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English 9 5/5 – 5/6 Mr. Verutes. Aim: Who was William Shakespeare? What is Shakespearean drama?. Do Now : Explain in 1-3 complete sentences something you know about William Shakespeare, his plays, or the time period in which he lived and produced his plays.

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aim who was william shakespeare what is shakespearean drama

English 9 5/5 – 5/6

Mr. Verutes

Aim: Who was William Shakespeare? What is Shakespearean drama?

Do Now:

Explain in 1-3 complete sentences something you know about William Shakespeare, his plays, or the time period in which he lived and produced his plays.


whole class review
Whole Class Review
  • “Shakespeare’s World” (TLOL p. 983-985)

Classwork Activity

  • As we read aloud from the text, make a bulleted list of notes (3-5 bullets per section heading) of any interesting facts, details, or other pieces of information in the chart on the following page. Separate your notes according to the section headings:
    • England in Shakespeare’s Day
    • Theatre in Shakespeare’s Day
    • Shakespeare’s Impact on the English Language
classwork chart share
Classwork Chart & Share

Below, record notes as we review the text. As we share our notes, add in any points of information that you did not already record .

review notes shakespeare s world
Review Notes - Shakespeare’s World
  • Shakespeare is considered to be the greatest writer in the English language and the greatest playwright of all time. In his lifetime he wrote 37 plays, which are divided into comedies, histories, and tragedies.
    • Shakespearean comedy – a “light” play with a happy ending usually involving the marriage of characters
    • Shakespearean history – a play focusing on the life of a king from English history
    • Shakespearean tragedy – a “heavy” play with a tragic ending involving the death or downfall of the protagonist which occurs as the result of a tragic flaw
  • Lived during the English Renaissance – comes from the French word for “rebirth.” The Renaissance was a period of cultural rebirth for most of Europe and was marked by a renewed interest in the arts and sciences. English Renaissance values put cultural emphasis on individuality and freedom of choice.
  • Lived during the Elizabethan Age (1558-1603) This era in British History was called this because the reigning British monarch Queen Elizabeth I. Elizabeth was such a fan of Shakespeare’s that she was said to have commissioned the play The Merry Wives of Windsor after falling in love with the character Falstaff.
  • Shakespeare’s plays were first transmitted as written documents as quartos (quarter page printings). They were first collected, following his death, into the folio edition, though there are often significant differences between printings. Many modern texts will favor one edition over another, or may combine lines between editions. Most (if not all) publishers favor the folio edition of the plays.

English 9 5/7 – 5/8

Mr. Verutes

Aim: What is drama? What are conventions of Shakespearean drama?Do Now: Explain (in 1-3 complete sentences) any differences you can think of between a play script and the text of a novel.____________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________

  • Drama is a story that is told through the characters’ language (dialogue), and is performed by actors for an audience.
  • Dramas or plays can be either performed or read
  • All dramas/plays share the same basic elements or conventions: stage directions, plot, characters, setting and dialogue.

Dramatic Conventions

  • Stage Directions are written initalics or [in brackets] and describe the actions happening onstage. They can tell the actors where they are supposed to travel around the stage , what props they should have with them, or may tell the stage hands (the non-performers who help the actors put on a play) when they have to bring scenery onstage or offstage etc.

Tell us:

    • Background info on the characters’ lives
    • The setting, scenery, props (furniture and other objects used to help perform the play)
    • About costumes, lighting, music and sound effects.
    • How the actors should look, speak, and behave.
dramatic conventions
Dramatic Conventions
  • Plot – series of events that make up the story
  • Just like in literature (ex. In a novel or short story), the plot of a play or a drama consists of the events of the story that make up the play.
  • In a play the action of the events is divided into scenes (usually a change between scenes also signals a change in the setting of the scene or the entrance or exit of groups of characters in the play)
  • In long plays the scenes are grouped together into acts
  • Characters: Just like in a novel the characters are the people (sometimes animals or inanimate objects) who act out and are involved in the action of the story. Main and minor characters are listed in the Cast of Characters or Dramatis Personae at the beginning of the script.

Different kinds of characters:

    • Protagonist – main character in the play with whom the audience identifies.
    • Antagonist – struggles against the protagonist (the “badguy”)
    • Foils – usually minor characters who have very different qualities than the main character – allow us to compare/contrast characters.
dramatic conventions1
Dramatic Conventions
  • Dialogue: Conversation between characters or the language of the play. In drama we find out all of the events of the plot through the characters’ dialogue. Playwrights may also give the actors clues about how to act out their characters through the stage directions in addition to the dialogue.

Whole Class Review

  • “Shakespearean Drama” (TLOL p. 986-988)
review notes shakespearean drama
Review Notes - Shakespearean Drama
  • Shakespeare uses foils, soliloquies and asides in his plays, which help the audience understand more about the characters or the plot of the play.
    • Foils – characters with opposite qualities that we can compare and contrast
    • Soliloquy – a speech given by a character alone on stage in which he/she communicates his/her private thoughts to the audience
    • Aside – a speech (or a few lines of dialogue) spoken by a character when there are other characters onstage but is spoken directly to the audience. The other characters cannot “hear” dialogue spoken in an aside
  • Most of the plays are written in blank verse – a type of unrhymed poetry. We know that it is poetry even though it does not rhyme because it is written in iambic pentameter, which means that it is text set to a meter.
    • Iambic Pentameter – unrhymed lines made up of five “feet” consisting of iambs (unstressed followed by a stressed syllable). 10 syllables per line = 5 groups x 2 syllables.

But, soft! what light through yonder window breaks?

It is the east, and Juliet is the sun (II.ii.1-2)


Classwork Activity - Questioning Texts Worksheet

  • Begin completing the Approaching the Text row of the Questioning Texts worksheet:
    • Title: Romeo and Juliet
    • Author: William Shakespeare
    • Source/Publisher: TLOL
    • Publication Date: 1597
    • Complete the Reading Purpose row of the Questioning Texts Worksheet by recording our purpose for reading:
      • To examine the content and information about the topic
      • To consider the structure and language of a text
    • Answer “What do I already understand about the text?” based on our introduction to Shakespeare’s world and Shakespearean drama
  • Next, add the following guiding questions to the Questioning the Text row:
    • How is the text organized?
    • What do the author’s words cause me to see or feel?
    • What is the author’s stance or attitude about the topic or theme?
  • Complete the Text-Specific Question row of the Questioning Texts Worksheet by adding the question:
    • According to Romeo and Juliet, what does Shakespeare teach us about the theme of love and relationships? What different kinds of love are presented in the play and which characters are involved?
  • *Remember that ALL of your journal entries should present quotes and response notes related to the Text-Specific Question (above)