Who is William Shakespeare?
Who is William Shakespeare? It’s this guy….. Bio He was born April 26, 1564, Stratford-uponAvon, during the Elizabethan era in England 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 free. 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, 1583. 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 guest 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 relief? 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 before 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 players. Women were not allowed to act in plays so boys played the female roles Romeo and Juliet Why do you think that Shakespeare, who is British, chose Verona, Italy to be the setting of his play Romeo and Juliet? Common characteristics of a tragic hero His downfall is usually due to excessive pride The audience must feel pity and fear for this character 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