Literature had been my passion since childhood. Books had always been a part of me. My parents ensured I am fully stocked with different kinds of books to keep me engaged. I was introduced to William Shakespeare, the notable English writer during my school days. I still treasure his books and stories in my heart and feel like reading them over and over again. And believe me, I had done it. The unique part is I understand Shakespearean English (not the translated version but the original script written by him). Now when my son has the tales of Shakespeare in his curriculum, I was quite inspired to write about the 9 phenomenal books of William Shakespeare. These are my best picks and my favourites and more importantly, 23rd April is the birth and death day of the maestro.
Romeo and Juliet
“Romeo and Juliet” is one of the sensuous books of William Shakespeare. Describing the tale of two lovers vehemently in a romantic relationship with each other. But sadly their love life did not turn out into a happy ending due to a raging conflict between their families. The probable time duration the novel was written is between 1591 and 1595. The dramatic narration by Shakespeare is truly magical, describing the feelings of two lovers and how they met each other hiding from their families. Many theatrical plays and a film had been enacted on Romeo and Juliet. I still recollect the balcony scene where both meet with each other.
One of the incredible books of William Shakespeare. It was part of my 10th standard curriculum too. I knew all the verses by heart, such is the wonderful description and the narration by the great writer. Though the name mentions Caesar, the tale focused on Brutus in its entirety. Brutus was a Roman senator. But eventually unable to accept the tyranny of Caesar, joins in a conspiracy plot to assassinate him. Although he succeeds, yet the revenge of Caesar’s death was taken up by Anthony. Anthony was another senator and an ally of Caesar. He successfully creates hostility against the traitors, rages a war that forced Brutus to a suicide. The drama was first enacted in public in 1599.
Macbeth is a tragic story and one of the most popular books of William Shakespeare. Psychologically influenced by witches that Macbeth can be the King of Scotland, he commits a heinous crime. He was even prompted by his wife to murder Duncan, the reigning King of Scotland to snatch away the throne. But then he was totally obsessed with the crime committed and tangled by guilt. The spree of murders continues, transforming Macbeth into a tyranny. In the end, he and his wife were engulfed in wars and eventually death.
Hamlet was the Prince of Denmark, another tragic story written by Shakespeare between the years 1599 and 1601. It is one of the astounding books of William Shakespeare. A ghost of Hamlet’s father (who was the King of Denmark) urges him to avenge his murder by killing the then King, Hamlet’s uncle. Madness grips Hamlet as he tries to decide between death and life. The end is tragic where a duel infuriates, killing the King, Queen, Hamlet and those against him.
The Merchant of Venice
It is a story about Antonio, a merchant of Venice. It is one of the intriguing books of William Shakespeare, written probably between the years 1596 and 1599. Antonio borrows a huge amount of money from a Jew named Shylock. He needed the money to help one of his friends to engage in a courtship with a lady named Portia. But he fails to repay the loan and in exchange Shylock demands a pound of flesh from him. Portia mimics herself as a lawyer and saves Antonio.
Othello is one of the well-known books of William Shakespeare, enacted numerous times in plays and films. Written in 1603, the plot involves Othello, Lago and Desdemona. Othello was a Moorish general in Venice, married to Desdemona. Desdemona was much younger than him and was extremely beautiful and attractive. Lago was a subordinate of Othello and had a grudge against him. He plots a vengeance and eventually tunes Othello to kill his wife in a mood of violent rage.
The story is about King Lear, who decides to divide his kingdom between his three daughters due to his old age. He plans for a test wherein he asks them how much they love their father. The eldest two provided their explanations whereas the younger and his favourite daughter could not explain in words her love for her father. Lear is infuriated and abandons her. But then he realized his mistake once his two elder daughters betray him. The play was first performed in 1606.
As You Like It
One of the best comedy books of William Shakespeare. The story revolves around Rosalind and her attempt to unite with her love Orlando. Disguised as a boy, she escapes into a forest with her cousin. She finds Orlando and enters into a romantic relationship with him. They eventually get married at the end. The play was written in 1599 and is comprised of love, forgiveness, songs and music.
Anthony and Cleopatra
The plot is about Mark Anthony, the general of Julius Caesar and his love for Cleopatra, the Queen of Egypt. Cleopatra was the mother of Julius Caesar’s illegitimate son. Rumours of a romance between Anthony and Cleopatra heightened the differences between Anthony and Octavius. Anthony had to reunite with Octavius for the sake of the goodwill of Rome. He is forced to marry Octavius’s sister that enrages Cleopatra. She sends out false information about her suicide to Anthony, who decides to kill himself in her arms. Cleopatra commits suicide after being humiliated in the war.
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