The world of Shakespeare, by W. H. Auden, with a passionate prose, and far away from academic dialectics, presents in this book, composed by five essays, an analysis on Shakespeare`s writings, getting into the zeit-geist in which the author produced his work and the relation between public and theatre from XVI and XVII centuries. In the first essay, “The globe”, Auden characterizes and compares greek tragedy and Shakespeare`s tragedy; then, he refers to comedy, and one of the most important conclusions that he arrives to is that the writings of Shakespeare do not represent a sentimental or entertaining material: on the contrary, they show the public a subject of reflection. In the following essays, “The prince`s dog”, “We and the others”, “The comic of the group”, and “Music in Shakespeare”, Auden, reminding characters such as Henry V (Henry V), Falstaff (Henry V), Othello (The tragedy of Othello, the moore of Venice), Iago (Othello…), Shylock (The merchant of Venice), Lear (King Lear), makes a deep study on their personalities in order to understand Shakespeare plays and his public, not whithout comparing it with modern theatre and public. This intellectual work, which Auden obtains with clarity and simplicity –very appreciated by ordinary reader- finds his climax when the author explains that the psychological and cultural analogies transformed by W.
Shakespeare in human archetypes, are able to cross the wall between his time and ours. The comprehension of the book does not depends on the previous reading of some of the plays that Auden talks about, however, reading them can give the reader the possibility of enjoy the work of this poet, dramatist and american literary critic, considered the most important exponent in poetry in english since T.S. Eliot. Some texts of the author: Poems (1930), Plays: The dog beneath the skin (1935), The ascent of F-6 (1936) and On the frontier (1938). The double man (1941) and For the time being (1944).
For The age of anxiety (1947), dramatic poem, he won the Pulitzer Prize for Poetry in 1948. We can also mention, between his works: Collected longer poems (1945), The shield of Achilles (1955), Collected longer poems (1969).