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1. William Shakespeare wrote 10 tragedies
2. his very first was "Titus Andronicus" (1593-1594), this illustration from 1595 is the only one known
from a Shakespeare play
3. it´s a tale of revenge and political turmoil, overflowing with bloodshed and brutality - in the picture,
there is the famous English actor, Sir Laurence Olivier together with his former wife Vivien Leigh
4. in spite of its cruel and dramatic plot, the play was not printed with Shakespeare credited as author
during his lifetime. Critics now are divided between whether it is the product of another dramatist or
simply Shakespeare's underdeveloped first attempt at the genre. Anthony Hopkins, one of the best
contemporary actors.
5. the best - known Shakespeare´s drama is "Romeo and Juliet" (1594-1595). The sweet whispers shared
by young lovers were often referred to as "naught but pure Romeo and Juliet". The scene is from a film by
Franco Zefirelli.
6. celebrated for the radiance of its lyric poetry, the play was very popular from its first performance.
Shakespeare created this play immediately after finishing his first tragedy, "Titus Andronicus".
7. Richard Burbage was the front actor among actors of that time, and was also known as a playwright. He
was the first impersonator of Romeo ever. Together with his brother Cuthbert Burbage, they built the
famous theatre Globe in 1599, where Shakespeare´s plays were later performed.
8. Shakespeare located the plot into Italy as he did very often, this time to the small town of Verona
9. in 1599 he wrote his next play "Julius Caesar" and finished it in 1600. Although there were earlier
Elizabethan plays on the subject of Caesar and his rule, Shakespeare's penetrating study of political life in
ancient Rome is the only version to recount the demise of Brutus and the other conspirators. In the
photograph, we can recognise the famous American actor Marlon Brando.
10. in the same year, Shakespeare created his most famous drama "Hamlet" (1600-1601). He chose the
Renaissance castle of Kronborg near the town of Helsinki, Denmark. Kronborg was immortalized as
11. Edmund Kean was an English actor of the nineteenth century, regarded in his time as the greatest ever.
The greatest Czech actor and celebrated Shakespearean stage actor in the beginning of the twentieth
century was Eduard Vojan. The role of Prince Hamlet was fundamental for both of them.
12. Shakespeare intituled his tragedy after his son Hamnet who died at the age of 11. There were many
great actors for whom the role of Hamlet was very important. For example, the interpretation of Eduard
Kohout was very expressive.
13. a very successful cinematization of Hamlet with the Russian actor Innokenty Smoktunovsky. The
famous scene from the graveyard where Hamlet speaks to the skull of Yorick.
Autorem materiálu a všech jeho částí, není-li uvedeno jinak, je Ivan Sec
14. when William Shakespeare came to London, the beloved and reputable actor Richard Tarlton was
already dead. He was known as one of the best comedians and, Shakespeare was said to celebrate the
memory of Tarlton by the very scene with a skull of Yorick.
15. another version of the same scene with the well-known English actor Derek Jakobi. Since its first
recorded production, Hamlet has engrossed both playgoers and actors more so than any other play.
16. three years later, Shakespeare wrote another great drama, "Othello" (1604-1605). It´s a great story of
fateful intrigue and jealousy that go hand in hand with unfortunate love. We can see a rare photograph of
the great Russian actor and theatrical producer Stanislavsky, as well as the famous American singer Paul
Robeson, both in the title role of the Moorish general.
17. the plot is based on the rasist story by Giraldi Cinthio that William Shakespeare adapted for his
theatre. The story of valiant general Othello, who is in the service of Venice, inspired several opera
composers like Gioacchino Rossini or Giuseppe Verdi. Italian singer Mario Del Monaco was one of the
best interprets of this character in Verdi´s opera of the same name.
18. many scholars state that this tragedy should be named "Iago" instead of "Othello". The Moorish
commander of the Venetian forces falls prey to the devious schemes of his ensign and counsellor Iago,
who approves himself as a false friend. Iago was a significant role of the Czech acror Jan Pivec.
19. in the same year, William Shakespeare put on the scene his next great tragedy called "King Lear"
(1605 - 1606). Many folk tales use the theme of a king and his three daughters, but Shakespeare
elaborated the story into serious human nature psychological probing. In the old photograph there is the
Czech actor and stage manager Vendelín Budil. King Lear was his famous role and his picture of Lear is
situated within Shakespeare´s house in Stratford as a homage of England to the outstanding Czech actor.
20. we don´t know who wrote the story as first. Shakespeare rewrote the story of an aging monarch who
had decided to divide his kingdom amongst his three daughters, according to which one would recite the
best declaration of love. We can compare two different methods of approach to the role - Estonian actor
Yuri Jarvet and Czech actor Karel Šott.
21. recently, there was another performance in Prague with the Czech actor Jan Tříska whose conception
of Lear was quite modern.
22. in the period od 1605 - 1606, Shakespeare was writing not only "King Lear" but also another royal
story - "Macbeth". This tragedy is partly a fairy - tale, psychological tragedy and historical fact.
23. the protagonist is not doubtful Macbeth but his imperious, greedy and decisive wife. She is the real
murderer and femme fatal.
24. the typical situation between both spouses - Lady Macbeth encourages her husband to kill sleeping
king Duncan. In the role of Macbeth we can recognize the famous American actor, director, writer and
Autorem materiálu a všech jeho částí, není-li uvedeno jinak, je Ivan Sec
producer Orson Welles.
25. no play of William Shakespeare is his original, and "Macbeth" is based on the real historical event
from the eleventh century. Macbeth was a king of the Scots whose rule was marked by efficient
government and the promotion of Christianity. But he was a murderer and usurper, too. He killed the
ruling king Duncan I, not sleeping in the bed but in battle. Later he became king and, five years after
killing Duncan he killed also his father.
26. Finally, the son of Duncan, Malcolm, revenged his father and grandfather and killed Macbeth at the
battle to rule as king Malcolm III. Next opera by Giuseppe Verdi, based on the play of Shakespeare, is
called "Macbeth". The role of the malicious king was one of the best of American artist Sherill Milnes.
27. In 2002, Orson Welles was voted the greatest American film director of all time. But he was also an
outstanding stage player and film actor.
28. next year after "Macbeth", William Shakespeare was working on the historical theme from antique
(1606 - 1607). He called his new drama "Antony and Cleopatra". It is the tragic story of Mark Antony,
Roman military leader and triumvir, who is madly in love with Cleopatra, Queen of Egypt.
29. in the same year Shakespeare started writing his another antique tragedy called "Coriolanus" (1607 1608). This was the last of his great political tragedies, chronicling the life of the mighty warrior Caius
Marcius Coriolanus.
30. as usual, the extremely productive playwright Shakespeare was working on two tragedies in the same
time. In the same period (1607 - 1608) he finished his new play called "Timon of Athens".´s a play about the fortunes of an Athenian, generally regarded as one of Shakespeare´s most obscure
and difficult works.At the beginning, Timon is wealthy and generous and helps people giving them
money. Due to intriques he becomes very poor, renounces society and all his friends and wants to take
revenge. In the role of Timon we can see the American actor Richard Richardson.
32.unfortunately, like all tragedies also this story ends with the death of its main character. It´s interesting
that it was criticized as an underdeveloped drama. It was likely co-written by the playwright Cyril
Tourneur but today we aren´t quite sure.
Autorem materiálu a všech jeho částí, není-li uvedeno jinak, je Ivan Sec