William Shakespeare Widely regarded as the greatest writer in English Literature
Shakespeare • 1563-1616 • Stratford-on-Avon, England • wrote 37 plays • about 154 sonnets • started out as an actor
Stage Celebrity • Actor for Lord Chamberlain’s Men (London theater co.) • Also > principal playwright for them • 1599> Lord Ch. Co. built Globe Theater where most of Sh. Play’s were performed
Shakespeare wrote: • Comedies white flag • Histories red flag • Tragedies black flag
Romeo and Juliet • Written about 1595 • Considered a tragedy of fate • West Side Story (Movie) based on R&J
The Theater • Plays produced for the general public • Roofless>open air • No artificial lighting • Courtyard surrounded by 3 levels of galleries
Spectators • Wealthy got benches • “Groundlings”>poorer people stood and watched from the courtyard (“pit”) • All but wealthy were uneducated/illiterate
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 door>ghosts • “Heavens”> angelic beings
Differences • No scenery • Settings > references in dialogue • Elaborate costumes • Plenty of props
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
Tragedy (Shakespearean) • Drama where the central character/s suffer disaster/great misfortune • In many tragedies, downfall results from> • Fate • Character flaw/Fatal flaw
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?
Blank Verse • Much of R & J is written in it: • unrhymed verse • iambic (unstressed, stressed) • pentameter( 5 “feet” to a line) • ends up to be 10 syllable lines
Monologue • One person speaking on stage > may be other character on stage too • ex > the Prince of Verona commanding the Capulets and Montagues to cease feuding
Exposition • The plot usually begins with this: • Setting Verona, Italy/ Mantua • characters • basic situation- Shakespeare chooses to begin love story w/ bawdy jokes/street brawl • Gain attention of groundlings • Educated/elite wait until scene 2
Thumb biting • The ultimate insult --as a result brawl breaks out • Character of Benvolio (Montague) --- peacemaker • Character of Tybalt (Capulet) • Hotheaded • Citizens join the riot • entrance of Lord Capulet & Lord Montague
Act 1 SCENE 1 • Ready to fight when wives break t up • Prince Escalus enters appears 3x in the play • Characterized by traits of order, restoring peace. He makes appearances to symbolize ORDER. Shk. creates this character in almost every play. • THREAT- if fighting again YOU WILL DIE!
Pun • Shakespeare loved to use them!!! • Humorous use of a word with two meanings • Act 1 sc. 1 • Carry coals= sell coal • Carry coals= tolerate insults
Theme • Central idea or • Insight about life which explains the downfall
malaproism • A comical mistake when a character uses a wrong but similar word • Ex. Nurse Act 1 scene 3
Dramatic Foil • A character whose purpose is to show off another character • Benvolio for Tybalt • look for others in R & J
Comic Relief • Use of comedy within literature that is NOT comedy to provide “relief” from seriousness or sadness. • Nurse Act 1 scene iii
Aside • Words spoken, usually in an undertone not intended to be heard by all characters
Flat Characters • One-dimensional, embodying only a single trait • Shakespeare often uses them to provide comic relief even in a tragedy
Round characters • Characters who have many personality traits, like real people.
Crisis • The point where the protagonist’s situation will either get better or worse • protagonist>good guy • antagonist>bad guy
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
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.
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 that change somehow during the course of the plot. They generally change for the better.
Dramatic Irony • A contradiction between what a character thinks and what the reader/audience knows to be true
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.
QE1 Words (contin.) • Whence: Where • Wilt: Will, will you • Withal: In addition to • Would: Wish
QE1 Words (contin.) • Haply: Perhaps • Happy: Fortunate • Hence: Away, from her • Hie: Hurry • Marry: Indeed
Elizabethan (QE1) Words • An,and: If • Anon: Soon • Aye: Yes • But: Except for • E’en: Even • E’er: Ever
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?”
Verbal Irony • Words used to suggest the opposite of what is meant
Situational Irony • An event occurs that directly contradicts the expectations of the characters, the reader, or the audience