No single artist in the history of human culture is at once so close and comprehensible to the broadest sections of people all over the world, so truly a “people’s poet”, and yet so variedly interpreted, translated and staged, so inexhaustible, as William Shakespeare. It is because Shakespeare’s drama and poetry voice the finest aspirations, the faith in Man characteristic of the Renaissance – the greatest progressive upheaval experienced by mankind, the epoch, which “needed giants and created giants of thought, passion, strength of character, versatility and erudition.”
A transition period from feudalism to capitalism, it was at once a period of discoveries of new continents, of experimental science, of realism, of concrete fact. Armed with new knowledge in astronomy, mathematics as well as practical sciences, men set out to conquer the physical world. With it came the discovery of new ethical and aesthetical values. Man with his reason and passions – love, friendship, ambition, patriotism, and happiness – life on this earth became the subject of art, its sole preoccupation. This is why Shakespeare, the “soul of his age”, is closer by far to socialist humanism and aesthetic conception than he was to the ideologists of the bourgeoisie at whose cradle he stood…
- Stylistic Devices in the Book of Ursula Moray Williams "Gobbolino, the Witch’s Cat"
- William Shakespeare
- William Somerset Maugham "Rain"