It gives me wonder great as my content To see you here before me. O my soul's joy! If after every tempest come such calms May the winds blow till they have waken'd death! . . . If I were now to die, 'Twere now to be most happy; for, I fear, My soul hath her content so absolute That not another comfort like to this Succeeds in unknown fate.
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Source Notes: Othello 2.1.181-89. Othello greets his wife Desdemona on her safe arrival in Cyprus.
Born ca. 1564 and died ca. 1616 during the Renaissance period (1450-1599). One of the greatest writers of all time, Shakespeare, the peerless poet of the Sonnets and the creator of such dramatic masterpieces as Romeo and Juliet, Hamlet, and King Lear, is a playwright of paradigmatic originality. In his discussion of the Western literary canon, critic Harold Bloom declared: "Shakespeare and Dante are the center of the Canon because they excel all other Western writer in cognitive acuity, linguistic energy, and power of invention." However, one could go a step further and suggest that Shakespeare defines the Western canon because he transcends it. If Shakespeare, as Ben Jonson declared, "was not of an age, but for all time," the great dramatist, one could argue, spoke to the ultimate concerns of humankind, regardless of period or cultural tradition.
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