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Romeo and Juliet Unit: Introduction to William Shakespeare/ Romeo and Juliet
Transcript of Romeo and Juliet Unit: Introduction to William Shakespeare/ Romeo and Juliet
The man behind the play.
William Shakespeare wrote during the time of
Queen Elizabeth, in 16th Century England.
(That is over 400 years ago!)
William Shakespeare writes in a way that tells us more than just what is happening on the page and requires us to think outside the box. This is great for test taking and even for listening to someone else speak.
So, why should we care about reading Shakespeare?
Shakespeare typically writes in
However, not all of Romeo and Juliet is written in a strict form.
This change in pattern is another way for Shakespeare to talk to his audience
How does he write?
Life in Shakespeare's Time
Whoa! Wait! What is iambic pentameter again?
Romeo and Juliet
of two syllables
i.e. Your heartbeat (Lub DUB)
5 iambs to a line
A measured pattern of rhythmic accents in a line of verse
A pair of star-crossed lovers take their life,
Shakespeare is most famous for his plays and poetry. He does write in Modern English, but not the way we write or talk today.
Shakespeare's Home in Stratford-upon-Avon
Shakespeare's Play House: The Globe
Most people bathed only once a year. Doctors of the day worried about Elizabeth because she took a bath once a month. Well-to-do people liked to smell good, so they used lots of perfume, and scented waters to sweeten their breath.
People didn't know much about sanitation. They dumped garbage into city streets and open ditches.
People in Shakespeare's time did not realize that plagues or epidemics- which caused hundreds, sometimes thousands, of deaths- were caused by rats and other rodents.
Most people thought diseases were spread by bad smells. Women carried herbs and flowers to sniff when bad smells came their way.
Music and Dancing
Youngsters learned their letters from a "horn book." These were made of leather-covered wood with a sheet of printed aper. The were sometimes word around their neck.
Most girls stayed home to learn housekeeping skills.
Boys might go to grammar school from the age of 7 to about 15. They studied Latin and math, and sometimes Greek.
People could spell any word any way they wanted to. There were no spelling rules.
Plays were not the only pastime that people enjoyed. Audiences also flocked to such bloody spectacles as public hangings, bear and bull baiting, and cockfights.
People sang a lot, and many also learned to play a musical instrument such as the lute.
Dancing was also quite popular. Members of the queen's court learned fancy dance steps. Poorer people danced the jig.
Play in verse
Blank Verse: non-rhyming iambic pentameter
Tragedy: Play in which the characters experience large amounts of grief, typically due to the death of other characters
Romeo and Juliet
Did Shakespeare create the original Romeo and Juliet?
Well, actually this story is at least 200 years older than Shakespeare. It was a popular tale in the 1400s in Italy.
You are right! Shakespeare used a story that was over 100 years old to help build his own version of Romeo and Juliet. The original version came from Italy.