Shakespeare - An Introduction


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Shakespeare - An Introduction

  1. 1. William Shakespeare AN INTRODUCTION
  2. 2.   William Shakespeare was an English poet and playwright, widely regarded as the greatest writer in the English language and the world's pre-eminent dramatist. He is often called England's national poet. Who was Shakespeare?
  3. 3.   His surviving works consist of about:  38 plays,  154 sonnets (14-line poems),  two long narrative poems, and several other poems.  His plays have been translated into every major living language and are performed more often than those of any other playwright. Shakespeare‟s Works
  4. 4.   Shakespeare‟s plays only survived because they were published seven years after his death by two of his colleagues in a collection called a “folio” which is a term for large sheets of paper which are folded, then bound into a book.  Eighteen of Shakespeare‟s plays were previously published individually in smaller, pirated versions called “Quartos”, and the quarto texts can differ quite a bit from the Folio versions.  The First Folio is the only reliable source for twenty of Shakespeare‟s works, and contains 36 of the 38 known plays. The First Folio
  5. 5.   Shakespeare was born and raised in Stratford-upon- Avon, which is northwest of London.  His father, John, was a prosperous glove-maker and eventually became mayor of the town.  His mother, Mary Arden, was from a prominent local family, and had money and land of her own. Family life
  6. 6.   We know almost nothing about Shakespeare‟s childhood.  He probably attended a local school and studied Latin and classic literature, including Ovid‟s Metamorphosis.  While his father was mayor, William probably also was able to see many traveling plays that passed through town, which his father would preview in order to grant approval for public performances. Shakespeare‟s Childhood
  7. 7.   At the age of 18, William married Anne Hathaway, (who was 26 at the time) with whom he had three children: Susanna and twins Hamnet and Judith.  In 1596, Shakespeare‟s only son, Hamnet, died at the age of 11. Shakespeare‟s Family
  8. 8.   When Shakespeare was born, England was on the cusp of a theatrical revolution, and William would be at the forefront of it.  Between 1585 and 1592, he began a successful career in London as an actor, writer, and part owner of a acting company called the Lord Chamberlain's Men, later known as the King's Men,  This company spanned the reigns of Queen Elizabeth and King James.  The troupe would perform before thousands of people every week, and occasionally be invited to perform before royalty at private functions. Shakespeare in London
  9. 9.   The Globe Theatre was permanent playhouse build by Shakespeare‟s company in London.  It was destroyed by fire on 29 June 1613. A second Globe Theatre was built on the same site by June 1614 and closed in 1642.  A modern reconstruction of the Globe, named "Shakespeare's Globe", opened in 1997 approximately 750 feet from the site of the original theatre. The Globe Theatre
  10. 10.  Shakespeare produced most of his known work between 1589 and 1613.  His early plays were mainly comedies and histories, with the histories concerned with England‟s kings and wars, and the comedies specializing in puns and bawdy humor. Both proved to be very popular.  Some of these plays are:  Twelfth Night  A Comedy of Errors  Romeo & Juliet  Henry V  Much Ado About Nothing  A Midsummer Night‟s Dream Shakespeare‟s Plays
  11. 11.   Shakespeare‟s tragedies (plays where the main characters all die) were composed in his later career, and are considered some of the finest works of the English language. Some of these include:  Hamlet,  King Lear,  Othello, and  Macbeth  These plays are highly complex, violent, funny, hau nting, and heartbreaking. The Tragedies
  12. 12.  It is not known exactly when Shakespeare wrote his sequence of 154 sonnets, but the poems‟ language suggests that they originate from the early 1590s. It is believed that Shakespeare was sharing his sonnets with his close friends.  It wasn‟t until 1609 that the sonnets first appeared in print in an unauthorized edition by Thomas Thorpe.  They are considered to be some of the most beautiful poems in the English language. Shakespeare Sonnets
  13. 13.  Why Shakespeare?  Why has Shakespeare‟s works continued to thrive?  He eloquently wrote about the human experience, i.e.; what it feels like to fall in love, to hate, to be ambitious, or jealous.  He told great stories that still have the power to entertain audiences.  He created vivid characters who come alive on stage.  He wrote startlingly beautiful prose and poetry.
  14. 14.   Not only that, but recent studies show that reading and studying challenging authors like Shakespeare, are like “rocket boosters” to the brain, increasing self-esteem, and literally “super-charging” your brain power - MUCH more than reading modern-day books or magazines! Brain Rockets!
  15. 15.   Contrary to popular belief, not everything Shakespeare wrote is a masterpiece! Ever hear of these plays?  Cymbeline  Troilus & Cressida  King John  Pericles: Prince of Tyre  Timon of Athens  Two Gentlemen Of Verona  Henry VI, parts I, II, & III  (Didn‟t think so… they‟re rarely performed today.) Shakespeare‟s StinkersI‟ll admit: These plays stinketh!
  16. 16.   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.  In the 20th century, his work was repeatedly adopted and rediscovered.  His plays remain highly popular today and are constantly studied, performed and reinterpreted throughout the world. Shakespeare Today
  17. 17.  Evidence indicates that William Shakespeare was born on April 23 and died on April 23.  Boys and men played all the parts in Shakespeare's plays in Elizabethan times.  Shakespeare was said to have enjoyed playing the part of the ghost in Hamlet.  U.S. President Abraham Lincoln and inventor Thomas Edison enjoyed reading Shakespeare.  Shakespeare had an extensive vocabulary. While most English speakers can boast of a 4,000-word vocabulary, Shakespeare's vocabulary spanned over 29,000 words!  The motto of the Globe Theatre was totus mundus agit histrionem (all the world's a stage). Shakespeare Trivia
  18. 18.  All that glitters is not gold (The Merchant of Venice)  All's well that ends well (title)  Neither a borrower nor a lender be (Hamlet)  Brave new world (The Tempest)  Break the ice (The Taming of the Shrew)  Dead as a doornail (2 Henry VI)  Eaten me out of house and home (2 Henry IV)  Forever and a day (As You Like It)  For goodness' sake (Henry VIII)  Full circle (King Lear)  Good riddance (Troilus and Cressida)  In a pickle (The Tempest)  In my heart of hearts (Hamlet)  In my mind's eye (Hamlet)  Kill with kindness (Taming of the Shrew)  Knock knock! Who's there? (Macbeth)  Love is blind (Merchant of Venice)  Naked truth (Love's Labours Lost) All That Glitters…  Besides being famous for his plays and poems, William Shakespeare also invented several new phrases and words which are still being used today!  Which of these phrases are you familiar with?
  19. 19. 1. Eyeball. A Midsummer Night‟s Dream, Act III, Scene ii. 2. Puking. As You Like It, Act II, Scene vii. 3. Obscene. Love‟s Labours Lost, Act I, Scene i. 4. Cold-blooded. King John, Act III, Scene i. 5. Hot-blooded. King Lear, Act II, Scene iv. 6. Epileptic. King Lear, Act II, Scene ii. 7. Addiction. Othello, Act II, Scene ii. 8. Arch-villain. Timon Of Athens, Act V, Scene i. 9. Assassination. Macbeth, Act I, Scene vii. 10. Bedazzled. The Taming of the Shrew, Act IV, Scene v. Invented Words 11. Belongings. Measure For Measure, Act 1, Scene i. 12. Dishearten. Henry V, Act IV, Scene i. 13. Eventful. As You Like It, Act II, Scene Vii. 14. Fashionable. Troilus And Cressida, Act III, Scene iii. 15. Inaudible. All‟s Well That Ends Well, Act V, Scene iii. 16. Ladybird. Romeo And Juliet, Act 1, Scene iii. 17. Manager. A Midsummer Night‟s Dream, Act V, Scene i. 18. New-fangled. Love‟s Labour‟s Lost, Act I, Scene i. 19. Pageantry. Pericles, Act V, Scene ii. 20. Scuffle. Antony and Cleopatra, Act I, Scene i. • According to The Oxford English Dictionary, Shakespeare is responsible for the first recorded use of hundreds of words which we still use today! • Recent computer searches have cut that claim down some, but he can still be credited with several hundred words and phrases which can be attributed directly to Shakespeare!
  20. 20.  Invented Words 21. Swagger. Henry V, Act II, Scene iv. 22. Uncomfortable. Romeo and Juliet, Act IV, Scene v. 23. Bloodstained. Titus Andronicus, Act II, Scene iii. 24. Laughable. The Merchant Of Venice, Act I, Scene i. 25. Negotiate. Much Ado About Nothing, Act II, Scene i. 26. Outbreak. Hamlet, Act II, Scene i. 27. Rant. Hamlet, Act V, Scene i.<.small> 28. Marketable. As You Like It, Act I, Scene ii. 29. Savagery. King John, Act IV, Scene iii. 30. Jaded. King Henry VI, Part II, Act IV, Scene i. 31. Zany. Love‟s Labour‟s Lost, Act V, Scene ii. 32. Dawn. Henry V, Act IV prologue. 33. Grovel. Henry IV, Part II, Act I, Scene iv. 34. Moonbeam. A Midsummer Night‟s Dream, Act III, Scene i. 35. Torture. King Henry VI, Part II, Act II, Scene i. 36. Lonely. Coriolanus, Act Iv, Scene i. 37. Gnarled. Measure For Measure, Act II, Scene ii. 38. Mimic. A Midsummer Night‟s Dream, Act III, Scene ii. 39. Pedant. The Taming Of The Shrew, Act III, Scene i. 40. Unreal. Macbeth, Act III, Scene iv.
  21. 21. You juggler! you canker-blossom! A Midsummer Night's Dream (3.2.293) My cousin's a fool, and thou art another. Much Ado About Nothing (3.4.10) Thou lump of foul deformity! Richard III (1.2.58) I had rather chop this hand off at a blow, And with the other fling it at thy face. 3 Henry VI (5.1.51-2)  One of the fun things about Shakespeare was the stinging insults he created.  They were lengthy, highly descriptive, and funny! Thou logger-headed, fat-kidneyed flea! Thou sodden-witted lord! thou hast no more brain than I have in mine elbows. Troilus and Cressida (2.1.41) I do desire we may be better strangers. As You Like It (3.2.248)
  22. 22.  Was Shakespeare, Shakespeare?  Over the last 100 years, a few people have questioned whether Shakespeare was really the author of the plays attributed to him. How could a glove-maker‟s son from a small village be the author of so many immortal plays and poems? Alternate names put forward are:  Francis Bacon  Edward DeVere  Christopher Marlowe  William Stanley  In 2011, Anonymous was the first movie to address „The Authorship Question‟.
  23. 23.  In recent years, there has been extensive studies that indicate that Shakespeare collaborated with other playwrights on some plays.  In Elizabethan times, it was common for playwrights to collaborate on plays, sharing the duties – and, using modern computer textual analysis, several plays indicate the presence of Shakespeare‟s talents:  The Spanish Tragedy by Thomas Kyd  Sir Thomas More (which has an entire scene written in Shakespeare‟s penmanship)  Edward III  Arden of Faversham  Other period plays are currently being examined to see if Shakespeare may have had a hand in them. Shakespeare & Co.
  24. 24.   Shakespeare‟s final play was The Tempest, which has become one of his most popular.  Shakespeare became quite wealthy due to his success. He bought land and was awarded a coat-of-arms.  He appears to have retired to Stratford around 1613, where he died three years later at the age of 52.  William Shakespeare is buried in the Holy Trinity Church, Stratford-on- Avon, Warwickshire, England. The church stands on the banks of the River Avon. All‟s Well That Ends Well
  25. 25.   Every year, hundreds of productions of Shakespeare‟s plays are performed around the world.  In addition, dozens of books are published about Shakespeare each year, as well as movies, operas, ballets, and other media.  Ben Jonson, a rival and friend of Shakespeare, wrote of him: “He was not of an age, but for all time.” Epilogue