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Introduction to Shakespeare

An introduction for ninth and tenth grade ELA students.
by

Jacob Johnson

on 17 October 2011

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Transcript of Introduction to Shakespeare

Why do we study Shakespeare? Shakespeare's
language Shakespeare's Background Shakespeare's
Theatre Shakespeare's writing He wrote plays A Midsummer Night's Dream
The Taming of the Shrew
The Merchant of Venice
Twelfth Night
The Tempest
A few of his comedies include Tragedies –serious dramas with disastrous endings A few of his histories include Henry IV, part 1 Richard III Henry VIII Henry V King John Comedies - light and amusing, usually with a happy ending Macbeth King Lear Romeo and Juliet Hamlet A few of his tragedies include Julius Caesar Histories – involve events or persons from history Born around April 23, 1564; 3rd of 8 children Family lived in Stratford-on-Avon, a market town about 100 miles NW of London Father (John) a shopkeeper. A man of considerable standing in Stratford. Served as Justice of the Peace and High Bailiff (mayor) Attended grammar school, where he studied Latin, grammar and literature, Rhetoric (the use of language). No further formal education known The early years Marriage to Anne Hathaway, 8 years older than he, 3 children: Susanna (1583), Judith and Hamnet (twins, 1585) The later years 1594 - became shareholder in a company of actors called Lord Chamberlain’s Men 1599 - Lord Chamberlain’s Co. Built Globe Theater where most of his play’s were performed 1599 - Actor for Lord Chamberlain’s Men and principal playwright for them 1603 – James I became king of England; acting company renamed King’s Men 1610 – Shakespeare retired to Stratford-on-Avon 1616 – died at the age of 52 His plays... He is widely regarded as the greatest writer in English Literature. portray recognizable people in situations we experience in our lives: love, marriage, death, mourning, guilt, the need to make difficult choices, separation, reunion and reconciliation. do so with great humanity, tolerance, and wisdom. are constantly fresh and can be adapted to the place and time they are performed. use language that is wonderfully expressive and powerful. help us to understand what it is to be human, and to cope with the problems of being so. Iambic Pentameter = The line structure Shakespeare applied to all of his work.
Refers to the series of unstressed and stressed syllables Unstressed syllable followed by a stressed syllable Iambic Pentameter Meter: foot, two counts per foot Penta: five, five meters Five feet of two counts equal a 10 count line So, Iambic pentameter means... a ten count line in which the first syllable is unstressed and the next syllable is stressed and so on… Introduction to Shakespeare
Audience Actors Wealthy people got to sit on benches The poor (called “groundlings”) had to stand and watch from the courtyard There was much more audience participation than today Only men and boys Young boys whose voices had not changed played the women’s roles It would have been indecent for a woman to appear on stage Why is Shakespeare’s language so difficult to understand? Anastrophe: Unusual sentence structure - Verb before subject “Full of vexation come I” Should be: I come full of vexation - Object before subject and verb “And what is mine my love shall render him” Should be: My love shall render him what is mine - Interruptions “My fortunes every was as fairly ranked, if not with vantage, as Demetrius Should be: My fortunes are as fairly ranked as Demetrius - Omissions “Thrice blessed they that master so their blood” Should be: Thrice blessed are they that master so their blood Wordplay - Puns: a joke exploiting the different possible meanings of a word or the fact that there are words that sound alike but have different meanings Malapropisms: the mistaken use of a word in place of a similar-sounding one, often with unintentionally amusing effect. - Simile: illustrative comparison Ex: My love is like a red, red rose. - Metaphor or extended simile - Hyperbole - Personification The Globe Theatre Open ceiling Three stories high No artificial lighting - Plays were shown during daylight hours only All but wealthy were uneducated/illiterate Built outside of the city so that London officials couldn’t interfere. Where? He’s the most quoted person ever! "To be or not to be: that is the question" "Good night, good night! Parting is such sweet sorrow" "Friends, Romans, countrymen, lend me your ears" "Hell is empty and all the devils are here" "Romeo, Romeo, wherefore art thou, Romeo?" "Shall I compare thee to a summer's day? Thou art more lovely and more temperate" The Black Death a.k.a., Bubonic plague During Shakespeare’s time, 200,000 people were living in London Between Dec. 1592 and Dec. 1593, 11,000 died of plague All public areas, including restaurants and playhouses were closed Costume worn by plague doctor to protect against 'miasmas' of poisonous air streets of London He wrote poems With the theaters closed due to bubonic plague, Shakespeare began writing poems, called Sonnets. He wrote 154 in all. 14 line poems 3 quatrains – groups of 4 lines 1 couplet – group of 2 lines Shall I compare thee to a summer’s day?
Thou art more lovely and more temperate:
Rough winds do shake the darling buds of May,
And summer’s lease hath all too short a date:

Sometime too hot the eye of heaven shines,
And often is his gold complexion dimmed;
And every fair from fair sometimes declines,
By chance, or nature’s changing course, untrimmed;

But thy eternal summer shall not fade,
Nor lose possession of that fair thou owest,
Nor shall death brag thou wander’st in his shade, When in eternal lines to time thou growest;

So long as men can breathe, or eyes can see,
So long lives this, and this gives life to thee.


Sonnet 18 In all of his work - the plays, the sonnets and the narrative poems - Shakespeare uses 17,677 words: Of those, 1,700 were first used by Shakespeare. amazement
apostrophe
assassination
bloody
countless
critic
dexterously
dishearten
dwindle
exposure
generous
gloomy
impartial indistinguishable
invulnerable
laughable
lonely
majestic
misplaced
monumental
obscene
pious
premeditated
radiance
road
sanctimonious
sportive
submerge
suspicious His characters Shakespeare was an outstanding observer and communicator of human character. Many of his characters have become immortal in the sense that they capture types which are universal. Students today continue to identify with them and their struggles. There is much profit to be gained from comparing and contrasting Shakespeare's characters with each other, and from learning the reasons for their strengths and weaknesses. Examples of Shakespeare’s genius include: the richness of his literary devices the compelling drama of his plots the penetrating nature of his characterizations the universal interest and appeal in his dialogs and monologues his delightful sense of humor his enduring wisdom and wit Your love and pity doth the impression fill,
Which vulgar scandal stamped upon my brow;
For what care I who calls me well or ill,
So you o'er-green my bad, my good allow?

You are my all-the-world, and I must strive
To know my shames and praises from your tongue;
None else to me, nor I to none alive,
That my steeled sense or changes right or wrong.

In so profound abysm I throw all care
Of others' voices, that my adder's sense
To critic and to flatterer stopped are.
Mark how with my neglect I do dispense:

You are so strongly in my purpose bred,
That all the world besides methinks y'are dead. Sonnet 112
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