Shakespeare Shakespeare was an English poet, baptised in in 1564 and died in 1616. His exact birth date is unknown. Widely regarded as the greatest writer in the English language Shakespeare was a respected poet and playwright in his own day, but his reputation did not rise to its present heights until the 19th century. His plays still remain highly popular today, and is still being performed, studied and reinterpreted.
Shakespeare’s Early Life Little was known about Shakespeare’s early life Born and raised in Stratford-upon-Avon Most likely educated at the King’s New School Shakespeare married Anne Hathaway when he was 18, and had 3 children, one of which died of an unknown cause Between 1585 and 1592, Shakespeare left few historical traces, and these years are referred to as Shakespeare’s “lost years”.
Shakespeare’s Life as a Poet and Playwright It is not known when Shakespeare began writing, but records of performances show that several of his plays were staged by 1592 Among his surviving works, there are 38 plays, 154 sonnets, two long narrative poems and several other poems Shakespeare’s plays were performed by the Lord Chamberlain Men, later known as King’s Men, a company owned by players including himself This was how he eventually become wealthy He owned the second largest house in Stratford
England During Shakespeare’s Time
Shakespeare lived in the Elizabethan Age, when Queen Elizabeth I was ruling England
During that time, England was a very rich city, and traded with many countries
Significant Historical Events in the 16th Century 1502: First African slaves in America 1503: Leonardo da Vinci starts painting Mona Lisa and finishes it 3-4 years later 1512: Copernicus believes that the Sun is in the center of the Solar System 1548: Ming Dynasty government of China bans all foreign trade and closes all seaports 1557: Spain became first sovereign country in history to declare bankruptcy 1563:Plague outbreak in England, kills 80,000
Social Systems in the Elizabethan Era They had a strong sense of social class – belonging to a certain group because of wealth, fame, ancestry, occupation The social classes are: The Nobility By being born into a noble family, or from grant from the king or queen The Gentry Includes knights, squires, gentlemen, and gentlewoman who do not do manual work for a living The Yeomanry Lived simply, differs from the gentry on how they spent their welath The Poor Bottom of the social ladder – the sick, disabled, old, people who refuse to work
Theatres in the Elizabethan Era Open air theatres Timber framed Plays then were seen as disposable entertainment
Shakespeare’s Influence on the English Language During the Elizabethan Era, there were no grammer and rules in English. Shakespeare’s works contributed greatly to the standardization of English when they became popular in the late seventeenth century. Shakespeare introduced many new words and phrases into the English language, known as Shakespearean words. Some examples of Shakespeare’s original phrases are "seen better days, full circle, a sorry sight," and "strange bedfellows“.
The Renaissance Renaissance means “rebirth” in French It is a cultural movement from the 14th-17th century, which began in Florence, Tuscany in the Late Middle Ages A rebirth of classical knowledge, learning and art, breaking away from the ideology on the absolute power of God, which the Catholic Church enforces on
Significant Events during the Renaissance 1348- Black Death 1450-Printing press begins in Europe 1500-The Reformation 1545-The Counter-Reformation 1564-1642-Galileo Galilei 1564-1612-William Shakespeare 1573-1610-Michelangelo Merisida Caravaggio 1600-Formation of the British East India Company During this period, there was also an event known as The Enlightenment, where reason based scientific theory explained things instead of religious beliefs
How did the Renaissance influence Shakespeare’s work? Much of his work were influenced by the huge cultural shifts during his lifetime He was one of the first to bring the core values of the Renaissance into the theatre Playwrights like him found more freedom to be inquisitive and think differently, which influenced his works Shakespeare’s characters are thus always psychologically very complex Shakespeare also explored the humanity of his characters, and even monarchs are given emotions and are prone to making mistakes Shakespeare included the element of Greek and Roman classics in his plays, whose texts used to be suppressed by the Catholic church.