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The Works of Shakespeares Third Period Throughout Shakespeares lifetime it is agreed by most scholars that he has written 37 plays Although the exact date of several of these plays is uncertain his remarkable career is generally divided into four periods The third period from 1600 includes many of Shakespeares greatest tragedies and problem or bitter comedies To many this period of Shakespeares writing is considered to be his greatest It is within this period that he wrote some of his best and most popular works The four most famous tragedies written during this period are Hamlet Othello King Lear and Macbeth First performed in 1603 Hamlet is probably the best known of Shakespeares works In the play King Hamlet Senior is dead His brother Claudius succeeds him to the throne despite Hamlet having a living sane son Despite it seeming incest in that day and age Claudius cements his hold on the Danish throne by marrying his brothers widow Gertrude When Hamlet Junior arrives at Denmark nothing but chaos follows His fathers ghost informs him of his uncles foul deeds the murder of Hamlets father Murder most foul as in the best it is But this most foul strange and unnatural Hamlet Act 1 Scene 5 Line 33 Hamlet is then placed in a state of quandary Throughout the play Hamlet on and off debates committing suicide to rid him of his troubles The following excerpt of Hamlet is a famous soliloquy in which Hamlets debates committing suicide To be or not to be that is the question Whether t is nobler in the mind to suffer The slings and arrows of outrageous fortune Or to take arms against a sea of troubles And by opposing end them To die to sleep No more and by a sleep to say we end The heartache and the thousand natural shocks That flesh is heir to--t is
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