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Transcript of Shakespeare Intro
April 23, 1564- April 23, 1616
What do you already know about William Shakespeare?
Students will use pre-reading strategies by accessing prior knowledge, formulating questions, and processing and analyzing teacher-provided information IOT identify topics of discussion that will enhance a reader’s understanding of a text (Romeo and Juliet).
Although no attendance records for the period survive, most biographers agree that Shakespeare was educated at the King’s New School in Stratford, England. The school was less than a mile from his home.
…who bore him three children.
His childrens’ names were Susanna, and twins Hamnet and Judith. (His son died when he was 11.)
Between 1585 and 1592 he began a successful career in London as an actor, writer, and part owner of the playing company the Lord Chamberlain’s Men, later known as the King’s Men.
Shakespeare produced most of his known work between 1590 and 1613. His early plays were mainly comedies and histories, which were written until the mid-1590s.
The Globe Theatre
At the base of the stage, there was an area called the pit, where, for a penny, people (the “groundlings,” usually the poorer people) would stand up to watch the performance
Shakespeare was born and raised in Stratford-upon-Avon in England
At the age of 18 he married Anne Hathaway…
In 1599, a partnership of company members built their own theatre on the south bank of the Thames River, which they called the Globe Theater.
All’s Well that Ends Well
The Two Gentlemen of Verona
As You Like It
The Winter’s Tale
The Two Noble Kinsmen
The Comedy of Errors
Love’s Labour’s Lost
Measure for Measure
Henry IV, part 1
Henry IV, part 2
Henry VI, part 1*
Henry VI, part 2*
Henry VI, part 3*
*These are Shakespeare’s first recorded works.
After the comedies and histories were written, from about 1600 to about 1608, his “tragic period,” Shakespeare focused mainly on tragedies, which were some of his most famous plays.
A tragedy is a play with several characteristics (which you learn in detail very soon). The most prominent is that most, if not all, of the major characters die at the end of the play.
Romeo and Juliet
Timon of Athens
Troilus and Cressida
Antony and Cleopatra
Published in 1609, the Sonnets were the last of Shakespeare’s non-dramatic works to be printed. Scholars are not certain when each of the 154 sonnets was composed, but evidence suggests that Shakespeare wrote sonnets throughout his career for a private audience.
After 1606-1607, Shakespeare wrote fewer plays, and none are attributed to him after 1613. His last three plays were collaborations, which means he wrote them with another playwright.
Shakespeare didn’t leave anything in his estate to his wife, Anne, except his “second best bed.”
Shakespeare was a respected poet and playwright in his own day, but his reputation did not rise to the present heights until the 19th century. His plays remain highly popular today and are consistently performed and reinterpreted in diverse cultural and political contexts throughout the world.
The Globe Theatre was built in 1599 in London, England, by Shakespeare’s playing company, the Lord Chamberlain’s Men.
The Globe was a three-story, open-air amphitheatre approximately 100 feet in diameter that could house up to 3,000 spectators
Around the pit were three levels of stadium-style seats, which were much more expensive than the pit.
Large columns on either side of the stage supported a roof over the rear portion of the stage. The ceiling under this roof was called the “heavens” and as painted with clouds and the sky
The doors entered into the “tiring house” (backstage area) where the actors dressed and awaited their entrances. The floors above could have been used to store costumes and props and as management offices
On June 29, 1613, the Globe Theatre went up in flames during a performance of Henry VIII. A theatrical cannon, set off during the performance, misfired, igniting the wooden beams and thatching.
According to one of the few surviving documents of the event, no one was hurt except a man whose burning breeches were put out with a bottle of beer.
His parents were John Shakespeare and Mary Arden. William was the third child of eight.
After the twins were born in 1585, there are few historical traces of Shakespeare until he is mentioned as part of the London theatre scene in 1592. Because of this gap, scholars refer to the years between 1585 and 1592 as Shakespeare’s “lost years.”
is a play that usually has a happy ending. Striving to provoke smiles and laughter, a comedy uses both wit and humor. Human beings are depicted very realistically in comedies.
is a play that is based on some actual historical events. The characters in the play were once real people.
By 1598, Shakespeare’s name had become a selling point and began to appear on the title pages of his works.
Critics praised the sonnets as a profound meditation on the nature of love, sexual passion, procreation, death, and time.
Shakespeare died a very wealthy man on April 23, 1616, and was survived by his wife and two daughters.
In his will, Shakespeare left the bulk of his large estate to his elder daughter Susanna. The terms instructed that he pass it down intact to the “first son of her body.” Susanna had one daughter, Elizabeth, who married twice but never had children, ending Shakespeare’s direct line.
Shakespeare was buried in the chancel of the Holy Trinity Church two days after his death. Sometime before 1623, a monument was erected in his memory. A stone slab covering his grave is inscribed with a curse against moving his bones.
A trap door in the heavens enabled performers to descend using some form of rope and harness. The back wall of the stage had two or three doors on the main level, with a curtained inner stage in the center with a balcony above it.
The balcony housed the musicians and could also be used for scenes requiring an upper space, such as the balcony scene in Romeo and Juliet.
The Globe was rebuilt in the same place and reopened the next year, where it remained in operation until the Puritans shut it down, along with all the other theatres in London.
Students attended school for eight hours a day for six days a week. They studied a variety of subjects including Latin, mathematics, Greek, and the classics. There were no summer vacations!
Theaters were generally located "bankside" because plays were thought to be an immoral activity. The clergy even blamed the theaters for the appearance of the plague, which decimated the population of Europe.
A flag flying at the top of the hut notified the public that a play would be performed that day.
Lord Chamberlain was a relative to Queen Elizabeth who ruled during Shakespeare's time. She was a huge fan of plays, so she encouraged her relative to be Shakespeare's patron. Elizabeth had originally encouraged the production of plays as a means to promote patriotism and citizenship. Because Elizabeth I was so fond of the fine arts, things created while she ruled England are often referred to as being "Elizabethan."
The first playhouse in England was called "the Theater"---it was built in 1576.
A sonnet is a 14 line poem written in what is called iambic pentameter. The sonnet also has a very specific rhyme scheme.
This is the same birthday of the famous Spanish writer, Cervantes, who wrote Don Quixote.
It's near the Avon River
She was 26....and 3 months pregnant!
John Shakespeare was known to be a wool trader and later he will become the magistrate of Stratford.
In all of his work – the plays, the sonnets and the narrative poems – Shakespeare uses 17,677 words.
It was easier for him to do so because Shakespeare wrote before the invention of the dictionary.
The Merchant of Venice
The Merry Wives of Windsor
A Midsummer Night’s Dream
Much Ado About Nothing
Pericles, Prince of Tyre
The Taming of the Shrew
Twelth Night, or What You Will
He was 52.
We say he was born on the 23rd, however, we're not entirely sure as there are no birth records. There are, though, records of his baptism on the 26th, and children of that era were generally baptized two or three days after birth.
The only work which has sold more copies is the Bible. Shakespeare's works have been translated into some 80 languages including Klingon.
An authorship controversy still circulates, however. There are several potential candidates who are offered as being Shakespeare including: Sir Francis Bacon, Queen Elizabeth I, Edward de Vere, the 16th Earl of Oxford and Christopher Marlowe.