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Introducing Mr William Shakespeare

An introduction to the life and times of Shakespeare; intended as an opening to the study of "Romeo and Juliet" with middle years students.

Luci Green

on 14 September 2010

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Transcript of Introducing Mr William Shakespeare

Father was a well-established businessman who rose to be an important community figure
Left school at 13
Married at 18 to Anne Hathaway, had three children
Died in April 1616 Whilst he was alive his plays and poetry were very popular and still are today
Wrote 37 plays, 154 sonnets, and quite a range of other poetry
‘Romeo and Juliet’ is most popular play What other plays do you know by Shakespeare? Life in Shakespeare's Time... Viewed the world much differently to today, much ‘smaller’
Freedoms were much more limited
Everything directed by God
Only ‘good’ and ‘evil’, nothing in between
Everything happened to achieve a balance between these
Going against God’s will would lead to punishment God was the ruler of EVERYTHING and EVERYONE
Children had no rights except those allowed by their parents
The Earth was the centre of the universe with God and the Church in charge and a ‘chain of being’ beneath it
Everyone was obliged to obey their order Earth was centre of the universe and fixed firmly in place
All the planets and how they were aligned affected affairs of the Earth In large houses it was fashionable to employ as many servants as possible
Such servants not looked down upon
Treated, and in many ways behaved, as part of the family Teenagers had to obey the wishes of their parents until they were married
Marriage usually arranged by parents with little concern for children’s desires
Children married young, often by 14 or 15 (girls as young as 12)
Father had ‘God-given’ right to force his daughter to marry, if she refused he could send her to a convent for the rest of her life!
After marriage a wife obeyed her husband as she had her father There was no postal service for the general public
Regular system of messengers on horseback used for official business Very different to attending the theatre now
Didn’t go at night – why not?
No scenery and very few props
No women or girl actors
Common entertainment – not just upper class Almost round and the roof covered only the outside galleries
Stage jutted out into the audience, so the actors were ‘surrounded’
Nearly half the audience were at ground level (‘groundlings’): very noisy, not same behaviour standards as today
Burnt to the ground in 1613 after being set on fire during a performance of ‘Henry VIII’ Some more things you need to know about Shakespeare's world... GLOBE THEATRE WORLD VIEW WHO WAS BOSS? THE POWER OF THE PLANETS LIFE FOR THE RICH CHILDREN AND WOMEN GOING TO THE THEATRE LIFE WITHOUT TECHNOLOGY
Full transcript