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Project Hamlet

All the World's a Stage.

The Complete Works (Oxford Shakespeare) - William Shakespeare, John Jowett, Gary Taylor

The 1598 loss of their theater's lease should have been a major blow to the Lord Chamberlain's Men, one of Elizabethan England's premier acting troupes, who had gained even more popularity by teaming up with one Will Shakespeare, a Warwickshire glover's son come to London some six years earlier in pursuit of his Muse, leaving behind a wife and three children; daughter Susanna, born but seven months into his marriage, and twins Hamnet and Judith, who'd followed two years later. Yet, what to another company might have spelled "present death" only brought greater fame and fortune to the one boasting, in addition to Master Shakespeare's talents, those of Richard Burbage: not only a superb tragedian but also his troupe's financier and, together with brother Cuthbert, happily able to afford the construction of a new theater in Bankside, on the opposite side of the River Thames. Prophetically, the company named their new home "The Globe" and endowed it with a motto which, in approximate translation, audiences of one of the first plays produced there – "As You Like It" – would soon also hear pronounced from the stage, and which sums up the essence of the Bard's plays better than anything else: "Totus mundus agit histrionem" – roughly translated as "All the world's a stage."

 

Read more on my own website, ThemisAthena.info.

 

Preview also cross-posted on Leafmarks.

Source: http://www.themisathena.info/literature/shakespeare.html#Shakespeare-Oxford-CompleteWorks