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Shakespeare, The Tempest, and the Elizabethan Era

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David Kayler

on 14 February 2013

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Transcript of Shakespeare, The Tempest, and the Elizabethan Era

Shakespeare, The Tempest,
and the Elizabethan Era William Shakespeare (aka Billy Boy, Sir Shakes-alot,
or "The Bard") Born in 1564, grew up in Stratford-upon-Avon, a country-side town
Parents were common, "middle-class" folks
Shakespeare was educated in a Grammar school. This was like the "public school" of the day. He would have studied Latin and classical authors.
At the age of 18, Shakespeare married a woman named Anne Hathaway, who was 26 years old at the time.
Something potentially fishy about the marriage: it happened fast for that day and age and six months after the weeding, Anne gave birth to daughter... hmmm... Shakespeare: What's the Big Deal? Shakespeare lived and died around 400 years ago. His language is archaic and sometimes hard to understand. So why do we all still read him? He wrote a great deal, and is considered the greatest writer in the English language He helped to shape the English
language itself He wrote about themes that
we're still concerned about today He lived at one of the turning points of English (and world) history He was not of an age, but for all time!
- Ben Jonson (1573-1637), Preface to the First Folio Words and Phrases Coined (or made popular) by Shakespeare bedroom compromise laughable worthless majestic jaded lonely tranquil discontent advertising moonbeam undress rant hint "a laughing stock" "eaten out of house and home" "as dead as a doornail" "in a pickle" "Mum's the word" "there's method in my madness" "vanish into thin air" "too much of a good thing" Actor and Playwright Sometime in the late 1580s or early 1590s, Shakespeare began his career in London.
Records show that several of his plays were being performed throughout London in 1592, and by then he was well known enough that other playwrights were attacking him in writing
Theatre company: The Lord Chamberlain's Men, name changed to The Kings Men after the death of Queen Elizabeth in 1603
1599 - The Globe Theatre constructed on the bank of the river Thames The Elizabethan Era Often referred to as the "golden age" of English history, it was an era of general peace, prosperity, and creativity
Also called the "English Renaissance" - theater was a major popular art form at the time.
This was also a culmination point of the "Age of Exploration" - Sir Francis Drake circumnavigated the globe, and Sir Walter Raleigh began the colonization of "Virginia," named for the "Virgin Queen" 1558 - 1603 Queen Elizabeth I
The "Virgin Queen" An Era of Tension -
Big Concerns: Elizabethan Theatre Shakespeare's Style The Tempest:
Character Family Tree The Tempest:
Big Questions Religion Politics Rivalry With Spain The New World Tensions between Protestants and Catholics Factional strife in Parliament.
Tension between the gentry and the commoners, the city and the country. Who will be dominant in the new territory?
What to do with the natives?
What is really true anymore? Theatre became HUGE during this period. Lots of new playhouses were constructed in and around London. In the summer of 1580, around 5,000 people were attending plays each day. By 1610, theatre capacity had increased to 10,000.
Plays were performed at court and at public playhouses. In this era, drama was a unifying force, in that the Court and the commoners all saw the same works. Poor citizens could gain ground-level entry for just a penny = "groundlings."
No women were involved - boys or young men played all the female roles.
No lights, special effects, or elaborate backgrounds like we have today Prospero Antonio Miranda Alonso Ferdinand Sebastian Sycorax Caliban Ariel Gonzalo Trinculo Stephano The original Duke of Milan, gets overthrown and by his brother
A magician, he causes the "tempest" that initiates the action of the play Exiled with her father to the island when she was three years old; has never encountered other people or "civilized society"
She is around 15 at the time of the play Starts out as one of his brother Prospero's officials, helping to administrate Milan
As Prospero becomes more obsessed with his magic, Antonio plots to overthrow him
Gets the King of Naples (Alonso) to help him overthrow Prospero The King of Naples
Works with Antonio to throw Prospero out of Milan Alonso's son, the Prince of Naples The King's brother, and a friend of Antonio's A witch
The original master of the island
Ariel's original master
Never actually appears in the play - apparently, she was killed by Prospero before the action begins Prospero's slave
"A monster" - the play sometimes describes him as a deformed man, sometimes as a type of fish
Attempted to rape Miranda sometime before the play began A spirit - able to change shape, concoct illusions, and control the elements/weather
Was originally a slave to Sycorax, who trapped Ariel inside a tree
After being freed by Prospero, Ariel began to serve this new master, but still longs for freedom Wise, old councilor to King Alonso
Had mercy on Prospero and Miranda when they were exiled - gave them provisions enough to keep them alive on the island A jester, serving King Alonso A butler, serving King Alonso Caliban: Villain or Victim? What does he represent?
Nature vs. "Artifice"/Civilization
Prospero: Hero or Villain?
Magic: What does it represent?
Repentance vs. Guilt; Forgiveness vs. Revenge Blank Verse Definition = unrhymed iambic pentameter
= 10 syllables with rhythm


“But SOFT, what LIGHT through YONder WINdow BREAKS.”
(daDUM daDUM daDUM daDUM daDUM) Puns Definition = plays on words.

"sole" of a shoe vs. the human "soul"

"grave" as in a serious tone/mood vs. "grave"
as in a place for a dead body Soliloquy Literally means "talking alone"
These are long speeches in which a character wrestles with a big issue by themselves Process Look at the slide
Read along and listen
Fill in the words in red in the corresponding boxes 14 lines
ABAB Shakespeare's Sonnets
Full transcript