|"All the world's a stage,
and all the men and women merely players:
they have their exits and their entrances;
and one man in his time plays many parts..."
— As You Like It, Act II Scene 7
Shakespeare is one of the most influential and important figures in western literature and theater. He influenced Herman Melville, Charles Dickens, Samuel Johnson, William Faulkner, Bertolt Brecht, TS Elliot, even Sigmund Freud devised some of his theories on the inner working of the human mind after reviewing Hamlet. A master of the English language, he invented new expressions including bedroom, moonbeam, green-eyed, gloomy, gossip, jaded, majestic, cold-blooded, eyeball, watchdog, bump, laughable tongue-tied and over 1,700 more words and phrases.
William Shakespeare (baptized 26 April 1564 – 23 April 1616). At the age of 18, he married Anne Hathaway and together they had three children. Shakespeare first known works was Henry VI and Richard III, historical dramas, which were all the rage in the 1590s. Beginning in 1594, Shakespeare plays were produced by the performance group Lord Chamberlain's Men under the reigning Queen Elizabeth I, later called King's Men under Kind James I. He wrote roles to suit certain actors including himself as he also performed in many of his own plays. The troupe rented space at the Globe Theater outside London (see also Globe Theater, the old time radio show named after the original Shakespearian theater in London) and his most famous work was written for the Globe including Hamlet, Othello, and King Lear. With the success of Lord Chamberlain's Men Shakespeare became quite prosperous Shakespeare was interned at the Church of the Holy Trinity in his hometown Stratford-upon-Avon.
William Shakespeare's works have been translated into every major language on earth and have performed worldwide. When the technology of silent film emerged, performance moved off stage to audiences everywhere as early as 1908 with J. Stuart Blackton's adaptation of Romeo and Juliet. Inevitably, Shakespeare's works moved from stage to the medium of old time radio shows with some series dedicated solely to Shakespearean works. Columbia Workshop's Hamlet is one of the earliest performances using the Elizabethan author.
American actor John Barrymore, known for his stage performances of Richard III and Hamlet (as well as his carousing and heavy drinking), performed in a series of Shakespearean plays including dramas Macbeth and Hamlet as well as comedies like the Taming of the Shrew. Each of the episodes of the series, entitled to capitalize on both artists' popularity "John Barrymore and Shakespeare included introductions by John Drew Barrymore (Barrymore's son) and his thoughts on the plays.
Certain works in this collection are not Shakespearian plays per se but represent the larger cultural impact of the author pervasive in the history of radio, such as the name used Romeo synonymously to mean romantic young man. Works by Shakespeare in this collection include Macbeth, Hamlet, Romeo and Juliet, Othello, As You Like It, King Lear, Julius Caesar, Taming of the Shrew, Antony and Cleopatra and variations there of.
See also: Globe Theater. For more literary-based radio plays, see also: Authors Playhouse, Authors Collection , NBC University Theater,and World's Greatest Short Stories and World's Great Novels.