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INEQUALITY During Shakespearean times, inequality was a major aspect in life. Several inequalities and social problems were present in England during this time. In the Shakespearean play, The Merchant of Venice, William Shakespeare identifies many problems that existed during his time. A major problem that Shakespeare focused on was discrimination through religion. Also racism was a big issue. Shakespeare provides many examples of this type of discrimination. There are many examples of religious discrimination throughout this play. The first encounter is when Shylock states, "I hate him for he is a Christian" (1.3.42). This shows how Shylock does not like people who are Christian and that he condemns them for this reason. We can also infer from this that Shylock is not Christian. The second encounter of racial discrimination is when Shylock states, "To eat of the habitation of which your prophet the Nazarite conjured the devil into! I will not eat with you, drink with you, nor pray with you" (1.3.33-37). This quote shows how Shylock did not like Bassanio because of his religious preference. In addition to religious discrimination, the concept of mercy also plays an important role in the Shakespearean play. Portia addresses an important issue in her speech on the theme of mercy. There are many examples in Portia's speech that indirectly define the concept of mercy. The first example is when Portia states, "It is enthroned in the hearts of kings, it is an attribute to God himself" (4.1.198-199). This quote emphasizes the power of mercy in that it is a vital characteristic of kings. Also, by stating that God attains the quality of mercy, Portia stresses the power of mercy. This quote makes one think that by possessing mercy, they are powerful and all-mighty. The next example that elaborates on the concept of mercy is when Portia...
pages: 2 (words: 502)
comments: 1
added: 12/03/2011
The Globe Theatre of 1599 "Things done well and with a care, exempt themselves from fear" The Globe Theatre in London was where most of William Shakespeare's plays were first presented. It was built in 1599 by two brothers, Richard and Cuthbert Burbage, who owned its predecessor 'The Theatre' at Shoreditch in north London. Before 1599 the Lord Chamberlain's Men performed in public primarily at The Theatre, which had been leased by James Burbage, father of Richard. In the winter of 1598 the lease on this theatre was due to expire because of an increase in rent to a level which the Globe's company could no longer afford. The landlord was Giles Allen, a puritan, and disapproved of theatrical entertainment. The Chamberlain's Men were forced to move to The Curtain, another public playing house near The Theatre. In the meantime the Theatre stood empty. (At this time, while considering alternative playing houses, Burbage purchased the Blackfriars for £600, within the city but under the control of the crown, and not city officials who were almost definitely anti-players. The local residents protested however, so it would be years before the players were allowed to use the Blackfriars as a playhouse.) Negotiations to move back in to The Theatre were at an impasse, the landlord being exceedingly avaricious. In the meantime James Burbage died, leaving the struggle to his two sons. Allen's intentions was to demolish the Theatre and to "...convert the wood and timber thereof to some better use..." (S Schoenbaum: 'William Shakespeare A Documentary Life', Oxford, 1975). However, the company owned the wood from which the theatre was built. In the winter after the rent increase, members dismantled the building piece by piece, shipped it across the Thames to Southwark on the south bank and reassembled it there. Allen was powerless to do anything,...
pages: 4 (words: 1069)
comments: 1
added: 12/01/2011
Surviving documents give us a glimpse into the life of William Shakespeare show us a playwright, poet, and actor who grew up in the market town of Stratford, spent his professional life in London, and returned to Stratford a wealthy landowner. He was born April 1564, died in April 1616, and is buried inside the Chancel of Holy Trinity Church in Stratford. England's greatest poet and playwright was born in Stratford, the son of a tradesman and alderman of Stratford, John Shakespeare, in 1564. William, the eldest son, and third child (of eight) was baptized on the 26th of April in 1564 and probably educated at Stratford Grammar School, but little is known of his life up to his eighteenth year. Although, in 1575 when he was eleven, there was a great plague in the country and Queen Elizabeth journeyed out of London to avoid its consequences and stayed for several days at Kenilworth Castle near Stratford enjoying "festivities" arranged by her host Lord Leicester. Many feel these events may have had a strong impact on the mind of young William. At the age of eighteen, he married Anne Hathaway, eight years his senior. Five years later he left for London. William worked at the Globe Theatre and appeared in many small parts. He first appeared in public as a poet in 1593 with his Venus and Adonis and the following year with The Rape of Lucrece. He became joint proprietor of The Globe and also had an interest in the Black friars Theatre. He began writing his plays in 1595 and of the 38 plays that comprise the Shakespeare Cannon, 36 were published in the 1st Folio of 1623, of which 18 had been published in his lifetime. Love's Labor's Lost and The Comedy of Errors appear to be among the...
pages: 3 (words: 585)
comments: 1
added: 12/03/2011
William Shakespeare, surely the world's most performed and admired playwright, son of a merchant, was born in April, 1564 in Stratford-upon-Avon, Warwickshire, about 100 miles northwest of London. He married at the age of 18 and had three children. Outstanding all other dramatists, he is no doubt a supreme genius whom it is impossible to characterize briefly. Although people have been studying the man and his works for a long time, the man¡¦s life story remains elusive. Where did all his afflatus come from? Some people think there must have been a secrete lover. However, nothing has been found to prove it¡¦s true. Some others even doubt the existence of such a man. Acknowledged as master in the History of British Literature, Shakespeare and his works are still popular in the modern world. Such as Romeo and Juliet, Hamlet, King Lear, Macbeth, The Merchant of Venice, A Midsummer Night¡¦s Dream and so on. The early comedies share the popular and romantic forms used by the university wits but overlay them with elements of elegant courtly revel and a sophisticated consciousness of comedy's fragility and artifice. These are festive comedies, giving access to a society vigorously and imaginatively at play. The confusions and contradictions of Shakespeare's age find their highest expression in his tragedies. In these extraordinary achievements, all values, hierarchies, and forms are tested and found wanting, and all society's latent conflicts are activated. Shakespeare sets husband against wife, father against child, the individual against society; he uncrowns kings, levels the nobleman with the beggar, and interrogates the gods. In his last period, Shakespeare's astonishingly fertile invention returned to experimentation. Shakespeare's imagination returns to the popular romances of his youth and dwells on mythical themes--wanderings, shipwrecks, the reunion of sundered families, and the resurrection of people long thought dead. There is consolation here, of...
pages: 2 (words: 458)
comments: 0
added: 12/26/2011
Shylock is portrayed as the ruthless, greedy villain of the Shakespeare's The Merchant of Venice. Shakespeare makes him the scapegoat and the object of ridicule throughout the play. This both, establishes the barrier between Shylock and the other characters. In the Merchant of Venice the antagonist of the play is Shylock. Shylock is a wealthy Jewish moneylender. He is probably the most memorable character in the play because of Shakespeare's excellent characterisation of him. Shylock is the antagonist in the play because he stands in the way of love, but this does not necessarily make him the villain of the play. Shylock can be seen as both the villain of the play and as a man who is very human. The villain that we see in Shylock is the greedy moneylender. Shylock charges high interest rates and when he is not repaid he insists on revenge. In the play Shylock loans Antonio money, and out of jest he suggests that should the loan not be repaid in time Shylock may cut off one pound of flesh from Antonio's body. Soon after Shylock's daughter runs away from home with Lorenzo, a Christian, and takes her father's ducats with her. When Antonio's ships do not come in and he is not able to repay the loan Shylock is no longer interested in getting his money back. Shylock wants revenge for the loss of his daughter through the fulfilment of the bond. In court Shylock is defeated because of his selfishness. Shakespeare also shows the human qualities of Shylock throughout the play. Shakespeare brings out these human qualities by causing us to feel sympathy for him. For example, the loss of Jessica to another Christian. After this loss of his daughter Shylock ran through the streets crying "My daughter! O my ducats! O my daughter!"...
pages: 2 (words: 416)
comments: 2
added: 11/22/2011
Rosalind - Rosalind dominates As You Like It. So fully realized is she in the complexity of her emotions, the subtlety of her thought, and the fullness of her character that no one else in the play matches up to her. Orlando is handsome, strong, and a bad but affectionate poet, yet still we feel that Rosalind settles for someone slightly less magnificent when she chooses him as her mate. Similarly, the observations of Touchstone and Jaques, who might shine more brightly in another play, seem rather dull whenever Rosalind takes the stage. The endless appeal of watching Rosalind has much to do with her success as a knowledgeable and charming critic of herself and others. But unlike Jaques, who refuses to participate wholly in life but has much to say about the foolishness of those who surround him, Rosalind gives herself over fully to circumstance. She chastises Silvius for his irrational devotion to Phoebe, and she challenges Orlando's thoughtless equation of Rosalind with a Platonic ideal, but still she comes undone by her lover's inconsequential tardiness and faints at the sight of his blood. That Rosalind can play both sides of any field makes her identifiable to nearly everyone, and so, irresistible. Rosalind is a particular favorite among feminist critics, who admire her ability to subvert the limitations that society imposes on her as a woman. With boldness and imagination, she disguises herself as a young man for the majority of the play in order to woo the man she loves and instruct him in how to be a more accomplished, attentive lover—a tutorship that would not be welcome from her as a woman. There is endless comic appeal in Rosalind's lampooning of the conventions of both male and female behavior, but an Elizabethan audience might have felt a certain amount...
pages: 12 (words: 3220)
comments: 1
added: 11/01/2011
16 December 2002 Authorship Controversy It's still one of the most thought about topics of today's world and its been 200 years so tell me something is William Shakespeare the real author of his works? There is much controversy that William Shakespeare was the real author vs. William Shakespeare was not truly the writer of such great works. Most academics agree that William Shakespeare wrote Shakespeare. Evidence for this comes from the Parish records that back up his birth in 1564, and records of his life in London in the 1600s, his name as a part shareholder of the Globe, his marriage certificate, his application to change his family's coat of arms, and his death record in 1616. In the 1623 book First Folio consisted of 36 plays by William Shakespeare recording and publishing them for the first time. In the First Folio John Hemminges and Henry Condell state: "His mind and hand went together and what he thought, he uttered with that easiness that we have scarce received from him a blot in his papers." This gives a good example on how Shakespeare was viewed by two gentleman who had a strong belief in him. "Only about a third of all the plays printed in the 1590s named the author on the title page, and a significant portion of these were the Shakespeare quartos late in the decade.( Pressley, J.M, Shakespeare Resource Center: http://www.bardweb.net/man.html ) . Joseph Hart clearly states: "The authorship of the plays is no otherwise material to us, than the matter of curiosity, and to the enable us to render exact justice; but they should be assigned to Shakespeare alone, if at all ."(Hart, Joseph. Authorship Controversy: http://www.geocites.com.litpageplus/shakmoul-auth.html). This refers back to Shakespeare's plays and its saying who are we to judge him on things that no one knew it...
pages: 3 (words: 706)
comments: 0
added: 12/23/2011
The captivating effect of the mysterious and the strange upon the human imagination is a quality that has been exploited by storytellers since the advent of storytelling itself. As such, master dramatist William Shakespeare, in the stories he brought to life upon the stage, has crafted entire worlds, and many famous characters therein, around this enticing notion of "otherness". Thus, theatre patrons who had never been to Venice, and in all likelihood would never get the chance, could be transported there for the mere cost of admission, and characters of strange appearance and custom could be seen and wondered at without risk of actual confrontation. Of course Shakespeare did not employ this "foreign" aesthetic only as a mere gimmick to sell tickets, but rather, Shakespeare's genius utilized the public's fascination with the "other" as a means of communicating something much more three-dimensional. This becomes evident when looking at Shakespeare's Othello, and The Merchant of Venice, both of which elaborate on the theme of the outsider through the characterization and actions of Othello and Shylock respectively. These figures of "otherness" are similar in that both find themselves trapped within the perceptions of the dominant society they are in (in both cases this is Venice), and are motivated through the actions of the plays, and ultimately led to their individual downfalls, by the roles of "the outsider" placed upon them. However, through their contrasting portrayals of "otherness", Shakespeare demonstrates a kind of basic duality in how outsiders are perceived, and both Othello and Shylock serve to represent the two distinct sides of this coin. On the one half, Othello the Moor is seen as romantic and exotic, and his strangeness is therefore attractive to most of the Venetians in the play; Shylock the Jew, on the other hand, is imbued with a sense...
pages: 11 (words: 2844)
comments: 0
added: 12/18/2011
While there are many fundamental themes in The Merchant of Venice, only one seems to drive the play to its inevitable conclusion. There is a constant theme of self interest versus love. On the surface, this seems to be the dividing factor between the Christians and the Jew, as Shylock is supposed to only care about money, profits, and such, while the rest of the cast value human relationships more. Men such as Antonio and Bassiano lend money without interest or even thought at times, and end up taking far more risks for those they care about. "He lends out money gratis, and brings down. The rate of usance here with us in Venice."(1.3.45) Shylock complains to the audience in an aside. Antonio agrees to Shylock's nasty terms simply because he loves Bassiano that much. Further on in the play, Shylock reportedly runs through the streets crying "'My daughter! O my ducats!" (2.8.15). Through this statement he seems to value his money at least as much as his daughter and this suggests that his love balanced with his greed. But as in several of Shakespeare's plays, everything is not always as it seems. In act three scene one, Shylock laments the loss of a ring, given to him by his deceased wife, which his daughter had stolen and sold for a mere monkey. He doesn't miss the value of the ring but it's sentimental value, vowing "I would not have given it for a wilderness of monkeys." (3.1.100) Too, his stubbornness in only accepting a pound of flesh in payment of Antonio's debt, even when offered "thrice thy money", shows that not everything can be measured in ducats to him. His supposed Christian betters are not any more consistant. Bassiano first seeks to marry Portia, not for love or her beauty, but because her...
pages: 3 (words: 595)
comments: 1
added: 10/05/2011
At the age of three, Maya and her brother Bailey, who is four, are shipped off to live with their paternal grandmother, Momma Henderson, in Stamps, Arkansas, for their parents are getting a divorce. Momma Henderson lives with Uncle Willie in the rear of the Wm. Johnson General Merchandise Store, an establishment which serves cotton pickers and sawmen. The store serves as the center of activity in the town. Maya and Bailey are expected to work in the store. They must get up at dawn to wait on customers who stop on their way to work. Many of the customers will return to the store in the evening after their work is done. For Maya and Bailey, the store is their whole life. It is also their teacher, for they learn some valuable lessons from their encounters and interactions with different people.Two years later Maya and Bailey are studying at the Lafayette County Training School and work hard on their studies. They are also made to behave at home, being disciplined by Uncle Willie, who usually sits "like a giant black Z." Willie's face is always pulled down on one side from paralysis that has affected him since the age of three. One day Maya observes Uncle Willie in the presence of two schoolteachers from Little Rock who do not know him; she realizes he is pretending not to be crippled. When Willie notices Maya, he sends her outside to play. She realizes that Uncle Willie may be tired of his disabled life. Maya has developed a love of literature, having discovered Shakespeare, Kipling, Poe, Butler, Langston Hughes, W.E.B. du Bois, and other writers. She and Bailey decide to memorize a passage from The Merchant of Venice but change their minds because Momma will know that Shakespeare is white. Instead, they choose to learn The Creation by James Weldon JohnsonMaya's days are full. She and Bailey must feed corn to the chickens and mash to the hogs. Maya must...
pages: 12 (words: 3074)
comments: 1
added: 11/26/2011
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