Shakespeare’s plays are full of common people – the everyday men and women who make up the majority of society. While these characters may not have traditionally been given much attention, they are essential to Shakespeare’s storytelling.
Many of Shakespeare’s common people are ordinary people who find themselves in extraordinary situations. They are thrust into the spotlight and must deal with the consequences of their actions. Some of these characters are heroic, while others are more complicated and nuanced.
Regardless of their individual storylines, Shakespeare’s common people offer a fascinating look at the everyday lives of average people. They provide a realistic counterpoint to the more privileged characters in Shakespeare’s plays. By giving voice to the common people, Shakespeare shows us the importance of everyone in society.
In virtually all of Shakespeare’s political drama, common people play a crucial function, whether there are any actual parts on the stage or not and no matter how many such figures appear in the background of the play. Although the stage may be crowded with emperors, kings, Royal members, and noblemen with various illustrious appellations, there is always some place and moment for ordinary folks to express their own ideas.
Take, for example, the opening scene of “Richard III”. After the first few speeches by Richard and Buckingham, a messenger comes in to report that the Earl of Richmond is on his way to England with a large army. The people in the crowd immediately become afraid, and some of them even start to leave. But then a man named Catesby stands up and says:
“But who shall answer for your safe return?”
This question arouses the curiosity of the people, and they ask Richard and Buckingham what Catesby means. Richard then tells the people that Catesby is speaking for him, and that he will protect them. This makes the people happy, and they begin to cheer for Richard
In this scene, Shakespeare shows us that the common people are not afraid of Richard, even though he is a villain. They trust him because he has promised to protect them. This shows that Shakespeare understands the psychology of the common people, and he uses this knowledge to create interesting scenes in his plays.
Even if they are silent or non-existent, the audience may readily see their presence. At the very least in the monarch’s mind, ordinary individuals represent a significant force that may have a tremendous impact on politics, as seen in Titus Andronicus, King Richard the Second, and King Richard the Third. In King Richard the Second and King Richard III, several individual sequences are dedicated to allowing common people to participate in the epic events as truth-tellers.
Shakespeare makes an effort to explore how the common people might have reacted to these historical events and what they could have contributed. While in Titus Andronicus, Shakespeare largely uses common people as a tool for comic relief, he also employs them as agents of chaos whose presence disturbs the equilibrium of the state. In this play, common people are not usually allowed onstage; when they do appear, it is usually in a violent or grotesque manner.
As a result, their appearance is designed to create a sense of disorder and anarchy. Their actions often precipitate the downfall of powerful characters such as Tamora, Aaron, and Saturninus. In many ways, then, common people in Titus Andronicus are used as a tool to underscore the chaotic and unstable nature of the state.
Interestingly, Shakespeare does not always portray common people in a negative light. In some plays, such as King John and As You Like It, they are shown to be wise and insightful figures who can offer valuable perspectives on important issues. In these cases, Shakespeare seems to be hinting at the idea that the common people may have something to teach the elites about how to live a good life.
Overall, Shakespeare’s portrayal of common people is complex and multifaceted. While they may sometimes be used for comic relief or to create chaos, they also possess considerable wisdom and insight that can add richness to the dramatic action.
In contrast to other versions of Richard II, the garden serves as a messenger in this instance. Rather than depicting a specific scene from the actual battle, the gardener delivers news of Richard’s failure on the field to Queen and audience. He also serves as a wise spectator and representative of public opinion, even if he is introduced owing to the play’s structure.
Shakespeare could have used a courtier or someone from the nobility for this purpose, but he deliberately chose a commoner in order to give the audience a more accurate perspective of what was happening.
Similarly, Bottom the weaver in A Midsummer Night’s Dream is not simply a comic character used to provide entertainment. He is also an Everyman, representative of the average person in society. This is made clear when he speaks the lines “The best in this kind are but shadows; and the worst are no worse, if imagination amend them” (5.1.176-177). In other words, Bottom is able to see beyond appearances and recognise that everyone, regardless of social standing, is ultimately equal.
William Shakespeare was a playwright and poet who lived during the late 16th and early 17th centuries. He is widely regarded as one of the most influential writers in English history. Shakespeare’s plays are full of rich, complex characters, but his portrayal of the common people is especially noteworthy. His criticism on the King’s misconduct and the clever analogy between gardening and kingcraft seems quite beyond the knowledge of an average gardener. In fact, many of Shakespeare’s insights into human nature seem to be far ahead of his time.
Whether or not he had done so himself, he would have worn the crown, which has totally shattered his time. It’s obvious that the gardener serves as a prolocateur here to pass on the play’s morale. Given this specific role, the role of the gardener is endowed with a far-seeing insight that may or may not be in keeping with his actual personality. Similar circumstances can also be found in King Richard III. The three citizens who take on roles comparable to those of the gardener conduct an analysis of political intrigue during that period that is both accurate and thorough.
The first citizen, who represents the commons, worries about their safety under Richard’s reign. He is not confident that Richard will show mercy to them as he has done in the past. The second citizen, who represents the merchants, shares the same sentiment as the first citizen but also voices his concern about being able to conduct business under Richard’s rule. The third citizen, who represents the nobles, is most worried about his own safety and how it may be affected by Richard’s rule.