XIII Annual Conference on William Shakespeare through the Ages at Dr. K.N.Modi University, Niwai

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05 Sep, 16 13:41
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Udaipur: The thirteenth Annual Conference of Rajasthan Association for Studies in English will be organized on 5-6 Nov,2016 at Dr.K.N.Modi University, Niwai, Tonk, Rajasthan on the topic William Shakespeare through the Ages.
This was decided in a meeting at Dr.K.N.Modi University, Niwai, Tonk. Vice Chancellor of the University Prof.Devendra Pathak offered to host the conference and provide all logistic support. Prof. H.S.Chandalia,Vice President of the Association told that since 2016 is the 400th year of William Shakespeare's death, this year's conference is dedicated to him. Saikat Bannerjee , Assistant Professor and Head , Department of English at Dr.K.N.Modi University shall be the Organizing Secretary of the conference. The theme of the conference is "William Shakespeare through the Ages".
William Shakespeare was born in April 1564 and passed away on May 3, 1616. The year 2016 marks the 400th year of his death. Four hundred years after his death William Shakespeare does not remain a poet and dramatist of Britain alone. He is present in almost every country in the world. He is liked, adored, criticized and imitated but "The Bard" as people in England call him cannot be ignored in the history of letters. Ben Jonson called him:
Soul of the age!
The applause! Delight! The wonder of our stage!
It is difficult to find much detail about Shakespeare, the man. Many of the biographical details including the date of birth are shrouded in mystery. Nevertheless his character is perfectly well known. His personality emerges exquisitely through his writings, as is rightly said about him, "The book is the man". It is through his writings that Shakespeare has drawn millions of readers and scholars to admire him. He comes out as a lovable person, full of a deep understanding of human nature and capable of imagining characters that are not just British but universal beings in their affections and conduct.
The plays of Shakespeare are examples of English drama at its best. He took the British drama from the old styled morality plays to the great tradition of Greek tragedies and surpassing them in many ways like breaking the bound of the three unities of drama, creating characters who are not just British but Roman , Moroccan and even indigenous like Caliban. His range is vast extending from the famous tragedies to comedies and tragic-comedies also known as romances. Equally vast is the range of the language used in his plays. The highly poetic speeches and soliloquies, wild and wanton mysteriousness of the supernatural and prosaic utterances of the plebian characters are but a few examples of the variety of language used in his plays. The plays of Shakespeare attract the audience today also because they are, despite all the fantasy involved, real in the true sense of the term. The characters are life-like characters who exhibit essential human traits which are convincing even today, after so many years. He has created a vast variety of characters including passionate lovers, robust kings, treacherous witches, doting wives, cruel conspirators, devoted commanders, comic clowns and even mad people. Even His plays highlight the deep seated moral wisdom of the dramatist which gets reflected through the characters. His characters may be heroic or anti-heroic but are valued for the high moral ground of their conduct and thought.
Shakespeare began his career in theatre as an actor. He later assumed several other roles including that of a manager. This made him fully acquainted with the stagecraft. In fact, one major rich attribute of Shakespeare is his knowledge of stagecraft. His command over the various facets of theatre made his company a very popular company. Under the patronage of Lord Chamberlain, it rose to be the best in England and was most frequently commanded to play before the queen. When King James came to the throne he took this company under royal patronage, attaching them to his household and increased the frequency of their performances. The stage of Shakespearean theatre used to be a high rectangular platform with audience all around it. It was not like modern stage where the front is occupied by the audience and many things can be hidden by curtains. In Shakespeare's time the audience could see everything happening on the stage. Therefore, besides other things like music and costume, poetry was used richly to suspend any disbelief that could have emerged in the minds of the audience. His poetry is also illuminated in more than a hundred sonnets which have a stanza- pattern known after him.

Shakespeare has a global presence also through numerous translations and film adaptations of his plays. Almost every country has adopted Shakespeare in her own way. These translations make his name a household name even in those countries which hate England for political reasons. The Empire of Great Britain has left behind a legacy of Shakespeare studies which the people relish. He is present in courses and public discourses. Dramatists of the world learn from his plays even more than from the legendary Greek playwrights. In the twenty first century William Shakespeare is present in several avtaars.

to commemorate this great playwright the Rajasthan Association for Studies in English has ventured to focus the XIII Annual conference on Shakespeare studies.
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