world's most accomplished actors; the first attribution to Shakespeare of this play drafted in 1605 or 1606 at the latest with its first known performance on St. Stephen's Day in 1606, was a 1608 publication in a quarto of uncertain provenance, in which the play is listed as a history; the Tragedy of King Lear, a more theatrical revision, was included in the 1623 First Folio. Modern editors conflate the two, though some insist that each version has its own individual integrity that should be preserved. After the English Restoration, the play was revised with a happy, non-tragic ending for audiences who disliked its dark and depressing tone, but since the 19th century Shakespeare's original version has been regarded as one of his supreme achievements.
The tragedy is noted for its probing observations on the nature of human suffering and kinship. George Bernard Shaw wrote, "No man will write a better tragedy than Lear." King Lear of Britain and wanting to retire from the duties of the monarchy, decides to divide his realm among his three daughters, declares he will offer the largest share to the one who loves him most. The eldest, speaks first, declaring her love for her father in fulsome terms. Moved by her flattery Lear proceeds to grant to Goneril her share as soon as she has finished her declaration, before Regan and Cordelia have a chance to speak, he awards to Regan her share as soon as she has spoken. When it is the turn of his youngest and favourite daughter, Cordelia, at first she refuses to say anything and declares there is nothing to compare her love to, nor words to properly express it. Infuriated, Lear divides her share between her elder sisters; the Earl of Gloucester and the Earl of Kent observe that, by dividing his realm between Goneril and Regan, Lear has awarded his realm in equal shares to the peerages of the Duke of Albany and the Duke of Cornwall.
Kent objects to Lear's unfair treatment of Cordelia. Lear summons the Duke of Burgundy and the King of France, who have both proposed marriage to Cordelia. Learning that Cordelia has been disinherited, the Duke of Burgundy withdraws his suit, but the King of France is impressed by her honesty and marries her nonetheless; the King of France is shocked by Lear's decision because up until this time Lear has only praised and favoured Cordelia. Meanwhile, Gloucester has introduced his illegitimate son Edmund to Kent. Lear announces he will live alternately with Goneril and Regan, their husbands, he reserves to himself a retinue of one hundred knights, to be supported by his daughters. Goneril and Regan speak revealing that their declarations of love were fake and that they view Lear as a foolish old man. Gloucester's bastard son Edmund resents his illegitimate status and plots to dispose of his legitimate older brother Edgar, he tricks his father with a forged letter. Earl of Kent returns from exile in disguise, Lear hires him as a servant.
At Albany and Goneril's house and Kent quarrel with Oswald, Goneril's steward. Lear discovers, she orders him to reduce the number of his disorderly retinue. Enraged, Lear departs for Regan's home; the Fool reproaches Lear with his foolishness in giving everything to Regan and Goneril and predicts that Regan will treat him no better. Edmund learns from Curan, a courtier, that there is to be war between Albany and Cornwall and that Regan and Cornwall are to arrive at Gloucester's house that evening. Taking advantage of the arrival of the duke and Regan, Edmund fakes an attack by Edgar, Gloucester is taken in, he proclaims him an outlaw. Bearing Lear's message to Regan, Kent meets Oswald again at Gloucester's home, quarrels with him again and is put in the stocks by Regan and her husband Cornwall; when Lear arrives, he objects to the mistreatment of his messenger, but Regan is as dismissive of her father as Goneril was. Lear is impotent. Goneril supports Regan's argument against him. Lear yields to his rage.
He rushes out into a storm to rant against his ungrateful daughters, accompanied by the mocking Fool. Kent follows to protect him. Gloucester protests against Lear's mistreatment. With Lear's retinue of a hundred knights dissolved, the only companions he has left are his Fool and Kent. Wandering on the heath after the storm, Edgar, in the guise of a madman named Tom o' Bedlam, meets Lear. Edgar babbles madly. Kent leads them all to shelter. Edmund betrays Gloucester to Cornwall and Goneril, he reveals evidence that his father knows of an impending French invasion designed to reinstate Lear to the throne. Once Edmund leaves with Goneril to warn Albany about the invasion, Gloucester is arrested
Richard Field (printer)
Richard Field was a printer and publisher in Elizabethan London, best known for his close association with the poems of William Shakespeare, with whom he grew up in Stratford-upon-Avon. Field's family lived on Bridge Street, Stratford-upon-Avon, close to the Shakespeare's house on Henley Street, his father was a tanner. It is accepted that Shakespeare and Field knew each other in Stratford, since they were similar in age and their fathers were in similar businesses. After Field's father Henry died in August 1592, William's father John Shakespeare was one of the local officials charged with the appraisal of the deceased man's property. In 1579 Richard Field began an apprenticeship with the London printers George Bishop and Thomas Vautrollier. Vautrollier died in 1587. In 1588, Field collaborated with Jacqueline Vautrollier, Thomas Vautrollier's widow and a printer in her own right, on The copie of a letter sent out of England to Don Bernardin Mendoza declaring the state of England; this piece of Protestant propaganda was the first work to bear Field's name.
Field went on to marry Jacqueline in 1589. He succeeded to his former master's business, "one of the best in London." Field's shop was near Ludgate. He printed works for the most regarded publishers in London, including William Ponsonby and Edward Blount. In 1592 his brother, Jasper Field, joined Richard's business as an apprentice. Field's Protestantism led him to publish a number of Spanish-language Protestant works for sale in Catholic Spain, under the name "Ricardo del Campo." Examples include a translation of Calvin's reformed catechism, Catecismo que significa forma de instrucción, que contiene los principios de la religión de dios, util y necessario para todo fiel Christiano: compuesto en manera de dialogue, dónde pregunta el maestro, y responde el discípulo. His Spanish works included a number which claimed to be written by Cipriano de Valera, including Dos tratados. El primero es del Papa y de su autoridad colegiado de su vida y dotrina, y de lo que los doctores y concilios antiguos y la misma sagrada Escritura enseñan.
El segundo es de la Missa recopilado de los doctores y concilios y de la sagrada Escritura and a Spanish New Testament. For his title pages, Field adopted an Aldine device, an anchor with the Latin motto Anchora Spei, "anchor of hope," which belonged to the Vautrollier. In Field's era, the trades of printer and publisher were to some significant degree separate activities: booksellers acted as publishers and commissioned printers to do the requisite printing. Field concentrated more on printing than publishing: of the 295 books he printed in his career, he was publisher of 112, while the rest were published by other stationers. When, for example, Andrew Wise published Thomas Campion's Observations in the Art of English Poesy in 1602, the volume was printed by Field. Field rose to be one of the 22 master printers of the Stationers Company. From 1615 on he kept his shop near his home. Field had a number of one being George Miller. After Field's death in 1624, his business passed to the partners Richard Badger and George Miller, who continued to employ the Aldine device.
Field is best remembered for printing the early editions of three of Shakespeare's non-dramatic poems: Venus and Adonis – Field printed the first four editions of the narrative poem, the quartos of 1593 and 1594 and the octavos of 1595 and 1596. The Rape of Lucrece – Field printed the first quarto edition of 1594; the Phoenix and the Turtle – working for Edward Blount, Field printed the 1601 first quarto edition of the poem Love's Martyr by Robert Chester. In addition to Chester's poem, the volume contained short poems by other hands, including Shakespeare's work. In contrast to the early printed editions of Shakespeare's plays, Field's texts for the two narrative poems meet a high standard of quality. Scholars have sometimes supposed Shakespeare's direct involvement: "The two early poems, both printed by Field, are the only works the publication of which Shakespeare supervised." Others, have disputed the idea of the poet's personal involvement, arguing that Field, "a efficient printer with a reputation for honesty and scrupulousness," could have produced the high-quality texts on his own.
Field entered Venus and Adonis into the Stationers' Register on 18 April 1593, published as well as printed the first two editions, but on 25 June 1594 he transferred the rights to the poem to bookseller John Harrison. Harrison published Lucrece as well as future editions of Venus, sold the books from his shop at the sign of the White Greyhound in St. Paul's Churchyard. Harrison published editions of Lucrece that were printed by other printers. Another association between Shakespeare and Field has been theorised, it has been noticed that many of the texts that Shakespeare used as sources for his plays were products of the Vautrollier/Field printshop. These texts include Thomas North's translation of Plutarch, Sir John Harington's translation of Orlando Furioso, Robert Greene's Pandosto, the works of Ovid, Raphael Holinshed's Chronicles. Since Field would have kept a copy of each of these books in his shop, it has been theorised that Shakespeare used Field's shop as a library during his early career.
James Shapiro argues that the influence of Plutarch was significant in Shakespeare's mid-career and that he "probably worked from a copy of Plutarch given, or lent him, by Field, an expensive and beautiful folio that cost a couple of pounds". Richard and Jacqueline Field lived on Wood Street in the parish of St. Olave in the early 17th century.
The Tragedy of Hamlet, Prince of Denmark shortened to Hamlet, is a tragedy written by William Shakespeare sometime between 1599 and 1602. Set in Denmark, the play depicts Prince Hamlet and his revenge against his uncle, who has murdered Hamlet's father in order to seize his throne and marry Hamlet's mother. Hamlet is Shakespeare's longest play and is considered among the most powerful and influential works of world literature, with a story capable of "seemingly endless retelling and adaptation by others", it was one of Shakespeare's most popular works during his lifetime and still ranks among his most performed, topping the performance list of the Royal Shakespeare Company and its predecessors in Stratford-upon-Avon since 1879. It has inspired many other writers—from Johann Wolfgang von Goethe and Charles Dickens to James Joyce and Iris Murdoch—and has been described as "the world's most filmed story after Cinderella"; the story of Shakespeare's Hamlet was derived from the legend of Amleth, preserved by 13th-century chronicler Saxo Grammaticus in his Gesta Danorum, as subsequently retold by the 16th-century scholar François de Belleforest.
Shakespeare may have drawn on an earlier Elizabethan play known today as the Ur-Hamlet, though some scholars believe Shakespeare wrote the Ur-Hamlet revising it to create the version of Hamlet we now have. He certainly wrote his version of the title role for his fellow actor, Richard Burbage, the leading tragedian of Shakespeare's time. In the 400 years since its inception, the role has been performed by numerous acclaimed actors in each successive century. Three different early versions of the play are extant: the First Quarto; each version includes entire scenes missing from the others. The play's structure and depth of characterisation have inspired much critical scrutiny. One such example is the centuries-old debate about Hamlet's hesitation to kill his uncle, which some see as a plot device to prolong the action but which others argue is a dramatisation of the complex philosophical and ethical issues that surround cold-blooded murder, calculated revenge, thwarted desire. More psychoanalytic critics have examined Hamlet's unconscious desires, while feminist critics have re-evaluated and attempted to rehabilitate the maligned characters of Ophelia and Gertrude.
The protagonist of Hamlet is Prince Hamlet of Denmark, son of the deceased King Hamlet, nephew of King Claudius, his father's brother and successor. Claudius hastily married King Hamlet's widow, Hamlet's mother, took the throne for himself. Denmark has a long-standing feud with neighbouring Norway, in which King Hamlet slew King Fortinbras of Norway in a battle some years ago. Although Denmark defeated Norway and the Norwegian throne fell to King Fortinbras's infirm brother, Denmark fears that an invasion led by the dead Norwegian king's son, Prince Fortinbras, is imminent. On a cold night on the ramparts of Elsinore, the Danish royal castle, the sentries Bernardo and Marcellus discuss a ghost resembling the late King Hamlet which they have seen, bring Prince Hamlet's friend Horatio as a witness. After the ghost appears again, the three vow to tell Prince Hamlet; as the court gathers the next day, while King Claudius and Queen Gertrude discuss affairs of state with their elderly adviser Polonius, Hamlet looks on glumly.
During the court, Claudius grants permission for Polonius's son Laertes to return to school in France and sends envoys to inform the King of Norway about Fortinbras. Claudius scolds Hamlet for continuing to grieve over his father and forbids him to return to his schooling in Wittenberg. After the court exits, Hamlet despairs of his mother's hasty remarriage. Learning of the ghost from Horatio, Hamlet resolves to see it himself; as Polonius's son Laertes prepares to depart for a visit to France, Polonius gives him contradictory advice that culminates in the ironic maxim "to thine own self be true." Polonius's daughter, admits her interest in Hamlet, but Laertes warns her against seeking the prince's attention, Polonius orders her to reject his advances. That night on the rampart, the ghost appears to Hamlet, telling the prince that he was murdered by Claudius and demanding that Hamlet avenge him. Hamlet agrees, the ghost vanishes; the prince confides to Horatio and the sentries that from now on he plans to "put an antic disposition on", or act as though he has gone mad, forces them to swear to keep his plans for revenge secret.
However, he remains uncertain of the ghost's reliability. Soon thereafter, Ophelia rushes to her father, telling him that Hamlet arrived at her door the prior night half-undressed and behaving erratically. Polonius resolves to inform Claudius and Gertrude; as he enters to do so, the king and queen finish welcoming Rosencrantz and Guildenstern, two student acquaintances of Hamlet, to Elsinore. The royal couple has requested that the students investigate the cause of Hamlet's mood and behaviour. Additional news requires that Polonius wait to be heard: messengers from Norway inform Claudius that the King of Norway has rebuked Prince Fortinbras for attempting to re-fight his father's battles; the forces that Fortinbras had conscripted to march against Denmark will instead be sent against Poland, though they will pass through Danish territory to get there. Polonius tells Claudius and Gertrude his theory regarding Hamlet's behaviour and speaks to Hamlet in a hall of the castle to try to uncover more information.
Hamlet feigns madness but subtly insults Polonius all the while. When Rosencrantz and Guildenstern arrive, Hamlet greets his "friends" warm
The term "folio", from the Latin folium, has three interconnected but distinct meanings in the world of books and printing. It is firstly a term for a common method of arranging sheets of paper into book form, folding the sheet only once, a term for a book made in this way. Secondly, it is a general term for a sheet, leaf or page in manuscripts and old books, thirdly, an approximate term for the size of a book, for a book of this size. Firstly, a folio is a book or pamphlet made up of one or more full sheets of paper, on each of which four pages of text are printed, two on each side; each leaf of a folio book thus is one half the size of the original sheet. Ordinarily, additional printed folio sheets would be inserted inside one another to form a group or "gathering" of leaves prior to binding the book. Secondly, "folio" is used in terms of page numbering for some books and most manuscripts that are bound but without page numbers as an equivalent of "page", "sheet" or "leaf", using "recto" and "verso" to designate the first and second sides, disregarding whether the leaf concerned is physically still joined with another leaf.
This appears abbreviated: "f26r." Means the first side of the 26th leaf in a book. This will be on the right hand side of the opening of any book composed in a script, read from left-to-right, such as Latin, Cyrillic, or Greek, will be opposite for books composed in a script, read from right-to-left, such as Hebrew and Arabic. Thirdly, folio is used as an approximate term for a size of book about 15 inches tall, as such does not indicate the actual printing format of the books, which may be unknown as is the case for many modern books. Other common book formats are quarto and octavo, which are both printing formats, involving two and three folds in the sheet respectively. Famous folios include the Gutenberg Bible, printed in about 1455, the First Folio collected edition of Shakespeare's plays, printed in 1623. A folio is a book or pamphlet made up of one or more full sheets of paper, on each sheet of which four pages of text are printed, two on each side; each leaf of a folio book thus is one half the size of the original sheet.
This contrasts with a quarto, folding each sheet twice, octavo, folding each sheet three times. Unlike the folio, these last, further types involving more folds, require the pages of the book to be cut open after binding, which might be done mechanically by the printer, but in historic books was left for the reader to do with a paper-knife. There are variations in. For example, bibliographers call a book printed as a folio, but bound in gatherings of 8 leaves each, a "folio in 8s." The Gutenberg Bible was printed in about 1455 as a folio, in which four pages of text were printed on each sheet of paper, which were folded once. The page size is a "double folio" size. Several such folded conjugate pairs of leaves were inserted inside one another to produce the sections or gatherings, which were sewn together to form the final book. Shakespeare's First Folio edition is printed as a folio and has a page height of 12.5 inches, making it a rather small folio size. Folios were a common format of books printed in the incunabula period, although the earliest printed book, surviving only as a fragment of a leaf, is a quarto.
The British Library Incunabula Short Title Catalogue lists about 28,100 different editions of surviving books and broadsides printed before 1501, of which about 8,600 are folios, representing just over 30 percent of all works in the catalogue. In the discussion of manuscripts, a folio means a leaf with two pages, the recto being the first the reader encounters, the verso the second. In Western books, which are read by turning the pages over from right to left, when the book is begun with the open page edges at the reader's right, the first page to be seen is "folio 1 recto" abbreviated to "f1 r.". When this page is turned over "f1 v." is on the left and "f2 r." on the right of the "opening", or two pages that are visible. For books in Arabic, Hebrew and other languages, where the book is begun from the back in Western terms, with the open page edges at the reader's left, the numbering follows the sequence in which the reader encounters. In the discussion of two-columned manuscripts, a/b/c/d can denote the left and right-hand columns of recto and verso pages.
In the discussion of three-columned manuscripts, notation may make use of folio number + recto/verso + column a/b/c. The actual size of a folio book depends on the size of the full sheet of paper on which it was printed, in older periods these were not standardized, so the term's meaning is only approximate. Printers used a range of names such as: Double Elephant Folio, Atlas Folio, Elephant Folio, Royal Folio, Medium Folio, Crown Folio. From the mid-nineteenth century, tec
Mr. William Shakespeare's Comedies, Histories, & Tragedies is the 1623 published collection of William Shakespeare's plays. Modern scholars refer to it as the First Folio, it is considered one of the most influential books published in the English language. Printed in folio format and containing 36 plays, it was prepared by Shakespeare's colleagues John Heminges and Henry Condell, it was dedicated to the "incomparable pair of brethren" William Herbert, 3rd Earl of Pembroke and his brother Philip Herbert, Earl of Montgomery. Although 18 of Shakespeare's plays had been published in quarto before 1623, the First Folio is arguably the only reliable text for about 20 of the plays, a valuable source text for many of those published; the Folio includes all of the plays accepted to be Shakespeare's, with the exception of Pericles, Prince of Tyre. On 23 April 1616, William Shakespeare died in Stratford-upon-Avon, was buried in the chancel of the Church of the Holy Trinity two days later. After a long career as an actor and sharer in the Lord Chamberlain's Men from c.
1585–90 until c. 1610–13, he was financially well off and among England's most popular dramatists, both on the stage and in print. But his reputation had not yet risen to the greatest writer in the English language and the world's pre-eminent dramatist. A funerary monument in Holy Trinity was commissioned by his oldest daughter, installed, most sometime before 1617–18, but a monument in Poets' Corner in Westminster Abbey was not realised until 1740. William Basse wrote an elegiac poem on him c. 1618–20, but no notices were taken of his death in diplomatic correspondence or newsletters on the continent, nor were any tributes published by European contemporaries. William Herbert, 3rd Earl of Pembroke—who at the time held the post of Lord Chamberlain, with authority over the King's Men, directly in charge of Shakespeare as a Groom of the Chamber—made no note of his passing. Shakespeare's works—both poetic and dramatic—had a rich history in print before the publication of the First Folio: from the first publications of Venus and Adonis and The Rape of Lucrece, 78 individual printed editions of his works are known.
C. 30% of these editions are his poetry, the remaining c. 70% his plays. Counting by number of editions published before 1623, the best-selling works were Venus and Adonis, The Rape of Lucrece, Henry IV, Part 1. Of the 23 editions of the poems, 16 were published in octavo; the quarto format was made by folding a large sheet of printing paper twice, forming 4 leaves with 8 pages. The average quarto was made up of c. 9 sheets, giving 72 total pages. Octavos—made by folding a sheet of the same size three times, forming 8 leaves with 16 pages—were about half as large as a quarto. Since the cost of paper represented c. 50–75% of a book's total production costs, octavos were cheaper to manufacture than quartos, a common way to reduce publishing costs was to reduce the number of pages needed by compressing or abbreviating the text. Editions of individual plays were published in quarto and could be bought for 6d without a binding; these editions were intended to be cheap and convenient, read until worn out or repurposed as wrapping paper, rather than high quality objects kept in a library.
Customers who wanted to keep a particular play would have to have it bound, would bind several related or miscellany plays into one volume. Octavos, though nominally cheaper to produce, were somewhat different. From c. 1595–6 and 1598, Shakespeare's narrative poems were published in octavo. In The Cambridge Companion to Shakespeare's First Folio, Tara L. Lyons argues that this was due to the publisher, John Harrison's, desire to capitalize on the poems' association with Ovid: the Greek classics were sold in octavo, so printing Shakespeare's poetry in the same format would strengthen the association; the octavo carried greater prestige, so the format itself would help to elevate their standing. However, the choice was a financial one: Venus and Adonis in octavo needed four sheets of paper, versus seven in quarto, the octavo The Rape of Lucrece needed five sheets, versus 12 in quarto. Whatever the motivation, the move seems to have had the intended effect: Francis Meres, the first known literary critic to comment on Shakespeare, in his Palladis Tamia, puts it thus: "the sweete wittie soule of Ouid liues in mellifluous & hony-tongued Shakespeare, witnes his Venus and Adonis, his Lucrece, his sugred Sonnets among his priuate friends".
Publishing literary works in folio was not unprecedented. Starting with the publication of Sir Philip Sidney's The Countess of Pembroke's Arcadia and Astrophel and Stella, both published by William Ponsonby, there was a significant number of folios published, a significant number of them were published by the men who would be involved in publishing the First Folio, but quarto was the typical format for plays printed in the period: folio was a prestige format used, according to Fredson Bowers, for books of "superior merit or some permanent value". The contents of the First Folio were compiled by Henry Condell.
Richard II (play)
King Richard the Second is a history play by William Shakespeare believed to have been written in 1595. It is based on the life of King Richard II of England and is the first part of a tetralogy, referred to by some scholars as the Henriad, followed by three plays concerning Richard's successors: Henry IV, Part 1. Although the First Folio edition of Shakespeare's works lists the play as a history play, the earlier Quarto edition of 1597 calls it The tragedie of King Richard the second; the play spans only the last two years of Richard's life, from 1398 to 1400. The first Act begins with King Richard sitting majestically on his throne in full state, having been requested to arbitrate a dispute between Thomas Mowbray and Richard's cousin, Henry Bolingbroke Henry IV, who has accused Mowbray of squandering money given to him by Richard for the king's soldiers and of murdering Bolingbroke's uncle, the Duke of Gloucester. Bolingbroke's father, John of Gaunt, 1st Duke of Lancaster, believes it was Richard himself, responsible for his brother's murder.
After several attempts to calm both men, Richard acquiesces and it is determined that the matter be resolved in the established method of trial by battle between Bolingbroke and Mowbray, despite the objections of Gaunt. The tournament scene is formal with a long, ceremonial introduction, but as the combatants are about to fight, Richard interrupts and sentences both to banishment from England. Bolingbroke is sentenced to ten years' banishment, but Richard reduces this to six years upon seeing John of Gaunt's grieving face, while Mowbray is banished permanently; the king's decision can be seen as the first mistake in a series leading to his overthrow and death, since it is an error which highlights many of his character flaws, displaying as it does indecisiveness and arbitrariness. In addition, the decision fails to dispel the suspicions surrounding Richard's involvement in the death of the Duke of Gloucester – in fact, by handling the situation so high-handedly and offering no coherent explanation for his reasoning, Richard only manages to appear more guilty.
Mowbray predicts that the king will sooner or fall at the hands of Bolingbroke. John of Gaunt dies and Richard II seizes all of his land and money; this angers the nobility, who accuse Richard of wasting England's money, of taking Gaunt's money to fund war in Ireland, of taxing the commoners, of fining the nobles for crimes committed by their ancestors. They help Bolingbroke to return secretly to England, with a plan to overthrow Richard II. There remain, subjects who continue faithful to the king, among them Bushy, Bagot and the Duke of Aumerle, cousin of both Richard and Bolingbroke; when King Richard leaves England to attend to the war in Ireland, Bolingbroke seizes the opportunity to assemble an army and invades the north coast of England. Executing both Bushy and Green, he wins over the Duke of York, whom Richard has left in charge of his government in his absence. Upon Richard's return, Bolingbroke not only reclaims his lands but lays claim to the throne. Crowning himself King Henry IV, he has Richard taken prisoner to the castle of Pomfret.
Aumerle and others plan a rebellion against the new king, but York discovers his son's treachery and reveals it to Henry, who spares Aumerle as a result of the intercession of the Duchess of York while executing the other conspirators. After interpreting King Henry's "living fear" as a reference to the still-living Richard, an ambitious nobleman goes to the prison and murders him. King Henry repudiates the murderer and vows to journey to Jerusalem to cleanse himself of his part in Richard's death. Shakespeare's primary source for Richard II, as for most of his chronicle histories, was Raphael Holinshed's Chronicles. Edward Hall's The Union of the Two Illustrious Families of Lancaster and York appears to have been consulted, scholars have supposed Shakespeare familiar with Samuel Daniel's poem on the civil wars. A somewhat more complicated case is presented by the anonymous play sometimes known as The First Part of Richard II; this play, which exists in one incomplete manuscript copy is subtitled Thomas of Woodstock, it is by this name that scholars since F. S. Boas have called it.
This play treats the events leading up to the start of Shakespeare's play. This closeness, along with the anonymity of the manuscript, has led certain scholars to attribute all or part of the play to Shakespeare, though many critics view this play as a secondary influence on Shakespeare, not as his work; the earliest recorded performance of Richard II was a private one, in Canon Row, the house of Edward Hoby, on December 9, 1595. The play was entered into the Register of the Stationers Company on 29 August 1597 by the bookseller Andrew Wise; the second and third quartos followed in 1598 – the only time a Shakespeare play was printed in three editions in two years. Q4 followed in 1608, Q5 in 1615; the play was next published in the First Folio in 1623. Richard II exists in a number of variations; the quartos vary to some degree from one another, the folio presents further differences. The first three quartos (printed in 1597 and 1598, commo
Titus Andronicus is a tragedy by William Shakespeare, believed to have been written between 1588 and 1593 in collaboration with George Peele. It is thought to be Shakespeare's first tragedy and is seen as his attempt to emulate the violent and bloody revenge plays of his contemporaries, which were popular with audiences throughout the 16th century; the play is set during the latter days of the Roman Empire and tells the fictional story of Titus, a general in the Roman army, engaged in a cycle of revenge with Tamora, Queen of the Goths. It is Shakespeare's bloodiest and most violent work, traditionally was one of his least respected plays. In the Victorian era, it was disapproved of because of what was considered to be a distasteful use of graphic violence, but from around the middle of the 20th century its reputation began to improve; the play begins shortly after the death of the Roman emperor, with his two sons and Bassianus, squabbling over who will succeed him. Their conflict seems set to boil over into violence until a tribune, Marcus Andronicus, announces that the people's choice for the new emperor is Marcus's brother, who will shortly return to Rome from a victorious ten-year campaign against the Goths.
Titus subsequently arrives to much fanfare, bearing with him as prisoners the Queen of the Goths, her three sons, Aaron the Moor. Despite Tamora's desperate pleas, Titus sacrifices her eldest son, Alarbus, to avenge the deaths of his own sons during the war. Distraught and her two surviving sons vow to obtain revenge on Titus and his family. Meanwhile, Titus refuses the offer of the throne, arguing that he is not fit to rule and instead supporting the claim of Saturninus, duly elected. Saturninus tells Titus. Titus agrees, although Lavinia is betrothed to Saturninus's brother, who refuses to give her up. Titus's sons tell Titus that Bassianus is in the right under Roman law, but Titus refuses to listen, accusing them all of treason. A scuffle breaks out, during which Titus kills Mutius. Saturninus denounces the Andronici family for their effrontery and shocks Titus by marrying Tamora. Putting into motion her plan for revenge, Tamora advises Saturninus to pardon Bassianus and the Andronici family, which he reluctantly does.
During a royal hunt the following day, Aaron persuades Demetrius and Chiron to kill Bassianus, so they may rape Lavinia. They do so, throwing Bassianus's body into a pit and dragging Lavinia deep into the forest before violently raping her. To keep her from revealing what has happened, they cut off her hands. Meanwhile, Aaron writes a forged letter, which frames Titus's sons Martius and Quintus for the murder of Bassianus. Horrified at the death of his brother, Saturninus arrests Martius and Quintus, sentences them to death; some time Marcus discovers the mutilated Lavinia and takes her to her father, still shocked at the accusations levelled at his sons, upon seeing Lavinia, he is overcome with grief. Aaron visits Titus and falsely tells him that Saturninus will spare Martius and Quintus if either Titus, Marcus, or Titus's remaining son, cuts off one of their hands and sends it to him. Titus has Aaron cut off his left hand and sends it to the emperor but, in return, a messenger brings Titus Martius and Quintus's severed heads, along with Titus's own severed hand.
Desperate for revenge, Titus orders Lucius to flee Rome and raise an army among their former enemy, the Goths. Lavinia writes the names of her attackers in the dirt, using a stick held with her mouth and between her mutilated arms. Meanwhile, Tamora secretly gives birth to a mixed-race child, fathered by Aaron. Aaron kills the nurse to keep the child's race a secret and flees with the baby to save it from Saturninus' inevitable wrath. Thereafter, marching on Rome with an army, captures Aaron and threatens to hang the infant. In order to save the baby, Aaron reveals the entire revenge plot to Lucius. Back in Rome, Titus's behaviour suggests. Convinced of his madness, Tamora and Demetrius approach him, dressed as the spirits of Revenge and Rape. Tamora tells Titus that she will grant him revenge on all of his enemies if he can convince Lucius to postpone the imminent attack on Rome. Titus sends Marcus to invite Lucius to a reconciliatory feast. Revenge offers to invite the Emperor and Tamora as well, is about to leave when Titus insists that Rape and Murder stay with him.
When Tamora is gone, Titus has them restrained, cuts their throats and drains their blood into a basin held by Lavinia. Titus morbidly tells Lavinia that he plans to "play the cook", grind the bones of Demetrius and Chiron into powder, bake their heads; the next day, during the feast at his house, Titus asks Saturninus if a father should kill his daughter when she has been raped. When Saturninus answers that he should, Titus tells Saturninus of the rape; when the Emperor calls for Chiron and Demetrius, Titus reveals that they have been baked in the pie Tamora has just been eating. Titus kills Tamora and is killed by Saturninus, subsequently killed by Lucius to avenge his father's death. Lucius is proclaimed Emperor, he orders that Titus and Lavinia be laid in their family tomb, that Saturninus be given a state burial, that Tamora's body be thrown to the wild beasts outside the city, that Aaron be buried chest-deep and left to die of thirst