Presentation on theme: "An Introduction to Understanding “The Bard”"— Presentation transcript:
1 An Introduction to Understanding “The Bard” William ShakespeareAn Introduction toUnderstanding “The Bard”
2 Intro to William Shakespeare William Shakespeare b. April 26th, 1564(TODAY: Bill Shakespeare just had his 450th birthday!)Parents: John and Mary (Arden) ShakespearePlace of birth: Stratford-Upon-Avon(named so because the town was on the banks of the Avon river)Childhood home: Henley Street (can still be visited today)
4 Parents John Shakespeare: Married (Mary) the daughter of his landlord Held many jobs: glover, money lender, wool and grain dealerPrestige: Bailiff (= to mayor)1576 – Petitioned town for a coat of arms to become a gentlemanPetition expired without being granted
5 ChildhoodEducation: father’s prominent position suggests that Shakespeare would have attended:King’s New School (petty school=preschool): well respected, taught by Oxford gradsGrammar School (6-7am until 5pm)Study Latin and some GreekRead Roman authors Plautus, Ovid, Seneca, and HoraceTraces of these authors in his own later worksDid NOT attend University (Greek/Latin education)
6 Wife and ChildrenNovember 1582 (age 18): Married Anne Hathaway (age 26)May 1583 (6 mo. later): birth of first child, SusannaFebruary 1585: twins Hamnet and JudithHamnet would die at the age of 11 while Shakespeare was living in London away from his family
7 London and The StageWent to London after twins’ birth (between 21 and 28 yrs. old)(Most likely) went as an actor and slowly gained attention as a playwrightJealous Much?Robert Greene (1592) warned other University colleagues that the uneducated Shakespeare was trying to parade as a legit playwrightShakespeare’s reputation for poetry provoked the envy of a failing competitor
8 London and The Stage1593: All London theatres closed due to outbreak of the bubonic plagueDuring this time Shakespeare wrote the poems Venus and Adonis (1593) and The Rape of Lucrece (1594)Only two of his works that he seemed to have helped into print due to the presence of dedications1594: Theatres reopened; Shakespeare joined the acting company Lord Chamberlain’s Men
9 London and The Stage Plays: Early years: Histories : Henry VI, trilogy: Richard III1590s: Romantic Comedies1594: The Comedy of Errors: Love’s Labour’s Lost1595: A Midsummer Night’s Dream1598: Much Ado About Nothing
10 London and The Stage Plays (con’t) Total Plays: 37* Tragedies 1595: Romeo and Juliet1599: Julius Caesar: Hamlet1606: MacbethTotal Plays: 37*Histories: 10Comedies: 17Tragedies: 10*This number is debated by scholars
11 The Theatre 1597: Success 1597: The boot Secure a coat of arms = gentlemanPurchase of New Place – one of the largest houses in Stratford1597: The bootLease expired with Lord Chamberlain’s playhouse (called The Theatre)The company had to perform in various playhouses until 1599
12 The Globe 1599: Opening of the Globe Theatre 1613: Fire 1642: Closed Built with lumber from The TheatreShakespeare just one of the shareholders in the theatre1613: FireThatched roof caught fire during a production of Henry VIII – entire building demolishedThe Second Globe was rebuilt quickly1642: ClosedAll theatres closed under Puritan ruleDemolished in 1644 for tenements (apartments)
16 The (new) Globe 1996: Revival A replica built near original site Built with techniques and materials that would have been used thenOnly added details that were requiredExits, illuminated signage, fire retardant materials, etc.Go to see plays today!
19 Final Days William Shakespeare died on April 26, 1616 at the age of 52 (398 years ago today!)Exact cause of death unknownBelieved to have been celebrating the marriage of daughter, JudithContracted a feverDeath imminent?Changed his will in March of same year
20 Publication The First Folio Published First collection published 7 years after his death (posthumous)By two members from his former companyFirst collection publishedPrinter folded each sheet only once (folio)Folio was a larger and more prestigious book (usually reserved for works such as the Bible)Contained 36 plays
21 “He was not of an age, but for all time!” LegacyThe First Folio was the beginning of the process of constructing Shakespeare as England’s national poet and “The Bard of Avon”Bard: Gaelic term for a poetContemporary playwright and friend, Ben Jonson wrote:“He was not of an age, but for all time!”
22 Dramatic TerminologyTragedy: A narrative about serious and important actions that end unhappily, usually with the death of the main characters.The play is broken up into acts and the acts are broken up into scenes.Monologue: A long uninterrupted speech given by one character onstage to everyone.Soliloquy: A long uninterrupted speech given by one character alone on stage, inaudible to other charactersAside: A short speech given by one character, traditionally the other characters cannot hear.
23 Dramatic Terminology He who farts in church sits in his own pew. Pun: A humorous play on wordsAfter that poisonous snake struck at me in the Arizona Desert I was really rattled.A carpenter must have been here. I saw dust.Energizer Bunny arrested - charged with battery.Corduroy pillows are making headlines.The executioner decided to drop out of Executioner School. It was just too cut throat for him.He who farts in church sits in his own pew.
24 Dramatic TerminologyDramatic Foil: A pair of characters who are opposite in many ways and highlight or exaggerate each other’s differences.
25 Poetic TerminologyBlank Verse: Unrhymed meter; unrhymed iambic pentameter specifically.Iambic Meter: Each unstressed syllable is followed by a stressed syllable.Couplets: Two consecutive lines that rhyme (aa bb cc). Usually followed when a character leaves or a scene ends.End-stopped Line: Has some form of punctionat at the end of the line (,;.!?).Run-on Line: Has NO punctuation at the end of the line and meaning is continued to following lines.Sonnet: A fourteen line poem using iambic pentameter and the following rhyme scheme: abab cdcd efef gg.
26 Poetic Terminology Internal Rhyme: Words rhyming inside one line. End Line Rhyme: Words rhyming at the end of consecutive lines.Perfect vs. Slant Rhyme: ball & hall are a perfect rhyme (end sounds the same). Ball & bell are slant rhymes (beginning and end sounds the same; middle sound is different).Alliteration: the repetition of the same beginning consonantsAssonance: the repetition of the same vowel sounds in the middle of wordsConsonance: the repetition of the same ending consonantsOnomatopoeia: words that are spelled much like how they sound.
27 Shakespeare’s 5 Part Storytelling Pattern: Act III: Crisis/Turning PointA series of complicationsAct IV: Falling ActionResults of the turning point; characters locked into deeper disasterAct II: Rising ActionA series of complicationsAct I: ExpositionEstablishes setting, characters, conflict, and backgroundAct V: ResolutionDeath of the main characters and then the loose parts of the plot are tied up
28 Tips for Understanding Romeo and Juliet Romeo and Juliet is based on Arthur Brooke’s long narrative poem the Tragicall Historye of Romeus and Juliet (1562).The play has a highly moral tone: disobedience, as well as fate, leads to the deaths of two lovers.
29 Motifs in Romeo and Juliet Power of LoveViolence from PassionThe Individual vs. SocietyThe Inevitability of Fate
30 MONTAGUE vs. CAPULET Romeo Juliet Lord Montague (his dad) Lady Montague (his mom)Mercutio (friend)Benvolio (cousin)JulietLord Capulet (her father)Lady Capulet (her mother)Tybalt (cousin)Nurse
31 A Pair of Star Crossed Lovers… “My only love sprung from my only hate! Too early seen unknown , and known too late!”~ Juliet; Act I, Scene V (I.v.)
33 PrologueTwo households, both alike in dignity, in fair Verona, where we lay our scene, from ancient grudge break to new mutiny, where civil blood makes civil hands unclean. From forth the fatal loins of these two foes A pair of star-cross'd lovers take their life; Whose misadventured piteous overthrows do with their death bury their parents' strife. The fearful passage of their death-mark'd love, and the continuance of their parents' rage, which, but their children's end, nought could remove, is now the two hours' traffic of our stage.
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