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Shakespeare's Life and Times

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1 Shakespeare's Life and Times
A WebQuest

2 Introduction In order to fully understand the works of Shakespeare, it is important to gain insight  into his life and the times in which he lived.   Studying Elizabethan England will give you the information you need to appreciate the works of one of the most famous poets and playwrights in history.

3 The Task In preparation for reading Romeo and Juliet, you will work in groups to find information about aspects of Shakespeare's life and times. You will use the Internet to obtain information on the following topics:  Who Was Shakespeare? Historical and Social Context    Intellectual and Religious Life of the 1500s and 1600s  The Elizabethan Theater Medieval and Renaissance Marriage Customs  Literary Terms for Techniques Applied in Shakespearean Works

4 The Task You will be assigned to a group that will plan a presentation to instruct your classmates about your particular topic of study. Your presentation may include role playing, costumes, panel discussions, Power Point, or any other effective method. Your group will also be responsible for submitting three questions that can be used on a quiz about your topic.

5 The Process Group 1: Who Was Shakespeare?
Answer the following questions about William Shakespeare: When and where was Shakespeare born?  Describe his upbringing and education. What were the types of plays he wrote? Where were his plays performed and by whom? Besides writing plays, what other skills made Shakespeare a "jack of all trades?" When and where did Shakespeare die? Why do we still read his works today?  (Hint: think of theme) How did Shakespeare influence the things you say today? Give some examples of words/phrases/terms coined by Shakespeare.

6 The Process Group 1: Shakespeare’s Life Links Life of Shakespeare
More Life of Shakespeare The Seven Ages of Shakespeare’s Life Educating Shakespeare Shakespeare’s Influence

7 The Process Group 2 Historical and Social Context
Answer the following questions about events and people in the Elizabethan Era. Who was Queen of England during the time Shakespeare began to write?  Who ruled after her? Give the approximate dates and explain the significance of the Elizabethan period. Identify the social classes during Shakespeare's time. Describe the status of women.  How would a young woman respond to a request from her father? What is primogeniture? What was the Bubonic Plague and how did it affect society during Shakespeare's time? Describe these aspects of Elizabethan life: a. food b. socialization c. city life, hygiene, crime d. homes

8 The Process Group 2: Historical and Social Context Links
Elizabethan Period Plague Elizabethan Life Life in Elizabethan England Primogeniture Education

9 The Process Group 3 Intellectual and Religious Life Answer the following questions about life in Elizabethan England.  Describe the four elements thought to compose the universe. Describe the four humours and their relationship to personality. What was the relationships between humours and illnesses. What type of medicine was administered and by whom was it dispensed during this time period? Describe the religious climate during this time. What was considered to be the center of the universe at this time?  Who controlled it? Describe the hierarchy of beings or "chain of beings"  believed in by Shakespeare and his contemporaries.

10 The Process Group 3: Intellectual and Religious Life Links Medicine
Humours Religion More Medicine Elizabethan View of the World Chain of Beings

11 The Process Group 4: The Elizabethan Theater
Answer these questions about the Elizabethan theater: Where were most theaters built? (in or out of the city)?  Why?  Why is the Globe Theater so famous? What time of day did performances take place?  How was the public notified about performances? Who played the female roles and why? What type of scenery and props were used? What were the costumes like? What other skills did actors need besides acting ability? What was the cost of standing room at the Globe? Who was Richard Burbage? Who were the King's Men or Chamberlain's Men? Identify: Pit Groundling Heavens Trap door Tiring house

12 The Process Group 4: The Elizabethan Theater Links Globe Theater
More about the Globe Theater Female Roles Actors Shakespeare and his theater Still more about the Globe Virtual Tour of the Globe

13 The Process Group 5: Medieval and Renaissance Marriage Customs
Answer the following questions about medieval and Renaissance marriages: Where did marriages take place during the Middle Ages?  Why were marriage contracts arranged? Who performed the marriage ceremony? What was the common age for marriage? What is a betrothal? What was the goal of a Renaissance wedding? Describe the common wedding attire during this period. Describe what foods might be served at a wedding feast.

14 The Process Links Group 5: Medieval and Renaissance Marriage Customs
Feasts, Attire, and Customs Love and Marriage Elizabethan Attitudes Elizabethan Marriages and Weddings

15 The Process Group 6: Literary Terms Relating to Shakespeare
Define and give an example of each of the following: sonnet (Shakespearean) iambic pentameter blank verse soliloquy foreshadowing apostrophe oxymoron hyperbole irony (dramatic) irony (verbal) allusion motif pun personification couplet

16 The Process Group 6: Literary Terms Relating to Shakespeare Links
*Use a dictionary or other such source in addition to these sites. Definitions More Definitions

17 Evaluation Your presentation will receive a group grade based on the following:   Answers all questions your group has been assigned Answers are accurate and complete  Presentation shows creativity and maintains the interest of your classmates Your three quiz questions will be evaluated based on their Clarity of wording Accuracy Reasonable degree of difficulty

18 Conclusion After completing this project and learning from your classmates’ work, you will have a clearer picture of William Shakespeare, the world in which he lived, and the theater for which he wrote. This knowledge will not only help you to have a better understanding of the Bard’s work, but it should also allow you to appreciate the extent to which literature reflects the person who creates it and the society in which the writer lives. Literature is a window through which we can see history!

19 Credits Adapted from are.htm

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