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A Brief Introduction to Shakespeare

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Betsy Lancy

on 25 April 2017

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Transcript of A Brief Introduction to Shakespeare

Theater in Elizabethan England
Travel around the world and refugees from Europe exposed England to new cultures, with huge population growth.

As a result, London became a center for the arts, culture and commerce.

Unfortunately, this also lead to overcrowding, plagues, poor sanitary conditions, and crime. People used theater as an "escape" from reality.

Queen Elizabeth encouraged and supported the arts, including theater, music and poetry, and was a patron of Shakespeare. In turn, it's believed that Shakespeare dedicated a passage of A Midsummer Night's Dream to the queen.
Elizabethan England
The Life & Influence of Queen Elizabeth I
The Globe Theater was constructed in 1599, with help from Shakespeare's financial contributions.

The Globe was the primary home of Shakespeare's acting company.
Poorer audience members were called "groundlings" because for one penny (almost a whole day's wages) they could stand in front of the stage. Richer patrons would sit in covered galleries that were more comfortable.
Shakespeare's Life
Shakespeare's Accomplishments
William Shakespeare is credited with 37 plays (comedies, tragedies & histories), 154 sonnets and 2 epic narrative poems.

Shakespeare introduced almost 3,000 words into the English language!

Shakespeare's success as a playwright was unusual for his time
Shakespeare Today
Shakespeare continues to influence Western culture:
His ability to articulate the human condition
Stories have themes that go beyond time and culture
Characters that are complex yet relevant
Catchy wordplay and puns
A Brief Introduction To
William Shakespeare was born in in Stratford-Upon-Avon on April 23, 1564. He was the third of eight children (three died in childhood).

Not much is known about his childhood except that he probably attended the grammar school in Stratford, but he never attended a university.
Shakespeare: Original Pronunciation
The Globe Theater
Shakespeare's Insults
Unlike modern auditoriums, every part of the theater was visible to the audience. The set and props were very simple and left much to the audience's imagination. The costumes, on the other hand, were extravagant.
Shakespeare in Love
The Complete Works of
William Shakespeare (Abridged)
Influence on the English language:
Common phrases include: "in the twinkling of an eye," (Merchant of Venice) "too much of a good thing" (As You Like It) "vanish into thin air" (Othello) and "a method in my madness" (Hamlet).
Shakespeare married Anne Hathaway at age 18. Together they had a daughter and twins, but one twin died before reaching adulthood.

Nothing is known about Shakespeare during his "Lost Years."

Shakespeare moves to London and begins acting and becomes a playwright.

His company becomes the most successful in London, and many of his works become published.

Supposedly, Shakespeare died on his birthday in 1616.
Author's have used phrases from Shakespeare's works for titles of novels, such as Brave New World (from The Tempest). Many adaptations in film are loosely based on Shakespeare's works.
Queen Elizabeth I was born in 1553 and died in 1603. She claimed the throne at age 25 and held it for 44 years!

Under her direction in this "Golden Age," England became a naval and commercial power in the Western World. Queen Elizabeth was a good diplomat and handled conflicts with other countries well.
Queen Elizabeth I was the only child of Henry VIII and his mistress Anne Boleyn. Anne Boleyn died by execution when Elizabeth was only two years old.

Elizabeth also had a half sister (born to Henry's first wife Catherine of Aragon), who was later famously known as Bloody Mary, for her attack on Protestantism.
Queen Elizabeth supported the Church of England which was Protestant, not Catholic. This implied that royalty had power, rather than the Pope. The religious struggle between Protestants and Catholics was a constant battle in England at that time.
She never married, although there were many suitors. Because she "cultivated her image as a queen married to her job and people," she was nicknamed the "Virgin Queen." (biography.com)
How did Shakespeare's life and culture affect his writing?
How does Shakespeare's writing continue to affect our lives and culture today?
Full transcript