Objectives• Trace the timeline of WilliamShakespeare’s life• Identify famous works of his period• Show awareness on the importance ofShakespeare’s contribution to EnglishLiterature• Perform differentiated activities of thedifferent stories of W.S.
It is commonlyaccepted that hewas born nearApril 23, 1564,and it is known thathe was baptized inStratford-upon-Avon, England.He was third ofeight children fromJohn Shakespeareand Mary Arden.
This is WilliamShakespeare’sHome inStratford
Inside his house...
This is the Old Grammar School, whereShakespeare went to. The school was built in 1428 asthe home of areligious guild.The lower floorof the buildingis a meetingroom, and theschoolroomitself is on theupper floor.
Shakespeare began his education atthe age of seven. The school providedShakespeare with his formaleducation. The students chieflystudied Latin, rhetoric, logic, andliterature. His knowledge andimagination may have come from hisreading of ancient authors andpoetry.
Shakespeare attended in this strict, prestigious grammar school.Students studied Latin, since it was necessary in the time to have asuccessful career. The students attended classes nine hours perday, almost entirely year round, and were physically punished ifthey did not behave. This hardly seems like a school that wouldinspire the young boy, and this was minimal education consideringhis success.
Due to his success, many wouldassume that Shakespeare was bornand raised in a wealthy noble family.However, he was born in what would haveknown as a middle class family in their time.He was born in the small English town ofStratford.The town was mainly a marketsquare, so it was quite lively. There were manyevents such as pageants and shows. Also therewere plenty of beautiful countrysidesurrounding the town.
In November 1582,Shakespeare received alicense to marry AnneHathway. At the timeof their marriage,Shakespeare was 18years old and Annewas 26. They had threechildren, the oldestSusanna, and twins- aboy, Hamneth, and agirl, Judith. The boy didnot survive.
Shakespeare apparently arrived in London about 1588 and by1592 had attained success as an actor and a playwright.
Shakespeares modernreputation, however, is basedprimarily on the 38 plays that heapparently wrote, modified, orcollaborated on. Althoughgenerally popular in his time,these plays were frequently littleesteemed by his educatedcontemporaries, who consideredEnglish plays of their own day tobe only vulgar entertainment.
Shakespeares professional life in London was markedby a number of financially advantageous arrangements thatpermitted him to share in the profits of his acting company,the Chamberlains Men, later called the Kings Men, and itstwo theaters, the Globe Theater and the Blackfriars.
His plays were given specialpresentation at the courts ofQueen Elizabeth I and KingJames I more frequentlythan those of any othercontemporary dramatist. Itis known that he riskedlosing royal favor onlyonce, in 1599, when Hiscompany performed "theplay of the deposing andkilling of King Richard II"at the request of a group ofconspirators againstElizabeth.
After about 1608,Shakespeares dramaticproduction lessened andhe spent more time inStratford, where he hadestablished his family in animposing house called “NewPlace” and had become aleading local citizen. He diedin April 23, 1616, and wasburied in the Stratford church.
Shakespeare was both baptized, and now rests,in Holy Trinity Church, which is alongside theAvon
This is found near thetown side of theClopton Bridge is theGower Memorial, hewas known asStratfords most famousand celebrated son.The memorial is cast inbronze and waserected in 1888
PERIODS OF HIS WORKSBecause of the difficulty of dating Shakespeares playsand the lack of conclusive facts about his writings,these dates are approximate and can be used only as aconvenient framework in which to discuss hisdevelopment.(1) the period up to 1594,(2) the years from 1594 to 1600,(3) the years from 1600 to 1608, and(4) the period after 1608.
First periodShakespeares first period was one ofexperimentation. His early plays arecharacterized to a degree by formal andrather obvious construction and by stylizedverse.
KingHenry Vdeal with evil resulting from weakleadership and from nationaldisunity fostered for selfish ends.The four-play cycle closes with thedeath of Richard III and theascent to the throne of Henry VII,the founder of the Tudor dynasty,to which Elizabeth belonged.
The Comedy of Errors (1592), a farce in imitation of classicalRoman comedy, depends for its appeal on mistaken identities intwo sets of twins involved in romance and war.
Loves Labours Lost (1594)satirizes the loves of its main male characters as well as thefashionable devotion to studious pursuits by which these noblemenhad first sought to avoid romantic and worldly ensnarement.
The Two Gentlemen of Verona (1594?) concerns romanticlove Shakespeares second period includes his mostimportant plays concerned with English history, his so-calledjoyous comedies, and two of his major tragedies. In thisperiod, his style and approach became highly individualized.
2nd PeriodShakespeares second period includes his most important playsconcerned with English history, his so-called joyous comedies, andtwo of his major tragedies. In this period, his style and approachbecame highly individualized.
Outstanding amongthe comedies of thesecond period isA MidsummerNights Dreamwhich interweaves several plots involving two pairs of noblelovers, a group of bumbling and unconsciously comictownspeople, and members of the fairy realm, notablyPuck, King Oberon, and Queen Titania.
Subtle evocation of atmosphere, of the sort that characterizesthis play, is also found in the tragicomedy The Merchant ofVenice (1596). In this play, the Renaissance motifs ofmasculine friendship andromantic love are portrayedin opposition to the bitterinhumanity of a usurernamed Shylock, whoseown misfortunes are presentedso as to arouse understandingand sympathy. The character of the quick-witted, warm, andresponsive young woman, exemplified in this play by Portia,reappears in the joyous comedies of the second period.
Much Ado About Nothing(1599) is marred, in the opinion of some critics, by aninsensitive treatment of its female characters.
Shakespeares most mature comedies, As You Like It (1599) and TwelfthNight (1600), are characterized by lyricism, ambiguity, and beautiful,charming, and strong-minded heroines like Beatrice. In that respect, AsYou Like It is similar to Twelfth Night, in which the comical side of loveis illustrated by the misadventures of two pairs of romantic lovers and of anumber of realistically conceived and clowning characters in the subplot.
Another comedy of the second period is The Merry Wivesof Windsor (1599), a farce about middle-class life inwhich Falstaff reappears as the comic victim.
Romeo and Juliet (1595), famousfor its poetic treatment of theecstasy of youthful love,dramatizes the fate of two loversvictimized by the feuds andmisunderstandings of their eldersand by their own hastytemperaments
Julius Caesar(1599), on theother hand, is aserious tragedy ofpolitical rivalries,but is less intensein style than thetragic dramas thatfollowed it.
Third PeriodShakespeares third period includes hisgreatest tragedies and his so-called dark orbitter comedies. The tragedies of this periodare considered the most profound of hisworks. In them he used his poetic idiom asan extremely supple dramatic instrument,capable of recording human thought and themany dimensions of given dramaticsituations.
•Hamlet (1601), perhaps his most famous play, exceeds by far mostother tragedies of revenge in picturing the mingled sordidness andglory of the human condition. Hamlet feels that he is living in aworld of horror. Confirmed in this feeling by the murder of hisfather and the sensuality of his mother, he exhibits tendenciestoward both crippling indecision and precipitous action.Interpretation of his motivation and ambivalence continues to be asubject of considerable controversy.
Othello (1604) portrays the growth of unjustified jealousy in theprotagonist, Othello, a Moor serving as a general in the Venetianarmy. The innocent object of his jealousy is his wife, Desdemona. Inthis tragedy, Othellos evil lieutenant Iago draws him into mistakenjealousy in order to ruin him.
Antony andCleopatrais concerned witha different typeof love, namelythe middle-agedpassion ofRoman generalMark Antonyfor Egyptianqueen Cleopatra.Their love isglorified bysome of Shakespearesmost sensuous poetry.
In Macbeth (1606),Shakespeare depictsthe tragedy of a manwho, led on by othersand because of adefect in his ownnature, succumbs toambition. In securingthe Scottish throne,Macbeth dulls hishumanity to the pointwhere he becomescapable of anyamoral act.
Fourth PeriodThe fourth period of Shakespeares work includes hisprincipal romantic tragicomedies. Toward the end of hiscareer, Shakespeare created several plays that, throughthe intervention of magic, art, compassion, or grace,often suggest redemptive hope for the human condition.These plays are written with a grave quality differingconsiderably from Shakespeares earlier comedies, butthey end happily with reunions or final reconciliation..To many critics, the tragicomedies signify a finalripeness in Shakespeares own outlook, but otherauthorities believe that the change reflects only a changein fashion in the drama of the period.
A Winter’s Tale
Perhaps the most successful product of this particular vein ofcreativity, however, is what may be Shakespeares last completeplay, The Tempest (1611), in which the resolution suggests thebeneficial effects of the union of wisdom and power. In this play aduke, deprived of his dukedom and banished to an island,confounds his brother by employing magical powers andfurthering a love match between his daughter and the usurpersson. Shakespeares poetic power reached great heights in thisbeautiful, lyrical play.
William ShakespeareEnglish playwright and poet, recognized inmuch of the world as the greatest of all dramatists.Shakespeares plays communicate a profound knowledgeof the wellsprings of human behavior, revealed throughportrayals of a wide variety of characters. His use ofpoetic and dramatic means to create a unified aestheticeffect out of a multiplicity of vocal expressions and actionsis recognized as a singular achievement, and his use ofpoetry within his plays to express the deepest levels ofhuman motivation in individual, social, and universalsituations is considered one of the greatestaccomplishments in literary history.