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William Shakespeare (And a little Romeo and Juliet, too). Mrs. Snyder May 15, 2014. William Shakespeare…so what?. So what?!!

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william shakespeare so what
William Shakespeare…so what?

So what?!!

William Shakespeare (1564-1616) was an English poet and playwright, widely regarded as the greatest writer in the English language and the world's most superior dramatist.


His surviving works, including some collaborations, consist of about 38 plays, 154 sonnets, two long narrative poems, and several other poems.

His plays have been translated into every major living language and are performed more often than those of any other playwright.

some works you may know
Some Works You May Know
  • Romeo and Juliet
  • Hamlet
  • Macbeth
  • A Midsummer Night’s Dream
  • All’s Well That Ends Well
  • Comedy of Errors
  • Taming of the Shrew
  • Julius Caesar
  • Othello
  • King Lear
  • The Sonnets
  • As You Like It
  • Much Ado About Nothing
  • Two Gentlemen of Verona
the shakespeare family
The Shakespeare Family
  • At the age of 18, Shakespeare married 26-year-old Anne Hathaway.
  • Six months after the marriage, Anne gave birth to a daughter, Susanna.
  • Twins, son Hamnet and daughter Judith, followed almost two years later. Hamnet died of unknown causes 11 years later.
back in the day
Back in the day…

Shakespeare lived during what was called the Elizabethan Era, a time period named after Queen Elizabeth I, and marked by a renewed interest in science, commerce, philosophy, and the arts.

elizabethan era european renaissance
Elizabethan Era = European Renaissance
  • This time period was also known as the European Renaissance. The rest of Europe was also experiencing an increase in the arts and sciences.

da Vinci’s The Mona Lisa

Vitruvian Man

theatre in shakespeare s time
Theatre in Shakespeare’s Time
  • In 1599, Shakespeare and some theatre partners built their own theatre on the banks of the River Thames in London, which they called the Globe Theatre, named for its circular structure.
  • It was a three story wooden structure, with an open-air courtyard in the center.
  • Actors performed on a raised platform stage in the center of the courtyard.
  • The theatre could hold as many as 3,000 spectators, many of which stood in the courtyard, also known as the pit.
theatre in shakespeare s time1
Theatre in Shakespeare’s Time
  • Elizabethan theatre relied heavily on audience’s imagination-Most theatres had no scenery, no props, no curtains, or artificial lightning.
  • Only dialogue let the audience know when and where a scene was taking place.
  • Although the sets may have been dull, there were elegant costumes, brightly colored banners, swords, and shields.
what about the women
What about the women??
  • The costumes would have also helped the audience imagine that women were playing the female roles, which in fact were played by young male actors.
  • In Shakespeare’s day, no women belonged to acting companies, for it was considered improper for women to appear onstage.
impact on the english language
Impact on the English Language

Assassination. Swagger. Bump. Lonely.

These are just a few of the almost 1700 words and phrases that Shakespeare contributed to the English language, more than any other writer in history!

the language of literature
The Language of Literature

Tragedy- a drama that ends in catastrophe-most often death- for the main character.

the language of literature1
The Language of Literature

Comic Relief- a humorous scene, incident, or speech that relieves the overall emotional intensity. By providing contrast, comic relief helps the audience absorb the earlier events in the plot and get ready for the ones to come.

the language of literature2
The Language of Literature

Allusion- a brief reference to something outside the work that the reader or audience is expected to know. For example, the writer might allude to a historical or current event or to a line from another piece of literature. Shakespeare's plays often have allusions to Greek and Roman mythology and the Bible.

the language of literature3
The Language of Literature

Foil- a character whose personality or attitudes are in sharp contrast to those of another character in the same work. By using a foil, the writer highlights the other character’s traits or attitude. For example, the kind behavior of one character will be made clearer when it is presented in sharp contrast to another character that is not at all kind.

the language of literature4
The Language of Literature

Soliloquy- a speech that a character gives when he or she is alone on stage. Its purpose is to let the audience know what the character is thinking.

Aside- a character’s remark, either to the audience or to another character, that others on the stage are not supposed to hear. This, too, is to reveal the character’s private thoughts.

the language of literature5
The Language of Literature

Blank Verse- a form of poetry that uses unrhymed lines of iambic pentameter, lines that ideally have five unstressed syllables, each followed by a stressed syllable.

However, the pattern is not perfect; sometimes there are breaks in the pattern.

romeo and juliet
Romeo and Juliet
  • Believed written between 1591 and 1595, was first published in 1597.
wait what
Wait, what?

Shakespeare did not invent the story of Romeo and Juliet. He did not, in fact, even introduce the story into the English language. A poet named Arthur Brooks first brought the story of Romeus and Juliet to an English-speaking audience in a poem that was itself not original, but rather an adaptation of adaptations that stretched across nearly a hundred years and two languages. Many of the details of Shakespeare’s plot are lifted directly from Brooks’s poem, including the meeting of Romeo and Juliet at the ball, their secret marriage, Romeo’s fight with Tybalt, the sleeping potion, and the timing of the lover’s eventual suicides.

the story begins
The story begins…

The tragic story of Romeo and Juliet is set in 14th century Verona, Italy. It opens on a Sunday morning with a street brawl between two feuding families, the Capulets and the Montagues. After order has been restored, the son of the head of the Montague clan, Romeo, enters the scene. He explains to his cousin Benvolio how he is obsessed with one-sided love for Rosaline.

and goes
…and goes…

The scene then shifts to the home of the Capulets, where the patriarch of the clan confers with Count Paris concerning a possible marriage between Paris and Capulet’s daughter, Juliet. He invites Paris to attend a celebration that he is giving that evening.

and goes1
…and goes…

In the next scene, Juliet’s mother encourages her to get to know Paris at the party. Romeo and his friends soon hear of the intended party and go to it uninvited.

There, Romeo and Juliet meet.

and scene
…and scene.

Romeo, instantly forgetting Rosaline, falls in love with Juliet, and she falls in love with him. The first act closes as each later learn that the other is a member of the rival family.

themes of romeo and juliet
Themes of Romeo and Juliet

1. The Power of Love

2. Love as a Cause of Violence

3. The Individual Versus Society

4. Inevitability of Fate

symbols in romeo and juliet
Symbols in Romeo and Juliet
  • Poison
  • Thumb-biting
  • Queen Mab

Questions? Comments? Crises?

Let’s get started!