William Shakespeare Widely regarded as the greatest writer in English Literature
Shakespeare • 1563-1616 in Stratford-on-Avon, England • Father was a prosperous merchant and mother was the daughter of a landlord • Married Anne Hathaway in 1582 – Shakespeare was 18 and Hathaway was 26 • Couple had three children • Wrote 37 plays and approximately 154 sonnets • Started out as an actor
Stage Celebrity • Actor for Lord Chamberlain’s Men (London Theater Co.) • principal playwright for them • 1599—Lord Ch. Co. built Globe Theater where most of his play’s were performed
Shakespeare wrote: • Comedies • Histories • Tragedies • Tragicomedies
Romeo and Juliet • Written @ 1595 • Considered a tragedy • Inspired many modern day love stories (books and movie)
Romeo and Juliet • Based on Arthur Brooke’s poem called The TragicalHistorye of Romeus and Juliet (1562) • Shakespeare changed his play to fit the stage by developing the characters and adding certain scenes • Juliet was 16 in the poem and 13 in the play • Play is condensed to five days instead of months • Changed the language to fit his style • Wrote the play primarily in blank verse with the prologues being written as sonnets in iambic pentameter
The Globe Theater • Built outside London in 1599 and housed most of Shakespeare’s plays • Round or octagonal in shape, contained no roof, and held 2,000-3,000 people • Destroyed by a fire in 1613 • Theater was replicated and re-opened in 1997
The Theater Experience • Plays produced for the general public • Roofless—open air • No artificial lighting • Courtyard surrounded by 3 levels of galleries
Spectators • Wealthy sat on benches • “Groundlings”(poorer people) stood and watched from the courtyard (“pit”); cost 1¢ • All but wealthy were uneducated/illiterate • Much more interaction than today
Staging Areas • Stage—platform that extended into the pit • Dressing & storage rooms in galleries behind & above stage • second-level gallery(upper stage) famous balcony scene in R & J • Trap doors
Actors • Only men and boys • Young boys whose voices had not changed play women’s roles • Would have been considered indecent for a woman to appear on stage
Differences • No scenery • Settings—references in dialogue • Elaborate costumes • Plenty of props • Fast-paced, colorful—2 hours!
Elizabethan Words Hence: Away, from her Hie: Hurry Marry: Indeed Whence: Where Wilt: Will, will you Withal: In addition to Would: Wish An,and: If Anon: Soon Aye: Yes But: Except for E’en: Even E’er: Ever Haply: Perhaps Happy: Fortunate
Blank Verse • Credited as 1st person to use it • Much of R & J is written in it: • unrhymed verse • iambic (unstressed, stressed) • pentameter( 5 “feet” to a line) • ends up being 10 syllable lines
Prose • Ordinary writing that is not poetry, drama, or song • Only characters in the lower social classes speak this way in Shakespeare’s plays • Why do you suppose that is?
Exposition • The plot usually begins with this: • Introduces: • setting • characters • basic conflict
Inciting Moment • Often called “initial incident” • the first bit of action that occurs which begins the plot • Romeo and Juliet “lock eyes” at the party
Conflict • The struggle that develops • man vs. man • man vs. himself • man vs. society • man vs. nature
Crisis • The point where the protagonist’s situation will either get better or worse • Protagonist (good guy) • Antagonist (bad guy)
Climax • The turning point of the story—everything begins to unravel from here • Thus begins the falling action
Resolution • The end of the central conflict Denouement • The final explanation or outcome of the plot • If this is included in literature, it will occur after the resolution.
Tragedy (Shakespearean) • Drama where the central character(s) suffer disaster/great misfortune • In many tragedies, downfall results from: • Fate • Character flaw/Fatal flaw • Combination of the two
Dramatic Foil • A character whose purpose is to show off/antagonize another character • In Romeo and Juliet—Benvolio for Tybalt
Round characters • Characters who have many personality traits, like real people.
Flat Characters • One-dimensional, embodying only a single trait • Shakespeare often uses them to provide comic relief even in a tragedy
Static Characters • Characters within a story who remain the same. They do not change. They do not change their minds, opinions or character.
Dynamic Character • Characters who change somehow during the course of the plot. They generally change for the better.
Monologue • One person speaking on stage • there may be other characters on stage too • ex . the Prince of Verona commanding the Capulets and Montagues to cease feuding
Soliloquy • Long speech expressing the thoughts of a character alone on stage. • In R & J, Romeo gives a soliloquy after the servant has fled and Paris has died.
Aside • Words spoken, usually in an undertone; not intended to be heard by all characters • Intended for audience
Pun • Shakespeare loved to use them!!! • Humorous use of a word with two meanings—sometimes missed by the reader because of Elizabethan language and sexual innuendo • “Speaking ill of the dead is a grave mistake.” • “I used to look for gold, but it didn’t pan out.”
Direct Address • Words that tell the reader who is being addressed: • “A right fair mark, fair coz, is soonest hit.” • “Ah, my mistresses, which of you all/ Will now deny to dance?”
Irony • Situational Irony • An event occurs that directly contradicts the expectations of the characters, the reader, or the audience Dramatic Irony • A contradiction between what a character thinks and what the reader/audience knows to be true Verbal Irony • Words used to suggest the opposite of what is meant
Comic Relief • Use of comedy within literature to provide “relief” from seriousness or sadness. • In R & J, look for moments of comic relief that help “relieve” the tragedy of the situation
Simile • A comparison that uses the words “like” or “as” The light was as bright as the sun. She was like a fish gliding in the water.
Metaphor • A comparison that does NOT use “like” or “as” As he lifted the final stone, he was Hercules.
Allusion • A reference to a famous, often mythological, person, place, or event “She’ll not be hit with Cupid’s arrow.” “From forth day’s path and Titan’s fiery wheels.”
Oxymoron • A phrase that contains conflicting paired words • Used to show emphasis and exaggeration “honorable villain” “damned saint”