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Transcript of Introducing Shakespeare
The man, the myth, the legend
Some things to know
The Globe Theater
Remember, this is back in the day. No movie theaters, no television, nothing.
EVERYONE from the poorest poor to the richest rich went to the theater.
Professional actors joined troops that would travel around the country and perform in all the largest theaters.
London's Premier Theater
the most famous of these troops
was the King's Men, Shakespeare's
, and also the favorite
of Queen Elizabeth.
Formerly known as The Lord Chamberlain's Men, but I guess he didn't pay his bills like the queen.
Originally built in 1599,
the Globe was one of the first permanent theaters, which gave writers and acting companies the ability to do things they'd never done before.
This is where the majority of Shakespeare's major works were put on during his hay day.
Looking inside the Globe
Hey, even you have to admit Shakespeare beats watching dogs eat a bear or something even more violent and disgusting.
The rhythm of the Elizabethan Era
Meter refers to the pattern of syllables in a line of poetry. This patterned language not only
helped to create flow, but it was also used to help actors remember lines
Iambic refers to a pattern of syllables that goes unstressed, stressed.
Penta means five, so a pentameter means there are five iambic meters in a line. (10 syllables)
da DUM | da DUM | da DUM | da DUM | da DUM
Notes in the play telling actors how to move or deliver a line.
Not all play writes include the same amount of stage directions,and actors frequently fill their own in.
Not many of Shakespeare's original stage directions exist anymore, so most Shakespeare scripts only include a few basics
Stage directions are usually in italic text or separated from the spoken text with brackets  or parenthesis ().
When the audience knows an important piece of information that the characters on stage do not know.
A dramatic device in which the character speaks directly to the audience.
Characters on stage cannot hear an aside, and they usually let the audience know what a character is about to do or what they are thinking.
consider how Ferris Bueller breaks character to proclaim to the audience that "It worked!" He then proceeds to speak directly to the audience to teach them how to fake an illness.
A dramatic device when a character speaks to himself, relating thoughts and feelings, thereby also sharing them with the audience.
Other characters, however, are not aware of what is being said. In modern movies this can be accomplished with a voice over.
The humorous use of a word to imply two or more meanings.
It is with the saddest heart that I pass on the following. Please join me in remembering a great icon. The Pillsbury Doughboy died yesterday of a yeast infection and complications from repeated pokes in the belly. He was 71. Doughboy was buried in a lightly-greased coffin. Dozens of celebrities turned out to pay their respects, including Mrs. Butterworth, Hungry Jack, the California Raisins, Betty Crocker, the Hostess Twinkies, and Cap'n Crunch. The grave site was piled high with flours as long- time friend, Aunt Jemima, delivered the eulogy, describing Doughboy as a man who never knew how much he was kneaded. Doughboy rose quickly in show business, but his later life was filled with turnovers. He was not considered a very "smart" cookie, wasting much of his dough on half-baked schemes. Despite being a little flaky at times, he -- even still, as a crusty old man -- was considered a roll model for millions. Toward the end, it was thought he would rise again, but alas, he was no tart. Doughboy is survived by his wife, Play Dough; two children, John Dough and Jane Dough; plus they had one in the oven. He is also survived by his elderly father, Pop Tart. The funeral was held at 3:50 for about twenty minutes.
Very Little Education
There is nothing in the early records to suggest Shakespeare received much formal education.
This fact has fueled many of the theories that perhaps Shakespeare was never who we believed him to be. (To be discussed in detail a little later)
Shakespeare move's to London, where he becomes a prolific writer and
a favorite of Queen Elizabeth and King James. It is during this time he writes his 37 plays and 154 sonnets.
Shakespeare popularized a poetic form known as the Shakespearean Sonnet. These poems, usually centered on love, had to follow very strict rules.
Fourteen lines with three alternating quatrains and an ending couplet
Each line is in iambic pentameter
Based on the real events and figures of the English monarchy
Examples include Richard III, Henry VIII, etc.
Distinguished by their happy endings
Examples include Taming of the Shrew, Much Ado about Nothing, and As You Like It.
It ain't over 'til everyone dies
Examples include Romeo and Juliet, Othello, Hamlet, and Macbeth (basically all the ones we read in school).
The Elizabethan Era
Shakespeare was born in the early years of the Elizabethan Era.
The Elizabethan Era encompasses the years of Queen Elizabeth the First's reign (1558-1603).
This era was considered a golden age for England.
A period marked by internal peace after the Protestant Reformation
Large amounts of economic prosperity
The arts flowered
Shakespeare is born in Stratford upon Avon, north of London.
We can only make a guess at his birthday because there is no official birth record or certificate.
He died in April of 1616 and was buried at Holy Trinity Church in Stratford upon Avon.
What little we know....
But what this ultimately meant is that
Shakespeare's plays would have to be enjoyable for uneducated peasants and highly educated aristocrats at the same time.
Pronunciation has changed a lot since Shakespeare's day. Sometimes we cannot hear the rhythm and rhyme the way it would have sounded when Shakespeare wrote his lines.
(start @ 2:50 - stop @ 6:53)
If Shakespeare were alive today,
his appreciation of rhythm and rhyme would make him a top selling rap artist for sure.