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William Shakespeare. (Whoever That Was) 1564-1616. Birth and Early Years. Baptized: April 26, 1564 Born: probably a few days before baptism Born in Stratford-Upon-Avon About 100 miles NW of London Education: Probably attended grammar school and church at Stratford-Upon-Avon

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william shakespeare

William Shakespeare

(Whoever That Was)

1564-1616

birth and early years
Birth and Early Years
  • Baptized: April 26, 1564
  • Born: probably a few days before baptism
    • Born in Stratford-Upon-Avon
      • About 100 miles NW of London
  • Education:
    • Probably attended grammar school and church at Stratford-Upon-Avon
      • Elizabethan school: began at dawn, lasted most of the day, 6 days a week. He would have learned Latin, and the classics there. There is some indication Billy did not finish school.
      • Elizabethan church: MANDATORY
what we know for sure
What We Know For Sure
  • Born c. 1564
  • Baptized 1564
  • Married to Anne Hathaway Nov 28, 1582.
  • Children: Susanna (1583), twins Hamnet and Judith (1585)
  • Probably lived in or around Stratford until 1585.
  • Died c. 1616
  • There are some killer poems and plays attributed to him. (1585-1613)
  • Joined and became part owner Lord Chamberlin’s men (later called The Kings’ Men), a theater troupe. (c. 1585-1592)
    • Shakespeare acted and wrote plays for this group.
elizabethan society
Elizabethan Society
  • The English Renaissance
    • cultural and artistic movement in England dating from the early 16th century to the early 17th century.
    • More about music and literature, as opposed to Italian Rennaissance, which had notable visual arts
    • “The Age of Shakespeare,” or “The Elizabethan Era”
  • Religion
    • There was an uneasy truce between Catholics and Protestants in 16th century England.
      • Historically, the Catholic Church held about as much power as the king
      • Elizabeth recognized the Church of England (protestant) and put herself in charge of it.
  • The Arts
    • In particular, the puritans, a sect of Protestantism, were very much against the theater, perceiving it as a den of vice and generally a distraction from the Lord.
    • Fortunately for Billy Boy, Queen Elizabeth loved the theater, despite being Protestant! And so the show went on…
elizabethan theater
Elizabethan Theater
  • Comedy – Everyone gets married at the end.
          • More like what we call “romantic comedy”
  • Tragedy – Everyone dies at the end.
          • The main character either “falls to ruin” or is killed
          • Often the protagonist’s fate is a result of a flaw in their character, or a moral weakness
            • This is known as a tragic flaw.
  • History – Stories about Kings. Sometimes serialized (like a soap opera)
  • 5 Act plays and the 5 elements of plot
    • I: Exposition IV: Falling Action
    • II: Rising Action V: Resolution and Denoument
    • III: Climax
the globe theater1
The Globe Theater

Basically a thrust stage, with audience on all three sides

Very little in the way of a set; great costumes though!

Creating the world of the play relied on compelling and descriptive language

Thousands of attendees, representing all levels of society

“Cheap Seats” in the pit

Groundlings

slide8

Cost of a play – about a penny

    • Blue collar workers made about 5-6 pennies a day; rent was about 12 pennies (a shilling)
  • Attendees typically not as well behaved as a modern audience
  • Theater was considered to be somewhat unseemly; the Globe was built on the outskirts of town
romeo and juliet
Romeo and Juliet
  • Written and originally performed c. 1596
    • Makes it one of Billy’s earlier works
  • R and J is a Tragedy
    • “Two star-cross’dlovers take their life”
  • Setting
    • 15th Century Verona
      • (A city in Italy)
    • Before Italy was a unified country
      • City-States, ruled by noblemen (Dukes)
    • Two feuding families
      • Montagues (Romeo’s family)
      • Capulets (Juliet’s family)
why do they talk to funny
Why do they talk to funny?
  • 1) Language changes – the meanings and associated meanings of words change over time.
  • 2) Figurative Language – metaphors, puns, imagery, etc.
  • 3) Blank Verse (unrhymed iambic pentameter)
  • 4) Allusions – things that were hip in the 16th century are now pretty obscure!
note time
Note Time!
  • Make a page in your notebook for “Shakespeare Vocabulary”
  • Take notes over pages 986-987 in your textbook
macbeth
Macbeth
  • Written/performed c. 1605
    • At the height of Shakespeare’s and his company’s popularity
  • “The Scottish Play”
    • Commissioned by then king of Scotland
    • Set in Scotland- 11th century (c. 1040AD)
    • Costume considerations
  • Would have been originally performed in private halls, to wealthy crowds (so NOT in the Globe)