Great Writers

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Plays which show the original rock on which his own finer stratum is laid.

In drawing upon tradition and upon earlier plays the poet's memory is taxed equally with his invention.

All originality is relative; every thinker is retrospective.

The world's literary treasure the result of many a one's labor; centuries have contributed to its existence and perfection.

Shakspeare's contemporaries, correspondents, and acquaintances.

Work of the Shakspeare Society in gathering material to throw light upon the poet's life, and to illustrate the development of the drama.

His external history meagre; Shakspeare is the only biographer of Shakspeare.

What the sonnets and the dramas reveal of the poet's mind and character.

His unique creative power, wisdom of life, and great gifts of imagination.

Equality of power in farce, tragedy, narrative, and love-songs.

Notable traits in the poet's character and disposition; his tone pure, sovereign, and cheerful.

Despite his genius, he shares the halfness and imperfection of humanity.

A seer who saw all things to convert them into entertainments, as master of the revels to mankind.

JOHN MILTON: POET AND PATRIOT.

BY THOMAS BABINGTON MACAULAY.

His long-lost essay on Doctrines of Christianity.

As a poet, his place among the greatest masters of the art.

Unfavorable circumstances of his era, born "an age too late".

A rude era more favorable to poetry.

The poetical temperament highest in a rude state of society.

Milton distinguished by the excellence of his Latin verse.

His genius gives to it an air of nobleness and freedom.

Characteristics and magical influence of Milton's poetry.

Mechanism of his language attains exquisite perfection.

"L'Allegro" and "II Penseroso," "Comus" and "Samson Agonistes" described.

"Comus" properly more lyrical than dramatic.

Milton's preference for "Paradise Regained" over "Paradise Lost".

Contrasts between Milton and Dante.

Milton's handling of supernatural beings in his poetry.

His art of communicating his meaning through succession of associated ideas.

Other contrasts between Milton and Dante--the mysterious and the picturesque in their verse.

Milton's fiends wonderful creations, not metaphysical abstractions.

Moral qualities of Milton and Dante.

The Sonnets simple but majestic records of the poet's feelings.

Milton's public conduct that of a man of high spirit and powerful intellect.

Eloquent champion of the principles of freedom.

His public conduct to be esteemed in the light of the times, and of its great question whether the resistance of the people to Charles I. was justifiable or criminal.

Approval of the Great Rebellion and of Milton's attitude towards it.

Eulogium on Cromwell and approval of Milton's taking office (Latin Secretaryship) under him.

The Puritans and Royalists, or Roundheads and Cavaliers.

The battle Milton fought for freedom of the human mind.

High estimate of Milton's prose works.

JOHANN WOLFGANG VON GOETHE.

GERMANY'S GREATEST WRITER.

BY FREDERIC HENRY HEDGE.

Fills highest place among the poets and prose-writers of Germany.

Influences that made the man.

Self-discipline and educational training.

Counsellor to Duke Karl August at Weimar, where he afterwards resides.

Visits Italy; makes Schiller's acquaintance; Goethe's personal appearance.

His unflagging industry; defence of the poet's personal character.

The "Maerchen," its interpretation and the light it throws on Goethe's political career.

Lyrist, dramatist, novelist, and mystic seer.

His drama "Goetz von Berlichingen," and "Sorrows of Werther".

Popularity of his ballads; his elegies, and "Hermann und Dorothea".

"Iphigenie auf Tauris;" his stage plays "Faust" (First Part) and "Egmont".

The prose works "Wilhelm Meister" and the "Elective Affinities".

His skill in the delineation of female character.

"Faust;" contrasts in spirit and style between the two Parts.

Import of the work, key to or analysis of the plot.

ALFRED (LORD) TENNYSON.

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