William Shakespeare. 1564 -1616. Who is William Shakespeare?. Born in Stratford-upon-Avon, England in April, 1564 Studied basic Latin and Greek in grammar school When he was 18 he married Anne Hathaway Had 3 children: 2 daughters and a son
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Two theatres thrived during the mid-late 1500’s:the Rose, and
Two main acting troupes (archrivals) played at both: The Lord
Admiral’s Men, and The LordChamberlain’s Men.
Shakespeare was both a founding member of the Chamberlain’s
Men, and the company’s main playwright.
By 1597 Shakespeare had written Romeo and Juliet, The Merchant of Venice, and A Midsummer Night’s Dream.
The Chamberlain’s Men had a dispute with the landlords of the Theatre. Since they owned the actual building, they took it apart, and re-built it further south in London. The new theatre was known as The Globe.
At The Globe – most of Shakespeare’s greatest plays debuted, including Hamlet, Macbeth, Twelfth Night, and King Lear
In 1603 – after the Death of Queen Elizabeth I, Shakespeare’s acting troupe changed it’s name to the King’s Men, and became the official company of the new monarch, James I.
A Tragedy by William Shakespeare
It embodies the following characteristics:
God*Also order of human senses, the
AngelsKing or Queen elements of the earth, and the
ManNobilityFather humours within the body.
As long as each piece stayed in its place, the universe existed in harmony. If someone tried to change the order of things, trouble would ensue and things would fall into chaos.
In Elizabethan England, belief in witchcraft, ghosts, fairies, devils, elves and the personification of death was generally accepted.
Fire (Highest but most volatile element, closest to heavenly matter that composes spiritual ether and stars; its natural state was warm/dry)
Air (Second ranking element; Natural state: warm/wet)
Water (Earth naturally sinks below water, so water is higher in status. Natural state: cool/wet
Earth (Lowest but most stable element, closest to base desires. Natural state: cool/dry)
The "humours" gave off vapors which ascended to the brain; an individual's personal characteristics (physical, mental, moral) were explained by his or her "temperament," or the state of thetperson's "humours." The perfect temperament resulted when no one of these humours dominated. By 1600 it was common to use "humour" as a means of classifying characters; knowledge of the humours is not only important to understanding later medieval work, but essential to interpreting Elizabethan drama.
Keep in mind, all of creation was bound together.
Whatever affected one thing affected other things in the Chain of Being.
This was called a “Correspondence.”
Three interlocking parts of the Chain corresponded to each other. These were:
It connected to every part of creation.
-Created in God’s Own Image
-Set in the very center of creation
-Given the position of primate over
-Given both soul and flesh.
Immortal, never dying....
What would happen if the human body became corrupted?
When the humors are balanced proportionately in the human body, mankind is healthy, and experiences no negative or inappropriate emotions.
When unbalanced, it was another story.
Animals attacking people, eating their own young, stealing grain or crops, all these were signs of the fallen nature of the earth, and corresponded to breaks in the Chain of Being and disorder within the microcosm.
3-Open rejection of Ophelia
1-Play within the play: King’s guilt established
1-Failure to kill Claudius at prayer
1-Death of Polonius: interview with mother; second
appearance of ghost
Crisis: Act III
2-Return of ambassadors
1-The antic disposition
Falling Action: Act IV
2-Fortinbras crosses Denmark
3-Madness and death of Ophelia
1-Return of Laertes and Hamlet
Complication: Act II
3-Advice to Ophelia; departure of Laertes
2-Dispatch of ambassadors to Norway
1-Appearance of Ghost
Catastrophe (Climax) and
Outcome: Act V
Exposition: Act I
3-Funeral of Ophelia
1-Duel; death of Claudius,
Gertrude, Laertes, Hamlet
2-Arrival of Fortinbras
Old King Hamlet: dead
Hamlet: son of Hamlet
Claudius: brother of Old Hamlet
murderer of Old Hamlet
new King – marries Gertrude
Polonius: Nobleman, aid
and confidant of Claudius
Laertes: son of Polonius, duels Hamlet at Claduius’ request.
Horatio: good friend
and confidant of
Wife is dead
Ophelia: daughter, romantic connection to Hamlet.
Rosencrantz and Guildenstern:
old friends of Hamlet’s, but back
on Claudius’ request.
Over in Norway…
King Fortinbras: died in duel
with Old King Hamlet
+ Shakespeare varies his use of verse in his plays. Lesser characters are written in prose, while more prominent characters are often written in blank or rhymed verse.