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Shakespeare

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joshua ramsden

on 30 March 2016

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Transcript of Shakespeare

William Shakespeare
Learn about Shakespeare's life and
times and celebratory events
and ESOL tours.
Learn about Shakespeare's life and times and events and ESOL tours.
He was born on the 23rd of April 1564 in the town of Straftford-upon-Avon. His family's house still stands and there are tours. Visit
http://www.shakespeare.org.uk/offers/2-for-1-entry.html
His father, John Shakespeare, was a small businessman who had made a lot of money selling gloves. He made enough money to send his boy to school, where he learned how to read and write, and also learned Latin. The school room in which Shakespeare was taught is still used. But schoolmasters no longer beat the children !
He had a girlfriend from a poorer family, Ann Hatheway. He got her pregnant and so had to marry her. His father’s business was doing very badly. He went to London a poor man. There he acted outside public houses and inns for very little money.
Theatres were built south of the River Thames in Southwark where the laws were relaxed, next to brothels, pubs and places for executions and bloody games. Encircled below is the Rose Theatre hidden among all the other houses, by the River Thames (circa 1580).
One popular sport was bear-baiting in which a bear would be tied to a stake and fight a pack of dogs. People would bet on who would win. "Bear pits" became the architectural model for theatres !
Over the 1580s and '90s the theatre became more and more popular and Shakespeare wrote several popular plays as well as acted. His acting company built the Globe Theatre in 1599 and Shakespeare owned a large share in it. He had become a success. In 1997 the Globe was rebuilt. Shakespeare's plays are staged there.. To see what's on go to:
http://www.shakespearesglobe.com/
At the Globe Theatre Shakespeare went on to write a total of 37 plays. No other writer in English has mastered so many genres; he wrote comedies, tragedies, tragi-comedies, history and Romance plays. Most of his plays were only published after his death in 1623.
Many films have been made of Shakespeare's plays. One of Shakespeare's most popular tragedies is "Macbeth". Macbeth is a great and loyal soldier under the Scottish King Duncan. However, driven by the ambitions of his wife he murders the King that he loves. He becomes King, but a reign begun in blood continues to be bloody and he dies accursed and full of bitter regret, over thrown by his subjects. Next is the murder scene from Roman Polanski's 1978 film of the play.
The British Museum is holding ESOL tours exploring the
works and impact of Shakespeare. For more information go to:
http://www.britishmuseum.org/whats_on/exhibitions/shakespeare_staging_the_world/introduction.asp
Having made a lot of money living in crowded and squalid London, Shakespeare retired to his hometown in 1610
and bought the largest house there, "New Place".
Unfortunately the house has not survived. We only have a sketch of it.
But Shakespeare only enjoyed six years of retirement and luxury, dying on his fifty-second birthday on the 23rd of April 1616. He was a popular writer and a wealthy man, so he was buried in the local church and a small statue of him set up there. It was not a very good statue because, after all, Shakespeare was not THAT important, at least in the minds of most of his contemporaries.
However Ben Jonson, Shakespeare's fellow dramatist and great contemporary, did not agree, and in his elegy for him he wrote
"He was not of an age, but for all time !" Posterity has come to agree and today he has a very grand monument in Westminster Abbey:

Perhaps no other writer has created so many utterly different, fully convincing characters. Very different to Macbeth is the adolescent and romantic Romeo who cannot openly marry Julia because their families are at war in medieval Verona. Julia, to escape with Romeo, pretends to be dead by drinking a powerful drug that puts her to sleep. Romeo thinks she is dead and, at her tomb, kills himself. Julia than awakes and kills herself to join him. Next is the death scene from the film of "Romeo and Juliet" starring Leonardo DiCaprio.
Perhaps no other writer has created so many utterly different, fully convincing characters. Very different to Macbeth is the adolescent and romantic Romeo who cannot openly marry Julia because their families are at war in medieval Verona. Julia, to escape with Romeo, pretends to be dead by drinking a powerful drug that puts her to sleep. Romeo thinks she is dead and, at her tomb, kills himself. Julia than awakes and kills herself to join him. Next is the death scene from the film of "Romeo and Juliet" starring Leonardo DiCaprio.
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