The Different Stages of The Dramatic Career of Shakespeare

It is conceivable to do complete credit to Shakespeare’s multifaceted genius in the little time we have at our disposal. Shakespeare’s name has become synonymous with immortality. In the realm of literature, he is often recognized as the greatest dramatist of all time. Aside from him, no other dramatic actor has been able to reach the heights he has attained.

Shakespeare was living in a civilization that exalted self-realization, self-respect, and the courage of one’s convictions and actions, among other things. A powerful drive sets the stage for his dramatic events, which are triggered by his characters’ intense individuality and dynamic behavior. As the Renaissance spreads across Europe, so does the intensity of his plays reflect this expansion.

Periods In Shakespeare's Literary Art

Shakespeare’s Dramatic career spans 24 years, from 1588 to 1612, and is divided into four acts. It is estimated that he has authored almost 37 plays and 154 sonnets during this time span. The growth of his dramatic career can be divided into four distinct periods or stages, which can be distinguished from one another.

The First Stage: The Period of Apprenticeship

The first stage is as follows: “In the Workshop” refers to the first stage of the process. This stage or period encompasses the years 1588 to 1595. The plays for the theatre were only slightly modified during this period, but Shakespeare did write some histories, comedies, and tragedies, including Henry VI part II, Henry VI part III, Richard II, Comedy of Errors, Loves Labour’s Lost, Two Gentlemen of Verona, A Midsummer Night’s Dream, Titus Andronicus and Romeo and Juliet. These performances plainly demonstrate that the hand of a skilled apprentice, rather than a master, was at work. Without a doubt, he outperforms his fellow trainees.

The Second Stage: The Comic Period

The second stage is defined as the period between 1595 and 1601. Dowden refers to this stage as being “In The World.” Some of the greatest comedies and historical plays of all time were created during this time period. As a result, this period could be referred to as the Comic period. The Merchant of Venice, The Taming of the Shrew, Much Ado About Nothing, As You Like It, The Merry Wives of Windsor, Twelfth Night, King Jhon, Henry IV-part I, Henry IV-part II, and Henry V were all written during this time period by Shakespeare. During this time period, Shakespeare’s blossoming brilliance began to open up and develop. He saw the world as it was, and his imagination opened his eyes to the reality around him. He began to comprehend the world, men, and the character of human beings.

The Third Stage: The Tragic Period

The third stage runs from 1601 to 1608 and is the most recent stage. “Out of Depths” is the moniker that Dowden has given to it. During this time period, four famous tragedies, namely Hamlet, Othello, King Lear, and Macbeth, as well as three Roman plays, namely Julius Caeser, Antony and Cleopatra, and Coriolanus, were written, among other things. Additionally, he penned other comedic plays, including All’s Well That Ends Well, Troilus and Cressida, and Measure for Measure. These comedies are not light and amusing, but rather somber and caustic in their tone. As a result of this period, Shakespeare lost interest in light-hearted and exciting events from life or history, and instead focused on the human heart, revealing the hidden weaknesses and worthiness of human nature. This is why this era is referred to as “Coming Out of The Depths.”

The Fourth Stage: The Culmination Period

The fourth stage is comprised of the years 1608 to 1612. This phase is referred to as “On the Peak.” This is the phase in Shakespeare’s dramatic career that is known as the romantic period.  The three romantic comedies Winter’s Tale, Cymbeline, The Tempest, and Timon of Athens as well as a part of Pericles were written during this time period. Shakespeare’s theatrical prowess had reached its pinnacle at this point. He had now triumphed over the trials and tribulations of life. These turbulences and tribulations had shaped him into a wise, calm, and generous man. In this period, you will find yourself in a state of quiet self-possession, resignation, and reconciliation. 

In his final plays, Shakespeare aspires to a total regeneration, to a complete dismantling of the old vessel and a recasting of it into something completely new. His goal is to show the healing process as completely and convincingly as possible, and in doing so, to build the “Final phase of the tragic pattern.”


We can claim that Shakespeare possessed a remarkable imagination as well as the ability to comprehend fundamental concepts. His accomplishments were all over the place. There are 37 plays and 154 sonnets in total that he has written, all of which are one-of-a-kind in their own way. He is a maestro of tragedy, comedy, and tragi-comedy in equal measure. In the same way that he is unequaled in tragedy, he is unsurpassed in humor. His plays contain a great deal of variation. The majority of people find something or other that appeals to them.

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