Human Nature in Shakespear's Plays

Only available on StudyMode
  • Download(s) : 98
  • Published : November 29, 2012
Open Document
Text Preview
Topic- in Shakespeare’s plays how is his unusual detailed knowledge of nature as well as of human beings shown? Shakespeare was a man who deeply loved nature and the beauty of it. He was not just an author who experienced and enjoyed nature but also as someone who studied, understood and knew nature intimately. In this essay there will be discussions about how Shakespeare would often use examples from nature to describe the nature of human beings in his plays and how did he show a deep understanding and knowledge of human nature which he would put that deep knowledge in his plays and poems. Shakespeare’s greatest influences were the works of other great writers as well as from variety of books, and plays which he used as subject materials for his own plays. He got most of his ideas from existing written literature. All of his plays were based on British history, adjusted to suit the occasion. He also drew ideas from many things that he grew up with, like his love for nature gave him several ideas how to write some of his plays and poetry. Besides this, he got many ideas from his childhood as his father is known to have often told him ‘bedtime stories’. Shakespeare may have got inspirations from nature and some ideas of characterizations from real life experiences but his plots where never made from events that happened in his life. Two of his favorite writers were Geoffery Chaucer (1340- 1400) and Plutarch (46-120). Chaucer, who was the first poet ever to be buried at the “poet’s corner” in Westminster Abby was from a wealthy family where his father was as a deputy to King Edward the third’s butler. Chaucer’s poetry was in Middle English and he was known to be one of the finest poets in England. Shakespeare admired him and many of the sources of his plays came from Chaucer’s poems. Plutarch studied philosophy and he taught it as a teacher in Rome where he earned the admiration of the emperors Trajan and Hadrian. Plutarch’s work was translated by Sir Thomas North which had become very popular in Renaissance England. His translations were then used by Shakespeare himself as sources for many of his plays like Cleopatra, Julius Caesar, Coriolanus, Timon of Athens, etc. The way Shakespeare examined and admired nature was quite different from regular viewers. His way of seeing nature was deep and he would use it in many other forms as well. He would usually find ideas for his poems by what he saw and nature was the biggest part that inspired him how to write his poems and plays. For example in one of his plays named King Lear, the concept of nature is considered to be the groundwork of the whole play. From Kingship through to personal human relations, to the views of the empire, from the representation of human nature to the animal imagery, there was nature filling every line of King Lear. Nature is a socially constructed concept which is made in order to legitimize the existing social order. By drawing a brief sketch of the political and social beliefs of the Elizabethan and Jacobean ages, it will be at the same time outlining the arguments for believing that nature truly is the socially constructed concept. The Elizabethan and Jacobean age was a time of change and disorder. They were not known for their unity. Elizabeth had her subjects worry about who would succeed her as she was not married, therefore there was no heir to carry on with the throne. ‘Kings are justly called Gods for that they exercise a manner or resemblance of divine power on the earth.’ This quote was taken from the speech of James I where he describes the divine rights of Kings. James I had succeeded Elizabeth I to be the first Stuart King. Although he had the Kingship, he still was not able to overcome the political and financial problems of the state. In order for the continuation of his reign, the unity and harmony of the state and nature was of great importance. He legitimized his power by naturalization. Therefore by ‘nature’ everyone has its...
tracking img