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Shakespeare International man of mystery. William Shakespeare April 23, 1564-1616 Greatest writer of English? Bard of Avon Stratford-upon-Avon 37 or 38.

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Presentation on theme: "Shakespeare International man of mystery. William Shakespeare April 23, 1564-1616 Greatest writer of English? Bard of Avon Stratford-upon-Avon 37 or 38."— Presentation transcript:

1 Shakespeare International man of mystery

2 William Shakespeare April 23, Greatest writer of English? Bard of Avon Stratford-upon-Avon 37 or 38 plays 154 sonnets, plus

3 Shakespeare in love? Married Anne Hathaway

4 Early life He was 18, she was 26 Six months later first child born Three children, two of which were twins Lived with his father, successful glove maker Next eight years “lost years” ????????

5 Making plays in London Early 1590’s writing plays in London Successful as playwright, actor, and shareholder of acting company Lord Chamberlain’s Men The King’s Men The Globe Theatre

6 Blackfriar’s Theater

7 Elizabethan Age Favorite of Queen Elizabeth I Shakespeare has strong heroines, perhaps inspired by Elizabeth First feminist? Portrayed the virtues of strong women who achieve their goals

8 Jacobean Age King James I cultivated and strong patron of the arts Elevated Shakespeare’s company even higher, making the participants gentlemen

9 Success Most popular acting company in London Spent much of time in London away from family Later bought second most expensive house in Stratford

10 Shakespeare’s house

11 Statue to Shakespeare

12 Monument to playwrights

13 I’m not dead yet. Died age 52 of fever? Typhus? "Shakespeare, Drayton, and Ben Jonson had a merry meeting and it seems drank too hard, for Shakespeare died of a fever there contracted." ~ Vicar of Holy Trinity Church

14 Oh, maybe I am. Buried in Holy Trinity Church

15 Will’s last will Left his wife his “second-best bed” Hmm… Gave daughters, friends and relatives everything else, which wasn’t all that much If he was so successful and famous, where did all his money go? Did not arrange to have his plays printed or mention them in his will

16 Signatures  Willm Shakp  William Shaksper  Wm Shakspe  William Shakspere  Willm Shakspere  By me William Shakspeare

17 Jonson’s praise This figure that thou here seest put, It was for gentle Shakespeare cut, Wherein the graver had a strife With Nature, to outdo the life: Oh, could he but have drawn his wit As well in brass, as he has hit His face, the print would then surpass All that was ever writ in brass; But since he cannot, reader, look Not on his picture, but his book. – Ben Jonson, Lines on a Picture of Shakespeare. Ben Jonson

18 Humanism Morality plays religious themes Shakespeare explores human, not divine dilemmas Shakespeare’s religious tolerance: “wonderful philosophical impartiality” ~Coleridge Humanism: human experience as a way of knowing self, nature, or God Value to each individual human life Villains have sympathy

19 Humanism No simplistic moral or theological narratives Explores emotions and moral choices faced by secular men in extreme circumstances Renaissance: arts, sciences, Greek and Roman culture Rapidly expanding knowledge and extraordinary artistic production Artistic and moral movement

20 Shakespeare’s Plays Comedies All's Well That Ends Well, As You Like It, Cymbeline, The Comedy of Errors, Love's Labour's Lost, Measure for Measure, The Merchant of Venice, The Merry Wives of Windsor, A Midsummer Night's Dream, Much Ado About Nothing, Pericles, The Taming of the Shrew, The Tempest, Troilus and Cressida, The Two Gentlemen of Verona, Twelfth Night, The Winter's Tale Tragedies Antony and Cleopatra, Coriolanus, Hamlet, Julius Caesar, King Lear, Macbeth, Othello, Romeo and Juliet, Timon of Athens, Titus Andronicus Histories 1,2, and 3 Henry VI, 1 and 2 Henry IV, King John, Henry V, Henry VIII, Richard II, Richard III

21 Theatre in London London 200,000 people 1590’s: high mortality, crime, unsanitary conditions, crowding Young men from countryside, like Shakespeare Pickpockets, prostitutes, commoners, gentlemen, foreign fashions, theater red-light district Most important cultural form English Renaissance Sophisticated audience, novelty, variety, complexity

22 Theatres Playwrights in demand Birth of modern theater Daytime performances: open-air, rain or shine, rowdy Social classes mix freely Poor: yard front of stage, penny Richer: seats, higher up cost more 1609 indoor, winter, intimate, more expensive

23 Theatres Theater more respectable Plague decimates 1/3 to 2/3 of city’s population Playhouses breeding grounds, often closed Afraid of political unrest, so licensed Companies 15 plays/month Several thousand during Shakespeare’s time Bare stage; new play every day, so big sets expensive, impractical

24 Theatre Costumes main expense, language and imagination Cannon burned down Globe in 1613, no one killed but one man’s breeches caught fire, bottle of ale doused Trapdoors, deus ex machina, sword fights, jigs and dances Men and boys played all roles; women forbidden because “immoral”

25 Language Shared culture: Bible and mythology Flexible language, no rules or standards Shakespeare 25,000 different words Average adult 7,000-10,000 words, 800 then Shakespeare invented maybe 1,700 words

26 Language Social class, personality, mood and situation Prose or verse class or situation Heightened emotional state or formal poetic, otherwise prose Romeo and Juliet meet and exchange a perfect sonnet Figurative language: metaphor, simile, personification, puns, rhythm, meter, symbolism, layers of meaning Syntax: emphasis on which part of speech to accentuate, whatever comes last

27 Poetry Shakespeare wrote poetry from when plague shut down theatres in London Wanted to make name for himself Poetry considered more sophisticated and gentlemanly than theatre Narrative poetry and sonnets

28 Sonnets Sonetto, little song Italian, Dante, Petrarch Earl of Surrey adapted rhyme scheme to English, known as Shakespearean sonnet Time, Beauty, and Verse Very popular 1590’s Collection known as a sequence or cycle

29 Sonnets Sonnets to a young man to a dark lady to Cupid About procreation and immortality in verse Beauty also immortalized, preserved in poetry “Beauty is truth, truth beauty”~Keats “A thing of beauty is a joy forever”~Keats

30 Unrequited love Lancelot and Guinevere, Tristan and Isolde, and the idea of courtly love Evolution of feeling and thought toward the beloved: enchanted, worshipful, confounded, disenchanted, and combative Dark lady: eyes and hair of black Adulterous affair ending in frustration and deception

31 Sonnets “For I have sworn thee fair, and thought thee bright/Who are as black as hell, as dark as night” Young man having and affair with dark lady? Love triangle, and then competition, rival poet Sonnet’s formal structure challenged to create within constraints Sound, meaning, and image combine

32 Sonnets Fourteen lines=three quatrains+one couplet Quatrain=four lines Couplet=two lines Iambic pentameter=five feet Turn=change of direction

33 How to read a sonnet: follow the train of thought, look for shifts of tone or direction Thought, followed by example, then comparison Layers of meaning, metaphor, words connected to each other Couplet reveals even deeper meaning

34 Origins and Sources Did not create stories, aside from Love’s Labor’s Lost and The Tempest Holinshed: Chronicles of England Scotland and Ireland, 1587: plot elements, character names, and descriptions, but reshaped to suit dramatic purposes Edward Hall: The Union of the Two Noble and Illustre Families of Lancaster and York, 1548

35 Origins and Sources Boccaccio: Decameron, 1353; people fleeing plague in Florence, bawdy and full of innuendo Romances (long narrative in poetry or prose) Seneca: tragedies of deception and revenge Plutarch: Lives of the Noble Grecians and Romans

36 Origins and Sources Ovid: Metamorphoses, poetry, mythological Plautus: comedic drama from Greek plays; low-class characters that outwit upper-class

37 Impact of Shakespeare’s Plays Emotional impact Use of language to reveal or convey character Extremes of human experience Complexity of character, motivation, real and three dimensional Dialogue reveals a character through his or her words, directly and indirectly Much dialogue poetry; no people did not speak this way

38 Impact Racy stories appealing to common person as well as educated; evolving London, cultures and classes mixing Ben Jonson: “not of an age, but for all time” Coat of arms “Not without merit” Didn’t protect his plays for posterity Half of plays printed by time of his death, rest by friends: First Folio

39 Was Shakespeare really Shakespeare? Authorship controversy Documents show he lived and wrote the plays Playbills named him Plays published after performance with his name Shareholder in company who performed them Other famous people wrote about him

40 Conspiracy Occam’s razor: the simplest explanation is often the correct one Commoner, country boy, son of illiterate tradesman and mother, never went to university; must have been aristocrat But English Renaissance and others of that time had similar backgrounds: Marlowe, Jonson, Donne, Spenser

41 Bacon Sir Francis Bacon: Renaissance man, royal court, prolific writer, philosophy, politics, scientific method How would he have had time? Twain a proponent

42 de Vere Edward de Vere, Earl of Oxford: education, courtly knowledge of Elizabeth I, writer, poet, comedy, military, life parallels many plots of plays; died 1604, and Shakespeare did plays in 1609 and 1613 Freud a proponent

43 Marlowe Christopher Marlowe: anti-Stratfordians, literary professional, son of tradesman, university degree, born same year as Shakespeare, but already famous when S. came to London in 1590’s

44 Marlowe 1593 charged with heresy as atheist and “murdered” by men in British intelligence and took up Shakespeare’s name as a cover Marlowe was a spy, so it’s suspicious Marlovians’ literary analysis say “fingerprint” the same But stark differences in style and content, though Shakespeare certainly influenced by him

45 Yet more conspiracy Sir WalterRaleigh: explorer, poet, philosopher, statesman, courtier lived until 1618, so chronology fits, never wrote a play, but did poetry Queen Elizabeth I herself?

46 Separated at birth? You be the judge.

47 Who was Shakespeare? So, was Shakespeare really Shakespeare? Does it matter? Shakespeare in a minute WW2A WW2A Original pronunciation n9s n9s

48 Catholic? Queen Elizabeth outlawed: fined, tortured and killed if conspiring Parents Catholic, may have been hired as a tutor in a Catholic household Hoghton’s will: instruments and costumes, mentions a William Shakeshafte Catholics treated respectfully in his plays No solid evidence

49 Gay? Historians: no such concept at that time May not have spent much time with Anne, but did have three children Theatre traditional venue for gays Shakespeare wrote love poetry to men But also to women Inconclusive

50 English Renaissance Rebirth of civilization Started earlier in Italy ( ) Rejected “dark ages” of Medieval Europe Revived learning of ancient Greece and Rome Age of Exploration Religious and political turmoil

51 Dates 1485 Henry VII first Tudor king 1500 Everyman first performed (morality play) 1534 Henry VIII Act of Supremacy, Church of England formed 1547 Edward VI becomes king 1553 Mary I “Bloody Mary” becomes queen 1558 Elizabeth I “Virgin Queen” becomes queen

52 Dates ,000 Londoners die in plague 1564 Shakespeare born 1580 Francis Drake circumnavigates globe 1588 English navy defeats Spanish Armada 1594 Romeo and Juliet written 1599 Globe Theatre opens 1600 East India Company founded

53 Dates 1603 James I becomes king 1606 Guy Fawkes executed for Gunpowder Plot 1611 King James Bible published 1625 James I dies

54 Exploration Thirst for knowledge Exploration by sea Navigation advanced by compass and astronomical knowledge 1492 Columbus sailed the… 1497 John Cabot reached Newfoundland

55 Religion Renaissance spirit and nationalism, questioning Church Corrupt officials, questionable teachings, hierarchy Erasmus and Thomas More raised questions of morality and religion, focus of Renaissance 1517 Martin Luther, German monk, whose protest led to split with Catholics and Protestant Reformation

56 Tudors 1485 Wars of the Roses over Monarchs consolidated power over nobles and assured stability Henry VII rebuilt treasury, established law and order, increased prestige of monarchy Henry VIII Catholic, Defender of the Faith, against Martin Luther Catherine of Aragon no son

57 Tudors Henry VIII wants annulment, not granted Marries Anne Boleyn Pope excommunicates Henry dissolves Catholic Church’s holdings in England and creates Church of England Thomas More, author of Utopia and a friend executed for not renouncing Catholicism

58 Tudors Henry VIII marries six times Mary and Elizabeth half sisters Jane Seymour had son Edward Edward becomes king at age nine, dies at 15 English replaces Latin in church Book of Common Prayer required for public worship Protestantism more or less established

59 Queen Mary Mary I Catholic and restored Catholicism to Church of England and Pope’s authority Ordered 300 Protestants executed, “Bloody Mary” causing anti-Catholic sentiment Ruled five years and died Half sister Elizabeth rules

60 Elizabeth I Elizabethan Age One of longest-reigning English monarchs Ushered in era of English supremacy and prosperity Renaissance education: Greek and Latin classics and patron of the arts and writers Reestablished supremacy over Church Ended religious turmoil by compromises that both sides could live with

61 Elizabeth I Mary Stuart Catholic cousin next in line for throne Imprisoned by Elizabeth for 18 years, still instigated plots Parliament insists on Mary’s execution, 1587

62 Stuarts 1603 James VI of Scotland named successor and becomes James I of England Son of Mary Stuart, Stuart dynasty, Protestant Jacobean Era Patron of the arts Expanded world power of England Established Jamestown, Virginia 1607 Power struggle with Parliament “Divine Right” Persecuted Puritans, founded Plymouth Colony 1620 due to religious intolerance

63 Literature Narratives, poetry, dramas, and comedies Subtle and satirical criticisms of church and monarchy Lyric poetry over Medieval narrative poetry Sonnet: Sidney, Spenser, Shakespeare Fourteen lines, iambic pentameter, abab, cdcd, efef, gg rhyme scheme Pastoral poetry: Marlowe and Raleigh

64 Elizabethan Drama and Lit Christopher Marlowe popular 1580s Tamburlaine and The Tragical History of Doctor Faustus, dies at 30 Of course, Shakespeare King James Bible 1620 “most monumental prose achievement of the entire English Renaissance” Fifty-four laborers seven years to translate into English Shakespeare was one of them Most widely-quoted and influential work in English Shakespeare close behind


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