Volpone (Italian for "sly fox") is a comedy play by English playwright Ben Jonson first produced in 1605–1606, drawing on elements of city comedy and beast fable. A merciless satire of greed and lust, it remains Jonson's most-performed play, and it is ranked among the finest Jacobean era comedies.
Life Is a Dream (Spanish: La vida es sueño [la ˈβiða es ˈsweɲo]) is a Spanish-language play by Pedro Calderón de la Barca. First published in 1635 (or possibly in early 1636) during the Spanish Baroque period (NADV1), it is a philosophical allegory regarding the human situation and the mystery of life. The play has been described as "the supreme example of Spanish Golden Age drama". The story focuses on the fictional Segismundo, Prince of Poland, who has been imprisoned in a tower by his father, King Basilio, following a dire prophecy that the prince would bring disaster to the country and death to the King. Basilio briefly frees Segismundo, but when the prince goes on a rampage, the king imprisons him again, persuading him that it was all a dream.
The Tragedy of Hamlet, Prince of Denmark, often shortened to Hamlet (/ˈhæmlɪt/), is a tragedy written by William Shakespeare at an uncertain date between 1599 and 1602. Set in Denmark, the play dramatises the revenge Prince Hamlet is called to wreak upon his uncle, Claudius, by the ghost of Hamlet's father, King Hamlet. Claudius had murdered his own brother and seized the throne, also marrying his deceased brother's widow.
The Way of the World is a play written by the English playwright William Congreve. It premiered in early March 1700 in the theatre in Lincoln's Inn Fields in London. It is widely regarded as one of the best Restoration comedies and is still occasionally performed. Initially, however, the play struck many audience members as continuing the immorality of the previous decades, and was not well received.
The Playboy of the Western World is a three-act play written by Irish playwright John Millington Synge and first performed at the Abbey Theatre, Dublin, on 26 January 1907. It is set in Michael James Flaherty's public house in County Mayo (on the west coast of Ireland) during the early 1900s. It tells the story of Christy Mahon, a young man running away from his farm, claiming he killed his father.The locals are more interested in vicariously enjoying his story than in condemning the immorality of his murderous deed, and in fact, Christy's tale captures the romantic attention of the bar-maid Pegeen Mike, the daughter of Flaherty. The play is best known for its use of the poetic, evocative language of Hiberno-English, heavily influenced by the Irish language, as Synge celebrates the lyrical speech of the Irish.
Arms and the Man is a comedy by George Bernard Shaw, whose title comes from the opening words of Virgil's Aeneid, in Latin: Arma virumque cano ("Of arms and the man I sing").The play was first produced on 21 April 1894 at the Avenue Theatre and published in 1898 as part of Shaw's Plays Pleasant volume, which also included Candida, You Never Can Tell, and The Man of Destiny. Arms and the Man was one of Shaw's first commercial successes. He was called onto stage after the curtain, where he received enthusiastic applause. Amidst the cheers, one audience member booed. Shaw replied, in characteristic fashion, "My dear fellow, I quite agree with you, but what are we two against so many?"
Faust is a tragic
play in two parts by Johann Wolfgang von Goethe, usually known in English as Faust, Part One and Faust, Part Two. Although rarely staged in its entirety, it is the play with the largest audience numbers on German-language stages. Faust is considered by many to be Goethe's magnum opus and the greatest work of German literature.
"The Grand Inquisitor" is a poem in Fyodor Dostoevsky's novel The Brothers Karamazov (1879–1880). It is recited by Ivan Karamazov, who questions the possibility of a personal and benevolent God, to his brother Alexei (Alyosha), a novice monk. "The Grand Inquisitor" is an important part of the novel and one of the best-known passages in modern literature because of its ideas about human nature and freedom, and its fundamental ambiguity.
Complete Works of William Shakespeare is the standard name given to any volume containing all the plays and poems of William Shakespeare. Some editions include several works which were not completely of Shakespeare's authorship (collaborative writings), such as The Two Noble Kinsmen, which was a collaboration with John Fletcher; Pericles, Prince of Tyre, the first two acts of which were likely written by George Wilkins; or Edward III, whose authorship is disputed.
Ghosts is the story of Helen Alving, a widow who is haunted by the many mistresses of her deceased husband and by her son who has inherited syphilis from his philandering father. Ghostsis a scathing indictment of Victorian society in which Ibsen refutes the notion that if one simply fulfills one's duty rather than following one's desires then a good and noble life will be achieved. Scandalous in its day for its frank discussion of venereal disease and marriage infidelity, Ghosts remains to this day an intense psychological drama and sharp social criticism.