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W. S. Gilbert

Sir William Schwenck Gilbert<ref>The name Gilbert is pronounced with a hard G.</ref> (18 November 1836 – 29 May 1911) was an English dramatist, librettist, poet and illustrator best known for the fourteen comic operas (known as the Savoy operas) produced in collaboration with the composer Sir Arthur Sullivan. The most famous of these include H.M.S. Pinafore, The Pirates of Penzance and one of the most frequently performed works in the history of musical theatre, The Mikado.<ref>Kenrick, John. G&S Story: Part III, accessed 13 October 2006; and Powell, Jim. William S. Gilbert's Wicked Wit for Liberty accessed 13 October 2006.</ref> These, as well as several of the other Savoy operas, continue to be frequently performed in the English-speaking world and beyond by opera companies, repertory companies, schools and community theatre groups. Lines from these works have become part of the English language, such as "short, sharp shock", "What, never? Well, hardly ever!",<ref>Lawrence, Arthur H. "An illustrated interview with Sir Arthur Sullivan" Part 3, from The Strand Magazine, Vol. xiv, No.84 (December 1897)</ref> and "Let the punishment fit the crime".<ref name=Green>The last phrase is a satiric take on Cicero's De Legibus, 106 B.C. See Green, Edward. "Ballads, songs and speeches", BBC, 20 September 2004, accessed 16 October 2006.</ref>

Gilbert also wrote the Bab Ballads, an extensive collection of light verse accompanied by his own comical drawings. His creative output included over 75 plays and libretti, numerous stories, poems, lyrics and various other comic and serious pieces. His plays and realistic style of stage direction inspired other dramatists, including Oscar Wilde and George Bernard Shaw.<ref>Feingold, Michael, "Engaging the Past", The Village Voice, 4 May 2004</ref> According to The Cambridge History of English and American Literature, Gilbert's "lyrical facility and his mastery of metre raised the poetical quality of comic opera to a position that it had never reached before and has not reached since".<ref name=CambridgeHistory>The Cambridge History of English and American Literature, Volume XIII, Chapter VIII, Section 15 (1907–21)</ref>



W. S. Gilbert sections
Intro  Early life and career  Collaboration with Sullivan  Later years  Personality  Legacy  See also  Notes  References  Further reading  External links  

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W. S. Gilbert

Sir William Schwenck Gilbert<ref>The name Gilbert is pronounced with a hard G.</ref> (18 November 1836 – 29 May 1911) was an English dramatist, librettist, poet and illustrator best known for the fourteen comic operas (known as the Savoy operas) produced in collaboration with the composer Sir Arthur Sullivan. The most famous of these include H.M.S. Pinafore, The Pirates of Penzance and one of the most frequently performed works in the history of musical theatre, The Mikado.<ref>Kenrick, John. G&S Story: Part III, accessed 13 October 2006; and Powell, Jim. William S. Gilbert's Wicked Wit for Liberty accessed 13 October 2006.</ref> These, as well as several of the other Savoy operas, continue to be frequently performed in the English-speaking world and beyond by opera companies, repertory companies, schools and community theatre groups. Lines from these works have become part of the English language, such as "short, sharp shock", "What, never? Well, hardly ever!",<ref>Lawrence, Arthur H. "An illustrated interview with Sir Arthur Sullivan" Part 3, from The Strand Magazine, Vol. xiv, No.84 (December 1897)</ref> and "Let the punishment fit the crime".<ref name=Green>The last phrase is a satiric take on Cicero's De Legibus, 106 B.C. See Green, Edward. "Ballads, songs and speeches", BBC, 20 September 2004, accessed 16 October 2006.</ref>

Gilbert also wrote the Bab Ballads, an extensive collection of light verse accompanied by his own comical drawings. His creative output included over 75 plays and libretti, numerous stories, poems, lyrics and various other comic and serious pieces. His plays and realistic style of stage direction inspired other dramatists, including Oscar Wilde and George Bernard Shaw.<ref>Feingold, Michael, "Engaging the Past", The Village Voice, 4 May 2004</ref> According to The Cambridge History of English and American Literature, Gilbert's "lyrical facility and his mastery of metre raised the poetical quality of comic opera to a position that it had never reached before and has not reached since".<ref name=CambridgeHistory>The Cambridge History of English and American Literature, Volume XIII, Chapter VIII, Section 15 (1907–21)</ref>



W. S. Gilbert sections
Intro  Early life and career  Collaboration with Sullivan  Later years  Personality  Legacy  See also  Notes  References  Further reading  External links  

PREVIOUS: IntroNEXT: Early life and career
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