William Shakespeare through the Ages

William Shakespeare through the Ages

Thirteenth Annual Conference of Rajasthan Association for Studies in English will be organized on 5-6 Nov,2016 at Dr.K.N.Modi University, Niwai, Tonk, Rajasthan on the topic William Shakespeare through the Ages.


William Shakespeare through the Ages

Thirteenth Annual Conference of Rajasthan Association for Studies in English will be organized on 5-6 Nov,2016 at Dr.K.N.Modi University, Niwai, Tonk, Rajasthan on the topic William Shakespeare through the Ages.

This was decided in a meeting at Dr.K.N.Modi University, Niwai, Tonk. Vice Chancellor of the University Prof.Devendra Pathak offered to host the conference and provide all logistic support. Prof. H.S.Chandalia,Vice President of the Association told that since 2016 is the 400th year of William Shakespeare’s death, this year’s conference is dedicated to him. Saikat Bannerjee , Assistant Professor and Head , Department of English at Dr.K.N.Modi University shall be the Organizing Secretary of the conference.

The theme of the conference is “William Shakespeare through the Ages”.

William Shakespeare was born in April 1564 and passed away on May 3, 1616. The year 2016 marks the 400th year of his death. Four hundred years after his death William Shakespeare does not remain a poet and dramatist of Britain alone. He is present in almost every country in the world. He is liked, adored, criticized and imitated but “The Bard” as people in England call him cannot be ignored in the history of letters. Ben Jonson called him:

            Soul of the age!

            The applause! Delight! The wonder of our stage!

It is difficult to find much detail about Shakespeare, the man. Many of the biographical details including the date of birth are shrouded in mystery. Nevertheless his character is perfectly well known. His personality emerges exquisitely through his writings, as is rightly said about him, “The book is the man”. It is through his writings that Shakespeare has drawn millions of readers and scholars to admire him. He comes out as a lovable person, full of a deep understanding of human nature and capable of imagining characters that are not just British but universal beings in their affections and conduct.

The plays of Shakespeare are examples of English drama at its best. He took the British drama from the old styled morality plays to the great tradition of Greek tragedies and surpassing them in many ways like breaking the bound of the three unities of drama, creating characters who are not just British but Roman , Moroccan and even indigenous like Caliban. His range is vast extending from the famous tragedies to comedies and tragic-comedies also known as romances. Equally vast is the range of the language used in his plays. The highly poetic speeches and soliloquies, wild and wanton mysteriousness of the supernatural and prosaic utterances of the plebian characters are but a few examples of the variety of language used in his plays. The plays of Shakespeare attract the audience today also because they are, despite all the fantasy involved, real in the true sense of the term. The characters are life-like characters who exhibit essential human traits which are convincing even today, after so many years. He has created a vast variety of characters including passionate lovers, robust kings, treacherous witches, doting wives, cruel conspirators, devoted commanders, comic clowns and even mad people. Even  His plays highlight the deep seated moral wisdom of the dramatist which gets reflected through the characters. His characters may be heroic or anti-heroic but are valued for the high moral ground of their conduct and thought.

Shakespeare began his career in theatre as an actor. He later assumed several other roles including that of a manager. This made him fully acquainted with the stagecraft. In fact, one major rich attribute of Shakespeare is his knowledge of stagecraft. His command over the various facets of theatre made his company a very popular company. Under the patronage of Lord Chamberlain, it rose to be the best in England and was most frequently commanded to play before the queen. When King James came to the throne he took this company under royal patronage, attaching them to his household and increased the frequency of their performances. The stage of Shakespearean theatre used to be a high rectangular platform with audience all around it. It was not like modern stage where the front is occupied by the audience and many things can be hidden by curtains. In Shakespeare’s time the audience could see everything happening on the stage. Therefore, besides other things like music and costume, poetry was used richly to suspend any disbelief that could have emerged in the minds of the audience. His poetry is also illuminated in more than a hundred sonnets which have a stanza- pattern known after him.

Shakespeare has a global presence also through numerous translations and film adaptations of his plays. Almost every country has adopted Shakespeare in her own way. These translations make his name a household name even in those countries which hate England for political reasons. The Empire of Great Britain has left behind a legacy of Shakespeare studies which the people relish. He is present in courses and public discourses. Dramatists of the world learn from his plays even more than from the legendary Greek playwrights. In the twenty first century William Shakespeare is present in several avtaars.

Therefore to commemorate this great playwright the Rajasthan Association for Studies in English has ventured to focus the XIII Annual conference on Shakespeare studies. Scholarly papers on different aspects of his life and works are invited. For the convenience of the scholars some possible themes are listed below. This list is in no way binding. Any aspect of William Shakespeare’s life, works, criticism and transformations may be chosen for research papers.


Shakespeare through the Ages – Sub themes

  1. William Shakespeare and his time
  2. The theatre in the age of Shakespeare
  3. Shakespeare and his contemporaries
  4. Criticism of Shakespeare in his own time
  5. Tragic hero, anti-hero or villain
  6. Race, colour and class in Shakespearean plays
  7. Shakespeare in the green room
  8. Tolstoy and Shakespeare
  9. Shakespeare and monarchy
  10. William Shakespeare in our times
  11. Translation, adaptation and appropriation of Shakespearean drama
  12. Shakespeare on screen
  13. Critics on Shakespeare
  14. The Shakespearean Empire
  15. Shakespeare and the Fourth World
  16. The Poetry of Shakespeare

Scholarly research papers on one of the above or any other theme related to Shakespeare are invited for the XIII RASE conference.

Important dates:

Registration Fee (For RASE members)         For non-members

Early Bird – Rs. 1500                                       Rs.2000              (till 31st October, 2016)

Spot registration – 2000                                    Rs. 2500

Membership fee for RASE – Rs. 2000 (Life)   Rs. 200 (Annual)

Membership fee may be paid by D.D. in the name of Rajasthan Association for Studies in English Payable at Udaipur and should be sent to Prof. Mukta Sharma, Treasurer, Department of English, M.V.Shramjeevi College, JRN Rajasthan Vidyapeeth University, Town Hall Road, Udaipur Raj. 313001.

Receipt of abstracts: Oct. 15, 2016

Receipt of full papers: Oct. 31, 2016

Abstracts should be sent to Saikat Bannerjee, Assistant Professor, Department of Humanities, Dr. K.N.Modi University, Niwai, Tonk, Rajasthan at the email raseconference2016@gmail.com

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