Тема / Топик по английскому языку:
William Shakespeare

William Shakespeare is the greatest of all playwrights and poets of all times. Not much is known of his life. He was probably the son of a businessman and was born in 1564 in Stradford-upon-Avon. He probably attended the local grammar school and got a classical education. In 1582 he married Anne Hathaway and had three children. Little is known of his life before 1592, when he appeared as a playwright in London. Soon he became an actor playing supporting roles like the ghost in «Hamlet». In 1599 Shakespeare became a part owner of the Globe Theatre in London.

Shakespeare’s work as a playwright is subdivided into three periods. Written in the first period, Shakespeare’s plays are mostly history plays like «Henry VI», and comedies with strong elements of farce («The Comedy of Errors»). His masterpiece of this period is «Romeo and Juliet».

In the second period Shakespeare wrote a number of comedies where he moved away from farce towards romance («As You Like It»). In the third period, after 1600, appeared his major tragedies - «Hamlet», «Othello». They presented a clear opposition of order to chaos, good to evil.

Shakespeare was a great poet and would be well known for his poetry alone. His major achievement as a poet is his sonnets, first published in 1609. A sonnet is a poem consisting of 14 lines, with a moral at the end. The sonnets are addressed to some «W.H.» and to the mysterious «Dark Lady of Sonnets». The sonnets deal with the great themes of love, friendship, death, change and immortality. Shakespeare looks at his own poetry as a means of immortality. Shakespeare’s sonnets are excellent. They are full of harmony and music; they praise love, friendship and beauty, though there is no sentimentality in them.

Shakespeare’s poetry is at the summit of human achievement. Many centuries have passed since his death in 1616, but Shakespeare is still considered to be the greatest of all playwrights and poets.

Topical Vocabulary

- a playwright and a poet
драматург и поэт
to attend the local grammar school
посещать местную грамматическую школу
to get a classical education
получить классическое образование
an actor
to play supporting roles
играть второстепенные роли
to become a part owner of smth.
стать совладельцем чего-либо
- a history play
историческая пьеса
a comedy with strong elements of farce
комедия с сильными элементами фарса
a masterpiece of this period
шедевр этого периода
- to move away from farce towards romance
уйти от фарса в сторону романтики
a major tragedy
значительная трагедия
to present a clear opposition of order to chaos, good to evil
отражать четкое противопоставление порядка хаосу, добра - злу
- to be well-known for one’s poetry alone
быть известным даже только в качестве поэта
one’s major achievement
чье-либо главное достижение
a sonnet
to be addressed to
быть адресованным (кому-либо)
to deal with smth.
быть связанным с чем-либо, касаться чего-либо
the great themes of love, friendship, death, change and immortality
великие темы любви, дружбы, смерти, времени (букв.: изменения) и бессмертия
to be full of harmony and music
быть полным гармонии и музыки
to praise smth.
воспевать что-либо
- to be at the summit of human achievement
быть одним из высочайших достижений человечества

Answer the questions:

  1. What is Shakespeare famous for?
  2. What is known of Shakespeare’s early years?
  3. What kind of plays did he write during the first period of his work?
  4. What kind of comedies did he create in the second period?
  5. What do Shakespeare’s masterpieces of the third period present?
  6. What is Shakespeare’s major achievement as a poet?
  7. How can you define a sonnet?
  8. What themes do Shakespeare’s sonnets deal with?
  9. Why is Shakespeare still considered the greatest of all poets?

Translate into English:

  1. Шекспир, величайший из драматургов и поэтов мира, получил классическое школьное образование.
  2. Шекспир был актером и играл второстепенные роли.
  3. В первый период своего творчества (work) Шекспир писал исторические пьесы и комедии с элементами фарса.
  4. Главным достижением этого периода была трагедия «Ромео и Джульетта».
  5. Шедевром второго периода была комедия «Как вам это понравится», в которой Шекспир отошел от фарса в сторону романтики.
  6. Главные трагедии третьего периода противопоставляют порядок хаосу, зло - добру.
  7. Шекспир был бы знаменит даже в том случае, если бы был только поэтом.
  8. В сонетах искусство рассматривается как средство достижения бессмертия.
  9. Его сонеты, полные музыки и гармонии, воспевают любовь, дружбу, красоту.
  10. Поэзия Шекспира - одно из величайших достижений человечества.