When the feud between the Montagues and Capulets spills into the streets of Verona, a great love must be kept secret—that of Romeo, son of Montague, and Juliet, daughter of the sworn enemy. But only a tragic twist of fate can promise peace. When Shakespeare staged Romeo and Juliet in 1594, it was already a centuries-old Italian tale that had been translated and adapted in verse and prose by a number of poets and storytellers. Out of the common threads of those now-forgotten works, Shakespeare created not only one of his most popular plays, but one that would become the archetypal love story of the English language.
Love's Labor's Lost (a Poetic Comedy) At Navarre (in Spain), King Ferdinand explains to Berowne, Longaville, and Dumaine that they can stay at the court to study and contemplate for three years, but that they must: 1) never see, speak to, or be with a woman during those three years, 2) fast once per week, and 3) sleep only three hours per night, all in order to be most fit for concentrating. Berowne finds these requirements too strict and bound to be broken, but agrees to them, predicting that he will be the last to break the rules. Anthony Dull enters with Costard (a philosopher at the academy) who is charged with breaking the rules, reported by Don Adriano de Armado, an extremely loyal philosopher. Ferdinand sentences Costard to one week of fasting, overseen by de Armado. Ironically, Armado admits to his servant Moth that he is in fact in love with a woman. Hypocritically, Armado puts Costard in prison, even after he (Armado) actually admits (around others) to Jaquenetta that he loves her and will meet her later. The princess (daughter of the King of France) comes to Ferdinand's court. He won't let her in (following his rules), but instead meets her outside his gates, where she informs him her father wants a loan of 100,000 crowns repaid. Ferdinand denies he or his father ever received the money. Berowne, here, recognizes Rosaline (lady of the princess') and exchanges witty remarks with her. Dumaine, Longaville, and Berowne all ask Boyet (Lord with the princess) the names of the princess' three ladies, Katharine, Maria, and Rosaline. Boyet informs the princess and her ladies of the inquiries. Armado frees Costard early on condition that he take a letter to Jaquenetta for him. On his way, Berowne gives Costard a letter for Rosaline. Costard, however, gives Armado's letter to the princess (who claims to be Rosaline). (Letter is in Act IV, scene i, line 62) At the castle, Dull, Nathaniel, and the pedant Holofernes (whose vocabulary is immense) trade witticisms. Jaquenetta asks Nathaniel to read the letter from Armado, given to her by Costard. In fact, the letter was intended for Rosaline (from Berowne), mixed up by Costard. Holofernes tells her to take the letter and Costard to the King. Berowne, lamenting his reservations over loving Rosaline, overhears Ferdinand writing a love letter to the princess. The king and Berowne then both overhear Longaville writing one to Maria. All three overhear Dumaine writing one to Katharine. Longaville then comes forward and scolds Dumaine for his lust. The king then scolds them both. Finally, Berowne comes forward and scolds all three for breaking their oath. Berowne claims he has kept faithful, but Jaquenetta enters revealing Berowne too is in love. The four decide to break their oaths and to win over their women. The king sends Armado to Holofernes, Nathaniel, and Dull to get an idea to entertain the ladies. They decide on a performance, the Nine Worthies. Boyet informs the ladies that the men plan to visit them, disguised as foreigners. The princess switches jewelry with Rosaline and Maria with Katharine, and all plan to wear masks to confuse the men and mock them for their game. The women vow, too, to not listen and not to dance with the men. The king, though, convinces Rosaline to go with him, alone, thinking she is the princess. Berowne departs with the princess, Dumaine with Maria, and Katharine with Longaville. Yet, the women ignore the men and the men depart in frustration. The women relish in their actions and decide, if the men return undisguised, to complain to them of their "odd visitors". The men do come back, and all admit to their respective trickeries and laugh. The "Great Worthies" give their presentation: Costard as Pompey the Great, Nathaniel as Alexander the Conqueror, Moth as Hercules, Holofernes as Judas Maccabaeus, and Armado as Hector (Trojan Champion). Costard interrupts to inform Armado that Jaquenetta is two months pregnant, by Armado himself. Marcade then comes and informs all that the King of France has died; the performance is abruptly ended. The princess informs Ferdinand that she will marry him only if he goes into hermitage for one year. Katharine and Maria tell Dumaine and Longaville the same. Rosaline tells Berowne that he must spend his year in a hospital cheering up the terminally ill. Finally, Armado informs all he will finish his three years of study before marrying Jaquenetta. Shakespeare's play ends with the completion of the performance and an operatic solo, before the men set out on their respective pilgrimages.
Romeo and Juliet (an Early Tragedy) In Verona, Sampson and Gregory (Capulet servants) complain that they will not put up with insults from the Montague family. Abram and Balthasar (Montague servants) appear and the four start quarreling. Benvolio (Lord Montague's nephew) appears and tries to break up the quarrel, but Tybalt (Lady Capulet's nephew) appears and picks a fight with Benvolio. At length, officers try to break up the fight, even while Lord Capulet and Lord Montague begin to fight one another. The Prince of Verona (Escalus) appears and stops the fighting, proclaiming sentences of death to any that renew the fighting. At Montague's house, he, his wife, and Benvolio discuss how melancholy Romeo (Montague's only son) has been lately. Benvolio vows to find out why. Speaking with Romeo, Benvolio finds Romeo is in love with a woman who has sworn to stay chaste (Rosaline). Benvolio suggests pursuing other women, but Romeo refuses. Separately, Paris (a kinsman of the Prince of Verona) talks to Lord Capulet about wooing his daughter Juliet for marriage. Capulet responds that she is too young (nearly 14 years old) and must wait two years to marry, and then only to the man whom she chooses. Still, Capulet invites Paris to a party in the evening. Capulet's servant is sent to invite guests, but he can't read the list so he entreats Romeo to do so. Upon hearing of the party, Benvolio convinces Romeo to attend and compare his unattainable love Rosaline to more beautiful women to get his mind off Rosaline. At Capulet's house, Lady Capulet speaks to Juliet about her feelings for marrying Paris while Juliet's Nurse listens on, telling stories of Juliet's childhood. Juliet, although hesitant, promises to be courteous. Masked, Romeo, Mercutio, and Benvolio head to the Capulet party. Romeo is still depressed, saying he dreamt a fearful dream of an untimely death that will result because of the evening's events, but Benvolio just makes fun of him. At Capulet's house, the Montagues attend the party (in masks), Romeo spies Juliet, and he falls in love with her. Tybalt sees Romeo and takes up arms, but Lord Capulet attempts to calm him, though Tybalt vows to revenge Romeo's intrusion the next day. Juliet, too, falls for Romeo, but falls into despair when her Nurse informs her Romeo is a Montague, as does Romeo when he learns Juliet is a Capulet. While leaving the party, Romeo hides in the orchard while Mercutio and Benvolio call for him to come out of hiding and go home with them; yet he will not. After they leave, Romeo appears and speaks to Juliet under her window, saying "But soft! What light through yonder window breaks? It is the East, and Juliet is the sun!" By and by they swear their love to one another. Juliet tells Romeo she'll send a messenger to him the next day to learn the details of their wedding. Having stayed up all night, Romeo visits Friar Lawrence's cell and tells him of this new love for Juliet. Although Lawrence is critical at first, Romeo eventually convinces him to marry them. In the street, Benvolio tells Mercutio that Romeo did not come home that night, and that Tybalt has sent the Montagues a letter challenging Romeo to a duel. Romeo appears and they tease him for hiding from them. Juliet's nurse and servant Peter appear and Romeo tells her to tell Juliet to go to the Friar's cell that afternoon to be married. The Nurse returns to Juliet and, though she skirts around the message, she finally tells Juliet the wonderful news. Soon, at the Friar's cell, he marries Romeo and Juliet, and Romeo plans to visit Juliet's bedroom that evening. At the street, Benvolio and Mercutio encounter Tybalt and Petruchio, leading to Tybalt and Mercutio fighting since Tybalt tries to pick a fight with Romeo, but he refuses. Romeo tries to break up the fight, but Tybalt slays Mercutio under Romeo's arm, then Tybalt flees. As Mercutio dies, he declares "A plague on both your houses," since he is only a friend of Romeo's and not his kinsmen. When Benvolio informs Romeo that Mercutio is dead, Romeo seeks out, fights, and slays Tybalt in revenge. Benvolio convinces Romeo to flee. The prince appears and Benvolio explains all to him, at which the Prince exiles Romeo for slaying Tybalt. At the Capulet's orchard, Juliet waits for Romeo when her Nurse appears and informs her of Mercutio and Tybalt's deaths, and Romeo's banishment. Juliet falls into despair, realizing she would rather Tybalt dead than Romeo, but also that a banished Romeo is virtually dead. At the Friar's cell, he informs Romeo of the Prince's edict of banishment, putting him into despair. Romeo states he would rather be dead than banished. The Nurse arrives and tells Romeo that Juliet is sad too, but forgives Romeo. Still, Romeo pulls a dagger and tries to kill himself, but the Friar stops him and tells him to stay the night with Juliet, then flee to Mantua. At Capulet's house, he and Paris set the wedding date for Paris and Juliet to be three days hence. In Juliet's bedroom, Romeo says a tearful goodbye to Juliet. After he leaves, Lady Capulet appears and, while discussing Tybalt's death, states she will send a henchman to mantua to kill Romeo (though she never does). She then informs Juliet of her impending marriage to Paris. Juliet tells her parents she will not marry, but Lord Capulet commands it will be so. The Nurse, too, tells Juliet she should marry Paris. In private, Juliet decides to no longer trust the nurse and vows to kill herself if the Friar cannot find a way to save her from marrying Paris. At Friar Lawrence's cell, Paris informs the Friar of his upcoming wedding to Juliet. When Juliet arrives to see the Friar, Paris politely leaves. The Friar, hearing Juliet threaten suicide, tells her of a "distilled liquor" she can take to fake death. He explains the drug will keep her asleep and seemingly dead for 42 hours, during which she can be placed in the Capulet tomb. Then, when she wakes, Romeo can be there waiting for her to take her to Mantua. Friar Lawrence send Friar John to Mantua with an explanatory letter for Romeo. Juliet returns to her father and apologizes for refusing to marry, causing her dad to move the wedding up to the next morning (two days early). In her bedroom, Juliet sends her mother and nurse away, then, after much worrying over the future, she drinks the vial of medicine and sleeps. Later in the early morning, all feverishly prepare for the wedding and Capulet sends the Nurse to wake Juliet. The Nurse wails upon finding Juliet "dead", summoning the others to find her and mourn. The Friar instructs all to prepare Juliet for her funeral. In Mantua, Romeo's servant Balthasar arrives and tells Romeo that Juliet is dead. Romeo vows to see Juliet in her tomb and poison himself there, buying the poison from a poor Apothecary who illegally sells it to Romeo only because he (the Apothecary) needs the money. At Lawrence's cell, Friar John reports he could not deliver the letter to Romeo since he (John) got stuck in a quarantined house while searching for Romeo. Friar Lawrence heads to the cemetery with a crowbar. At the tomb, Paris and his page arrive and Paris mourns Juliet's death. Paris hides when he hears Romeo and Balthasar approach. Romeo orders Balthasar to leave him alone, no matter what he hears. When Romeo opens the tomb, Paris steps out and tries to stop him by provoking him to fight. Romeo entreats Paris to simply walk away and not fight, but Paris forces Romeo to fight him, resulting in Romeo slaying Paris. In sorrow, Romeo lays Paris in the tomb, while Paris' page secretly leaves to call the watch. Romeo finds Juliet and mourns her death, then drinks his poison and dies. Outside the tomb, Friar Lawrence arrives and meets Balthasar who tells the Friar that Romeo has been in the tomb for one half hour. Lawrence enters the tomb and finds Romeo and Paris dead. Juliet then awakes and spots Romeo. The Friar, upon hearing noises outside flees, leaving Juliet with Romeo. Juliet tries to kill herself with Romeo's poison, but can find none, either in the vial or on Romeo's lips. In desperation, she stabs herself with Romeo's dagger. The watch arrives, having found Balthasar and the Friar. The Prince and Lord and Lady Capulet arrive and learn Paris, Romeo, and Juliet are dead (amazingly to them, Juliet seems to have been alive, and then newly dead again). Lord Montague arrives and reports that his wife has died from grief over Romeo's exile, then learns himself of Romeo's death. Capulet and Montague make peace and swear to never fight again. They vow to build solid gold statues of Romeo and Juliet and place them side by side so all can remember their plight.
A Midsummer Night's Dream is a comedy written by William Shakespeare in 1595/96. It portrays the events surrounding the marriage of Theseus, the Duke of Athens, to Hippolyta (the former queen of the Amazons). There include the adventures of four young Athenian lovers and a group of six amateur actors (the mechanicals) who are controlled and manipulated by the fairies who inhabit the forest in which most of the play is set. The play is one of Shakespeare's most popular works for the stage and is widely performed across the world.
William Shakespeare (bapt. 26 April 1564 – 23 April 1616) was an English poet, playwright, and actor, widely regarded as the greatest writer in the English language and the world's greatest dramatist.
He is often called England's national poet and the "Bard of Avon" (or simply "the Bard"). His extant works, including collaborations, consist of some 39 plays,[c] 154 sonnets, two long narrative poems, and a few other verses, some of uncertain authorship. His plays have been translated into every major living language and are performed more often than those of any other playwright.
Full of cruelty and betrayal, King Lear is the timeless and timely story of a kingdom held in the thrall of an aging ruler’s descent into madness. Desperate for praise, he banishes those who would guide him with honesty and surrounds himself with sycophants—an action which leads to his ultimately tragic downfall...
"Antony and Cleopatra" is a tragedy by William Shakespeare. The play was performed first circa 1607 at the Blackfriars Theatre or the Globe Theatre by the King's Men.
Its first appearance in print was in the Folio of 1623.
The plot is based on Thomas North's translation of Plutarch's Lives and follows the relationship between Cleopatra and Mark Antony from the time of the Sicilian revolt to Cleopatra's suicide during the Final War of the Roman Republic. The major antagonist is Octavius Caesar, one of Antony's fellow triumvirs of the Second Triumvirate and the first emperor of the Roman Empire. The tragedy is mainly set in Rome and Egypt, and is characterized by swift shifts in geographical location and linguistic register as it alternates between sensual, imaginative Alexandria and a more pragmatic, austere Rome.
William Shakespeare (26 April 1564 – 23 April 1616) was an English poet, playwright, and actor, widely regarded as the greatest writer in the English language and the world's pre-eminent dramatist.
The Winter’s Tale, one of Shakespeare’s very late plays, is filled with improbabilities. Before the conclusion, one character comments that what we are about to see, “Were it but told you, should be hooted at / Like an old tale.”
It includes murderous passions, man-eating bears, princes and princesses in disguise, death by drowning and by grief, oracles, betrayal, and unexpected joy. Yet the play, which draws much of its power from Greek myth, is grounded in the everyday.
A “winter’s tale” is one told or read on a long winter’s night. Paradoxically, this winter’s tale is ideally seen rather than read—though the imagination can transform words into vivid action. Its shift from tragedy to comedy, disguises, and startling exits and transformations seem addressed to theater audiences.
Pericles, Prince of Tyre (a Romance) - the plot is very long and involved, very much like that of Homer's Odyssey Before the king's palace at Antioch (Syria), the 14th century poet Gower explains that Antiochus (the king) had a daughter by a consort who then died. The father and daughter became sexually involved and he enacted a law that no man can marry her unless he answer Antiochus' riddle, else he die and his head will be hung in the king's courtyard. Prince Pericles arrives to pursue the princess in marriage. He reads the riddle and solves it, determining the answer is, in fact, a person's head. The king, angered that Pericles solved the riddle, lies and says he did not. Antiochus gives Pericles 40 days to get the "right" answer. Fearing for his life, and in disgust at discovering the incest between Antiochus and his daughter, Pericles flees. Antiochus orders his chamberlain, Thaliard, to chase Pericles and kill him. At Pericles' home in Tyre, he laments to his friend Helicanus that Antiochus will go to any length to kill him, even war. Helicanus suggests that Pericles go on holiday to let the king cool off. Pericles agrees and heads to Tharsus. Thaliard arrives in Tyre and overhears the lords discuss Pericles' departure. He shows himself, saying he has a message for Pericles. Meanwhile, at Tharsus, the governor, Cleon, laments to his wife Dionyza how their city is in ruins due to famine. Pericles arrives and brings corn and other food to help the town, in return for letting him stay there, bringing great joy. Gower appears again and explains that Helicanus sends word to Pericles that Thaliard is searching him out to kill him. Pericles flees to the sea with his men and is caught in a storm which wrecks his ship and kills all but him. He washes up on the shore of Pentapolis in Greece and is found by three fisherman, who he convinces to help him. In their fishing net the find Pericles' armor. He plans to use it to enter a jousting contest to win the hand of King Simonides' daughter, Thaisa. At the joust, Pericles wins the day. At dinner, Thaisa and Pericles fall in love. Back in Tyre, Helicanus explains to Escanes that the gods have killed Antiochus and his daughter by fire, ending their incestuous relationship. Three lords appear and ask Helicanus' permission to seek out Pericles; he grants it. Back at Pentapolis, Simonides tells the knights that Thaisa will not wed for a year, and immediately all leave. This is just a ploy to gt rid of them, though, since Thaisa wishes to wed Pericles, and Simonides and Pericles agree. Gower appears to explain that the two are married and Thaisa becomes pregnant. A letter arrives from the lords of Tyre saying Pericles must return home within 12 months, lest mutiny ensue. Pericles, pregnant Thaisa, and her nurse Lychordia set sail for Tyre and again are caught in a storm, causing Thaisa to go into labor and deliver a daughter, who Pericles names Marina; however, Thaisa dies of complications during the labor. As is custom, she is buried at sea in a chest, and Pericles includes a note with her body asking that she be properly buried if found. Pericles decides to stop off at Tharsus to leave the baby so as not to endanger it in the voyage back to Tyre. Later, at Cerimon's house in Ephesus, two servants bring in a chest that was tossed on up the shore. It holds Thaisa and Pericles' note. Cerimon, however, uses an Egyptian ritual to restore life to her. Meanwhile, at a now prosperous Tharsus, Pericles stays 12 months with his daughter, then returns to Tyre, leaving Marina and Lychordia with Cleon and Dionyza. At Ephesus, Thaisa decides that since she'll never see Pericles again, she'll lead the life of a vestal virgin (i.e., a nun). Gower appears to tell us that Marina has grown up and befriended Cleon's daughter, Philoten. Dionyza, however, is angry that Marina is more beautiful than Philoten, and plots with Leonine to kill Marina. Mourning her nurse's death, Marina meets Dionyza who instructs her to walk with Leonine. He tries to kill her, even after she objects, but is interrupted by the pirates of Valdes who kidnap her. At Mytilene, the pirates sell Marina to a brothel, run by a Bard and her servant Boult. At Tharsus, Dionyza informs Cleon of Marina's supposed death and instructs him to tell no one the truth. They plan to claim Marina died in her sleep. Gowen then tells us Pericles sails to Tharsus with Helicanus to see his daughter, Marina, only to discover she is "dead". Pericles vows to never wash his face or cut his hair again, and departs for the sea, leaving Escanes in chard at Tyre. At the brothel, Marina refuses to sleep with any man, and, in fact, she converts many of them to good. She even convinces the doorman Boult to convince her masters to let her change professions, using gold she had procured from the local governor (Lysimachus). Gower appears and explains that Marina now teaches music and educates the nobles' children, giving the profits to the Bawd. Pericles, now arrives at Mytilene, though actually, Helicanus leads the ship while Pericles hides, in grief, in the hold. Lysimachus (the Governor of Mytilene) greets them and tries to cheer up Pericles, to no avail. He suggests they have Marina try to cheer him up (not knowing she is Pericles' long lost daughter). She arrives and sings to him, causing him to speak and ask of her origins. She explains she is Marina, the daughter of a king, born at sea, her mother died, and she was raised by a nurse Lychordia at Tharsus. Pericles, though refusing to believe her at first, comes to realize she really is his daughter and rejoices. The Goddess Diana appears to Pericles in a dream and instructs him to go to Ephesus, where he will be made happy. Further, Lysimachus informs Pericles of his desire to woo Marina. Gower tells us of Pericles' journey to Ephesus. There, Pericles and Thaisa are united by Cerimon, and Marina is able to meet her mother. Pericles decrees that Thaisa and he will live in Pentapolis, since Thaisa's father Simonides has recently died, while Marina and Lysimachus will reign in Tyre. Gower closes by reviewing the play's morals and telling us the townspeople of Tharsus burn Cleon and his wife Dionyza in their palace as punishment for plotting to kill Marina.
The Two Gentlemen of Verona is a comedy by William Shakespeare, believed to have been written between 1589 and 1593. It is considered by some to be Shakespeare's first play,[a] and is often seen as showing his first tentative steps in laying out some of the themes and motifs with which he would later deal in more detail; for example, it is the first of his plays in which a heroine dresses as a boy. The play deals with the themes of friendship and infidelity, the conflict between friendship and love, and the foolish behaviour of people in love. The highlight of the play is considered by some to be Launce, the clownish servant of Proteus, and his dog Crab, to whom "the most scene-stealing non-speaking role in the canon" has been attributed. Two Gentlemen is often regarded as one of Shakespeare's weakest plays. It has the smallest named cast of any play by Shakespeare. William Shakespeare (26 April 1564 – 23 April 1616) was an English poet, playwright, and actor, widely regarded as the greatest writer in the English language and the world's greatest dramatist. He is often called England's national poet and the "Bard of Avon" (or simply "the Bard"). His extant works, including collaborations, consist of some 39 plays,154 sonnets, two long narrative poems, and a few other verses, some of uncertain authorship. His plays have been translated into every major living language and are performed more often than those of any other playwright.
The character of Macbeth is very charming in spite of being cruel.--Submitted by Rajesh Jailal Vyas This is one of the most fascinating plays by Shakespeare. The three witches play a significant role to Duncan's fate and Macbeth's downfall. Their prophecy being initially proven through Macbeth's crown as the thane of crawdo however one may argue and insist that it was Macbeth's ambition to be the king long before the three witches' prophecy.--Submitted by baroka
The History of Henry the Fourth, Part One (a History) Continuing Richard II, Henry IV is now king and is fighting a revolt led by the Welshman Owen Glendower and the Percies. Henry IV wishes he could switch sons with Henry Percy, the Earl of Northumberland, whose son is Henry Percy (Hotspur), a valiant soldier. The third Percy is Thomas Percy, the Earl of Worcester and brother to Northumberland. Henry IV is mad at Henry V because Henry V hangs out with John (Jack) Falstaff (who calls Henry V, Hal) and Poins. At the tavern, Poins convinces Falstaff, Bardolph, and Peto to rob some travelers. Poins and Henry V plan to then rob Falstaff et. al. of the loot. Back at the palace, Henry IV demands that Hotspur turn over the Scottish prisoners he has. As insurance, Henry IV holds Hotspur's brother-in-law Mortimer as hostage (Hotspur's wife Kate is Mortimer's sister and Mortimer's wife is Glendower's daughter). Ironically, Mortimer was proclaimed heir to the English throne by Richard II, though Henry IV became king. The Percies explain to Henry IV that they are revolting because Henry IV has placed unreasonable demands on them, even after they helped him (as Bolingbroke) become king. Returning to Falstaff et. al., they rob the king's transport then Poins and Hal rob them and Falstaff et. al. flee. At the pub, Falstaff makes up extravagant lies about the robbery. Hal rebukes him, proving Falstaff false. In jest, the two pretend to be King Henry IV and Hal and Hal (as Henry IV) tells Falstaff (as Hal) that the man Falstaff is a thief and Hal promises to banish him for his crimes. Moving to the revolt, Mortimer, Worcester, and Hotspur plan the revolt, overseen by Glendower. Oddly, Mortimer speaks no Welsh and his wife speaks no English, so her father interprets for them. Back to Henry IV, he criticizes Henry V for this deeds and associations. Henry IV tells Henry V that Hotspur is more deserving of the crown than Henry V, whereby Henry V vows to prove himself by killing Hotspur in battle. Back at the tavern we learn that Hal repaid the travelers whom the money was stolen from, and that Hal has arranged for Falstaff to lead some forces in the king's army. Hotspur's father (Northumberland) becomes sick, greatly weakening the revolting forces since his men cannot attend the battle. This news, and Prince Hal's newfound leadership, and a report that Glendower will arrive late disheartens Hotspur, yet he overcomes these setbacks with renewed vigor. Falstaff, as military leader, hires very poor and unfit soldiers. Prince Hal and the Earl of Westmoreland observe this, but do nothing. Hotspur wishes to fight the first battle at nighttime, but delays after Sir Walter Blunt brings kind greetings from the king. Worcester meets the king the next morning, but no agreement is made, though the king offers to pardon all the revolters. Worcester, however, lies to Hotspur and tells him the king readies for battle, since Worcester does not believe Henry IV will pardon them and doesn't want Hotspur to back off. In battle, Archibald, the Earl of Douglas (Percies' side) kills Blunt, thinking Blunt is Henry IV due to a disguise. Henry V then rescues Henry IV from Douglas' sword. Falstaff and Douglas fight and Falstaff pretends to die. Henry V and Hotspur fight and Henry V kills Hotspur. Falstaff arises and stabs Hotspur in the leg, then claims to have killed him. Henry IV wins the battle (of Shrewsbury) and executes Worcester and Sir Richard Vernon, but lets Douglas go free. Henry IV also divides his power with Henry V and Hal's brother John of Lancaster. This is a play concerning honor, as reasoned by Falstaff.
The Merry Wives of Windsor (a Bourgeois Comedy), with a very cute plot In the country village of Windsor, Justice Shallow and his nephew Slender complain to Parson Evans that Sir John Falstaff (from Henry IV, parts 1 and 2) has wronged them. Further, he is pursuing the hand of Mistress Anne Page, who they feel Falstaff is not worthy to marry. Specifically, Slender accuses Falstaff of getting him drunk, then picking his purse. Falstaff, Bardolph, Nym, and Pistol all deny it. Slender, upon seeing Anne, falls in love. Parson Hugh Evans and Shallow suggest he tell her his affections and propose to her. He tries, but is overcome with shyness. Evans tells Simple (Slender's servant) to give a letter to Mistress Quickly, a friend of Anne's, asking her to tell Anne of Slender's desires for her. At the Garter Inn, Falstaff worries that he's running out of money, so he hires off his "friend" Bardolph as a bartender, then informs Pistol and Nym that he intends to sleep with Ford's wife and Page's wife, then steal money from them. Insulted, Nym and Pistol refuse to take part; further, they secretly decide to inform the women's husbands of Falstaff's intentions. At the French Doctor Caius' house, Quickly assures Simple that she will put in a good word for his master, Slender. Caius comes home and catches Simple there, admonishes Quickly, and sends a letter with Simple challenging Evans to a duel for playing matchmaker, since Caius himself wishes to marry Anne. Caius and Simple leave and Fenton arrives, also asking for Quickly's assurance that she'll put in a good word for him to Anne. Mrs. Ford and Mrs. Page receive Falstaff's letters, compare them, and find them to be identical. They, along with Quickly, plot their revenge on Falstaff for being so bold. Pistol and Nym warn Mr. Page and Mr. Ford of Falstaff's intentions: Page trusts his wife to act appropriately, but Ford, always untrusting of his wife, convinces the innkeeper to call him Brooke, as a disguise, so that he may converse with Falstaff without him knowing Brooke is really Mr. Page. Shallow informs all that Evans and Caius will indeed duel. Quickly comes to Falstaff's room and tells him he can see Mrs. Ford between 10 and 11 am, but that Mrs. Page is more reluctant to see him and therefore deserves to have Falstaff's page, Robin, as a gift. Mr. Ford comes to Falstaff, disguised as Brooke. He offers Falstaff money if Falstaff will arrange for him (Brooke) to sleep with Mrs. Ford (in hopes of keeping Falstaff from doing it). Falstaff agrees and continues on to insult and degrade Mr. Ford (not knowing Brooke is Ford). In a field near Windsor, Caius, incensed, waits for Evans, who does not show. Near Frogmore, Evans, also invigorated (yet nervous), waits for Caius. Caius begins wondering and they both meet and learn that the Host (the innkeeper) told them different locations so that they could not fight. They put aside their differences and vow to get him back for lying to them. At Ford's house, Falstaff shows up to woo Mrs. Ford. Mrs. Page then arrives pretending that Mr. Ford is coming to look for Falstaff. The women convince Falstaff to hide in a trunk, then have Mrs. Ford's servants take it to the Thames and dump it and Falstaff into the river. On their way out, Mr. Ford does indeed show up with other men. They search the house (but not the trunk) and cannot find Falstaff. At Page's house, Fenton promises his love to Anne. Yet, Mr. Page wants her to marry Slender while Mrs. Page wants her to marry Caius. Quickly, though divided, thinks Fenton is best for Anne. At Falstaff's room, Quickly informs him that Mrs. Ford will see him between 8 and 9 am. Ford (as Brooke) shows up and Falstaff tells him what happened and of his next encounter with Mrs. Ford. At Ford's house, Falstaff is again with Mrs. Ford. Again, Mrs. Page comes warning that Mr. Ford is coming (falsely, she believes). Again, he truly is. They decide to dress Falstaff as a woman. To chide Mr. Ford, they have the servants carry out the trunk again, but this time without Falstaff. Mr. Ford, thinking Falstaff to be a witch (his servant's aunt, whom he hates) beats Falstaff (as a she) and chases him out of the house. The wives decide to actually tell their husband's the truth of the proceedings. They all decide to have the wives meet Falstaff at an oak at midnight, then have children dressed as fairies scare him. Mr. Page plans to marry his daughter to Slender in the commotion. Similarly, Mrs. Page plans for Anne to marry Caius during the night. At the Garter Inn (Falstaff's room), Bardolph informs the Hose that three horses he rented to German lords have been stolen. Evans and Caius, behind the ruse, then separately warn the Host to not rent any horses to thieves posing as German Dukes. Evans and Caius pretend to not know they have already been "stolen". Fenton then convinces the Host to procure a priest to marry him and Anne that evening. Anne's father has told Slender she will be the only person in white at the midnight gathering; her mother has told Caius she'll be wearing green; in fact, she'll be wearing neither and will spy away with Fenton. Falstaff meets Mrs. Ford and Mrs. Page at the oak at midnight. The fairies appear, scare off the women, and begin pinching and hitting Falstaff. Caius takes the fairy wearing green; Slender takes the one wearing white; and Fenton takes Anne. All the fairies depart and Mr. and Mrs. Page, Mr. and Mrs. Ford, and others appear to reveal to Falstaff that he is the butt of a practical joke. Unhappily, Mr. and Mrs. Page learn that neither Slender nor Caius married Anne. Instead, all learn of Anne and Fenton's elopement. All decide to accept the couple, forgive Falstaff, and go home and laugh about the preceding day's events.
An Early Festive Comedy Written between 1596-97 First performed in 1600. In a street of Venice, the merchant Antonio laments that he is sad but knows not why. His friends, Solanio and Salerio try to cheer him up, to no avail. More friends, Lorenzo and Gratiano also try and fail. Antonio's friend, Bassanio, informs him that he intends to seek the wealthy Portia's hand in marriage, yet needs financial backing. Antonio, though reluctant, offers Bassanio 3,000 ducats (money) to help him. At Belmont, Portia's house, she laments to her servant, Nerissa, that she fears a suitor she dislikes will pursue her hand in marriage. Per her late father's will, the suitor must choose the correct of three chests (gold, silver, and lead), and then, if correct, he may marry Portia. She likes none of her six suitors, but wishes Bassanio would come and choose the correct chest. Back in Venice, after much begging, Bassanio convinces the merchant Shylock the Jew to lend him 3000 ducats, with Antonio putting up his property as the bond. Although Shylock hates Antonio, he lends the money anyway, hoping Antonio will default on the loan. Antonio, though, has confidence one of his ocean vessels will come to port one month before the three month deadline. The Moroccan prince arrives at Belmont to woo Portia and learns that if he chooses the wrong chest, he must swear to never ask any woman to marry him. Back in Venice, Launcelot Gobbo, a clown and Shylock's servant, tells his father, old Gobbo, that he wishes to leave Shylock and work for Bassanio. Bassanio agrees to it and instructs his servant Leonardo to prepare dinner for him and Shylock. Gratiano then arrives and tells Bassanio he'll help him win over Portia. Shylock's daughter, Jessica, gives a love letter to Launcelot to deliver to Antonio's Christian friend Lorenzo. In the letter, Lorenzo learns that Jessica will pretend to be a male torchbearer for him at the supper between Antonio and Shylock. Shylock, going to the supper, leaves his house keys with his daughter, Jessica, warning her not to take part in the evening's Christian activities. Later that night, Gratiano, Salerio, and Lorenzo meet outside Shylock's house to get Jessica. After Lorenzo and Jessica unite, they all head to meet Bassanio on Antonio's ship to sail to Portia's. At Portia's house, the Moroccan prince chooses a chest to open. Each has an inscription, and only the correct one contains Portia's picture. He chooses incorrectly (the gold one), and leaves defeated. Salerio assures Solanio that Lorenzo and Jessica were not on the ship with Bassanio and Gratiano, and they are thus missing. Shylock, of course, wants his money and his daughter back. At Portia's house, the Prince of Aragon arrives and chooses the silver chest, also the wrong one. Again, he must swear to never woo any maid in marriage and to never tell a soul which chest he opened. Solanio and Salerio confirm that Antonio's ship has sunk. They then make fun of Shylock for his predicament of losing his daughters. Shylock then laments of his monetary loss to another Jew, Tubal, yet rejoices that Antonio is sure to default on his loan. At Portia's house, she begs Bassanio to wait in choosing so that she may spend time with him, in case he chooses wrong. He correctly chooses the lead casket, though, and wins Portia's hand in marriage. To seal the union, Portia gives Bassanio a ring, warning that he should never lose it or give it away, lest he risk losing her love for him. Gratiano then announces his intention to wed Nerissa. Next, Salerio, Lorenzo, and Jessica arrive, informing Bassanio that Antonio lost his ships, and, furthermore, that Shylock is viciously declaring forfeiture of the bond by Antonio. Bassanio leaves for Venice to repay the loan. In Venice, Shylock has Antonio arrested for failure to repay the loan. At Belmont, Portia tells Lorenzo and Jessica to manage her house while she and Nerissa go to a monastery until Bassanio returns. In fact, though, she and Nerissa will disguise themselves as young men and travel to Venice. At a Venetian court, the Duke presides over the sentencing hearing of Antonio wherein Shylock intends to cut "a pound of flesh from Antonio's breast" since the due date has past and that was the terms of the bond, even though Bassanio offers him 6,000 ducats for repayment. Nerissa and Portia, disguised as a court clerk and doctor of civil law respectively, arrive at the court. Gratiano, Bassanio, the Duke, and Portia try to dissuade Shylock, to no avail. Yet, Portia points out that the deed calls for no blood to be shed and exactly one pound to be taken, lest Shylock be guilty of not following the bond himself. Shylock, realizing this is impossible, recants and simply requests 9,000 ducats. Portia then reveals that Shylock is himself guilty of a crime; namely, conspiring to kill another citizen, i.e. Antonio. As punishment, the Duke and Antonio decide that Shylock must give half his belongings to the court; keep the other half for himself and promise to give all his remaining belongings to his daughter and son-in-law (Lorenzo) upon his death; and become a Christian. With no other choice, Shylock agrees. As Portia (as the doctor of civil law) leaves, Bassanio offers her a monetary gift. Portia turns this down, instead requesting Bassanio's gloves and wedding ring instead. Bassanio, due to his vow, hesitates on the ring, but reluctantly gives it after much prodding by Antonio. Nerissa (disguised as a court clerk), vows to try to get her husband (Gratiano) to give her his wedding ring. At Belmont, Lorenzo and Jessica share a peaceful night together. The next morning, Bassanio and Portia, and Gratiano and Nerissa reunite. After quarreling over the loss of rings, the women admit of their ruse and return the rings to their husbands. Further, they inform Antonio that three of his ships have come to port full of merchandise. Finally, they give the deed to Jessica and Lorenzo promising to give them Shylock's money and possessions upon his death. Squander some of your time in this timeless story and you will be amazed by the profound world of love and controversy...You will never fail to learn from Shakespeare's work.--Submitted by jing William Shakespeare has always held a fascination for me and one could wonder how easily he could twist and twirl the flow of human lives in his characters. The Merchant of Venice is not just a book that talks about the everyday merchant of Venice alone but it brings to mind the actual characteristic weaknesses, strengths, and beauty of the human world. The weakness is characterised by Shylock's greediness and eventual fall, Antonio's love for his friend, and the nonchalant attitude or should I say ignorance to the wickedness of an enemy--failure to be on guard--that almost cost him his life. Shylock's daughter, Bassanio, Antonio, Portia, Nerissa, et al were happy at the end of the play. The beauty of it is the knowledge that one could truly bend life situations as is the case with Portia, who surprises everyone with such an unexpected turn of situation, bending Shylock even when he thought he had bended Antonio to a point of no return. Merchant is a great work of art and is a pointer to all those who feel they've got it sorted out because one could be surprised.--Submitted by dolapo The Merchant of Venice is a very good play by Shakespeare. It actually sounds like a tragic play to me because Shylock ends in a tragedy. The Merchant of Venice is a righteous play which displays true friendship and love.--Submitted by Onion
Twelfth Night, or What You Will (a Later Festive Comedy) In Illyria, the Duke of Illyria, Orsino states he is sick in love with Olivia. Valentine reports to him, however, that she will not see him or any other man for seven years while she mourns the death of her father and brother (both died within the last six months). On the seacoast, Viola and her ship's captain come ashore after their ship sinks. Viola fears her twin brother Sebastian is drowned, but the captain thinks he saved himself by holding onto the floating mast. Upon learning that she is in Illyria, governed by Orsino, she convinces the captain to help disguise her as a male so that she may become a servant to Orsino, and it seems, perhaps try to win his love. At Olivia's house, her uncle, Sir Toby Belch, comes home late, drunk as usual, while Olivia's lady-in-waiting Maria lets him in. Soon, Toby's drinking buddy Sir Andrew Aguecheek shows up. Andrew tells Toby he'll head for home the next day, since Olivia won't let him woo her, but Toby convinces him to stay with them another month and promises to try harder to get Olivia to like him (Andrew). Back at the Duke's palace, he asks Viola (pretending to be a male servant named Cesario) to approach Olivia and woo her on his behalf. Viola (as Cesario) promises to do so, but privately reveals she will not try hard, since she desires Orsino. At Olivia's house, Olivia and her servant Feste (aka Clown) trade witticisms when Maria and Toby (drunk as usual) tell her Viola (as Cesario) is at the door. Learning Viola is come from Orsino, Olivia tells her steward Malvolio to send him away. Finally, though, she agrees to see Viola. Viola speaks to Olivia about Orsino and actually tries to tell her how to distance herself from him. While Viola speaks, Olivia actually starts to fall in love with her (as Cesario). When Olivia makes a pass at Viola, she quickly shuns Olivia off. After Viola leaves, Olivia even has Malvolio send her ring after her (as Cesario). When Viola receives the ring from Malvolio, she realizes Olivia's new love for her and wonders how things will work out now that Orsino loves Olivia, Olivia loves Viola (as Cesario), and Viola loves Orsino. At the seacoast, Sebastian tells Antonio (the captain that rescued Sebastian, but not Viola) of his fears that Viola is drowned. Sebastian heads to Orsino's court, and, though Antonio knows he has enemies there, he follows Sebastian out of pity for his plight. At Olivia's house, Toby and Andrew drink into the night, while the clown entertains them. Maria appears and Toby starts flirting with her. Malvolio, though, shows up and tries to spoil the fun. After he leaves, Maria tells Toby, Andrew, and the Clown how she plans to trick Malvolio into thinking Olivia is in love with him by penning love letters to him in Olivia's hand. Separately, Andrew tells Toby he is running out of money while he tries to win Olivia, and if he fails, he'll blame Toby. At the Duke's palace, the clown sings songs of love, while Viola and Orsino discuss the qualities of love. Orsino bids Viola approach Olivia again with his greeting, even though Viola insists Olivia will not be moved. In Olivia's garden, Toby, Andrew, Olivia's servant Fabian, and Maria hide and listen to Malvolio pompously dream of his "impending" marriage to Olivia, the idea placed in his mind by Maria's deceptive letters. Viola comes back to Olivia's house to talk to her for Orsino, but Olivia declares to Viola that she loves her (as Cesario). Andrew again announces he's leaving, but Toby and Fabian again convince him to stay, convincing him he should duel Viola (as Cesario) to impress Olivia to love him. Separately, Toby admits to Fabian he only keeps Andrew around to use his money for alcohol. Sebastian and Antonio arrive in Illyria and Sebastian decides to tour the town, then meet Antonio at the Elephant Inn. At Olivia's house, Malvolio approaches Olivia and makes advances to her, but she thinks him mad. When Toby, Maria, and Fabian appear, Malvolio treats them like they are base and he is royal, causing them to laugh uproariously behind his back. Andrew appears with his outrageously stupidly worded challenge to Viola and Toby promises to deliver it. Toby comes to Viola (who had been speaking with Olivia) and tells her (as Cesario) that Andrew, a most fierce and dreaded knight, has a quarrel with her and will duel her. This greatly fears Viola, but Fabian promises to try to calm Andrew. Separately, Toby tells Andrew that Viola is fierce and unstoppable. Toby gets the two to duel, both fearing the other, when Antonio appears and breaks it up, thinking Viola to be Sebastian. Officers of the Duke then appear and arrest Antonio by order of Orsino. Antonio, thinking Viola to be Sebastian, asks for the money back that he lent Sebastian earlier. Viola, not knowing what he means, denies she knows him (though offers him money on loan), angering him and calling her disloyal. The officers lead him away while Viola realizes the confusion and finds new hope that Sebastian is alive. After Viola leaves, Toby and Fabian egg Andrew on further to once again duel Viola (as Cesario). Outside Olivia's house, the clown follows Sebastian around (thinking him Viola) insisting his name is Cesario and that Olivia desires to see him. This annoys Sebastian and he bids the clown to leave. Andrew then appears and strikes Sebastian (thinking him Viola/Cesario), but Sebastian strikes back at Andrew, scaring him. Toby, trying to keep Sebastian from Andrew himself duels Sebastian, until Olivia breaks it up. Sebastian immediately falls in love with her and they depart into her house together. In another part of the house, Malvolio is kept prisoner in a cell in the basement by Toby and Maria. The clown pretends to be a priest and visits him, but will not help him, and, rather, makes fun of him and calls him mad. In Olivia's garden, Sebastian ponders the amazement of the finding of his new love Olivia, then she and he go with a priest to the church to be married. At Olivia's house, the Duke arrives and entreats the clown to let him see Olivia. While waiting, Antonio shows up with the officers and explains how he rescued Sebastian from the sea then helped him (actually Viola) in the duel. Orsino tells Antonio he is a pirate and not to be trusted since he helped steal one of Illyria's greatest battleships in the past. Olivia arrives and immediately starts doting on Viola (as Cesario), eventually calling her husband, shocking Viola and enraging the Duke. The Priest arrives and confirms the marriage between Olivia and Cesario (actually Sebastian). Andrew then appears and swears Cesario struck Toby alongside the head, wounding him, but Viola denies it. Toby appears, mad at Viola (thinking her Sebastian), but leaves to be bandaged. Finally, Sebastian appears and greets all, while both twins (he and Viola) are amazed and delighted that the other is living. Sebastian promises to keep his marriage to Olivia, and the Duke vows to marry Viola. Malvolio is brought forth from the cell and all learn of the trick played on him. Fabian and the Clown admit they, Toby, and Maria did it all in jest, and in return for Maria's help, Toby married her. However, Malvolio vows to be revenged on them all. The Duke calls his servants to calm Malvolio, and all depart happily.
First written between the years 1600-01, first performed in 1623. The Tragedy of Julius Caesar, approx. 47 BC (an Early Tragedy) Marcellus and Flavius criticize the commoners for celebrating Caesar's recent military defeat of Pompey since they feel it's actually a sad day. During a victory march, a soothsayer warns Caesar to "Beware the Ides of March" (March 15); Caesar ignores him. A race is run, wherein Marc Antony, in the course of competing, touches Caesar's wife Calphurnia in hopes of curing her infertility. During the race, Cassius tries to convince Brutus that Caesar has become too powerful and too popular. Brutus neither agrees nor disagrees. Caesar confers with Antony that he fears Cassius is evil and worth fearing. Casca explains to Brutus and Cassius that shouting they heard was caused by Caesar's thrice refusal of a crown offered to him by Antony (though confusing, the commoners rejoiced that he had refused it for it indicated he is a noble man). At the third offering, Caesar collapsed and foamed at the mouth from epilepsy. Afterwards, Caesar exiled/executed Flavius and Marcellus for pulling scarves off of Caesar's images (statues). In a thunderstorm, Casca meets Cicero and tells him of many ominous and fearful sights, mostly of burning images, he has seen. Cassius then meets Cicero and tells him the storm is a good sign of the evil he and his other cohorts plan to do to Caesar. It seems the senators plan to crown Caesar King, but Cassius aims to prevent it, or else commit suicide. Casca agrees to help Cassius. Cinna informs Cassius that Decius Brutus (actually Decimus), Trebonius, and Metallus Cimber will help them to kill Caesar. Cassius is trying to convince Brutus to join too. Brutus, unable to sleep, tells himself that he fears Caesar will become a tyrant if crowned king. Cassius et al. come to Brutus and resolve to murder Caesar the next day (March 15). Metallus also convinces Caius Ligarius to join their cause. The men leave and Portia (Brutus' wife) begs Brutus to tell her what is happening, but he does not (though he does tell her before he leaves for the Senate). At Caesar's house, Calphurnia begs Caesar to stay home for fear of danger (based on a foreboding dream and the night's storm). Holy priests pluck the entrails of an animal and find no heart in it, another bad sign. Caesar declares he will stay home, to calm his wive's fears. Decius, though, convinces Caesar to come to the senate. On the way, the soothsayer Artemidorus tries to warn Caesar of impending death, to no avail. At the Senate, Trebonius leads Antony away from Caesar, then the conspirators murder Caesar. They cover themselves in his blood and go to the streets crying, "Peace, freedom, and liberty." Antony comes back and mourns Caesar's murder. Antony pretends to support the clan, yet yearns for great havoc to occur as a result of the death. Brutus explains to the crowd that they killed Caesar because he was too ambitious. Antony replies with reverse psychology to incite the commoners to riot in grief over Caesar's murder. Antony also reads them Caesar's (supposed) will, wherein he leaves money to all the citizens, plus his private gardens. In the ensuing riots, Cinna the poet is wrongly killed by a mob that believes him to be Cinna the conspirator. Antony forms a triumvirate with Octavius Caesar and Lepidus, to rule Rome. However, Brutus and Cassius are raising an army to defy them. Brutus learns that his wife Portia kills herself by swallowing hot coals. Messala tells Brutus that the triumvirate has killed 100 senators. Titinius, Messala, Brutus, and Cassius decide to confront Antony's army at Phillipi. At Brutus' tent, the ghost of Caesar comes and tells Brutus he will see him at Phillipi. The battle indeed ensues at Phillipi. Cassius confers to Messala that it is his birthday and that he fears defeat. In battle, Titinius is captured by Octavius. Cassius convinces Pindarus to help him commit suicide. Pindarus, in grief, flees after the deed is done. In a twist, Brutus overthrows Octavius and Cassius' army, defeating part of Antony's army. Titinius, in grief over Cassius' death, kills himself with Cassius's sword. The battle turns again, this time against Brutus' army. Cato is killed and Lucilius is captured, while pretending to be Brutus. Brutus successively asks Clitus, Dardanius, and Volumnius to help him commit suicide, yet all refuse. Brutus finally convinces Strato to hold the sword while he (Brutus) runs onto it and dies. Thus, Antony and Octavius prevail, while Cassius and Brutus both commit suicide, assumedly partly in grief over murdering Caesar. ~ This play is a story primarily about a conspiracy to murder Ceasar. The conspirators' plan has many flaws and they must struggle with the aftermath of what they have done. Brutus the "noblest roman" is the leader and the prime driver is Cassius who is both dangerous, ambitious, and manipulative, and turns Brutus away from Ceasar, for, who "Tis not that I don't like him, but for the general" kills Ceasar in the name of Rome. Brutus must fight the ghost of Ceasar for the rest of the play and Shakespeare makes it clear that although Brutus's action may have been justified and Ceasar may have become a tyrant, he is still the tragic hero of the play. Shakespeare also entertains humanic proportions for all characters, in this endeavour to not merely label characters bad guys-good guys but rather fully human and fragile to manipulation and flattery. He also uses contrasts between characters and relationships such as Cassius and Brutus, Octavius and Antony. Portia, Brutus, Calpurnia, and Ceasar also paint a picture of severe differences, strengths, and weaknesses. Cassius is always having to submit to Brutus's demands and leadership shortfalls, and Ceasar's complete self-absorption when dealing with Calpurnia. The play is extremely thick with magnificent speeches and supernaturalism and is a great read. I would recommend anyone to read the play even if you can't understand it, because it entertains an insight into the human manipulative world that Shakespeare wrote most of his plays in.--Submitted by tim clark. ~
As You Like It (a Later Festive Comedy) In this play, Duke Frederick (the younger duke) usurps his older brother, Duke Senior, and banishes him to the Forest of Arden. Frederick goes on to banish Duke Senior's daughter Rosalind. Frederick's daughter, Celia (Rosalind's cousin) flees her evil father with Rosalind and they head (along with Touchstone, the clown) to the Forest of Arden. Before leaving, though, Rosalind falls in love with Orlando and he with her after he beats Charles in a wrestling match. Orlando, the younger son of Sir Rowland, had rebelled at being kept a virtual prisoner by his older brother, Oliver. Duke Frederick and Oliver had hoped that Charles would kill or cripple Orlando in the match, but Orlando managed to throw and injure Charles. Soon after, Orlando flees his older brother, Oliver, after their servant Adam warns Orlando of Oliver's plans to kill him. Orlando and Adam also flee to the Forest of Arden. Duke Frederick, upon finding Celia, Rosalind, and Orlando missing, orders Oliver to find them, or face banishment himself. In the Forest, the cousins, disguised as Ganymede (a male) and Aliena, and the clown Touchstone purchase a shepherd's hut, a flock, and a pasture from two shepherds, Corin and Silvius. In another part of the forest, the banished Duke Senior discusses the philosophizing of his melancholy courier Jaques, who is even more mad and morose than usual due to the singing of another courtier, Amiens. When Duke Senior meets him, however, Jaques is now merry, having met the clever fool, Touchstone, in the forest. Meanwhile, Orlando has been desperately searching for food, and, with a drawn sword, he enters Duke Senior's banqueting place and demands food. However, Duke Senior greets Orlando with unexpected kindness and welcomes him and Adam to his camp. Orlando, knowing that Rosalind is somewhere in the forest, wanders through the forest hanging love verses to Rosalind upon the branches of trees. Rosalind finds the verses, and, pretending to be a male (Ganymede), she talks at length with Orlando about his true love, Rosalind. As Ganymede, she offers to pose as Rosalind and to allow Orlando to practice his wooing with her. Meanwhile, Touchstone is planning his own romance with Audrey (a sheepherder), though a commoner named William also seeks Audrey until Touchstone scares him off. "Ganymede" witnesses the love affair of Phebe and Silvius, two shepherds; Phebe treats Silvius coldly and "Ganymede" chides her for it, but Phebe instantly falls in love with "Ganymede", thinking Rosalind is a he. After "Ganymede" leaves, Phebe decides that she will write a love letter to "him" and have Silvius deliver it. Silvius delivers the letter, and Rosalind decides that she will remedy the situation and help Silvius get Phebe by eventually revealing that "Ganymede" is a she. The exiled Oliver finds "Ganymede" and tells "him" that, while sleeping in the forest, he was saved from the attack of a lioness by his brother Orlando. Orlando was wounded and asked Oliver to bring a bloody napkin as proof of the fight and as explanation for missing his appointment with "Ganymede". "Ganymede" faints, then pretends that she was faking, though Oliver comes to realize that "Ganymede" is really Rosalind. Orlando and Oliver are now reconciled, and Oliver tells his brother that he has fallen in love with "Aliena", the disguised Celia. They will be married the next day. Orlando returns to "Ganymede", still not knowing it is Rosalind because Oliver keeps her secret. He laments that he cannot marry his Rosalind tomorrow, but "Ganymede" promises to make it possible via magic. At the wedding, "Ganymede" reveals that "he" is actually Rosalind, causing Orlando to rejoice. Additionally, Phebe is forced to marry Silvius since she can no longer marry "Ganymede". Now, Hymen, the god of marriage, marries Orlando and Rosalind, Oliver and Celia, Silvius and Phebe, & Touchstone and Audrey. After the wedding, Jaques de Boys (a new Jaques), a long lost brother of Oliver and Orlando arrives with the news that Duke Frederick was converted to good by an old religious man, and has requested that all of the banished people return home and have their estates back. Lastly, Rosalind recites an epilogue, requesting the audience enjoy the play as much as they please, and not more. Note that this play included the famous line "All's the world's a stage", spoken by the Jaques (II,vii,140), in addition to the text for the song "Blow, Blow, Though Winter Wind" (II,vii,174).
The History of Henry the Fourth, Part Two (a History) This play, contrasting with 1 Henry IV, is a play concerning justice, sickness and betrayal. Lord Bardolph tells the Earl of Northumberland (Henry Percy) the rumor that Hotspur killed Hal in battle, but Morton reveals the truth of Hotspur's death to his father (Northumberland). Morton also reports that the Richard Scroop, the Archbishop of York is rebelling against Henry IV. Back in London, the Chief Justice talks to Falstaff about his crimes and comments that Henry IV has separated Falstaff from Henry V (Hal) by sending Falstaff with Prince John of Lancaster (the Duke of Bedford; Henry IV's son) to fight Scroop and Northumberland. At the battlefield, Lord Hastings and Scroop decide to fight Henry IV's men before Northumberland gets there, even though Lord Bardolph suggests waiting for reinforcements. Back again in London, Henry V returns from fighting the Welsh (in 1 Henry IV) and discusses with Ned Poins Henry IV's sickness and Falstaff's pompous letter to Hal. Hal and Poins pretend to be waiters for Falstaff's supper. Meanwhile, Northumberland's wife and his daughter-in-law (Hotspur's widow) successfully convince him not to fight in the ensuing battle, criticizing him for abandoning Hotspur in the Battle of Shrewsbury (even though he was sick). The ladies convince Northumberland to flee to Scotland and hide (far from battle). At Mistress Quickly's tavern, Falstaff meets Mistress Doll Tearsheet. Tearsheet argues with Pistol upon his arrival and Falstaff chases him out with a sword, wounding him in the shoulder, impressing Tearsheet. Soon after, Hal (disguised) catches Falstaff talking badly of Hal, then toys with Falstaff about it, but is stopped when they all have to leave for battle. Henry IV, sick, cannot sleep. The Earl of Warwick (with the Earl of Surrey and Sir Walter Blunt) assure Henry IV that Northumberland will be defeated, though Henry IV repeats Richard II's prediction that Northumberland, who helped Henry IV to the throne, would eventually revolt and win. On his way to battle, Sir John Falstaff arrives at Justice Shallow's home seeking old friends (commoners) to be soldiers. Falstaff conscripts Moldy, Shadow, Wart, Feeble, and Bullcalf, though Bullcalf and Moldy bribe Bardolph (Falstaff's friend) to not have to fight. At the battlefield, Scroop, Mowbray, and Hastings learn that Northumberland will not help them. The Earl of Westmoreland meets Scroop and receives a list of grievances to be given to Henry IV. Prince John responds personally and yields to Scroop's demands, granting protection to the rebelling nobles, who quickly tell their armies to disperse. Westmoreland and Prince John, though, then betray Hastings, Scroop, and Mowbray and arrests them for treason. Falstaff captures Sir John Coleville of the Dale (a rebel) without a fight. Prince John sends Coleville with the other rebel nobles to be executed. Falstaff, alone, complains that Prince John never smiles, blaming it on the fact that Prince John doesn't drink. Falstaff likes Hal, though, because Hal does drink. Back in London, Henry IV vows to go on a crusade to the Holy Land if the rebellion is suppressed. When it is, he is happy, though still sick because Henry V is still associating with criminals. Hal arrives while Henry IV is asleep, and takes his father's crown. Henry IV wakes, calling Hal back, and rebukes Hal for wishing him dead and taking the crown, though Hal claims he only though his father dead and wanted to protect the crown. Henry IV advises Henry V to wage foreign wars as king to occupy Britain's time and to increase Henry V's popularity, then Henry IV dies. Henry V becomes king and swears to be kind to all, even the Chief Justice who once jailed Henry V. Falstaff quickly returns to London, hoping to receive favors from the now king Henry V. However, in a coronation march, Henry V meets Falstaff and banishes him (quasi-betraying Falstaff) and his gang from approaching Henry V within 10 miles, after which Falstaff is arrested for his crimes.