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Saturday, May 25, 2013

Through The Ages - Cards - William Shakespeare

This is a series of blogs written about each card in Through The Ages.  To find more, simply click on "Cards" label.
William Shakespeare
History
William Shakespeare was born April 1564.  He would live 52 years, but he would become, arguably, the greatest master of the English language.   of his life, he would excel at the art of poetry and playwright.

From his birth to his marriage at 18 to Anne Hathaway, little is known of Shakespeare of note.  In 1585 Shakespeare's wife gave birth to twins, the last of their children.  From there until 1592, nothing of interest was recorded about Shakespeare.

In 1592 a few of Shakespeare's plays began to appear in London.  Without a university education, Shakespeare was criticized by many of his "more educated peers".  By 1594 only one company, of which Shakespeare was a member, were displaying his plays.  His writing ability improved and by 1598 his name was a selling point on scripts.  In 1599 his company opened the Globe Theatre, and Shakespeare's reputation was firmly established.

Shakespeare's command of the English language and imagery is profound.  His works are studied by students in the secondary schools for English literature and many of his stories inspire other authors.  Perhaps less well realized is the influence Shakespeare had in formalizing the English language into its current form.  During his time, the English language was not yet formalized and his works helped to formalize its structure.
Game Stats
Shakespeare is the second cultural leader of Age II, the other being J.S. Bach.  Shakespeare is almost as popular as J.S.Bach, beating him by a single play, well within the margin of error.  Unlike Bach, Shakespeare has a stronger track record of success.
Opinions
Shakespeare is a difficult leader to get into play.  He requires many supporting buildings to capitalize on his ability.  Although he is challenging to get into play, when all falls right Shakespeare is a dominating cultural force.  In two of the games where the player who played Shakespeare won, Shakespeare was allowing them to generate over 30 culture a turn!

Shakespeare is a culture engine.  Perhaps the best strategy for using him is to focus on an early strong economy, labs and theaters.  If enough players leave you alone in the early stages and do not disrupt your economy, you may find yourself with a lab and theater built.  If all falls well, and that is a big 'if', Shakespeare can generate so much culture he can offset later military actions waged against you.

Shakespeare is an advanced card and not easy to play.  The success rate is low, but when successful Shakespeare will provide one of highest winning scores.
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