This book is a special collection of twenty best romantic novels which have achieved high success in our world. This collection saves you time and money you could have spent searching for each best romance novel separately. Here they are: A Midsummer Night's Dream by William Shakespeare A Room with a View by Edward Morgan Forster A Tale of Two Cities by Charles Dickens Anna Karenina by Leo Tolstoy Cleopatra by Henry Rider Haggard Emma by Jane Austen First Love by Ivan Sergeyevich Turgenev Gone with the Wind by Margaret Mitchell Great Expectations by Charles Dickens Jane Eyre by Charlotte Bronte Madame Bovary by Gustave Flaubert Pride and Prejudice by Jane Austen Romeo and Juliet by William Shakespeare Sense and Sensibility by Jane Austen Tess of the d'Ubervilles by Thomas Hardy The Great Gatsby by Francis Scott Fitzgerald The Hunchback of Notre Dame by Victor Hugo The Virgin and the Gipsy by David Herbert Lawrence Women in love by David Herbert Lawrence Wuthering Heights by Emily Bronte A well-formatted, easy-to-read book, suitable for any e-reader, tablet or computer. The reader will go from one novel to another one, one chapter to another one as quick as possible. Each novel is preceded by its author's detailed biography and a summary.
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.
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.
First performed between the years 1600-01, first printed in 1603. Throughout Shakespeare's plays, the maintenance of identity is a very common conflict, as it was shown in Macbeth and now in Hamlet. In this play Shakespeare has portrayed young Hamlet to convey the two sides to him; one side shows his insane behaviour towards his family, the other side determines his thoughts of either doing right or wrong according to what he has seen. The play trembles with conflicts: one being identity, which shows all the characters in different disputes of their own. We also see the problems of lack of self-confidence, misjudgement, and betrayal.--Submitted by imran. ~ First performance at the end of 15th century, ~ timeline, death of Elizabeth I and accession of James VI and I. First printing 1603. One of the more accessible Renaissance/early modern period texts. One constant theme of the English renaissance is the development of personal character and fame. Hamlet is portrayed as being uncertain as to whether he is the prince of the title, or student. Throughout the play Hamlet is presented with choices, of belief, of action, of love, of justice and of conscience. The play is famous for its soliloquies, where Hamlet presents the audience privately with his perceived choices. The results of his limited choices culminate in the tragedy of Hamlet, Prince of Denmark.--Submitted by Anonymous ~
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.
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.
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...
The Rape of Lucrece (1594) is a narrative poem by William Shakespeare about the legendary Roman noblewoman Lucretia. In his previous narrative poem, Venus and Adonis (1593), Shakespeare had included a dedicatory letter to his patron, the Earl of Southampton, in which he promised to compose a "graver labour". Accordingly, The Rape of Lucrece has a serious tone throughout. The poem begins with a prose dedication addressed directly to the Earl of Southampton, which begins, "The love I dedicate to your Lordship is without end." It refers to the poem as a pamphlet, which describes the form of its original publication of 1594. The dedication is followed by "The Argument", a prose paragraph that summarizes the historical context of the poem, which begins in medias res. The poem contains 1,855 lines, divided into 265 stanzas of seven lines each. The meter of each line is iambic pentameter. The rhyme scheme for each stanza is ABABBCC, a format known as "rhyme royal", which has been used by Geoffrey Chaucer, John Milton and John Masefield. William Shakespeare (26 April 1564 – 23 April 1616) was an English playwright, poet, 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, three 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 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 Tragedy of Othello, the Moor of Venice In a street in Venice, the villain Iago complains to Roderigo that Othello the Moor chose Cassio to be his lieutenant, rather than Iago. Iago vows to stay loyal to Othello only as long as it works to his advantage. They then inform Barbantio that his daughter Desdemona is sleeping with Othello. Barbantio hesitates to believe them, since Roderigo has been an unwelcome suitor to his daughter, but he soon finds she is missing. At Othello's house, Cassio and other officers arrive summoning Othello to the Duke of Venice on urgent matters. Barbantio then arrives and orders Othello arrested, until he learns of the Dukes summons. At the Duke's chambers, Barbantio accuses Othello of using spells and potions to win Desdemona. He, however, proves this is not so, and Barbantio reluctantly blesses their marriage. We then learn that the Turkish fleet (the Ottomites) is sailing toward Cypress. The Duke asks Othello to go defend it, and Desdemona asks to come with. Othello asks Iago to take care of Desdemona and follow him to Cyprus. Roderigo laments to Iago that he has lost Desdemona since Othello has married her. Iago convinces Roderigo to make money by selling his lands and fighting in wars. Over time, Iago feels Othello will tire of Desdemona and she will again become available. Iago, for his own part, reveals to the audience that he is only using Roderigo for his money. He also begins to plot his revenge against Othello for choosing Cassio. At Cyprus, the governor Montano reports that a tempest has droned the Turkish fleet, effectively eliminating their threat. Next, Cassio arrives, then Iago, his wife Emilia, and Desdemona, and lastly, Othello. In private, Iago tells Roderigo he believes Desdemona is in love with Cassio, based on their flirting before Othello arrived. He convinces Roderigo to pick a fight with Cassio to get Cassio in trouble with the local authorities. Alone, Iago reveals his plans to make Othello jealous of Cassio and/or Roderigo for courting Desdemona. That evening, after supper, Othello and Desdemona head to bed, while Iago arrives with wine, hoping to get Cassio drunk. He does, then Roderigo eggs him on, and a fight ensues, pulling Montano into the melee. Othello breaks it up, and after Iago explains (pretending not to know Roderigo), Othello tells Cassio he is no longer his lieutenant. Privately, Iago convinces Cassio to entreat Desdemona to ask Othello to reinstate him. Alone, Iago reveals that he'll use their private meetings to convince Othello that Desdemona is disloyal. At the Citadel (Othello's lodging), Cassio entreats Desdemona to help him. When Iago and Othello appear in the distance, Cassio leaves. Desdemona relays Cassio's penance, then leaves herself. Iago begins dropping hints of his "suspicions" about Cassio and Desdemona to Othello, to which Othello probes Iago for his thoughts, and Iago pretends to reluctantly reveal them. Thus, Iago plants the seed that Desdemona is being disloyal to Othello. All throughout, Othello keeps stating how he genuinely believes Iago is of "exceeding honesty". Iago leaves and Desdemona appears calling Othello to dinner. He, already becoming (wrongly) suspicious, is rude to her when she tries to cure his "headache" with her handkerchief, given to her by Othello as his first gift to her. They leave, and Emilia appears and picks up the handkerchief, remembering that her husband Iago has asked her to steal it repeatedly before. Iago appears and takes it from her; then privately states that he'll plant it at Cassio's room to fuel Othello's suspicions. Othello reappears, and reveals to Iago how greatly depressed he has become. Othello yells at Iago and demands proof of the suspicions which Iago has planted in his head. Iago then claims he has heard Cassio talk of his love for Desdemona in his sleep. Iago also claims he's seen Cassio wipe his beard with Desdemona's handkerchief. This being the final straw, Othello names Iago his lieutenant and orders Iago to kill Cassio within the next three days. As for Desdemona, Othello wishes her dead too. In her room, Desdemona and Emilia look for the lost handkerchief. Othello appears and claims to have a cold and asks to see it. Desdemona says she doesn't have it, but promises it is not lost. Othello, enraged, leaves. Cassio again appears and entreats Desdemona to talk to Othello. She tells him she has tried, but Othello has become irritable. Cassio's mistress Bianca appears and he asks her to copy the handkerchief he found in his room (Desdemona's), since he likes it, but fears someone will ask for it soon. At his chamber, Iago eggs Othello on more as Othello slowly goes crazy, since Iago tells him Cassio admitted sleeping with Desdemona. Iago rejoices as Othello goes into a seizure/trance. Iago convinces Othello to hide while he questions Cassio about Desdemona. In reality, Iago plans to speak to Cassio about Bianca, eliciting laughter and smiles. Othello sees this and thinks they are talking about escapes with Desdemona. Bianca then appears, enraged, and throws the handkerchief at Cassio, accusing him of getting it from another lady. This, too, Othello sees. After Cassio and Bianca leave, Iago comes to Othello and convinces him to strangle Desdemona in bed that night, while Iago promises to take care of Cassio. The noble Lodovico from Venice arrives at Cyprus and gives Othello a letter. Already angered, the letter enrages Othello as it orders him home to Venice and Cassio to remain in Cyprus, taking over Othello's command. Desdemona tries to calm him and he strikes her, shocking Lodovico. Iago tells him Othello has changed, but will not reveal more. At the citadel, Othello questions Emilia about Desdemona's honesty; she swears Desdemona is honest, though Othello summons Desdemona and accuses her of being disloyal and a shore, all while himself weeping. When Othello leaves, Desdemona summons Iago and Emilia to comfort her. Emilia tells Iago she belies an evil villain hath put the thoughts into Othello's head. Ironically, Iago replies "it is impossible". Separately, Roderigo comes to Iago complaining that he has given Iago all his jewels to give to Desdemona, and has seen no positive results from her. Iago calms him down and explains that Othello and Desdemona are leaving, by order of Venice, and Cassio will take over in Cyprus. However, Iago says, if Cassio were to die, Othello would have to stay in Venice, and Roderigo would be able to have Desdemona. Iago tells Roderigo to wait outside Bianca's house after midnight, then kill Cassio when he leaves. Iago promises to help, if necessary. At supper, Lodovico and Othello go on a walk, and Othello orders Desdemona to wait, alone, in her bedroom for him. At night, in a street, Iago sets Roderigo up to kill Cassio. Iago thinks to himself that both must die, or his plotting will be revealed. Cassio appears and Roderigo attacks him, cutting off one of Cassio's legs, during which Cassio wounds Roderigo. Othello overhears Roderigo's cries for help and thinks Cassio is dead; he thus returns to Desdemona. Meanwhile, Iago, who had left, reappears to "investigate" the noise. Lodovico and Gratiano also come. Iago finds Cassio, who's still alive. Alone, he finds Roderigo and stabs him, assuring his death. Iago then "discovers" Roderigo and calls the others. Bianca appears and Iago accuses her of being in cohorts with Roderigo. He calls her a strumpet and takes her into custody. Othello then arrives back at Desdemona's chamber, ready to kill her, even though he still finds her beautiful. Despite her pleadings, he smothers her with a pillow, though she doesn't completely die. Emilia appears and tells Othello that Roderigo is dead, but Cassio is alive. She then hears Desdemona cry for help and tries to help her, but she dies. Emilia asks Othello why he killed her and he says Iago told him she had slept with Cassio. Montano, Gratiano, and Iago appear and Emilia accuses Iago of being a liar. He admits he told Othello Desdemona was sleeping with Cassio. Gratiano tells us Desdemona's father has died over the grief of losing her. Othello explains that Cassio had Desdemona's handkerchief, given to him by her, but Emilia laments that she found it and gave it to Iago. At this, Iago tries to kill Emilia, but Gratiano and Montano hold him back. Othello, in a rage, comes at Iago, but he escapes and kills his wife (Emilia), then flees. Montano and Gratiano take Othello's sword, then chase Iago. Othello finds another weapon, then Lodovico, Cassio, Montano, and Iago (captured) reappear. This time Othello wounds Iago, but is disarmed. All is revealed as letters explaining Iago's deeds were found on Roderigo, and he, when near death, professed that Iago had put him up to attacking Cassio. In a closing speech, Othello pulls a hidden dagger and kills himself. Fittingly, Lodovico leaves Iago for Cassio to sentence and torture.
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
The Comedy of Errors (an Early Comedy) - the shortest Shakespeare play by number of lines (1777) This play involves the separation, then reunion, of Egeon and Emelia (husband and wife); their twin sons, Antipholus of Ephesus (A.E.) and Antipholus of Syracuse (A.S.); and their twin servants, Dromio of Ephesus (D.E.) and Dromio of Syracuse (D.S.). The family is separated at sea during a storm, 33 years before the present. Egeon, A.S., and D.S. survive together and grow up in Syracuse. Seven years before the present, they decide to search, separately, for their lost family. Emelia survives with A.E. and D.E., only to have a "rude" fisherman steal the boys from her. In sorrow, she becomes a nun in the town of Ephesus. By fate, A.E. and D.E. move to Ephesus too, though they don't know of their mother Emelia. A.E. marries Adriana, and she has a sister living with them, Luciana. Egeon comes to the city looking for his son (A.E.) and his servant (D.E.), only to be sentenced to death for entering enemy territory. Soon after, Egeon's other son, A.S., and servant, D.S., enter the city on business. The sons and the servants (both identical twins), are easily confused by the citizens of Ephesus: Angelo the goldsmith, a female Courtesan, various merchants, and Nell, Adriana's cook and fiancee to D.E. The citizens think Antipholus and Dromio have gone mad, since they get very angry and can move from place to place like magic. Doctor Pinch, a psychiatrist, even tries to get the devil out of A.E.'s body. At the hour of Egeon's execution, Egeon recognizes his son A.E., though A.E. doesn't recognize Egeon. Simultaneously, Emelia appears from the convent with A.S. and D.S., who have taken refuge there, and the family reunites. The Duke (Solinus) pardons Egeon for entering the city, A.S. begins to court Luciana for marriage, and Emelia holds a feast to rejoice the family's reunion.
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
A Midsummer Night's Dream (an Early Festive Comedy) Theseus (the Duke of Athens) announces he will marry Hippolyta, the queen of the Amazons in four days. He hears Egeus' complaint that his daughter Hermia refuses to marry his chosen suitor, Demetrius, since she's in love with Lysander, who Egeus dislikes. Theseus declares Hermia must marry Demetrius, or choose between death or joining a nunnery. Lysander instructs Hermia to flee to the forest with him, so that they can travel to his aunt's house to marry. Hermia's friend, Helena, learns of this and decides to inform Demetrius, whom she likes (and has slept with). Demetrius, though, loves Hermia. Helena hopes they will all meet in the forest. Meanwhile, Quince, Bottom, Flute, Starveling, Snug, and Snout organize a play to be performed at Theseus' wedding. In the forest, Oberon (the King of the Fairies) argues with Titania (the Fairy Queen) that he should have her orphan child as his page. Titania objects, asserting she is queen. The bicker that Oberon loves Hippolyta and Titania loves Theseus. To obtain the boy, Oberon orders the fairy Puck (aka Robin Goodfellow) to obtain a flower from Cupid that causes on to love the first person a person sees. Oberon plans to give it to Titania, so she'll love a vile thing and give him the child. Demetrius and Helena appear, Helena pursuing him, and he fleeing her. Puck arrives with the flower, and Oberon orders Puck to anoint Demetrius with it so he'll love Helena rather than Hermia. Oberon then anoints Titania with the flower. In the forest, Lysander and Hermia lie down to rest. Puck, thinking Lysander is Demetrius, anoints him with the flower. Helena appears and awakes Lysander, who immediately falls in love with her. In the forest, the troupe of players discuss the logistics of their play. Puck appears and transforms Bottom to have an ass' (donkey's) head. The actors flee, but Titania awakes and falls in love with Bottom and orders her fairy servants to attend to him. Puck observes that Demetrius chases Hermia, yet she accuses him of murdering Lysander, and realizes he gave the flower to the wrong man. Oberon tries to remedy this by anointing Lysander with the flower so he'll fall in love with Helena, and he does. However, now both men love Helena, while she believes both are false. Hermia arrives and Helena accuses her of conspiring with the men to tease her. Oberon, realizing Puck has caused these problems, orders him to make a thick fog to separate the four people and force them into a deep sleep, so the spell can wear off. Oberon awakes Titania and transforms Bottom back to a human. Oberon and Titania then make up and love each other again. In the woods, Theseus, Hippolyta, and Egeus appear and awake the four. Demetrius and Lysander inform the men of their love for Helena and Hermia (respectively). The lords agree to let them marry. Separately, Bottom awakes and remember's the night's occurrences. At dinner, they all hear Quince's ten word, tedious, brief, tragical play. In it, Thisby (played by Flute) and Pyramus (played by Bottom) whisper their love through a chink in a wall (played by Snout). They vow to meet at Ninny's tomb, but a lion (played by Snug) attacks Thisby. Pyramus arrives and finds her scarf, assumes she's dead, and kills himself Thisby arrives to find him dead, and kills herself. After the play, at midnight, all go to bed, then the fairies appear and frolic.
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. ~
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