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Shakespeare Who?

An introduction to Elizabethan England, the Globe Theatre, William Shakespeare, and Romeo & Juliet
by

Nicole Petraitis

on 3 June 2016

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Transcript of Shakespeare Who?

Elizabethan England
Era in English history associated with the reign of Queen Elizabeth (1558-1603)
The "Golden Age" in English history
Height of the English Renaissance, a cultural and artistic movement focused largely on literature and music
The Globe Theater
Built in 1599 by Shakespeare's playing company, The Lord Chamberlain's Men
Destroyed by fire in June of 1613
Rebuilt in 1614 but closed in 1642, along with all theatres, due to the outbreak of the plague
William Shakespeare
"The Bard"
April 23, 1564 - April 23, 1616
Born in Stratford-upon-Avon to John Shakespeare and Mary Alden, a wealthy and prominent couple
At 18, he married 26-year-old Anne Hathaway, but they lived separate lives in separate cities
Few records of his private life are available, so there is much speculation surrounding his life
Was a successful actor as well as a writer
Wrote and produced much of his work between the years of 1589 and 1613
Comedies, histories, tragedies, and sonnets
Romeo and Juliet
Tragedy written early in Shakepeare's career
Two young "star cross'd lovers" whose deaths ultimately unite their feuding families
Highlights Shakespeare's skill in the use of dramatic structure, switching between comedy and tragedy to heighten tension
Ascribes different poetic forms to different characters
Has been adapted in different versions - West Side Story
June 3, 2016
Do Now:
Discuss your responses to the pre-reading & discussion questions you completed last class.

Choose one questions to share your groups thoughts on.
Objective: To be able to understand and discuss Shakespeare, the Globe Theatre and the Elizabethan Era
Standard Addressed:
09-10.RL.06
Analyze a particular point of view or cultural experience reflected in a work of literature from outside the United States, drawing on a wide reading of world literature
In families during Shakespeare's time:
Children had no
rights

other than those given by their parents, and they had to obey their parents until they married.
Wives were expected to
obey
their husbands.
Marriages were not arranged for love; instead, a girl's parents were concerned mainly with her
health
and safety.
Girls usually married when they were
fourteen
or fifteen.
The Globe Theater did not have a roof (still doesn't!). It was lit by sunlight only.
The theater could seat thousands of spectators, a remarkable feat for the time period.
People could pay money to sit in the balcony OR could pay only a penny to sit or stand around the stage.
The Globe Theater had an
upper
level that could be used for high places such as balconies or castle walls.
There was also a
trap
door in the floor so that characters could appear and disappear quickly.
What did Shakespeare write?
In
comedies
, there is a good ending. All of the characters' problems somehow work out in the end.
Examples:
A Midsummer Night's Dream
The Merchant of Venice
As You Like It
Much Ado about Nothing
Shakespeare's
histories
retell an important bit of history.
You can easily tell a history play by its name.
Examples:
Richard II
Henry V
Richard III
Henry VIII
In
tragedies
, everything ends sadly.
There often aren't enough living characters left to drag the dead ones off the stage.
These sad endings supposedly gave the audience
catharsis
, or the purging of unhealthy emotions.
Shakespeare's most
famous
plays are tragedies.
Examples:
Romeo and Juliet
Hamlet
Macbeth
Othello
Sonnets (aka POEMS!)
Although love is the overarching theme of the sonnets, there are three specific underlying themes:
the brevity of life,
the transience of beauty, and
the trappings of desire.
The structure of sonnets:
14 lines long
Rhyme Scheme: ABABCDCDEFEFGG
Written in
IAMBIC PENTAMETER
next class!
Suicide during the Elizabethan Era
Today, we look upon the "victims" of suicide with compassion for the desperation that must have preceded their demise. The Elizabethans, on the other hand, saw suicides as perpetrators, not victims.
Suicide was considered to be such a hideous form of murder that Elizabethan society dealt with it with particular harshness.
Self-murderers were denied Christian burials. Officials of the parish, the churchwardens and their helpers, carried the corpse to a crossroads and threw it naked into a pit. A wooden stake was hammered through the body, pinioning it in the grave, and the hole was filled in. No prayers for the dead were repeated; the minister did not attend.
Exit Ticket:
What are three key points from today's class that you think everyone should remember as we study Romeo and Juliet?
Full transcript