William Shakespeare

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Details about William Shakespeare’s life are sketchy, mostly mere surmise based upon court or other clerical records. His parents, John and Mary (Arden), were married about 1557; she was of the landed gentry, he a yeoman—a glover and commodities merchant. By 1568, John had risen through the ranks of town government and held the position of high bailiff, similar to mayor. William, the eldest son, was born in 1564, probably on April 23, several days before his baptism on April 26, 1564. That Shakespeare also died on April 23, 52 years later, may have resulted in the adoption of this birthdate.

William no doubt attended the local grammar school in Stratford where his parents lived, and would have studied primarily Latin rhetoric, logic, and literature [Barnet, viii]. At age 18 (1582), William married Anne Hathaway, a local farmer’s daughter eight years his senior. Their first daughter (Susanna) was born six months later (1583), and twins Judith and Hamnet were born in 1585.

Shakespeare’s life can be divided into three periods: the first 20 years in Stratford, which include his schooling, early marriage, and fatherhood; the next 25 years as an actor and playwright in London; and the last five in retirement back in Stratford where he enjoyed moderate wealth gained from his theatrical successes. The years linking the first two periods are marked by a lack of information about Shakespeare, and are often referred to as the “dark years”; the transition from active work into retirement was gradual and cannot be precisely dated [Boyce, 587].

John Shakespeare had suffered financial reverses from William’s teen years until well into the height of the playwright’s popularity and success. In 1596, John Shakespeare was granted a coat of arms, almost certainly purchased by William, who the next year bought a sizable house in Stratford. By the time of his death, William had substantial properties, both professional and personal, which he bestowed on his theatrical associates and his family (primarily his daughter Susanna, having rewritten his will one month before his death to protect his assets from Judith’s new husband, Thomas Quiney, who ran afoul of church doctrine and public esteem before and after the marriage) [Boyce, 529].

Shakespeare probably left school at 15, which was the norm, and took some sort of job, especially since this was the period of his father’s financial difficulty. Numerous references in his plays suggest that William may have in fact worked for his father, thereby gaining specialized knowledge [Boyce, 587].

At some point during the “dark years,” Shakespeare began his career with a London theatrical company—perhaps in 1589—for he was already an actor and playwright of some note in 1592. Shakespeare apparently wrote and acted for Pembroke’s Men, as well as numerous others, in particular Strange’s Men, which later became the Chamberlain’s Men, with whom he remained for the rest of his career.

When, in 1592, the Plague closed the theaters for about two years, Shakespeare turned to writing book-length narrative poetry. Most notable were “Venus and Adonis” and “The Rape of Lucrece,” both of which were dedicated to the Earl of Southampton, whom scholars accept as Shakespeare’s friend and benefactor despite a lack of documentation. During this same period, Shakespeare was writing his sonnets, which are more likely signs of the time’s fashion rather than actual love poems detailing any particular relationship. He returned to play writing when theaters reopened in 1594, and published no more poetry. His sonnets were published without his consent in 1609, shortly before his retirement.

Amid all of his success, Shakespeare suffered the loss of his only son, Hamnet, who died in 1596 at the age of 11. But Shakespeare’s career continued unabated, and in London in 1599, he became one of the partners in the new Globe Theater [Boyce, 589], built by the Chamberlain’s Men. This group was a remarkable assemblage of “excellent actors who were also business partners and close personal friends . . . [including] Richard Burbage . . . [who] all worked together as equals . . . ” [Chute, 131].

When Queen Elizabeth died in 1603 and was succeeded by her cousin King James of Scotland, the Chamberlain’s Men was renamed the King’s Men, and Shakespeare’s productivity and popularity continued uninterrupted. He invested in London real estate and, one year away from retirement, purchased a second theater, the Blackfriars Gatehouse, in partnership with his fellow actors. His final play was Henry VIII, two years before his death in 1616.

Incredibly, most of Shakespeare’s plays had never been published in anything except pamphlet form, and were simply extant as acting scripts stored at the Globe. Only the efforts of two of Shakespeare’s company, John Heminges and Henry Condell, preserved his 36 plays (minusPericles, the thirty-seventh) [Barnet, xvii] in the First Folio. Heminges and Condell published the plays, they said, “only to keep the memory of so worthy a friend and fellow alive as was our Shakespeare” [Chute, 133]. Theater scripts were not regarded as literary works of art, but only the basis for the performance. Plays were a popular form of entertainment for all layers of society in Shakespeare’s time, which perhaps explains why Hamlet feels compelled to instruct the traveling Players on the fine points of acting, urging them not “to split the ears of the groundlings,” nor “speak no more than is set down for them.”

Present copies of Shakespeare’s plays have, in some cases, been reconstructed in part from scripts written down by various members of an acting company who performed particular roles. Shakespeare’s plays, like those of many of the actors who also were playwrights, belonged to the acting company. The performance, rather than the script, was what concerned the author, for that was how his play would become popular—and how the company, in which many actors were shareholders, would make money.

William Shakespeare died on April 23, 1616, and was buried two days later in the chancel of Holy Trinity Church where he had been baptized exactly 52 years earlier.

Quotation from:Shakespeare’s Drama “Julius & Scissors”

“The enemy increaseth everyday;

We, at the height, are ready to decline.

There is a tide in the affairs of men;

Which, taken at the flood, leads on to fortune;

Omitted, all the voyage of their life;

Is bound in  shallows and in miseries.

On such a  full sea we are now afloat;

And we must take the current when it serves;

                                     Or lose our venture”.

No : 2′

“To-morrow, and to-morrow, and to-morrow,
Creeps in this petty pace from day to day,
To the last syllable of recorded time;
And all our yesterdays have lighted fools
The way to dusty death. Out, out, brief candle!
Life’s but a walking shadow, a poor player,
That struts and frets his hour upon the stage,
And then is heard no more. It is a tale
Told by an idiot, full of sound and fury,
Signifying nothing.”

No: 3

“These violent delights have violent ends
And in their triump die, like fire and powder
Which, as they kiss, consume”

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Wazir Agha

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Wazir Agha (Urdu: وزیر آغا ‎) was a Pakistani Urdu language writer, poet, critic and essayist.  He has written many poetry and prose books. He was also editor and publisher of the literary magazine “Auraq” for many decades. He introduced many theories in Urdu literature. His most famous work is on Urdu humour. His books focus on modern Urdu poets, notably those who have written more poems instead of ghazals. Agha’s poems have mostly an element of story.

Agha has received Sitara-e-Imtiaz for his best cotributions to Urdu literature. He was also nominated for the Nobel Prize.

Back ground

Agha was born on 18 May 1922 in the village Wazir Kot in the Sargodha district. His father was a businessman who dealt in horses from the Persian-speaking Qizilbash family. Wazir’s father obtained 750 acres (3.0 km2) of land from the British government in the Sargodha district.

Agha learned Persian from his father, Punjabi from his mother and English from his British friends.[citation needed] During his school years, he developed a strong fondness for Urdu ghazals and started composing poetry on his own. He graduated from Government College, Jhang and later received his masters degree in economics from Government College, Lahore. He gained his PhD from theUniversity of Punjab in 1956 for his research on humor and satire in Urdu Literature.

Agha died on 7 September 2010 in Lahore. He was laid to rest in his native village near Sargodha.

Literary career:

Agha was the editor of the college magazine Chanab in Government College, Jhang. In 1944, he came across Salahuddin Ahmad who was the editor of famous monthly Adabi Duniya. He was asked to contribute by writing essays on topics uncommon in Urdu Literature of that time, such as economics, philosophy, psychology. In 1953, his work on “In search of happiness” was compiled as a book that opened a formal paradigm of research in Urdu literature.

From 1960 to 1963, he acted as a co-editor of Adbi Duniya and from 1965 onwards, he remained editor of monthly Auraq for many decades.  He established himself as a critic.

The Pakistan Academy of Letters (PAL) has published a book on Agha’s life and work as part of its publishing project, “Makers of Pakistani Literature”. [dead link] He was also Life Fellow of PAL since 1995.  He also wrote an autobiography Shaam Ki Mundair Sey.

Krishan Chander

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Krishan Chander (23 November 1914 – 8 March 1977) (Urdu: كرشن چندر) was an Urdu and Hindi Afsaana Nigaar, or short story writer. He wrote mainly in Urdu, but was well-versed in Hindi and English.

He was a prolific writer, penning over 20 novels, 30 collections of short stories and scores of radio plays in Urdu and later, after partitionof the country, took to writing mainly in Hindi.

He also wrote screen-plays for Bollywood movies to supplement his meagre income as an author of satirical stories. Krishan Chander’s novels (including the classic : Ek Gadhe Ki Sarguzasht, trans. Autobiography of a Donkey) have been translated into over 16 Indian languages and some foreign languages, including English.

His short story “Annadata” { trans: The Giver of Grain – an obseqeuious appellation used by Indian peasants for their feudal land-owners }, was made into the film Dharti Ke Lal, by Chetan Anand in 1946 – which led to his being offered work regularly as a screen-writer by Bollywood, including such populist hits as SHARAFAT, 1970.

Biography:

About his place of birth Krishan Chander wrote: “Lahore is a place where I was born, where I was educated, where I started my literary career, where I achieved fame. For people of my generation it is difficult to forget Lahore. It shines in our heart like a jewel – like the fragrance of our soul”. Apart from his love for Lahore actually he was born in Wazirabad,District Gujranwala British India (now in Pakistan). Krishan Chander spent his childhood in Poonch, in the state of Jammu & Kashmir, where his father worked as the physician of Maharaja Poonch. His novel Shakast (Defeat) is related to Kashmir’s partition. Mitti Ke Sanam one of his most popular novel is about the childhood memories of a young boy who lived with his parents in Kashmir. His famous Afsanay (short stories) are the stories of Kashmiri villages, as well as those of displaced expatriates and rootless urban man. He used Pahari (dialect of people living in Poonch) words while writing in Urdu.

In the 1930s he studied at Forman Christian College and edited the English section of the college house magazine, and was at that time interested in English writings. As the then editor of the Urdu section of the magazine, Mehr Lal Soni Zia Fatehabadi was instrumental to his career in having got published, in the year 1932, Chander’s first Urdu short story, “Sadhu”.[1]

Chander was against the Hindu-Muslim conflicts – and might actually have been an atheist, as he was a committed Communist & card-carrying Party Member – as many radical writers in India were in the decades immediately preceding the Partition of the country. The forcible division of Kashmir in 1948 after the creation of India and Pakistan left deep marks on his writings.

His literary masterpieces on the Bengal famine and the savagery and barbarism that took place at the time of the partition of India in 1947 are some of the finest specimens of modern Urdu literature, but at other times too he continued relentlessly to critique the abuse of power, poverty and the suffering of the wretched of the earth; but above all he never stopped protesting casteism, fanaticism, communal violence and terror. He was a humanist and a cosmopolitan.

Death:

Krishan Chander died working at his desk in Mumbai on 8 March 1977. He had just started to write a satirical essay entitled Adab baray-e-Batakh (Literature for a duck), and wrote just one line ‘Noorani ko bachpan hi sey paltoo janwaron ka shaukh tha. Kabootar, bandar, rang barangi chiriyaan…’ (since childhood Noorani was fond of pet animals such as pigeons, monkeys, multi-coloured birds…’) but before he could complete the sentence he succumbed to a massive heart attack (Ibid).

Ghulam Mustafa Tabassum

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Ghulam Mustafa Tabassum (4 August 1899–1978) was a noted 20th century poet in three languages: Urdu, Punjabi, and Persian.Tabassum (or Tabussum) was the pen name by which he was universally known.

He is best known for his many poems written for children, as the creator of the Tot Batot character, and as the translator of many poetical works from Urdu and Persian into Punjabi. Tabassum’s style is in the classical tradition, informed by a deep awareness of the pain and suffering that afflicts modern life.

Tabassum was born in Amritsar, India, to parents of Kashmiri ancestry. He earned a Master’s degree in Persian from Forman Christian College (FCC) in Lahore. He remained with Government College Lahore for his entire career, rising to head the Department of Persian Studies.

For about fifty years he was a prominent speaker on radio and television.  His poems were used as the lyrics of several songs sung byNoor Jehan

In 1966 he received the Tamgha-e-Nishan-e-Sipaas award of the Government of Iran,  and he was awarded the Sitara-i-Imtiaz by the Government of Pakistan.[citation needed]

Tabassum’s son, Nisar Ahmed, was also a stage play writer and wrote many comedies, mainly Punjabi stage plays and television dramas.

Tabassum was follower of Nawab ud din Ramdasi in Silsila Chishtia Sabria according to Meezab of Hafiz Mazhar ud din.