Obrázky na stránke

All these are transition-works, Uebergangswerke ; not his, yet of him.

Second Epoch.
All's Well That Ends Well;-but afterwards

worked up afresh, (umgearbeitet) especially

The Two Gentlemen of Verona ; a sketch.
Romeo and Juliet; first draft of it.

Third Epoch rises into the full, although youthful, Shakspeare ; it was the negative period of his perfection.

Love's Labour's Lost.
Twelfth Night.
As You Like It.
Midsummer Night's Dream.
Richard II.
Henry IV. and V.
Henry VIII.; Gelegenheitsgerlicht.
Romeo and Juliet, as at present.
Merchant of Venice.

Fourth Epoch.
Much Ado About Nothing.
Merry Wives of Windsor ; first edition.
Henry VI.; rifacimento.

Fifth Epoch. The period of beauty was now past; and that of CELVÓrns and grandeur succeeds.

Timon of Athens ; an after vibration of

Troilus and Cressida; C'ebergang in die

The Roman Plays.
King John, as at present.
Merry Wives of Windsor.

. Taming of the Shrew. Measure for Measure. Othello. Tempest. ll'inter's Tale. Cymbeline.


Shakspeare's earliest dramas I take to be,

Love's Labour's Lost.
All's Well That Ends Well.
Comedy of Errors.

Romeo and Juliet.
In the second class I reckon

Midsummer Night's Dream.
As You Like It.

Twelfth Night.
In the third, as indicating a greater energy-not

merely of poetry, but—of all the world of thought, yet still with some of the growing pains, and the awkwardness of growth, I place

Troilus and Cressida.
Merchant of Venice.
Much Ado About Nothing.

Taming of the Shrew. In the fourth, I place the plays containing the greatest characters;


Othello. And lastly, the historic dramas, in order to be able to show my reasons for rejecting some whole plays, and very many scenes in others.


I think Shakspeare's earliest dramatic attempt perhaps even prior in conception to the Venus and Adonis, and planned before he left Stratford—was Love's Labour's Lost. Shortly afterwards I

suppose Pericles and certain scenes in Jeronymo to have been produced; and in the same epoch, I place the Winter's Tale and Cymbeline, differing from the Pericles by the entire rifacimento of it, when Shakspeare's celebrity as poet, and his interest,

سه ر (

no less than his influence as manager, enabled him
to bring forward the laid by labours of his youth.
The example of Titus Andronicus, which, as well
as Jeronymo, was most popular in Shakspeare's
first epoch, had led the young dramatist to the
lawless mixture of dates and manners. In this
same epoch I should place the Comedy of Errors,
remarkable as being the only specimen of poetical
farce in our language, that is, intentionally such ;
so that all the distinct kinds of drama, which might
be educed a priori, have their representatives in
Shakspeare's works. I say intentionally such; for
mank_of_Beaumont and Fletcher's plays, and the Air
greater part of Ben Jonson's comedies are farce-
plots. I add All's Well that Ends Well, originally
intended as the counterpart of Love's Labour's
Lost, Taming of the Shrew, Midsummer Night's
Dream, Much Ado About Nothing, and Romeo
and Juliet.

Second Epoch.
Richard II.
King John.
Henry VI., -rifacimento only.
Richard III.

Third Epoch.

Henry IV.
Henry V.
Merry Wives of Windsor.
Henry VIII.,-a sort of historical masque, or

show play.

Fourth Epoch gives all the graces and facilities of a genius in full possession and habitual exercise of power, and peculiarly of the feminine, the lady's character.

As You Like It.
Merchant of Venice.

Twelfth Night.
and, finally, at its very point of culmination,-


[ocr errors]

Last Epoch, when the energies of intellect in the cycle of genius were, though in a rich and more potentiated form, becoming predominant over passion and creative self-manifestation.

Measure for Veasure.
Timon of Athens.
Julius Cæsar.
Antony and Cleopatra.

Troilus and Cressida. Merciful, wonder-making Heaven! what a man was this Shakspeare! Myriad-minded, indeed, he


« PredošláPokračovať »