William Gilbert Essay Research Paper LIFE AND

William Gilbert Essay, Research Paper LIFE AND TIMES William Schwenk Gilbert was born in London on the 18th of November 1836. During his youth, Gilbert toured Europe with his parents and his 3 sisters, returning back to Europe in the year 1849. He settled down and went to school at the Great Ealing School. Gilbert was interested in the theatre and music when he was younger.

William Gilbert Essay, Research Paper

LIFE AND TIMES William Schwenk Gilbert was born in London on the 18th of November 1836. During his youth, Gilbert toured Europe with his parents and his 3 sisters, returning back to Europe in the year 1849. He settled down and went to school at the Great Ealing School. Gilbert was interested in the theatre and music when he was younger. He ended up graduating from King’s College, London and decided not to go to Oxford because he attempted to join the army and fight in the war in Crimea. After his Militia days, Gilbert attempted to be a clerk in the government and a barrister, but left these professions in a hurry. In 1861, Gilbert started to submit writings and drawings to the comic journal FUN. Among these pieces were “THE BAB BALLADS.” These “ballads” were written using his pen name “Bab.” They were also the source for plots and songs for the Gilbert and Sullivan works. (”Gilbert, Sir W.S.,” Microsoft Encarta, Pg. 1) On October 31, 1863, Gilberts’ first professionally-performed play, Uncle Baby, was produced at the Royal Lyceum Theater in London. It ran for only seven weeks. For 3 years, Gilbert produced not a single play. It wasn’t until December 1866, when his two works, Dulcamara and Hush-a-Bye Baby, were produced. Then in 1867 in Gilbert married Lucy Agnes Turner, a daughter of an army officer. The period from 1868 to 1875 was a very productive time for Gilbert, mostly because of 2 plays he wrote in 1971, which brought him a huge financial gain. Also, in 1971, Gilbert collaborated briefly with Sullivan on a production called Thespis. Though Gilbert was a great English Playwright, he was best known for his long collaboration, from 1871to 1896, with English composer Sir Arthur Sullivan. (The Life of W.S. Gilbert, Pg. 2) In this time period they produced 14 comical operas, they include Thespis (1871), Trial by Jury (1875), The Socerer (1877), H.M.S. Pinafore (1878), The Pirates of Penzance (1879), Patience (1881), Iolanthe (1882), Princess Ida (1884), The Mikado (1885), Ruddigore (1887), The Yeomen of the Guard (1888), The Gondoliers (1889), Utopia, Limited (1893), and The Grand Duke (1896). (The Life of W.S. Gilbert, pg. 3) After The Grand Duke, Gilbert pretended to go into retirement at his home in Grim’s Dyke. He was appointed as a local JP in 1893, but even after his so-called retirement he continued to write. In 15 years he completed four more plays. Gilbert died on May 29, 1911. He was giving swimming lessons to two women in the lake by his house in Grim’s Dyke. One of the women waded out to far into the lake, and Gilbert dived out to help but died of heart failure in the middle of the lake. He died at the age of 74. (William S. Gilbert Biography, Pg. 2) Overview of His Important

Works The Gilbert and Sullivan Play, H.M.S. Pinafore is a two-act comedy, first produced at the Opera Comique, London on May 28, 1878. The Pinafore was one of G and S biggest hits. It is one of the most popular of the comic operas. The Pinafore’s success being rivaled only by the “Mikado.” The Pinafore contains some of Gilbert’s most popular character’s and Sullivans most charming melodies. Pirates of Penzance, which we are doing for class, is a two act comedy, which debuted in 1879. It is arguably one of the three most entertaining operas, which were made by Gilbert and Sullivan. It is approximately one and a half hours of music, and the satire on matters nautical in England during Victorian days and the latter’s parody of “sea music” can be well appreciated and enjoyed now as ever. (Victor Book of the Opera) The opera, Mikido, Is the last of the Gilbert and Sullivan true greats. This opera is a two-act comedy, first produced March 14, 1885. It is set in Japan and is no doubt the most popular and entertaining of the Gilbert and Sullivan opera’s. (Victor Book of the Opera) Personal Critique While researching all of Gilbert’s works, and also watching the video of Pirates of Penzance in class, my personal opinion of Gilbert’s work is very favorable. Gilbert created some of the most absurd characters and paradoxical situations, that a person can’t get bored with his work. I personally enjoy his social and political satire. I’m not a big musical person. I have seen some broadway shows such as Cats and Les Miserables and I really didn’t enjoy them much. But when I saw Pirates of Penzance I was honestly caught up in it. I didn’t mind watching it at all. What I really enjoyed the most out of this research were his “Bab Ballads.” I seriously thought that his little cartoons/satirical essays were pretty funny. Not only that, but some of the characters from them turned out to be characters in his plays. I thought that was pretty interesting. What bugged me about what I learned was that I found out that Gilbert didn’t get as much respect as he should have. I reac in a bunch of articles that Gilbert was to Sullivan as Robin was to Batman. That, but when the two parted, Gilbert’s career kind of went down the tubes. Mostly because of his old age, and his tiredness of his old style. He wanted to change the way he wrote, unfortunately his supporters didn’t like his new style much. Again giving more reasons why he was nothing without Sullivan. I disagree with this. I read some of the play The Happy Land, which was written by Tomline (i.e. W.S. Gilbert) and Gilbert A. Beckett. I liked how the play was politically dangerous, that was the reason why Gilbert used a pseudonym and denied writing most of it. I thought it was pretty

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