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The Man, The Myth, The Legend!. Life & Times  William Shakespeare born April 23, 1564  Born in Stratford-upon-Avon, England  Married Anne Hathaway;

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Presentation on theme: "The Man, The Myth, The Legend!. Life & Times  William Shakespeare born April 23, 1564  Born in Stratford-upon-Avon, England  Married Anne Hathaway;"— Presentation transcript:

1 The Man, The Myth, The Legend!

2 Life & Times  William Shakespeare born April 23, 1564  Born in Stratford-upon-Avon, England  Married Anne Hathaway; had children  Became an actor and playwright; moved to London  Died April 23, 1616 in Stratford-upon- Avon

3 Life & Times  Lived during the Elizabethan Era  Named after Queen Elizabeth I  Characterized by social class, strict laws & punishments, Renaissance (arts & literature)  Political turmoil & upheaval  Bubonic Plague  1550s-1600s

4 History of Queen Elizabeth I  Her rise to power:  Her father, Henry VIII, was originally married to Catherine of Aragon (Spain)  They had a daughter, Mary  King wanted a son  divorced Catherine  Split from the Roman Catholic church to do so  Created The Church of England (Anglican [Episcopalian] Church)

5 History of Queen Elizabeth I  King Henry VIII married Anne Boleyn  had another daughter: Elizabeth  King wanted a son  accused Anne of treason and had her beheaded  King married Jane Seymour  had a son (Edward VI)  Jane died  King married again, but had no other children

6 History of Queen Elizabeth I  Mary was Catholic  Elizabeth and Edward VI were Protestant  Edward became King  died  Mary became Queen  imprisoned Elizabeth  Mary executed Protestants  Mary died  Elizabeth became Queen  Elizabeth executed Catholics  became head of Church of England

7 Shakespeare in London  Shakespeare lived in London as a playwright and actor  Owned the Globe Theater  Wrote 37 plays, 154 sonnets, owned several businesses  London was dirty, smelly, and unsanitary (Plague)

8 Conspiracy Theory  Some modern scholars question the authorship of Shakespeare’s plays  Theory 1: If Shakespeare did exist, he was only a pen name for Francis Bacon or Queen Elizabeth I  Theory 2: Christopher Marlowe; history says he was stabbed in 1593 in a bar brawl, but some say he didn’t die and actually became a spy for the Crown, writing under the pen name of Shakespeare  REGARDLESS: We have these wonderful plays!

9 Drama, Drama, Drama…

10 A theatrical convention is a traditional expectation.  No electricity  Women forbidden to act on stage  Minimal, contemporary costumes  Minimal scenery These control the dialogue.

11 Audience loves to be scared.  Soliloquy  Aside Types of speech  Blood  Use of supernatural

12  Use of disguises/ mistaken identity  Multiple marriages (in comedies)  Multiple murders (in tragedies)  Last speaker—highest in rank (in tragedies)


14 The Tragic Story  Shakespeare's tragedies are primarily the stories of one person, the ‘hero’  The two exceptions to this rule are Romeo & Juliet, and Cleopatra, which have both a tragic ‘hero’ and ‘heroine’  A tragedy depicts a troubled part of the hero/heroine’s life which leads up to and includes their death  Suffering and calamity are constant themes in the tragic story

15 Tragic Flaws  The hero’s tragic flaw often takes the form of obsession (revenge, greed, lust/love, ambition, etc.)  The hero’s tragic flaw is the cause of the calamities, tragedies and deaths that occur in the story  Symbolically, the flaw usually represents the heroes humanity or human frailty

16 The Tragic Hero’s Internal Conflict  Although external conflicts are present within Shakespearean Tragedies, the most complex conflict is the internal conflict of the tragic hero  The hero is torn by an inward struggle which causes perceived mental instability and tragic actions

17 Final Notes  Shakespearean audiences usually sympathize with the tragic hero, as when they are introduced, they are people of good standing who befall challenging circumstances  Shakespeare’s tragic heroes illustrate that humanity is not wholly ‘good’ or ‘bad’, and that ‘goodness/greatness’ can easily be wasted due to a tragic flaw  Shakespeare’ tragic heroes are destined to fall from grace - despite the efforts of those around them to ‘save’ them from tragedy, and unfortunately tragedy will also befall all those close to them, whether friend or foe


19 A Short History of English Where did spoken language begin? The earliest origin of spoken language is in Africa  Bantu migrations

20 What are the stages of development of the English language? Proto-English Old English Middle English Early Modern English (Shakespeare’s time) Modern English

21 Some Influences on English  Germanic Tribes (Angles, Saxons, Frisians, Jutes)  Scandinavian Invasion  Norman Conquest of Britain (French)  Trade with the Roman Empire  Christianity (more Latin and Greek words)  Invention of Print (Gutenberg – 1500’s)  Samuel Johnson’s dictionary (1755)  Shakespeare  The Internet

22 What changes a language?  Migration  Mixing with other cultures  Being conquered  Trade with other cultures  Religion  Books and other print sources  Media  Centralized government  Scholars  New Ideas and Technology

23 Influences on Shakespeare’s English  Values of the time: clarity preferred over correctness, and brevity preferred over both clarity and correctness  New discoveries = new thoughts that require new words  Revival of classical studies (Greek, Latin)  Transitional period of the Language  Greater influence of spoken English over written (more contractions) From A Shakespearean Grammar by Edwin Abbott

24 Adjectives In Shakespeare’s English  Add “y” to any word to form an adjective “Slumbery agitation” – Macbeth 5.1.12 “Unheedy haste” – A Midsummer Night’s Dream 1.1.237  Articles (a, an, the) may be omitted “When lion rough in wildest rage doth roar” A Midsummer Night’s Dream 5.1.224 (“a” omitted before “lion”)

25 Adjectives In Shakespeare’s English  Adjectives may be used as adverbs or nouns “Which the false man does easy.” Macbeth 2.3.143 (easily) “Grow not instant old.” Hamlet 1.2.94 (instantly)  Adjectives may be compounded “I am too sudden-bold.” Love’s Labour Lost 2.1.197 “Honorable-dangerous” Julius Caesar 1.3.124

26 Adjectives In Shakespeare’s English  “-er” and “-est” added where today’s English doesn’t add them “Horrider: Cymbeline 4.2.331 “Certainer” Much Ado About Nothing 5.3.62  Double comparative and superlative “More nearer” Hamlet 2.1.11 “Most unkindest” Julius Caesar 3.2.187 Adjective may be placed AFTER the noun rather than before “In the seat royal” Richard III 3.1.164

27 Adverbs in Shakespeare’s English  Along may mean “along with me”  Forth, hence, and hither may be used to show motion without a verb “I have no mind of feasting forth tonight” Merchant of Venice 2.2.37 Double negative: Viola in Twelfth Night says, “Nor never none /Shall mistress of it be, save I alone,” by which she meant that no one except herself would ever be mistress of her heart.

28 Prepositions in Shakespeare’s English  May be left out “That gallant spirit hath aspired the clouds” Romeo and Juliet 3.1.122 “to” left out before “clouds”  May differ slightly in meaning to today’s prepositions, but the meaning is usually decipherable

29 Verbs in Shakespeare’s English  The “-ed” ending may be omitted “These things indeed you have articulate” Henry IV 5.1.72 (articulated)  “to” may be omitted in an infinitive “The rest I wish thee gather.” Henry VI 2.5.96 (to gather)

30 Verbs in Shakespeare’s English  Verb tense may be inconsistent: changes in tense allowed where today’s rules would not allow it “Therefore they thought (past) it good you hear (present) a play.” Taming of the Shrew  Any noun or adjective could become a verb “That has so cowarded and chased your blood.” Henry V 2.2.75

31 Effects of Rhythm on Shakespeare’s Language  Shortening of words by using contractions so words will fit the rhythm O’er; ne’er; i’ ; th’ ; ‘ere  Changing the accent of words so they fit the rhythm “winged” (1 syllable) becomes “wing-ed” (2 syllables)

32 Compounding New words created by compounding any parts of speech: “the steep-up heavenly hill” “Sonnet 7” “til Henry’s back-return” Henry V Prologue 41

33 Sentence Order The most emphatic words may be placed at the beginning of the sentence in spite of grammatical rules: “In dreadful secrecy impart they did” Hamlet 1.2.207 “Before the time I did Lysander see, Seem’d Athens a paradise to me.” A Midsummer Night’s Dream 1.1.205

34 Ellipses (Words Left Out) “Elizabethan Authors objected to scarcely any ellipsis, provided the deficiency could be easily supplied from the context.” (Abbott 279)  Little words left out such as : and, as, but, if, ere, or, like, since, than, though, and pronouns “This is that banish’d haughty Montague, And here is come.” Romeo and Juliet 5.3.52 (here he is come)

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