William Shakespeare and His Theater Actor ~ Businessman ~ Writer ~ Legend
What do you already know about Shakespeare, his works, culture, and his history?
Actors in Shakespeare’s Day • Considered immoral, irresponsible, and rowdy. • Believed to promote disturbances. • Called sacrilegious for boys playing female roles (cross-dressing). • Functioned on a Repertory system • Rarely acted the same play two days in a row
Costumes • Lavish and expensive costumes • Bright in color • Contemporary clothing • Most prized possession • Usually donated by nobles • Main characters wore historically accurate costumes
The Theater Many theaters burned down. • a polygonal structure made of wood • thatched roof only over the galleries and the stage • center open to the sky • no curtain with a stage jutting into the yard
The Theater • cheap seats = standing room only on the floor (the “yard” or “pit”) • Also called “penny seats” and groundlings • expensive seats = galleries above • very few set pieces and some small props • yelling from audience members = allowed
Threats to English Theater • Fires • Bubonic Plague • Puritan Movement • Ended the golden age of English theater 1642
Disapproval by Church and London Theaters . . . • were located in “bad” areas – prostitution, blood sports, disreputable taverns, beggars (but London officials wouldn’t allow them elsewhere). • caused traffic problems (since thousands of people attended). • supposedly caused violence and lawlessness.
Disapproval by Church and London Theaters were . . . • blamed for spreading the plague. • attended by apprentices who skipped work. • the sources of “curses” (fire, sickness, natural disasters, etc.) from God for the immorality and violence on stage.
Writers • Modest backgrounds • Paid in increments • Wrote 1 to 2 plays a year • Actors and Shareholders
Shakespeare’s Childhood • Birth: April, 1564 (exact date unknown) • Parents: John and Mary Shakespeare • Birthplace: Stratford-upon-Avon, an important agricultural and market center
Shakespeare’s Education • Most likely attended Stratford’s grammar school • Subjects – English classics and Latin grammar • Apprentice to his father (who worked in leather and agricultural goods)
Shakespeare’s Marriage and Children • Marriage: November 28, 1582 to Anne Hathaway (eight years older than 18 year old William) • Children: Susanna, Judith, and Hamnet
“The Lost Years” • No records exist after his children were born in 1585 until his appearance in London in 1592. • Legends • poached deer and escaped to London • worked for an attorney • joined a theater group and went to London • went to Italy • became a schoolmaster
Shakespeare’s Early Career • Well known by 1592 in the theater business • Playwright, play mender, poet, shareholder, and actor involved with many acting companies • By 1594 - member of the Lord Chamberlain’s Men, an acting company that had the honor of playing for the queen that year.
Shakespeare’s Growing Success • Late 1590s: author of numerous plays and manager for the Lord Chamberlain’s Men, the most popular company in London • 1599: Globe Theater, the most famous playhouse in London
Shakespeare’s Later Years • 1603 - Lord Chamberlain’s Men became the King’s Men (James I - new patron) • Era of greatest tragedies, including Hamlet, Othello, Macbeth, and King Lear • Financial success wealthy in retirement
Shakespeare’s Retirement & Death • Returned to Stratford in 1612 and died in 1616 • Buried in Holy Trinity Church (curse on gravestone) Good friend for Jesus’ sake forebear, To dig the dust enclosed here; Blessed be the man that spares these stones, And curst be he that moves my bones.
Shakespeare’s Legacy • 154 sonnets and poems • Nearly 40 plays (scholars know of at least one lost play, Cardenio), all of which are still performed in theaters or on the big screen • Numerous new words or new forms of words
Shakespeare coined countless English words/phrases, including: • Eaten out of house and home • Pomp and circumstance• Foregone conclusion• Full circle• The makings of• Method in the madness• Neither rhyme nor reason• One fell swoop• Seen better days• It smells to heaven• A sorry sight• A spotless reputation• Strange bedfellows• The world's (my) oyster • Amazement • Assassin• baseless• clangor• countless• dishearten• dwindle• eventful• gnarled• laughable• monumental• obscene• premeditated• submerge SWAG And even… Yes… That’s right…
Types of Plays 1. History 2. Tragedy 3. Comedy 4. Romance
Structure of a Tragedy • Act I: The first act serves to introduce the conflict(s), set the scene and mood, introduce the principal players, and set the plot in motion. (Setting and Exposition, Conflict) • Act II: The second act serves to add complications to the conflict(s) and to develop both characters and plot lines. (Rising Action) • Act III: The third act should continue the building of complications until the action comes to a climax, which is the turning point of the play. Actions after the climax are irreversible. (Climax) • Act IV: The fourth act contains the events after the climax. It shows the consequences of characters’ actions. (Falling Action) • Act V: The fifth act is the end of the play. The conflict(s) is/are “resolved” and the play ends. (Resolution/Denouement)
Prose • For common people • Ordinary setting • Poetry • Shows heightened emotion • Royalty/magical • Scene change Shakespeare’s Language Blank Verse - Iambic Pentameter - 10 syllables in a line - unstressed/ stressed - A horse/ a horse/ my king/ domfor/ a horse !
Terms used in Shakespeare • In addition to the figurative language terms you have already learned about, Shakespeare also employs the following literary terms.
Soliloquy – A monologue onstage where the character is alone – shares inner thoughts and feelings • Aside – The character is speaking to himself or the audience, but the other characters do not hear him/her. Inner thoughts and feelings
Monologue – A long speech by a character. Other characters are on stage with him/her. • Foil – A character who highlights certain traits of another character by having contrasting traits
Allusion – a reference to an important person or event in history, mythological, Biblical the author assumes the audience knows • Supernatural – Things that don’t occur naturally – weather, witches, etc.
Pun • A play on words • If someone steals someone’s coffee, they are “mugging” them. • Don’t go to Starbucks or you could be latte for work!
Tragic Hero – A fortunate or privileged person (god, demi-god, hero, high ranking official) who is generally brought down by a tragic flaw • A fundamental character weakness such as destructive pride, ruthless ambition, or obsessive jealousy An Elizabethan tragic hero generally brings about his own downfall
Conflict – The problem in the story. Internal and external • Dynamic Character – A character that changed throughout the story. • Static Character - A character that doesn’t change throughout the story.
Foreshadowing • When authors give clues to something that is going to happen next. • The ominous clouds foreshadowed something bad was on its way.
Irony • When something unexpected happens. • Dramatic • The audience knows something the characters do not. • Verbal • A play on words; a pun • Situational • When we don’t expect the event to happen.
Pop Culture • 10 Things I Hate About You (1999) from The Taming of the Shrew • She’s the Man (2006) from Twelfth Night • The Lion King (1994) from Hamlet • O (2001) from Othello • West Side Story (1961) from Romeo & Juliet • Shakespeare in Love (1998)- fictional story based on Shakespeare’s romance while writing Romeo & Juliet
Shakespeare-inspired music • “Love Story”- Taylor Swift • “Romeo and Juliet”- Indigo Girls • “Miss MacBeth”- Elvis Costello • “Sister Moon” and “Be Still My Beating Heart”- Sting • “(Don’t Fear) The Reaper”- Blue Oyster Cult • “Get Over It”- The Eagles
Your Turn • Has Shakespeare impacted your lives? Have you seen any of these movies or heard any of these songs? Have you used any of these words, sayings, or notable phrases? Can you think of any other examples?
O We are going to say this word. A lot. (Read “O” with the emotion in parenthesis)
O (holding a puppy)