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Shakespeare’s Theatre


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Shakespeare’s Theatre

  1. 1. Shakespeare’s Theatre Done by: Benedict Tan (2) Keloysius Mak (11) Keith Ong (14) Teo Ming Jie (21) John Yap (23)
  2. 2. Richard Burbage (1568-1619)  Richard Burbage (1568-1619) was the leading actor in the Lord Chamberlain's - King's Men  He played most of the dramatic leads, including Richard III, Hamlet, Lear and Othello.  He may have begun his career at 16 years, and continued to perform until his death  He was the son of James Burbage, who constructed the Theatre  He and his brother Cuthbert owned half of the Globe  Although he did not achieve the financial success of Shakespeare, Richard did manage to leave his heirs a modest estate of 300 pounds (To put that into perspective, actors
  3. 3. John Heminges (1556-1630)  John Heminges was an actor and the financial manager of The Lord Chamberlain’s – King’s men  He was the joint editor of the First Folio  He was believed to have played the part of Falstaff (character in King Henry IV and the Merry Wives of Windsor)
  4. 4. Augustine Philips (? – 1605)  He was one of the first generation of English actors to achieve wealth and a degree of social status by means of his trade  He was one of the six sharers in the Globe Theatre when it was built in 1598–9, with a one-eighth share.  Over time this made him a comparatively wealthy man, at least as far as Elizabethan actors were concerned.  Like Shakespeare, Phillips lived for many years near his occupation in Southwark, in Paris Garden near the Swan Theatre
  5. 5. Shakespeare’s audience Almost every kind of people:  Lower class: labourers  Middle class: workers, businessmen  Upper class: Gentlemen, Lords  Royalty: Queen Elizabeth
  6. 6. Classification via seating  Lower class:  Groundlings (near the stage)  Cost: 1p  Middle Class  Sheltered, raised platforms  Cost: 2p  Upper Class:  Gentlemen’s Room or Lord’s room  Cost: 5-6p
  7. 7. The Atmosphere  The audience would eat, drink and talk throughout the performance  Theatres were open air and used natural light  Plays were performed in the afternoon in the daylight  Plays used very little scenery, instead using language to set the scene
  8. 8. The Actors  Over a thousand actors in Shakespeare’s plays between the years 1590 and 1642 are known.  Most of them were poor, although perhaps twenty famous actors acquired respectable estates.  The First Folio itself includes a list of 26 famous actors
  9. 9. The Actors  William Shakespeare  Samuel Gilburne  Richard Burba(d)ge  Robert Armin  John Hemmings  William Ostler  Augustine Phillips  Nathan Field  William Kempt  John Underwood  Thomas Poope  Nicholas Tooley  George Bryan  William Ecclestone  Henry Condell  Joseph Taylor  William Slye  Robert Benfield  Richard Cowly  Robert Gouge  John Lowine  Richard Robinson  Samuel Crosse  John Schanke  Alexander Cooke  John Rice
  10. 10. William Shakespeare (1564-1616)  It is not known exactly how many roles Shakespeare played himself  Shakespeare began his career on the stage by 1592.  Tradition suggests that Shakespeare played relatively minor parts in his own plays, mainly the parts of older men.
  11. 11. William Shakespeare  Recent scholarship based on computer analysis of the language in Shakespeare's plays by Donald Foster proposes that Shakespeare acted in the following parts (selected):  All's Well That Ends Well:  The Merchant of Venice: The King Morocco, Messenger, and the Duke  As You Like It: Adam and  Much Ado About Nothing: Corin The Messenger and the  The Comedy of Errors: Friar Egeon  Othello: Brabantio  Hamlet: The Ghost  Richard the Second: Gaunt  Julius Caesar: Flavius and the Gardener  King John: King Philip  The Taming of the Shrew:  A Midsummer Night's The Lord (Induction) Dream: Theseus
  12. 12. The actors – the young  Women forbidden to act in Elizabethan law  Female roles are played by young boys aged 13-19 (before their voices break)  Boy actors lived with the adult members of the company  They received vigourous training in almost every aspect of acting
  13. 13. The actors – the young  This included:  Dancing  Music  Singing  Elocution (the study of formal speaking in pronunciation, grammar, style, and tone )  Memorization  Weaponry  Very little is known about individual boys, no portraits and only few references survived
  14. 14. The actors – the young  There were far fewer boys than men in the companies, which explains why there were few female parts  Transvestite theatre (the proper name) ended with the Restoration in 1660  When woman began appearing in female parts, old-timers would reminiscence on the boy Juliet having been the definite portrayal
  15. 15. Society’s view on ‘the theatre’  Well-do-to folk: most viewed actors as rogues and scoundrels (but they still watched the plays)  Common folk: clamoured to see actors perform  Despite disapproval, actors were called frequently to act in court  Shakespeare’s company, for Baron example, was sponsored from 1596 Hunsdon to 1603 by George Carey and Baron Hunsdon (who later became Queen Elizabeth I’s Lord Chamberlain).
  16. 16. The Puritans  Puritan clergy viewed the theatre as sinful as it diverted attention from prayer, and claimed that it stimulated “whorish lust”  Philip Stubbes, a Puritan leader was one of the most outspoken: he claimed that all Philip acting troupes were “secret Stubbes conclaves” of sodomy
  17. 17. The Anatomie of Abuses You say there are good Examples to be learned in [plays]. Truly, so there are: if you will learn falsehood; if you will learn cozenage; if you will learn to deceive; if you will learn to play the hypocrite, to cog, lie, and falsify; if you will learn to jest, laugh, and leer, to grin, to nod, and mow; if you will learn to play the vice, to swear, tear, and blaspheme both Heaven and Earth; if you will learn to become a bawd, unclean, and to devirginate maids, to deflower honest wives; (...) and, finally, if you will learn to condemn God and all his laws, to care neither for heaven nor hell, and to commit all kind of sin and mischief, you need to go to no other school, for all these good examples may you see painted before your eyes in interludes and plays.
  18. 18. The Crown  The Crown regarded drama as having the power to persuade (making action look real), making it possible to serve the government’s interests  Numerous Elizabethan plays celebrated pious and patriotic values  Both Queen Elizabeth I Queen Elizabeth I (reigned 1558-1603) and her successor King James I (reigned 1603-25) were connoisseurs of the drama
  19. 19. The decision  However, the Crown eventually bowed to the pressure of the Puritans, with the London aldermen (members of the municipal assembly) banning all playhouses within the city limits in 1594  Theatres were thus usually set up in seedy nearby suburbs, where London aldermen could not get them, side by side with ale houses, bear-baiting areas and brothels
  20. 20. The Theatre dismantled  In 1597, the Theatre, where the Lord Chamberlain’s men primarily performed, was forced to close because of a dispute with the landlord  James Burbage (the original creator) bought the old Blackfriars monastery, but the project ground James to a halt due to protests Burbage  James Burbage died soon after on 2nd February, and the landlord seized the opportunity to try and dismantle the Theatre
  21. 21. The Globe Theatre  One step ahead of the law, Burbage’s sons dismantled the Theatre themselves  The pieces were hauled across the Thames to a site in Southwark  It took 6 months to rebuild the Theatre, and thus the Globe was built
  22. 22. The Globe Theatre  It was one of four major theatres in the area, along with the Swan, the Rose, and the Hope  The open-air, 20-sided amphitheatre rose three stories high with a diameter of approximately 100 feet  Its layout was similar (1500 -3000 audience capacity) to the Coliseum in Rome (50,000 audience capacity)  The rectangular stage platform on which the plays were performed was nearly 43 feet wide and 28 feet deep
  23. 23. The Globe Theatre  Not one inside picture of the old Globe exists  However a picture of the Picture of the Swan (top) Swan has survived  The layout of the open Paper Model made by air arena featured the John (bottom) 'pit' or the 'yard'  It also has a raised stage at one end and is surrounded by three tiers of roofed galleries with balconies overlooking the back of the stage.
  24. 24. So how did the constraints of the Globe affect Shakespeare’s plays?
  25. 25. Transvestite performers  The use of male actors for female roles meant that there were very little scenes of making love in Shakespeare’s plays  Shakespeare compensated for this by the frequent use of bawdy puns (often stunningly vulgar) in the play  E.g “Well, while I live I’ll fear no other thing/ So sore, as keeping Nerissa’s ring” (Gratiano, Act 5) – thing and ring were puns on the male and female sexual organs
  26. 26. Transvestite performers  This also provided dramatic irony in the cases of a female (played by a male) dressing up as a male in the plot  E.g Portia and Nerissa in the trial, Jessica in her elopement (Merchant of Venice)
  27. 27. Lack of scenery  Actors could move more freely but audience had to use their imagination for scenery  This made it necessary to create the atmosphere through language  E.g “Two households, both alike in dignity, /In fair Verona, where we lay our scene,” – Prologue, Romeo and Juliet
  28. 28. Structure of theatre  The Globe’s structure, with partially enclosed galleries and a open yard, presented a problem in acoustics  There was a need to compensate by actors’ delivery, “with energy and precision, not to themselves, but to all parts of the audience”
  29. 29. Presence of audience  Shakespeare had to write his plays to be enjoyed – there was thus a need to accommodate various styles in his plays  Therefore, sources for his plays ranged form the Latin Classics, the Bible, in popular ballads and in true accounts of murders  Story of a pound of flesh – present in religious tales in India and Persia  Highly likely to have been influenced by Christopher Marlowe’s play “The Jew of Malta” as well as a late 14th century drama “The Blockhead”-  The latter has the implacable Jew, the lady of Belmont finding a loophole, and the episode of he ring
  30. 30. Theatrical conventions  Fine writing was not original writing – plagiarising of plots was common  Julius Caesar, Anthony and Cleopatra, and Coriolanus: taken from Plutarch’s Lives  Othello: Cinthio’s Gil Hecatommithi  As You Like It: Thomas Lodge’s Roaslynde  But, compare the difference:
  31. 31. Translation of Plutarch’s Lives Therefore, when she was sent unto by divers letters, . . . she disdained to set forward otherwise, but to take her barge in the river Cydnus; the poop whereof was of gold, the sails of purple, and the oars of silver, which kept stroke in rowing after the sound of the music of flutes, howboys [oboes], cithernes [guitars], viols, and such other instruments as they played upon in the barge. And now for the person of her self, she was laid under a pavilion of cloth of gold of tissue, apparelled and attired like the goddess Venus, commonly drawn in picture: and hard by her, on either hand of her, pretty fair boys apparelled as painters do set forth god Cupid, with little fans in their hands, with the which they fanned wind upon her.
  32. 32. Anthony and Cleopatra The barge she sat in, like a burnished throne, Burned on the water: the poop was beaten gold; Purple the sails, and so perfumed that The winds were lovesick with them; the oars were silver, Which to the tune of flutes kept stroke and made The water which they beat to follow faster, As amorous of their strokes. For her own person, It beggared all description: she did lie In her pavilion, cloth-of-gold of tissue, O'erpicturing that Venus where we see The fancy outwork of nature: on each side her Stood pretty dimpled boys, like smiling Cupids, With divers-colored fans, whose wind did seem To glow the delicate cheeks which they did cool, And what they undid did. (2.2.193-207)
  33. 33. Political Censors  The Master of Revels was a political censurer who examined all plays for political slander  Shakespeare’s history plays, therefore, had to present Queen Elizabeth and the Tudor line in a favourable light  This is evident in King Richard III (where Richard is probably not as bad as he is portrayed) as well as King Henry IV, V, VI
  34. 34. “Anglo-Superiority”  This censorship was probably why Shakespeare portrayed foreigners in a bad light  Examples (The Merchant of Venice):  Portia’s comment on her suitors in Act 1, Scene 2: based on common stereotypes  Portrayal of Shylock as the villain  Portia’s comment on Morocco in Act 2, Scene 7 (“May all of his complexion choose me so”); Act 1, Scene 2 (“I rather he shrive me than wife me”)
  35. 35. Other factors  There was a need to fill the large stage completely – presence of battles, duels, songs, dances, balls, fights to fill the space  Plays on stage were often shortened for lack of time, thus the play we read today maybe unlike the actual performance  It was a theatrical convention to have scenes should contrast with each other in style
  36. 36. The burning of the Globe  In 1613, a cannon was fired as part of the performance of the play King Henry VIII  The flaming wadding landed on the Globe’s roof and burnt it down.  Everyone escaped unharmed (One man’s pants were set on fire, but the flames were doused with beer)
  37. 37. The shutting of the theatres  The Globe was immediately rebuilt and continued in operation  Anti-theatrical Puritan parliamentarians, however, finally got their way by deposing and executing King Charles I in 1642 and shut the theatres King Charles I  The theatres were not to be opened for another 20 years
  38. 38. New London Globe Theatre Structure
  39. 39. Let’s go on a virtual tou (Note: 10 seconds of silence have been inserted here. Please click on the link yourself to open the video)
  40. 40. Its construction  In 1970 American actor and director Sam Wanamaker, founded the Shakespeare Globe Trust in order to build a faithful recreation of Shakespeare’s Globe close to its original location.  Despite many disbelieving that such could happen, he persevered and in 1987, the foundations were built  The actual construction started in 1993, and the New Globe Theatre officially opened in 1997
  41. 41. The structure  With the motive being to create a faithful reconstruction, the structure was planned painstakingly  ‘Green’ oak was cut and fashioned according to 16th-century practice and assembled in two- dimensional bays on the Bankside site  Oak laths and staves supported lime plaster mixed according to a contemporary recipe and the walls are covered in a white lime wash.  The roof is made of water reed thatch, based on samples found during the excavation.
  42. 42. The Design  Open-air stage similar to an amphitheatre  99 feet in diameter  20 sided circular- shaped building  Traditional building materials such as timber, nails, stone (flint), plaster and thatched roof used
  43. 43. The stage wall  Behind the pillars is stage wall, also known as' Frons Scenae '  Doorway to the left and right behind pillars in structure and curtained central doorway for entrances by actors.  Above door area is highly decorative screen  ' Herculean ' oak pillars are painted to look like marble with golden leaves
  44. 44. The ' Heavens '  The pillars support roof called 'Heavens'. The Heavens are painted with the sun, moon and the zodiac animals.  This area above stage is hidden from audience  A selection of ropes & rigging found here are used for special effects on stage.
  45. 45. The ' Tiring House '  Side doors and central door lead to small structure, back stage, called Virtual model by Google 'Tiring House'. Earth (top)  Area is used by actors to change Paper model (bottom) costumes and attire.
  46. 46. Overall design and structure  Open air arena, called ' pit ' or ' yard ', is 80 feet in diameter and has raised stage at one end  Surrounded by three tiers of roofed galleries with balconies overlooking back of stage.  The stage projects halfway into the ' pit '  Two sets of external stairs in the structure , either side of the theater.
  47. 47. Globe Theatres around the world (selected)  U.S.A.  Cedar City, Utah, Adams Shakespearean Theatre (top)  Germany  Neuss am Rhein, Globe Neuss (bottom)  Italy  Rome, built 2003  Japan  Tokyo, Isozakia Arata's Panasonic Globe Theatre in Tokyo, built 1988
  48. 48. References           
  49. 49. References         “The Friendly Shakespeare” by Norrie Epstein  “The Idiot’s Guide to Shakespeare” by Laurie Rozakis  “The Merchant of Venice: Total Study Edition” edited by Robert Wilks  “An Oxford Guide to Shakespeare” by Stanley Wells and Lena Cowen Orlin
  50. 50. Thank you for your kind attention