Abbildungen der Seite
PDF
EPUB

ERRATA.

Vol. 1. Page 61, line 29, for "Skakespeare”, read "Shakespeare”.

79, lines 17 and 29, for "Lilly”, reud " Lily”.
99, line 25, for " inF ord's", read " in Ford's”.
300, line 25, for there fore”, read therefore".
324, line 16, for "farra ther”, read " far rather”.
653, line 23, for "renevation”, read "renovation”.

[ocr errors]

Vol. II. Page 129, line 7, for " habit have become a”, read " have

become a habit”.

THIRD PERIOD OF SHAKESPEARE'S

DRAMATIC POETRY.

We have been able to become acquainted with our poet, at least in isolated features of his life, during the first and second periods of his poetical career; for the second some precious documents were given us which let us cast a glance upon the history of his soul. Of the third epoch of his life we know scarcely anything. We learn from time to time something of his financial affairs and circumstances, of purchasing and selling, which exhibit him constantly as a man of wealth and comfort. The most important public event which occurred in this latter period of his life, was the death of Elizabeth, the accession of James I., and the union of the three kingdoms. Shakespeare celebrated these changes in his Macbeth (1605), in which besides the skilful interweaving of the Stuarts and the patriotic salutation to the first king who carried "two-fold balls and treble sceptres”, a flattering reference to the Scottish dynasty was implied in the subject itself. Schlegel justly compares the ingenious and at the same time artistically independent

manner, in which this drama is formed into an occasional poem, with Sophocles' praise of Athens and Æschylus' glorification of the Areopagus in the Eumenides. Shakespeare celebrates in Macbeth an ancient obligation of Scotland to England, who at that time freed the Scottish throne from the tyrant, and established the lawful king together with milder customs; and this old debt Scotland now paid off, when she gave a king to the empty throne of the Tudors, who maintained the peace which Elizabeth had planted, and brought in a love of art and learning. Shakespeare himself is supposed to have written an epigram, still extant, which extols James for his knowledge; and according to another tradition, the king, who from more than one testimony loved to see the pieces of our poet, wrote him a kind letter in his own hand. At any rate Shakespeare's honourable position and estimation continued under this king. From some knowledge of localities in Macbeth, it has been concluded that he had personally visited Scotland. A division of his company under Laurence Fletcher, probably an elder brother of the poet, was in Scotland from 1599 to 1601, but Shakespeare at the very time was so active in writing for the London stage, that his presence in Scotland is little probable. Immediately upon his arrival in London, James took the Shakespeare company into his pay and patronage, and called them the royal servants; the patent specifies nine players, among whom Fletcher stands at the head, and Shakespeare occupies the second and Burbadge the third place. The document grants the company their former liberty to play throughout the kingdom, and secures to them protection from all damage, and all the courtesies 'which formerly fell to the lot of people of their place and quality.

« ZurückWeiter »