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James Shirley

(September 1596 – October 1666 / London, England)

James Shirley
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James Shirley (or Sherley) was an English dramatist.

He belonged to the great period of English dramatic literature, but, in Lamb's words, he "claims a place among the worthies of this period, not so much for any transcendent genius in himself, as that he was the last of a great race, all of whom spoke nearly the same language and had a set of moral feelings and notions in common." His career of play writing extended from 1625 to the suppression of stage plays by Parliament in 1642.

Life

Shirley was born in London. He was educated at Merchant Taylors' School, London, St John's College, Oxford, and ... more »

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Quotations

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  • Victorious men of earth, no more
    Proclaim how wide your empires are;
    Though you bind in every shore
    And your triumphs reach as far
    As night or day,
    Yet you, proud mo...
    James Shirley (1596-1666), British dramatist. Cupid and Death (l. 23-24). . . Oxford Book of Seventeenth Century Verse, The. H. J. C. Grierson and...
  • The glories of our blood and state
    Are shadows, not substantial things;
    There is no armour against fate;
    Death lays his icy hand on kings:
    Sceptre and crown
    Must tum...
    James Shirley (1596-1666), British dramatist. The Contention of Ajax and Ulysses (l. 1-8). . . Norton Anthology of Poetry, The. Alexander W. Allis...
  • ''Only the actions of the just
    Smell sweet and blossom in their dust.''
    James Shirley (1596-1666), British dramatist. The Contention of Ajax and Ulysses (l. 23-24). . . Norton Anthology of Poetry, The. Alexander W. All...
  • ''They stoop to fate,
    And must give up their murmuring breath,
    When they, pale captives, creep to death.''
    James Shirley (1596-1666), British dramatist. The Contention of Ajax and Ulysses (l. 14-16). . . Norton Anthology of Poetry, The. Alexander W. All...
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