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Shakespeare Background Notes *Born in Stratford-on-Avon, England. April 23, 1564. *Married Anne Hathaway. He was 18 and she was 26. 1582. *They had three children. Susanna and twins, Hamnet and Judith. *Began acting in 1592 *Partner in the Globe Theater *Considered the greatest playwright in the English language. *Wrote 37 plays, 154 sonnets, and several longer poems. *Famous works: Romeo and Juliet, Hamlet, Macbeth, Twelfth Night, Othello, The Taming of the Shrew *Died April 23, 1616.
Macbeth Background • Shakespeare wrote Macbeth in the early 1600’s, probably around 1605-1606. • This time period was known as the English Renaissance. • Written in blank verse, or unrhymed iambic pentameter. • To some extent, the main character in this play is based on an 11th century Scottish king named Macbeth who kills his predecessor, Duncan I.
Macbeth Background • Shakespeare wrote Macbeth to please King James. • Shakespeare may have included the witches in the play to please King James who was quite interested in the subject. • Often, members of the nobility accused political enemies of witchcraft as a way to get rid of them.
English Theatre • Shakespeare and his acting company performed plays at The Globe Theatre, a structure known for being round. • This structure could hold 3,000 people. There were no public restrooms and running water.
Renaissance Drama • Shakespeare wrote two main types of plays—comedies and tragedies. • Comedies contained humor and generally had a happy ending. • Tragedies generally had tragic heroes with an unhappy ending, aroused fear and pity –fear for humanity and pity for the hero; Romeo and Juliet.
Characteristics of a Tragedy • Tragic hero • Main character • Comes to an unhappy or miserable end • Generally a person of importance • Exhibits extraordinary abilities but also a tragic flaw (a fatal error in judgment or weakness of character that leads directly to downfall) • Outside force also contribute to downfall, such as antagonist
Characteristics of a Tragedy • Hero usually recognizes own tragic flaw by the end of the play and so gains the audience’s sympathy • Meets doom with courage and dignity, reaffirming the grandeur of human spirit
Characteristics of a Tragedy • Catastrophe • Is inevitably lead up to by a series of related events • Also called tragic resolution • Usually involves death of hero, but others may be affected
Characteristics of a Tragedy • Comic relief • Eases the intensity of the action • Following of a serious scene with a lighter, mildly humorous one
*Exposition *Exciting (or Inciting) Force *Rising Action *Climax or Turning Point *Falling Action *Moment of Final Suspense Plot Structurethe Shakespearean Tragedy
Literary Terms • Mood– the feeling a writer creates for the reader; shapes reader’s response • Tone – expression of a writer’s attitude toward a subject; reflects writer’s feelings • Soliloquy – speech in dramatic work; character speaks thoughts aloud; on stage alone; reveals inner thoughts, feelings & plans
Literary Terms • Aside – in dramatic work; remark spoken in an undertone by character to audience or another character • Paradox – statement that seems to contradict itself but reveals some element of truth • Tragedy – dramatic work; tragic hero; tragic flaw; catastrophe; comic relief
Literary Terms • Irony – a contrast between appearance or expectation and reality • Dramatic irony –audience knows something the character(s) do not • Foreshadowing – writer’s use of hints to suggest what events will occur later • Theme – central ideal; general perception about life or human nature; moral
Anticipation Guide What things can I expect to read about in this play? Let’s explore this further.
Do you believe in prophecies? If you are unsure of the meaning look it up in the dictionary.
You probably would not break your moral code for a stranger but what about for a loved one?
If someone prophesied you would become someone of importance (i.e.-President, Homecoming King/Queen, etc) would you wait for it to happen or would you try to make it happen? Explain.
Do you listen to your conscience? Why or why not?
Quote Circles • Inner/outer circles will be chosen. • Draw a quote from a bucket. • Read your quote to the class. • Read your quote again– louder & faster. • Take 30 seconds to memorize your quote.
Quote Circles 6. Say your quote from memory as loud and fast as you can. 7. Repeat step six. 8. Now, take a couple of minutes and jot down what you think your quote means. Think about the tone/mood it might possess. 9. Read your reflection. Pick someone to comment on your quote and then read their own.
Quote Circles **What was the purpose of this activity? **What did you learn about Macbeth? --What do you think this play will be about? What are your predictions? **Do you think you could do Shakespearean play?