Presentation on theme: "In your Notebook answer this question: Why do we still read Shakespeare?"— Presentation transcript:
In your Notebook answer this question: Why do we still read Shakespeare?
Drama is a literary composition involving conflict, action crisis and atmosphere designed to be acted by players on a stage before an audience. This definition may be applied to motion picture drama as well as to the traditional stage.
Types of Drama: Tragedy -- In general, tragedy involves the ruin of the leading characters. To the Greeks, it meant the destruction of some noble person through fate, To the Elizabethans, it meant in the first place death and in the second place the destruction of some noble person through a flaw in his character. Today it may not involve death so much as a dismal life, Modern tragedy often shows the tragedy not of the strong and noble but of the weak and mean. Comedy -- is lighter drama in which the leading characters overcome the difficulties which temporarily beset them. Problem Play -- Drama of social criticism discusses social, economic, or political problems by means of a play.
Types of Drama (con’t) Farce -- When comedy involves ridiculous or hilarious complications without regard for human values, it becomes farce. Comedy of Manners -- Comedy which wittily portrays fashionable life. Fantasy -- A play sometimes, but not always, in comic spirit in which the author gives free reign to his fantasy, allowing things to happen without regard to reality. Melodrama -- Like farce, melodrama pays almost no attention to human values, but its object is to give a thrill instead of a laugh. Often good entertainment, never any literary value.
Apply these questions to a recent movie you have seen: Conflict What did the leading character want? What stood in his way? (People - environment- personality, etc,) What was the high point of tension or the crisis? (This is where the leading character must make a crucial decision that will effect the outcome of the plot.) Character analysis Are the characters true to life or are they types or caricatures? How is the character revealed? What is the driving force of each leading character? If a character changes, are the causes convincing and true to life? Setting Are the sets appropriate? Are they attractive? Are they authentic? Critical standards useful for drama, novel, motion pictures: What is the chief emphasis (ideas, character, atmosphere)? What was the purpose? (entertainment, humor, excitement)? Is it realistic or romantic? Does it show life as it really is or distort life? Does it present any problem of human relationship? Does it glamorize life and present an artificial happy ending?
Not just because Shakespeare wrote it. Covers emotions that we as humans deal with on a regular basis: love hate greed envy anger jealousy
Duality Othello is a play of strong dualities; opposites which co-exist. The characters in the play do not explore the ambiguous, gray areas of life; they tend to divide things into black and white, beginning with the title character.
Othello is a black man living in a white man’s world. Historically, the color black has often been associated with evil, while the color white has often been associated with good, yet in this play, the black Othello is the hero, while the white Iago is the villain. The play inhabits a world in which it is difficult to know what is truth and what is a lie.
Relationships Unlike other Shakespearean tragedies, whose central issue is often concerned with the royal line of succession, who will be the next king? Othello focuses on a complex web of interpersonal relationships. The play begins with an elopement and an angry father. In the midst of a national emergency, the invasion of the Turkish fleet, the Venetian Senate stops and deals first with this family matter before returning to state affairs.
The plot of Othello becomes a succession of secret conversations, misunderstandings, innuendos, and trifles as seemingly insignificant as who gives a handkerchief to whom. Yet from these trifles, which are not matters for a king or a prince, but rather the stuff of everyday life, Shakespeare creates a powerful and affecting tragedy
Racism, Hatred Of "The Other" Othello is a Moor in Venice, a black man in a world of white men. At the time Shakespeare wrote the play, Queen Elizabeth was negotiating with the Moors to fight against the Spanish. Moorish ambassadors commanded a certain amount of respect in London. But when the black population grew uncomfortably large, white Englishmen had no qualms about rounding them up and shipping them off, just as they did Jews and other minorities.
Even though Othello is a highly respected and honored public figure, he is not immune to the common racial prejudices of Shakespeare’s day. Characters make assumptions about Othello based on racial stereotypes, assumptions which turn out to be false. Once again, Shakespeare warns us not to accept things at face value.