William Shakespeare. “ It's all moon's fault, when it gets too close to the earth it makes everyone crazy” W.S.
William Shakespeare “It's all moon's fault, when it gets too close to the earth it makes everyone crazy” W.S.
William Shakespeare was an English poet and playwright, widely regarded as the greatest writer in the English language and the most important dramatist. He is often called England's national poet ,he is a model for the English literature and he is considered modern.
About Shakespeare • Life (early years, last years, later years) • Theatre (Lord Chamberlain’s men) • Shakespeare plays • Themes • Shakespearean question • Shakespeare and Italy • The Historyof English members
SHAKESPEARE ‘S LIFE Early years: W.S. was born on 23rd April 1564 in Stratford-on-Avon, in Warwickshire. His father belonged to the corporation of glovers and at one time was Bailiff of Stratford ; his mother came from a country family of some importance. In his youth he probably attended Stratford’s grammar school, since the knowledge of Latin, Greek and rhetoric which emerges from his plays is of the kind that was then taught in grammar schools. When he was eighteen he married Anne Hathaway, a girl eight years older than him, and in a few years they had three children. The young poet found himself with a large family and no income
Lost years: the period between 1585 and 1592 is known as “Lost years” because there are no documentary records about his activities.
Later years: around 1592 he decided to go to London to work for the theatre and became an actor. Worked with the Lord Chamberlain’s company of players, later known as the King’s men. Returned to Stratford around 1610 where he lived as a country gentleman. Died in 1616 at the age of 52. It is rumored that he drunk too much and contracted a fever or that he died for a cerebral hemorrhage.
Theatre Shakespeare as a playwright is without a doubt the most well known and recognized ever existed in the world. The first work published by S. was the mythological poem Venus and Adonis in 1593, dedicated to the Earl of Southampton. The theatre where Shakespeare worked was The Globe. The Globe Theatre was built in 1599 in London on the south bank of the River Thames in Southwark (one of the liveliest districts of the Elizabethan era) by Cuthbert Burbage. It was the theater of Shakespeare's company. It was destroyed by fire in 1613 and was rebuilt in 1614 and demolished in 1644. After reconstruction work lasted more than twelve years, the theater of Shakespeare is alive again. It 'was inaugurated in 1997. It is called "Shakespeare's Globe Theatre". The Lord Chamberlain's Men was a playing company for whom Shakespearewrote for most of his career. Richard Burbage played most of the lead roles, including Hamlet, Othello, King Lear, and Macbeth, while Shakespeare himself performed some secondary roles. Formed at the end of a period of flux in the theatrical world of London, it had become, by 1603, one of the two leading companies of the city and was subsequently patronised by James I. It was founded during the reign of Elizabeth I of England in 1594, under the patronage of Henry Carey, 1st Baron Hunsdon, then the Lord Chamberlain, who was in charge of court entertainments. 2
After its patron's death on 23 July 1596, the company came under the patronage of his son, George Carey, 2nd Baron Hunsdon, for whom it was briefly known as Lord Hunsdon's Men until he in turn also became Lord Chamberlain on 17 March 1597, whereupon it reverted to its previous name. The company became the King's Men in 1603 when King James ascended the throne and became the company's patron. The company held exclusive rights to perform Shakespeare's plays. . . The wooden structure also known as "The Wooden” is 10 meters high, 30 meters in diameter and 90 meters is the circumference. Shakespeare's Globe Theatre, apparently linked to the fame of the great playwright, is the symbolic expression of Britain. In Italy, in Rome, in the gardens of Villa Borghese in 2003 was inaugurated the "SilvanoToti Globe Theatre" built in just three months and with the use of oak as the English one.
THEMES • Through Language and Through RecurringImages • Four Common Themes • Some ParticularThemes
Through Language The themeisconveyedmostpowerfullythroughlanguage. Thismaybethroughindividualwordsutteredrepetitiouslythroughout a play suchas ‘blood’, ‘honest’ or ‘nothing’ or through the useof a particularlanguagedevicesuchasantithesis and oxymoron. The language genius Shakespeare uses a poetic, rich and theatrical language.He coined new words and expressions still used today, in modern English.He chooses actual themes, as love, jealousy, racism, mourning, religion, family.He confounds the reader/audience: he/it was asked to laugh in tragical scenes, and he/it was engaged in profound philosophical questions in a comic scene. Through RecurringImages For the audience, imagerybuilds up a senseofdeeppreoccupationof the play. Imagesof light and darkness in ‘Romeo and Juliet’ are butoneexample; sufferingbodies in ‘King Lear’; the themeof false appearance in ‘Macbeth’ are others. As timepasses, differentgenerations look at the themes in Shakespeare withneweyes, redefining and reinterpretingasinfluencedby the political, social and cultural conditionsofeach era. Howyouinterpret the play weexplorethissemesterwilldepend on yourown cultural and societalvalues and mores and howyousee the characters and issuesthatthey face.
Four Common Themes 1. Conflict Herelies the essenceofalldrama and in Shakespeare’s drama, conflict can take manyforms. Itmayberivals in love and war, quarrelswithinfamilies or quarrelsbetweenfamilies, historical and politicalquarrels. 2. Appearance and reality Shakespeare is a master ofmaking people and thingsappearwhatthey are not. Women pretendtobemen, otherspretendtobefriendswhilst planning treachery, characterspretendtobemad; identities are mistaken. In some plays, the idea ofappearance and reality lies at the veryheartofwhat the play isabout. ‘MeasureforMeasure’ isdepends on the notionof ‘appearance’ whilst in ‘Macbeth’ and ‘Hamlet’ thereisalsodeceit and treachery. 2
3.Order, Disorder and Change Another common element in Shakespeare’s playsis the idea ofstabilitygiving way toconfusion. Thismayhappento a person (King Lear goesmad), to society (England isdividedbycivil war), or nature (storms and tempestsfractured the livesof people and societies). (adaptedfrom Gibson p.132) The ultimate ending in theseplaysisrestoration - restorationtoallthathasbeendestroyed, insighttothosewhohavebeen in misery or madness. Indeed, Shakespeareanscholarshaveargueddiverselyaboutwhether Shakespeare endshisplayswithallrestored or thatdisorderstillexists. Whatwe do knowisthat in every play characterschange in this way. Thismaybefrom life todeath or the developmentofnewinsights and empathy. Here are some examplesasoutlinedby Gibson: - Nick Bottomismagicallytransformedintoanass in ‘Midsummer’s Night’s Dream’. - In ‘Twelfth Night’, a false lettertricksMalvoliointochangingfrom a puritan steward to a foolishwouldbe lover - Sometimeschangehappens in uniquecontexts: the woods, a heath, anisland or a nearmagicalsettingof some kind. Timeusuallyunderlines the changeswitnessed in the plays. 3
4.Levels Gibson points out thatthemes work at threedifferentlevels in each play: 1. The individuallevel (psychological, personal). Personal conflict, mental or spiritual disordermaybeexperiencedby a specificcharacter/s 2. The social level (family, nation, society) 3. The naturallevel (cosmic, supernatural or nature). This can bewitnessed in the formsofstorms, witches, ghosts or nature itself. Disruptions and conflict in the life of the charactersismirroredbydisruptions in nature which are thenoftenrestoredby the end of the play.
Some ParticularThemes • 1. Macbeth. ambition, evil, order and disorder, appearance and reality, violence and tyranny, guilt and conscience, witchcraft and magic • 2. Romeo and Juliet. love and hate, fate and free will, life and death, youthagainstage, fortune. • 3. The Tempest. nature V nurture, imprisonment and freedom, colonialism, illusion and magic, forgiveness and reconciliation, sleep and dreams, transformation • 4. Hamlet. procrastination, madness, revenge, sin and salvation, poison, theatre and acting, corruption • 5. King Lear. justice, nature, sight and blindness, the tortured and broken body • 6. Othello. jealously, racism, self-deception
Shakespeare plays • Along with acting, he also wrote some of the most renowned and studied literature written in the English language. He wrote 37 very successful plays. • Comedies : The Taming of the Shrew The comedy of errors The Two Gentlemen of Verona Love's Labour's Lost, A midsummer Night’s Dream , The Merchant of Venice, As You Like It, Twelfth Night ,The Merry Wives of Windsor, All's well that ends well, Measure for Measure, Pericles Prince of Tyre, Cymbeline, The Winter's Tale, The Tempest. • THE TRAGEDIES: Titus Andronicus, Romeo and Juliet ,Julius Caesar, Hamlet ,Troilus and Cressida ,Othello, King Lear, Macbeth, Antony and Cleopatra ,Coriolanus, Timon of Athens. • THE POEMS: The Sonnets, The passionate pilgrim, The phoenix and the turtle, Venus and Adonis, The Rape of Lucrece. • The themes in the works of Shakespeare burrow into the psychology of the individual, dealing with human aspirations, and wonder about the reality of the real and the madness. Most important is the question of death, love, revenge and power, which makes man a slave of his passions.
Shakespearean question The Shakespeare authorship question is the argument about whether someone other than William Shakespeare of Stratford-upon-Avon wrote the works attributed to him. Anti-Stratfordians—a collective term for adherents of the various alternative-authorship theories—say that Shakespeare of Stratford was a front to shield the identity of the real author or authors, who for some reason did not want or could not accept public credit. Although the idea has attracted much public interest, all but a few Shakespeare scholars and literary historians consider it a fringe belief and for the most part acknowledge it only to rebut or disparage the claims. Shakespeare's authorship was first questioned in the middle of the 19th century, when adulation of Shakespeare as the greatest writer of all time had become widespread. Shakespeare's biography, particularly his humble origins and obscure life, seemed incompatible with his poetic eminence and his reputation for genius, arousing suspicion that Shakespeare might not have written the works attributed to him. The controversy has since spawned a vast body of literature and 80 authorship candidates have been proposed, including Francis Bacon, the 6th Earl of Derby, Christopher Marlowe, and the 17th Earl of Oxford. Supporters of alternative candidates argue that theirs is the more plausible author, and that William Shakespeare lacked the education, aristocratic sensibility, or familiarity with the royal court that they say is apparent in the works.Those Shakespeare scholars who have responded to such claims hold that biographical interpretations of literature are unreliable in attributing authorship and that the convergence of documentary evidence used to support Shakespeare's authorship—title pages, testimony by other contemporary poets and historians, and official records—is the same used for all other authorial attributions of his era. No such direct evidence exists for any other candidate and Shakespeare's authorship was not questioned during his lifetime or for centuries after his death. Despite the scholarly consensus, a relatively smallbut highly visible and diverse assortment of supporters, including prominent public figures, have questioned the conventional attribution. They work for acknowledgment of the authorship question as a legitimate field of scholarly inquiry and for acceptance of one or another of the various authorship candidates.
Shakespeare and Italy Over the centuries scholars have been puzzled by Shakespeare's profound knowledge of Italian. Shakespeare had an impressive familiarity with stories by Italian authors such as Giovanni Boccaccio, Matteo Bandello, and MasuccioSalernitano. In an attempt to solve the mystery of Shakespeare's Italian aptitude, one former teacher of literature has unleashed a new hypothesis on a world eager to hear anything fresh about the Bard. In his book Shakespeare era italiano (2002), retired Sicilian professor Martino Iuvara claims that Shakespeare was, in fact, not English at all, but Italian. His conclusion is drawn from research carried out from 1925 to 1950 by two professors at Palermo University. Iuvara posits that Shakespeare was born not in Stratford in April 1564, as is commonly believed, but actually was born in Messina as Michelangelo Florio Crollalanza. His parents were not John Shakespeare and Mary Arden, but were Giovanni Florio, a doctor, and GuglielmaCrollalanza, a Sicilian noblewoman. The family supposedly fled Italy during the Holy Inquisition and moved to London. It was in London that Michelangelo Florio Crollalanza decided to change his name to its English equivalent. Crollalanza apparently translates literally as 'Shakespeare.' Iuvara goes on to claim that Shakespeare studied abroad and was educated by Franciscan monks who taught him Latin, Greek, and history. He also claims that while Shakespeare (or young Crollalanza) was traveling through Europe he fell in love with a 16-year-old girl named Giulietta. But sadly, family members opposed the union, and Giulietta committed suicide.
Lavoro realizzato da: Antonio Marino (narrator) Martina Schiassi (speaker) Angelo Vigliotti (grouporienter) Luigi Campolieti (task orienter) Cosima Malerba (controller)