Shakespeare: Life & Times. English Renaissance. Elizabeth I (Protestant) in power Rose to power after death of her older half sister ‘Bloody Mary' (Catholic) Elizabeth’s mother was Anne Boleyn who was executed by husband Henry VIII
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GOOD FRIND FOR JESUS SAKE FORBEARE,
TO DIGG THE DUST ENCLOASED HEARE.
BLESTE BE Ye MAN Yt SPAARES THES STONES,
AND CURST BE HE Yt MOVES MY BONES.
Why do you think Shakespeare had these word engraved on his tombstone?
Can this cockpit hold
The vastly fields of France? Or may we cram
Within this wooden O the very casques
That did affright the air at Agincourt?
-Prologue, Henry V: referring to the Globe Theatre
(However, he also utilizes prose when fitting)
Shakespeare’s plays are divided into 5 categories: comedies, histories, tragedies, problem plays, & romances
Concerns lovers, treats characters and situations humorously, concludes happily, ‘festive’ plays
History Plays (genre):
Large-scale chronicles of English history, concerned with social order and monarchies (Tudor point of view) his early plays were histories
Tell story of noble hero with a character flaw which eventually brings his downfall in circumstances which overpower him (usually involving other characters conspiring against him) Hero usually makes insights that make him a fuller human being. Tragedies end in (usually multiple) deaths
Describes 3 plays in which Shakespeare’s intention is ambiguous. Some have humorous content, but end tragically or vice versa. Alls Well that Ends Well, Measure for Measure, and Troilus and Cressida fall into this category.
“tragicomedies” Have potentially tragic beginnings which give way to peace. Powerful evil forces are overcome, involve a reunion of family members (4 of his last five plays were romances, parallel to his life)
A theatrical convention: a speech heard by the audience but not by other characters onstage
A theatrical convention: a speech by a character who is alone onstage or whose presence is unrecognized by the other characters.
Established theatrical techniques or plot devices that audiences and performers even though they are not realistic Ex: Aside, soliloquies, and the convention that a character who is disguised, no matter how thinly will not be recognized by the other characters.
Unrhymed lines in iambic pentameter (a meter made up of 5 ‘feet’, each foot consisting of a stressed and unstressed syllable)
Language that appeals to the senses and major image patterns which reoccur throughout the play (ex: Day and Night in R& J)
Speech delivered by a member of the chorus before the action starts which sets the scene for the play
A final address to the audience delivered by a character from the play which wraps up the action