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Shakespeare Introduction. Grade 10 English Davis 2009-2010. Elizabethan England. Queen Elizabeth I - born September 7, 1533 in Greenwich Died March 24, 1603 in Richmond, Surrey

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shakespeare introduction


Grade 10 English

Davis 2009-2010

elizabethan england
Elizabethan England
  • Queen Elizabeth I - born September 7, 1533 in Greenwich
  • Died March 24, 1603 in Richmond, Surrey
  • Daughter of King Henry VIII and Anne Boleyn (beheaded by Henry for not bearing a son)
  • Coronated January 15, 1559
  • Spoke Greek, French, Italian, Latin, and, of course, English.
  • Never married and was nicknamed, "The Virgin Queen.”
  • Elizabethan age was height of English Renaissance in music, literature, military strength
  • Also saw the birth and rise of William Shakespeare, the Bard, and possibly most famous English play write of all time
shakespeare s life
Shakespeare’s Life
  • Born in Stratford-upon-Avon, Warwickshire
  • Baptized on 26 April 1564
  • Married in 1582 to Anne Hathaway
  • Was working on plays and sonnets in London by 1592
  • Died in 1616
  • 36 of his plays published for the first time in The First Folio in 1623
family life
Family Life
  • Father - John Shakespeare glovemaker and wool merchant
  • Mother - Mary Arden, daughter of well-to-do local landowner
  • Wife - Anne Hathaway was 12 years older and four months pregnant at the wedding
  • Children - Susanna(1583 - 1539),twins Judith(1585 - 1592)Hamnet(1585 - 1596)
  • Family lived in Stratford, Shakespeare lived in London except for last five years of his life when they were together
professional life
Professional Life


  • He wrote 37 plays and 154 sonnets in London - first documented play in 1594
  • Two of his sonnets were written with the patronage of Henry Wriothesley
  • He acted with and wrote for the troupe The Lord Chamberlain’s Men which changed names to The King’s Men in 1603 when King James ascended the throne
  • He and members of The Lord Chamberlain’s Men built the Globe Theater in 1599, which burnt down in 1613 and was rebuilt in 1614

Historical Guesses: (No one knows exactly when Shakespeare wrote anything, but based on the little information available, the time line of some of his plays are thought to be)

1589 - first play is Henry IV Part One

1590-91 - Henry IV Parts II and III

1593 - Two Gentlemen of Verona

1594 - Taming of the Shrew

1595 - Romeo and Juliet, A Midsummer’s Night Dream

1605 - Macbeth, King Lear (To honor King James)

1610 - Othello

1611 - The Tempest

performing a shakespearean play
Performing a Shakespearean Play
  • Protestant Church, City officials opposed theaters due to crime, bawdy subject matter, fighting, drinking, and up to 3,000 people in one place to spread Bubonic Plague
  • Theaters also used for bear-baiting and gambling
  • 1596 Plague caused London to ban all public plays and Theatres within the City limits
  • All actors were men because theaters too disreputable for women
  • Little emphasis on scenery, more attention on costumes, though most were contemporary due to cost
  • Much of the audience watched from the ‘pit’ as groundlings - poor workers who went for the entertainment of alcohol, fights, prostitution, and lewd subject matter of the plays. Often threw food at the actors onstage.
importance to english
Importance to English
  • Over 12,000 words entered English between 1500 - 1650
  • Shakespeare’s plays show the first recorded use of 2,035 new English words
  • Macbeth, Hamlet, and King Lear have one ‘new’ word every 2.5 lines
  • He created: “antipathy, critical, frugal, dwindle, extract, horrid, vast, hereditary, critical, excellent, eventful, assassination, lonely, leapfrog, indistinguishable, well-read, and countless others (including countless)” (Bryson loc. 1396-1406).
understanding shakespearean english
Understanding Shakespearean English
  • Read through the insults and compliments and try some of your own
  • What do you think some of them would have looked like? Draw a picture of your meanest insult or your nicest compliment and explain what it is you’ve called your friend (or enemy)
shakespeare s english continued
Shakespeare’s EnglishContinued

The following phrases were coined by Shakespeare. What do they mean and how do we use them today. Choose at least four of them to use in your own creative story:

A laughing stock (The Merry Wives of Windsor)

A sorry sight (Macbeth)

As dead as a doornail (Henry VI)

Eaten out of house and home (Henry V, Part 2)

Fair play (The Tempest)

I will wear my heart upon my sleeve (Othello)

In a pickle (The Tempest)

In stitches (Twelfth Night)

In the twinkling of an eye (The Merchant Of Venice)

Mum's the word (Henry VI, Part 2)

Neither here nor there (Othello)

Send him packing (Henry IV)

Set your teeth on edge (Henry IV)

There's method in my madness (Hamlet)

Too much of a good thing (As You Like It)

Vanish into thin air (Othello)

works cited
Works Cited

Absolute Shakespeare, Shakespeare Timeline., 2005. Web. 3 January 2010.

BBC. BBC Historic-Figures, William Shakespeare. BBC, MMX, n.d. Web. 3 January 2010.

Bryson, Bill. Shakespeare, The World as Stage (Kindle Edition). Amazon, 2007. Ebook.

The Elizabethan Era. Elizabethan Era, n.d. Web. 3 January 2010

The Folger Shakespeare Library. The Folger Institute, n.d. Web. 3 January, 2010.

Jamieson, Lee. Common Phrases Invented by Shakespeare. Guide, n.d. Web. 3 January 2010.

Plowright, Teresa. Globe Theater. Gude, n.d. Web. 3 January 2010.

Shakespeare for Children. Squidoo, 2010. Web. 3 January 2010.