Who is William Shakespeare?

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Who is William Shakespeare?
Who is William Shakespeare?
It’s this guy…..
He was born April 26,
1564, Stratford-uponAvon, during the
Elizabethan era in
He died April 23, 1616
at the age of 52
As a boy he attended a grammar school of
good quality, and the education there was
The boy's education would consist mostly of
Latin studies—learning to read, write, and
speak the language fairly well and studying
some of the Classical historians, moralists,
and poets.
Shakespeare did not go on to the university
At age 18 he married Anne Hathaway who
was 26.
His daughter Susanna, was born on May 26,
On February 2, 1585, twins were baptized,
Hamnet and Judith. (Hamnet, Shakespeare's
only son, died 11 years later.)
- After the birth of the twins, there are few
historical traces of Shakespeare until he is
mentioned as part of the London theatre scene
in 1592.
How Shakespeare spent the next eight years or
so, until his name begins to appear in London
theatre records, is not known
-Because of this gap, scholars refer to the years
between 1585 and 1592 as Shakespeare's
"lost years".
Why Read Shakespeare today?
He wrote 38 plays, invented the wrote
Shakespearean sonnets and 5 other poems
and used about 21,000 different words.
Shakespeare is credited by the Oxford
English Dictionary with the introduction of
nearly 3,000 words into the language.
Why is Shakespeare so great?
Shakespeare is probably the best because his
writing marks the great turning-point in English
literature. His characters are among the first to show
their internal thoughts, their 3-dimensional conflicts,
and express them in some of the most eloquent
speeches and language ever written. The stories he
wrote weren't new, but the understanding he brought
to the people in them has rarely been surpassed. His
characters come alive on the page and on the stage
and screen.
Plus he created so many words and
expressions that we still use today, that he
told interesting stories in an interesting way.
There's about a hundred phrases in everyday
use that he invented 400 yrs ago
Shakespeare's time
-The Elizabethan era is the period associated with
Queen Elizabeth I's reign (1558–1603) and is often
considered to be the golden age in English history.
- It was the height of the English Renaissance and saw the
peak of English poetry and literature.
- This was also the time during which Elizabethan theatre
flourished and William Shakespeare and many others,
composed plays that broke free of England's past style of
plays and theatre.
It was an age of exploration and expansion abroad.
Elizabethan Dress
Elizabethan men were not allowed to wear
whatever they liked! It did not matter how
wealthy they were - the color, fabric and
material of their clothes were dictated by
their rank, status or position and this was
enforced by English Law!
Sports and Entertainment
in the Elizabethan Era
Feasts -A large, elaborately prepared meal, usually for
many persons and often accompanied by court
entertainment. Often celebrated religious festivals
Banquets -A ceremonial dinner honoring a particular
Fairs-The Annual Summer Fair was often a bawdy affair
Plays -Started as plays enacted in town squares followed
by the actors using the courtyards of taverns or inns
(referred to as Inn-yards) followed by the first theatres
(great open air amphitheatres built in the same style as
the Roman Coliseum) and then the introduction of indoor
theatres called Playhouses
Miracle Plays -Re-enactment of stories from the Bible
Festivals-Celebrating Church festivals
Tournaments-A series of tilted matches between knights
Games and Sports -archery, bowling, cards, dice,
hammer-throwing, contests, wrestling and mob football
Animal Sports- Bear and Bull baiting, and Dog fighting
Hunting- Sport followed by the nobility often using dogs
Hawking -Sport followed by the nobility with hawks
(otherwise known as falconry)
The play's the thing
Were plays popular? Who went to
plays? Who played female roles? How
did Shakespeare introduce comic
Shakespeare and other playwrights were not
interested in telling their audiences how to
live their lives- but wanted to paint a picture
of true life and entertaining the audience at
the same time.
 Yes, plays were VERY popular with
some groups of people during the
Elizabethan Era but not with local merchants,
the Puritans, or the Church
 Local merchants were not happy because
they lost business because all performances
were at 2:00 p.m. Monday-Saturday
The Puritans felt that it was necessary for
plays to show only the good and holy.
The church was dissatisfied with the theater
because it kept people from prayer.
Who Attended the theater?
1. The Nobles (paid to see the plays)
2. The Merchants (sometimes raised money
for theaters)
3. General Audience (people with low paying
jobs) 80% of them paid ½ a penny to stand
and watch the play.
The Puritans stood outside the theater (they
only wore black, brown or white) and
protested holding up signs saying “You are
going to hell”.
The Globe Theater
For all its hurried construction in 1599, the Globe
proved a triumph.
Its first decade of use made it a favorite not just with
subsequent generations of theatergoers but with the
company itself.
The Globe burned to the ground, when its thatch roof
accidentally set alight by a cannon during a
performance of Henry VIII.
The company members dug deep into their own
pockets and rebuilt the Globe more splendidly than
The plays were staged in the afternoons,
using the light of day, and the audience
surrounded the stage on all sides.
No scenery was used, except for occasional
devices such as a throne or a bed.
It was almost impossible not to see the other
half of the audience standing behind the
Women were not
allowed to act in
plays so boys
played the female
Romeo and Juliet
Why do you think
that Shakespeare,
who is British,
chose Verona, Italy
to be the setting of
his play Romeo and
Common characteristics of a tragic hero
His downfall is usually due to excessive pride
The audience must feel pity and fear for this
He is doomed from the start, he bears no
responsibility for possessing his flaw, but
bears responsibility for his actions.
Usually of noble birth
Shakespearean Tragedies
"A Shakespearean tragedy is a five act play ending in the
death of most of the major characters."
A tragedy involves a protagonist of high status ("better
than we") who falls from prosperity to misery through a
series of reversals and discoveries as a result of a "tragic
flaw," generally an error caused by human shortcoming.
Each play contains an element of hope that is disappointed
or ambition that is frustrated.
audience understands and sympathizes with the character
the protagonist must be an admirable but flawed character
Death of the protagonist
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