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Apart from various discussions on Shakespeare for example the debate about the order in which he wrote his plays and their dating there is still a lot to be found out about the question of a change in attitude as it is reflected in his plays As one can see there was a certain degree of reluctance on his behalf to have the texts of his plays published A reason for this may be found in his attitude to his dramatic works It is very doubtful whether he saw them as literature at all as texts to be read and studied Rather he seems to have been exclusively interested in his plays as the scripts for theatrical production as pieces for the stage to be performed for an audience As it stands various attempts have been made to relate the differences between the periods to Shakespeares own changing attitude towards life over the years Some have seen his turning away from the joyous comedies of his second period and his passing on to the more austere themes of the great tragedies and the problem plays as having their cause in some private worries which induced in him a mood of gloom and misanthropy Others have interpreted the tragic mood in the plays after 1600 as the result of Shakespeares infection with the spirit of a new disillusioned and pessimistic age Others again have attributed his shift to tragedy and later to tragicomedy to changes in popular demand and in dramatic fashion Working as he did for a popular audience Shakespeare was doubtless inclined to meet new demands But this cannot have been a major cause because the plays under discussion especially the great tragedies contain so much that is clearly not dictated by the dramatic fashion of the day and cannot be explained by establishing a simple cause-and-effect relationship between audience expectation and dramatic execution Nor is it likely that private or public worries were
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