He was the author of several works of relative unimportance, such as his best-known poem “old familiar faces” published in a volume called simply blank verse, 1798 a tale of rosamund gray (1798), the generally ineffective drama john woodvil (1802), and the farce mr.
1806), the adventures of ulysses (1808), specimens of the english dramatic poets who lived about the time of shakespeare (1808), and others.
But he is deservedly best remembered for his tales from shakespeare (1807) and the essays of tales from shakespeare consists of shakespeare’s plays rewritten, supposedly for children but actually of such high quality that they have been immensely popular with adults also.
The beauty and art with which these stories recapture the essence and style of shakespeare’s language is remarkable, almost as though the later versions were prose renditions of the plays written by shakespeare himself.The transition between shakespeare’s language and that of the lambs is scarcely visible or of varying essays of elia were first contributed to the london magazine during the years between 1820 and 1825. The most famous of these essays are undoubtedly “dream children: a reverie,” a magical recreation of youth, and “a dissertation upon roast pig,” a whimsical fantasy about the chinese custom of burning down houses to cook their pork.
In these essays lamb is very consciously a stylist re-creating and revitalizing the language of older english writers, especially robert burton, the author of the anatomy of melancholy, 1621, and sir thomas browne in his vulgar errors, published in 1646. From these essays in particular has come the notion, held in the writer’s day as well as since, that lamb was above all things “gentle,” a term he came to detest and to protest gh lamb was “gentle” in these essays, he was in life quite the opposite. He was at times somewhat eccentric and given to being different from other people because of a proclivity for the quaint. Instead, he was very much a part of life, which he loved and enjoyed despite the terrible tragedies of his life—the murder of their mother by his sister mary and the care he gave her during her recurrent fits of lamb’s letters, surely not among the greatest letters of literary figures, reveal a tough little man who affirmed life in the face of many frustrations and misfortunes.
He did not whine over his role in life and generally he was willing to accept it on its own terms rather than try to make it over into a more desirable tically the letters are worlds apart from the language of the essays.In his daily—or rather, nightly—writing he reacts to life in language that is simple, direct, idiomatic, at times racy, snappish, and very was gregarious and congenial with his friends despite the fact that he stammered-an affliction which added charm to his personality-but reticent among persons he did not know well.
When relaxed he was outgoing, boisterous, playful, and a grim punster who often did not know...
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