Unit 4 By Grace
During his years in London, Shakespeare maintained his links with Stratford-upon-Avon. His wife and children continued to live there. • By 1613, Shakespeare had apparently returned to live in Stratford-upon-Avon. On 25 March 1616, he signed his will. He was already a sick man, and on 25 April 1616 he was buried in Holy Trinity Church in Stratford.
Warm-up Questions • How is Shakespeare related to Stratford? • He was born in Stratford-upon-Avon. • What is the text mainly about? His works, life, career or personality? • It’s mainly about Shakespeare’s life and career, but nothing seems to be certain about the dramatist’s life and career.
Skimming Decide which of the following statements best sums up the text. 1) William Shakespeare’s life story is supposition rather than fact. 2) William Shakespeare has written a lot of great works. 3) William Shakespeare’s life is full of adventure and coincidence. type of writing
What technique does the writer use in the narration? • He classifies Shakespeare’s life into chronological periods, the division of which is based on a time order. He uses the flashback technique, i.e. to begin with the signing of the will and then turns back to the beginning, the middle, and the end of Shakespeare’s life.
Part Division of the Text • Please find out the words or the sentence that best sums up the main idea in each paragraph.
True or False • Anne Hathaway and Susanna Hall got Shakespeare’s real estate. • A person’s whole property can be categorized into two kinds: real estate and personal estate. The former refers to land and buildings and the latter refers to money and other kinds of property. Shakespeare left his second best bed and furniture to his wife and the greater part of his estate to Susanna Hall. Here his estate means “his property in the form of land in the country”.
2. For Anne Hathaway and his married daughter the most interesting part of the will was his signature because without it, the will would not have been valid. • Shakespeare was a most popular playwright in his day and an author of high standing. There was nothing unusual in his will, but his signature in the will was all we have left of his handwriting, so to historians it was the most important and interesting part of the will; it was not so to his wife and daughter in this sense.
3. Every detail of Shakespeare’s life is fact as well as supposition. • Many of his activities are vague to us, and he left behind a great many questions that experts have been trying to answer ever since: the exact date of his birth, the real source of his amazingly detailed knowledge of so many different subjects, his whereabouts during the seven years after his departure from Stratford in 1585, the identity of the beautiful “dark lady” and the mystery about his manuscripts. We can well say that almost every detail of his personal life is based on supposition.
4. Shakespeare is considered to have been born in Roman times. • “Roman times” refer to the time beginning from the first century up to the fifth century. In the text the writer is stating that many details of Shakespeare’s personal life are so vague to us that it seems as if he had been born in Roman times.
5. People in every country read Shakespeare’s works with fear. • Shakespeare was one of the literary geniuses of all times. His numerous tragedies and comedies as well as verses have won him worldwide fame. He is respected for his amazingly detailed knowledge of different subjects. People all over the world read his work with great admiration and profound respect, not fear.
6. Shakespeare’s Elizabethan English is not very difficult to people who understand modern English. • This is not true. Elizabethan English belongs to the period of early modern English which is quite different from contemporary English and so it is difficult to understand.
7. It is a waste of time for tourists to go to Shakespeare’s birthplace. • Since Shakespeare’s plays have won him great fame and since he was a literary genius rare in history, and he enjoyed such a fine reputation, it cannot be considered a waste of time to make the journey to Stratford to see his birthplace and his plays at the Royal Shakespeare Theatre, because these have become things of historic interest.
Fill in the blanks with “estate” or “legacy”. His weak chest was a of a childhood illness. 他那瘦弱的胸脯是儿时患病的后遗症。 He invited us to his country for a weekend shoot.他邀请我们到他乡下的庄园去过一次打猎的周末。 These are the cultural of the Renaissance. 这些是文艺复兴时期的文化遗产。
P. 1 It was the will of a comfortably off man … • A comfortably off man is a man who is well-off or wealthy. having enough money to live in comfort • His family is badly off, so they can’t send him to university. • The family is much better off now when the children have all grown up and some of them have taken good jobs. • 那些过着富裕生活的农民从未想过要迁居到大都市去生活.
那些过着富裕生活的农民从未想过要迁居到大都市去生活. • It never occurred to those comfortably off farmers that they would move to the metropolis.
well-to-do • Demonstrators protested that the tax bill favored the well-to-do. • equal to “rich and wealthy”, meaning the possession of more than enough money or property
amount to • His debts amount to $1000. • Our monthly expenditure on food usually amounts to 600 yuan. • Your words amount to a refusal. • add up to, reach; be equal to
There is no country where Shakespeare’s work is not read with something very like awe because there is something fascinating about a man … • People all over the world read Shakespeare’s work with a feeling of profound respect and wonderment because there is something about him that made people charmed … • 凡是听说她不幸的遭遇的人无不深表同情.
凡是听说她不幸的遭遇的人无不深表同情. • No one who has heard about her misfortune will not feel deep sympathy for her.
fascinate • The Queen’s beauty fascinated every man. • attract, allure, captivate, charm, enchant
… almost every detail of his personal life is supposition rather than fact. • We do not base every minute and particular detail of his personal life on facts, but only on guesswork. • assumption • 这扇门这么低，那个高个子进屋时无法挺直身子,只能低头猫腰进入.
这扇门这么低，那个高个子进屋时无法挺直身子,只能低头猫腰进入.这扇门这么低，那个高个子进屋时无法挺直身子,只能低头猫腰进入. • It was such a low doorway that the tall man had to bend his head rather than keep upright when entering the room.
Historically speaking, Shakespeare lived only yesterday … • From the historical point of view, four hundred years is only a short period of time. Besides, historians set the date 1453 as the beginning of modern history. Shakespeare was born in 1564 and died in 1616. So to historians, Shakespeare lived in the same time as we do, not far away from us in history, as if he were living only yesterday.
… but his activities, like those of nearly every playwright of his day, are so vague that he could have been born in Roman times. • We are often uncertain about the things and people in the ancient time. We are so uncertain about Shakespeare’s activities that we might as well say that he was born when the Romans occupied Britain a long time ago.
Vague • The vague shape of a figure loomed through the mist. • Julia was vague about where she had been and what she had been doing. • Larry had the vague feeling he’d done something embarrassing the night before.
P. 2 … had made a thriving business out of its most famous citizen for a long time. • A business cannot thrive without good management. • One brother is poor, but the other is thriving. • I wouldn’t want that much pressure, but she seems to thrive on it. • flourish, prosper • Because of its most famous citizen William Shakespeare, Stratford-upon-Avon has made a lot of money for a long time.
… many of them would have the greatest of difficulty in understanding Shakespeare’s Elizabethan English. • Shakespeare lived during the reign of Queen Elizabeth I (1558-1603). The English language used in that period is called Elizabethan English, which is classified as early modern English and which is different from present-day English in many respects, such as pronunciation, spelling, grammar and vocabulary. That’s why many tourists have difficulties in understanding it.
P. 3 To plot Shakespeare’s life is to become involved in a kind of detective story where there are plenty of clues but very little else. • Anyone who wants to make an outline of Shakespeare’s life finds himself in a difficult situation. He is like a detective trying to find out about a case. He has only a lot of clues but hardly any facts or evidence.
P. 4 Shakespeare wrote with great conviction about storms and shipwrecks and eating the hard ship’s biscuits “with aching teeth”. • These are allusions to the contents and lines of Shakespeare’s plays. From the mention of the hard sea life in Shakespeare’s plays, we can infer that he might have spent some years at sea so that he understood the sea life so profoundly, able to present its minute details. • 这位年轻学者专心致志地开发新型的电脑翻译软件,他深信在不久的将来自己会成名.
这位年轻学者专心致志地开发新型的电脑翻译软件,他深信在不久的将来自己会成名.这位年轻学者专心致志地开发新型的电脑翻译软件,他深信在不久的将来自己会成名. • This young scholar devoted all his attention to development of a new type of computer translation software. He believed with great conviction that he would make a name in the near future.
P. 5 … realized in a flash that this was the life for him and talked one of the managers into giving him a job. • After Shakespeare had seen some of the performances put on by some of the theatrical companies, he came to see instantly that he ought to take up theatre as his career, and he persuaded one of the managers to give him a job.
flash • A flash of lightning lit up the night sky. • Just wait here. I'll be back in a flash. • His new novel proves he isn't just a flash in the pan. • 他在餐厅享用美味的晚餐时,听到车子的警报声,猛然间他想起自己停在外面马路上的车子未上锁.
他在餐厅享用美味的晚餐时,听到车子的警报声,猛然间他想起自己停在外面马路上的车子未上锁.他在餐厅享用美味的晚餐时,听到车子的警报声,猛然间他想起自己停在外面马路上的车子未上锁. • While enjoying his delicious dinner in a restaurant, he heard the car alarm and realized in a flash that he left his car outside in the street unlocked.
他们竭力说服她放弃诉讼,但都无济于事. • They tried her best to talk her into giving up the lawsuit, but in vain.
P. 5 Shakespeare soon became sufficiently well known for managers and other influential people to refer to him in writing. • He became famous enough for the managers and other people who had a great influence upon others to mention him in their writing.
P. 5 We know that as well as working on old plays he rapidly made a name for himself as an author of entirely new ones and also performed as an actor at court. • The sentence means “He soon became famous by not only improving or revising the old plays but also writing completely new plays and acting in the plays for the queen.” • We can learn from the sentence that Shakespeare was gifted both in creative writing and in acting in the theatre.
Passage Dictation • The Globe Theatre is a playhouse built just outside London in 1599. It is the most famous theatre in history: on its stage Shakespeare’s greatest plays were first performed. Big enough to hold about 2,500 people, the Globe had three levels of galleries surrounding an unroofed yard. Extending from one side of the yard to the centre was an open stage. From the stage floor rose two posts to support an overhanging canopy known as the “heavens”.
The Globe was built in London by the Burbage brothers in 1599. At the same time, wishing to bind the Lord Chamberlain’s company closely to the new playhouse, they planned a novel partnership in which the brothers divided ownership of the Globe among themselves and five of the actors in the company, one of whom was Shakespeare. • After 1609, when the company opened a second theatre, the Globe became less important. On June 29, 1613, during a performance of Shakespeare’s King Henry the Eighth, fire destroyed the Globe. It was rebuilt within a year but was destroyed forever by the Puritans in 1644.