William Shakespeare • Born April 23rd, 1564 • Most famous playwright in English literature • Gifted storyteller like predecessor Chaucer
William Shakespeare Interesting tidbits…. • Wrote for audiences and not purely as a means of personal expression • Contributed many words and phrases to Modern English (assassinate, fashionable, cheap) • Some argue he did not write all plays attributed to him….
History of The Globe Theatre • Many of Shakespeare’s plays performed here…. • Barn turned into theatre • Puritans burn it down (Evil theatre! Boo!) • Globe built! • Globe burns (Darn cannon!) • Globe rebuilt! (Yay!) • Globe burns (Fire of London!) • New Globe Theatre in Southwark Reconstructed in the 1990’s
A play at the Globe Theatre... • Only men were permitted to perform • Boys or effeminate men typically were used to play the women • Costumes were often the company’s most valuable asset • Costumes were made by the company, bought in London, or donated by courtiers
The Cost of a Show • 1 shilling to stand (groundlings- common folk) • 2 shillings to sit in the balcony • 1 shilling was 10% of commoners’ weekly income
What was the Globe like?... • Most stood throughout performances- it got rowdy- and smelly! (why smelly?) • Held about 3, 000 people • No real sets or lighting-(rhyming couplets...)
Macbeth The tragedy of • Set in 11th century Scotland • Mixture of fact and legend (as is Julius Caesar)- more on that later • Written for King James I • Queen of Denmark (James’s sister) was visiting
Tragedies such as Macbeth, Othello, Hamlet, Julius Caesar, & King Lear, and Romeo & Juliet contain the following dramatic conventions…..
Soliloquy: • Long speech, usually made alone by a character on stage, revealing inner secrets, desires, fears
Stage Directions: • Writing within a play (drama) to help staff bring the play to life and to help reader picture the action; it is written in italics and within brackets on page
Aside: • private remark directed only to the audience or just some of the characters on stage • *Stage directions tell us if the quotation is an aside….
Dramatic Irony: • Type of irony that occurs when the audience knows more about what will happen than the characters
Exposition: The introductory part of any literary work that describes the mood, introduces the reader to all elements of the setting, key characters, etc.
Paradox: • A statement that appears to be confusing or contradictory but that actually makes sense with some careful thought
ACT I Review The Exposition
Act I, Scene 1 • Notice the creepy, dark, eerie mood seen right at start of the exposition. • 3 witches wish to “meet Macbeth” before sunset and after “the battle’s lost and won….” • Notice the paradox in line 10 “Fair is foul, and foul is fair.” This will not make sense until we read further….. • Scene ends with rhyming couplets to indicate the end of the scene. Rhyming couplets used here AND earlier in the scene to emphasize key plot points.
Act I, Scene 2 • The scene is set on a battlefield where Macbeth’s army has been fighting the army of the rebel- and traitor- Macdonwald. • King Duncanasks wounded captain to comment on the course of the battle. This captain has proved his valor by fighting to save the King’s son, Malcolm, from capture by the rebel Macdonwald’s forces.
Act I, Scene 2 • Macbeth killed Macdonwald- he “unseamed him from the “nave to chops.” He acted bravely to protect Duncan’s kingdom. • Ross, a thane, (Scottish nobleman) tells us that the “Thane of Cawdor”–is also a traitor. Duncan orders him to be executed. • Rhyming couplet- Duncan states that Macbeth will now become the new Thane of Cawdor for his bravery….
Act I, Scene 2 • Note the anachronismin line 62 when Ross states, “Ten thousand dollars to our general use….” He is talking about how the Norwegians will pay Scotland $ since they lost the battle. • Anachronism: the mention of an idea, object, person, etc. within a literary work that did not exist when the literary work was written. • Recall that anachronistic was a former “Word of the Week…”
Act I, Scene 2 • Why is the use of the word “dollar” in Macbeth an example of an anachronism? • ‘The word 'dollar' existed while Shakespeare was writing. However, Shakespeare didn't seem to know what the 11th century Scottish called their currency, so he chose the term ‘dollar’ which was actually incorrect, not in keeping with the history of 11th century Scotland.
Act I, Scene 3 • The term “weird sisters” term first came from Greek mythology. 3 witches are referred to as “weird sisters.” Weird, from Middle English, means “destiny or fate-serving.” This shows that they determine Macbeth’s fate…. • Paradox from scene 1 is revisited as seen in line 38.
Act I, Scene 3 • Macbeth and Banquo (nobleman) randomly meet these witches. • Witches make 2 predictions for Macbeth’s future: You will become Thane of Cawdor AND King! • Witches to Banquo:- “Thou shalt get kings, though thou be none.” (You won’t be kings, but your descendants will be). Also, they predict Banquo will be “greater” than Macbeth and “happier…”
Act I, Scene 3 • Macbeth doesn’t understand these predictions, but is happy to hear he’ll be king. (He’s already “thane of Glamis.”) • Ross and Angus enter, telling Macbeth that Duncan has made him “Thane of Cawdor.”- first prediction came true! • Banquo doesn’t trust the witches and tells Macbeth this, calling the witches…“instruments of darkness.”
Act I, Scene 3 • Macbeth is starting to become intrigued by the idea of murdering Duncan so that he can become king. • The asides here show us what Macbeth and Banquo are thinking about what the witches have said. • Macbeth: ‘if chance will have me king….”- personification- (maybe I can become king without having to murder Duncan)….
Act I, Scene 4 • Macbeth is on his way to the palace. Duncan values bravery and loyalty, but he may be too trusting. He had trusted the Thane of Cawdor; he even trusts Macbeth! • Reader is introduced to Malcolm,-Duncan’s son • Macbeth becomes nervous when Duncan makes Malcolm Prince of Cumberland…..Why? • “Stars hide your fires…”- Macbeth doesn’t want people to know his thoughts….
Act I, Scene 4 • More on: “stars, hide your fires;/ Let not light see my deep and black desires..” • What’s the big deal?.... • This shows he doesn’t want people to see his true nature….Macbeth is now willing to kill not just Duncan but also Malcolm, who is set to become Prince of Cumberland.
Act I, Scene 5 • Regicide: murder of a king • Scene begins with Lady Macbeth’s soliloquy as she reads Macbeth’s letter alone on stage; she’s ruthless and will do anything to see the witches’ predictions come true…. • She doesn’t think Macbeth is ruthless/cunning enough to do what must be done to kill Duncan…. • Line 38- She talks of a raven in line 38- an omen (sign) predicting Duncan’s death
Act I, Scene 5 • She calls upon weird spirits to help her in the quest to have Macbeth crowned king. • “unsex me here…”- (make me like a man so I can do what must be done- even if that means murder)- metaphor • Lady MacB to Macbeth: “look like ‘the innocent flower…”- simile • She will help Macbeth. She will be the ‘mastermind’ of the plan to take down Duncan…..
Act I, Scene 6 • Lady Macbeth, Duncan, and Banquo, as well as other attendants and nobles all await Macbeth’s arrival at Macbeth’s castle. • Strong dramatic irony is present throughout this scene: we the audience know that Duncan’s good mood, his admiration of Macbeth, and Lady Macbeth’s kind words to Duncan are not what they appear. The audience, unlike Duncan, knows that evil is lurking…
Act I, Scene 7 • Scene opens with a soliloquy. At first, he struggles with the idea of assassinating Duncan. He believes it will be difficult to pull off. Duncan is beloved. Also, Macbeth has feelings of guilt. He states that it is “ambition” and greed for power that motivates him…. • Notice in his chat with Lady Macbeth, that he says, “we will proceed no further in this business….” line 31
Act I, Scene 7 • Lady Macbeth insults Macbeth’s manhood to motivate him to commit to killing Duncan. Lines 47-55 • Lady Macbeth comes up w/ the plan: get Duncan’s 2 guards drunk/slip something into their wine so they cannot protect Duncan, use the guards’ daggers to murder Duncan, plant the bloody daggers on them after the murder, framing them…. • This scene ends with the inciting incident, or exciting force of the tragedy.
Act I, Scene 7 • inciting incident/ exciting force: event setting the central conflict into motion, propels the plot forward. (basically a turning point) • In Macbeth, the inciting incident/exciting force is found when our tragic hero agrees to commit murder. He states, “I am settled…. False face must hide what the false heart doth know.” He is now firm and resolute in his decision to commit regicide, or kill Duncan.
TRAGIC HERO: “Man of high standard who falls from that high because of a flaw that has affected many” – Aristotle • Macbeth is one of the most famous examples of the tragic hero.
TRAGIC HERO: • person of high rank whose downfall is caused by his own behavior
Traits of a Tragic Hero • exceptional person of great importance • suffers a tremendous downfall • Downfall has huge consequences- usually affects a whole nation • has huge character flaw (tragic flaw- what’s this? ) • Tragic flaw causes downfall, brings about his ruin
Tragic Flaw • A tremendous weakness that causes the hero’s complete downfall/destruction Macbeth’s tragic flaw can be argued in any number of ways, but one should definitely recognize that he suffers from a bad case of distorted ambition and greed for power.
Act I Key Terms • Soliloquy • Aside • Stage Directions • Dramatic Irony • Exposition • Allusion • Paradox/Foreshadowing • Anachronism • Simile/Metaphor • Omen • Tragic Hero and Flaw • Inciting Incident • Rhyming couplets (note use and placement)