Theatre in Shakespeare's Time

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A presentation given to undergraduate theater classes at Stony Brook University.

A presentation given to undergraduate theater classes at Stony Brook University.

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  • 2. 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
  • 3. 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
  • 4. How many days would it take?
  • 5. 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
  • 6. The Competition
  • 7. Playwrights Thomas Kyd Christopher Marlowe Ben Jonson Fletcher and Beaumont John Webster Philip Massinger Thomas Middleton
  • 8. 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
  • 9. 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.
  • 10. Kit Marlowe, continued
  • 11. Quotes from Marlowe Was this the face that launched a thousand ships? Come live with me and be my love, And we will all the pleasures prove…
  • 12. Performance Spaces
  • 13. 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
  • 14. Elizabethan & JacobeanTheatres
  • 15. The Globe
  • 16. Seeing a show at the Globe
  • 17. Costumes
  • 18.  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
  • 19. What’s so remarkable about thiscostume? (It was made for a man!)
  • 20. Theatre Companies The Earl of Leicesters Men The Queen’s Men The Lord Chamberlains Men The Admirals Men Richard Burbage
  • 21. 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.
  • 22. 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.