Shakespeare 1


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Shakespeare 1

  1. 1. Shakespeare: His Life and Times
  2. 2. Who was he?• Widely regarded as the greatest writer in English Literature.• Poet and dramatist• Wrote 38 plays – comedies, histories, tragedies.• Composed about 154 sonnets and a few epic poems.• Started out as an actor.
  3. 3. Early Life• Born 1564—died 1616• Stratford-upon-Avon• Parents: John Shakespeare and Mary Arden • Mary—daughter of wealthy landowner • John—glovemaker, local politician
  4. 4. Location of Stratford-upon-AvonFrom:
  5. 5. Stratford-on-Avon in Shakespeare’s Time As reproduced in William Rolfe, Shakespeare the Boy (1896).
  6. 6. Stratford-upon-Avon TodayFrom Stratford’s web site:
  7. 7. Shakespeare’s Birthplace
  8. 8. Education• Attended grammar school in Stratford• Educated in: • Rhetoric • Logic • History • Latin • Literature
  9. 9. Married Life• Married in 1582 to Anne Hathaway (who was eight years older than he) and had their first daughter, Susanna (1583).• Had twins, Judith and Hamnet, in 1585. His only son, Hamnet, died as a young boy.• Sometime between 1585-1592, he moved to London and began working in theatre.
  10. 10. Anne Hathaway’s Cottage
  11. 11. Theatre Career• Member and later part-owner of the Lord Chamberlain’s Men acting company, later called the King’s Men• Globe Theater built in 1599 by L.C.M. with Shakespeare as primary investor• The Globe Theatre burned down in 1613 during one of Shakespeare’s plays
  12. 12. The Globe Theater 1599
  13. 13. The Rebuilt Globe Theater, London
  14. 14. The Globe Theater
  15. 15. The New Globe Theater 1999
  16. 16. The Plays• 38 plays firmly attributed to Shakespeare • comedies • histories • tragedies• Possibly wrote three others• Collaborated on several others• Which plays have you heard of?
  17. 17. Comedies• The Taming of the Shrew• Much Ado About Nothing• As You Like I• Twelfth Night• A Midsummer Night’s Dream
  18. 18. Tragedies• Hamlet• Romeo and Juliet• Othello• King Lear• Macbeth
  19. 19. Histories• Henry V• Henry VIII• King John• Richard II• Richard III
  20. 20. The Poetry• Two major poems • Venus and Adonis • Rape of Lucrece• 154 Sonnets• Numerous other poems
  21. 21. Shakespeare’s Language• Shakespeare did NOT write in “Old English.”• Old English is the language of Beowulf: Hwaet! We Gardena in geardagum Þeodcyninga Þrym gefrunon Hu ða æÞelingas ellen fremedon!(Hey! We have heard of the glory of the Spear-Danes in the old days, the kings of tribes, hownoble princes showed great courage!)
  22. 22. Shakespeare’s Language• Shakespeare did not write in “Middle English.”• Middle English is the language of Chaucer, theGawain-poet, and Malory: We redeth oft and findeth y-write— And this clerkes wele it wite— Layes that ben in harping Ben y-founde of ferli thing… (Sir Orfeo)
  23. 23. Shakespeare’s Language• Shakespeare wrote in “Early ModernEnglish.”• EME was not very different from“Modern English,” except that it had someold holdovers.
  24. 24. Shakespeare’s Language• Shakespeare coined many words we still usetoday: • Critical • Majestic • Dwindle• And quite a few phrases as well: • One fell swoop • Flesh and blood • Vanish into thin air See
  25. 25. Shakespeare’s Language• A mix of old and very new• Rural and urban words/images• Understandable by the lowestpeasant and the highest noble
  26. 26. Elizabethan TheatricalConventions
  27. 27. A theatrical convention is a suspension of reality. No electricity Women forbidden to act on stage These Minimal, contemporary control the costumes dialogue. Minimal scenery
  28. 28.  Soliloquy Types of Aside speech Blood and gore Audience Use of supernatural loves to be scared.
  29. 29.  Use of disguises/ mistaken identity Last speaker—highest in rank (in tragedies) Multiple murders (in tragedies) Multiple marriages (in comedies)