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Tudor and Elizabethan Theatrebefore Shakespeare Ralph Roister Doister by Nicholas Udall (1505-1566) Gammer Gurton’s Needle, by Mr. S written 1552-1553 A Lamentable Tragedy Mixed Full of Pleasant Mirth, Containing the Life of Cambises, King of Persia, from the beginning of his Kingdom, Unto his Death, His One Good Deed of Execution, after that Many Wicked Deeds and Tyrannous Murders Committed by and Through Him, and last of all, His Odious Death by God’s Justice Appointed, by Thomas Preston (1537-1598). Play produced in 1561 The first English Tragedy – Gorboduc (Ferrex and Porrex), by Thomas Sackville and Thomas Norton, produced in 1561 The Coventry Cycle: Corpus Christi Pageants The University Wits
Shakespeare’s Early Life Born in April 1564, possibly on April 23rd Lived in Stratford-upon-Avon Went to school… Married Anne Hathaway Had 3 children Left for London
Chronology of Shakespeare’s Plays 1590-91 Henry VI, Part II, Henry VI, Part III 1591-92 Henry VI, Part I 1592-93 Richard III, Comedy of Errors 1593-94 Titus Andronicus, Taming of the Shrew 1594-95 Two Gentlemen of Verona, Loves Labours Lost, Romeo and Juliet 1595-96 Richard II, A Midsummer Nights Dream 1596-97 King John, The Merchant of Venice 1597-98 Henry IV, Part I, Henry IV, Part II 1598-99 Much Ado About Nothing, Henry V 1599-1600 Julius Caesar, As You Like It, Twelfth Night 1600-01 Hamlet, The Merry Wives of Windsor 1601-02 Troilus and Cressida 1602-03 Alls Well That Ends Well 1604-05 Measure for Measure, Othello 1605-06 King Lear, Macbeth 1606-07 Antony and Cleopatra 1607-08 Coriolanus, Timon of Athens WARNING! 1608-09 Pericles 1609-10 Cymbeline This timeline is 1610-11 The Winters Tale considered debatable! 1611-12 The Tempest 1612-13 Henry VIII, The Two Noble Kinsmen
Playwrights Thomas Kyd Christopher Marlowe Ben Jonson Fletcher and Beaumont John Webster Philip Massinger Thomas Middleton
Christopher Marlowe Born 2 months before Shakespeare His father was a shoemaker Educated in Canterbury, then Cambridge Went to London in 1587…? Achieved fame before Shakespeare Killed in Deptford in 1593 Great command of blank verse
Iambic Pentameter ala Kit M. You stars that reignd at my nativity, Whose influence hath allotted death and hell, Now draw up Faustus like a foggy mist Into entrails of yon labouring clouds, That when they vomit forth into the air, My limbs may issue from their smoky mouths, So that my soul may but ascend to Heaven.
3 types of venues for Elizabethan plays: Inn-yards - the original venues of plays - many converted to playhouses Open air amphitheaters - generally used during summer months, then acting companies moved indoors Playhouses – used during winter The Rose BlackfriarsThe George Inn
An actor could be fined several pounds for taking a costume out of the tiring house Oftentimes, theatre producers spent more on costumes than they did on a playwright’s payment Costumes and props could be rented Sometimes royal patrons paid for special costumes
What’s so remarkable about thiscostume? (It was made for a man!)
Theatre Companies The Earl of Leicesters Men The Queen’s Men The Lord Chamberlains Men The Admirals Men Richard Burbage
Shakespeare’s Later Life William Shakespeare spent his last days in Stratford- upon-Avon. He died April 23, 1616, aged 52. GOOD FREND FOR IESVS SAKE FOREBEARE, TO DIGG THE DVST ENCLOASED HEARE. BLESTE BE YE MAN YT SPARES THES STONES, AND CVRST BE HE YT MOVES MY BONES.
A Shakespearian Curiosity…The 46th Psalm of the King James BibleGod is our refuge and strength, a very present help in trouble. Therefore willnot we fear, though the earth be removed, and though the mountains becarried into the midst of the sea; Though the waters thereof roar and betroubled, though the mountains shake with the swelling thereof. Selah. Thereis a river, the streams whereof shall make glad the city of God, the holy place ofthe tabernacles of the most High. God is in the midst of her; she shall not bemoved: God shall help her, and that right early. The heathen raged, thekingdoms were moved: he uttered his voice, the earth melted. The LORD ofhosts is with us; the God of Jacob is our refuge. Selah. Come, behold the worksof the LORD, what desolations he hath made in the earth. He maketh wars tocease unto the end of the earth; he breaketh the bow, and cutteth the spear insunder; he burneth the chariot in the fire. Be still, and know that I am God: I willbe exalted among the heathen, I will be exalted in the earth. The LORD ofhosts is with us; the God of Jacob is our refuge. Selah.