William Shakespeare The Life and Times
Elizabeth England • Queen Elizabeth I (1558-1603) • London: leading center of culture and commerce • Home and workplace to William Shakespeare
Social Classes The Nobility 55 noble families -dukes -earls -barons Become noble 2 ways: 1. Birth 2. Grant from a king or queen
Nobility continued Many died during the Wars of the Roses -a series of civil wars fought in England in the 15th century -often no sons to inherit their titles -royalty thought nobles a threat and rarely appointed any
Gentry • 50% of population • Knights • Squires • Gentleman\women Most important, wealth is the key Land passed to husband by wife’s inheritance Also, consisted of solid citizens such as members of parliament and justices of the peace
Yeomen • Farmers • Tradesmen • Craft workers • Possible wealth-put $ back into land Literate workers Sickness could change status
3 subclasses of Yeomen • Freeholding -owned land -expanded land -multiplied wealth
3 subclasses of Yeomen • Leaseholders -leaseholders -a lease could be for life -land may or may not be inherited by the son
3 subclasses of Yeomen 3. Laborers -worked for wages on lord’s land -a cottage and 4 acres -migrant workers as well
Yeomen Freeholding→Leaseholders →Hired Laborers
The Poor Consisted of: -the sick -wounded soldiers -the disabled -the old
Elizabethan Poor Laws World’s first government sponsored welfare program -financed by contributions from the wealthy (not enough) -Poor tax on everyone
3 Goals of Poor Laws 1st-Unable to care for self, placed in hospitals or orphanages; older children given apprenticeship
3 Goals of Poor Laws 2nd-Able body that could work but didn’t have jobs were given jobs usually in workhouses (make candles, soap, rope) in exchange for a place to sleep and food
3 Goals of Poor Laws 3rd-Discourage the permanently unemployed, “rogues, vagabonds, and sturdy beggars” Responsible for: Murders Thefts And other great outrages
How To: Discourage the Bad Since it was illegal under the Elizabethan Poor Laws to be able to work but refuse to, an offender could be punished usually by one of the following ways: Whipped Burned in the ear with a hot iron Death
William Shakespeare • Stratford-Upon-Avon April 23, 1564 • 3rd of 8; 3 died • Plague outbreak in 1564 (lucky he survived)
Shakespeare Family Mother-Mary Arden (heiress) Father-John Shakespeare (glover) Shakespeare had a solid education Knowledge of Latin and Greek University training
Shakespeare Marries Anne Hathaway-1582 He was 18 She was 26 and prego! (baby born 8 months later) Daughter-Susanna Twins-Hamnet and Judith Hamnet died at age 11
Lost Years 7 years of Shakespeare’s life is undocumented between Stratford and London Reappears around 1588; establishes himself as an actor and playwright -comedy (Twelfth Night,Much Ado About Nothing) -history (Henry VI, Richard II, King John) -tragedies (Romeo and Juliet, Macbeth, Julius Caesar)
Shakespeare’s first play was Henry VI Part 1 1594-Lord Chamberlain’s Men -acting -writing -made a managing partner -most successful acting troupe -first to sell penny copies to the literate
Shakespeare Retires Retired to Stratford in 1611 Died on April 23, 1616 His will stated that his daughter Susanna receive his property, his daughter Judith was given $600 and his wife Anne was left “my second best bed.”
The Globe • Built in 1598 -James Burbage in 1576 -Richard Burbage moved it • 1 of 4 (Rose, Hope, Swan) • Open-air • Octagonal amphitheater • 3 stories high • Holds 3000 spectators
The Globe No roles for women (yes, the men played the roles of women) 1613- burned down during a production of Henry VIII
The Globe Rebuilt and continued in operation until 1642 Puritans shut it down Turned into apartments Rediscovered in 1989 Reopened in 1997 Faithful reproduction -Queen Elizabeth II -first production Henry V
Romeus and Juliet Romeo and Juliet-1596 Used Arthur Brooke’s 3000 line narrative poem entitled “The Tragical History of Romeus and Juliet” publised in 1562
Romeus and Juliet Shakespeare makes changes to the long narrative -instead of a nine month romance he changes it to four days (Sunday-Thursday) -changes the beginning by starting with a brawl in the streets -added the entire second scene
Romeus and Juliet Shakespeare adapted the poem into a more exciting play and that is why he condensed some parts of the plots and added more exciting things such as street fights and he also added more personality to such characters as Mercutio.
Romeus and Juliet Brooke condemns his “unfortunate lovers” for neglecting authority and the advice of their parents
Rhomeo and Julietta Shakespeare also consulted a poem by William Painter entitled “Rhomeo and Julietta” written in 1562
Romeo and JulietThemes, Motifs, and Symbols Themes are the fundamental and often universal ideas explored in a literary work.
Theme-Love Love is violent, ecstatic, and overpowering. Supersedes all other values, loyalties, and emotions. Overriding theme of the play Shakespeare is uninterested in portraying a dainty version of the emotion
Theme-Love and Death, Passion, and Violence Death and violence permeate Romeo and Juliet Always connected to Love Hate, violence, and death are obvious Love in the play is overwhelming and blinding
Theme-Conflict between social institutions Lovers struggle against public opposition Honor results in brawls that disturb the public peace Anger between the two families mixed with loyalty and honor to kin create conflict The lovers rebel against their heritage Battle between responsibilities and actions demanded by societies and family
Theme-Fate A power related to the stars The reader is aware of fate and the lovers are aware of their fate Fate works in all of the events surrounding the lovers
Motifs Motifs are recurring structures, contrasts, or literary devices that can help to develop and inform the text’s major themes.
Motifs-light/dark imagery Most consistent visual motif is between light and dark or night and day Romeo mediates about the sun and the moon Romeo being forced to leave in the morning after spending their one night together and they pretend that it is still night
Symbols Symbols are objects, characters, figures, or colors used to represent abstract ideas or concepts.
Symbols “Romeo and Juliet” is not a symbolic play. Romeo and Juliet may symbolize young love and the Prince may symbolize law, government, and public order. These characters seem to occupy these roles rather than symbolize them.