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Shakespeare: His Life and Times

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1 Shakespeare: His Life and Times

2 Early Life Born April 23, 1564—died 1616
In Stratford-upon-Avon Parents: John and Mary Arden Shakespeare Mary—daughter of wealthy landowner John—glovemaker, local politician

3 Location of Stratford-upon-Avon

4 Shakespeare’s Birthplace

5 Education Probably attended King’s New School in Stratford
Little known about his childhood No information about his person, other than his marriage license, grave stone epithet, court documents, business contracts, and property deeds.

6 King’s New School From:

7 Married Life Married in 1582 to Anne Hathaway (26), who was pregnant at the time with their first daughter (Susanna) He was 18! Had twins in 1585 (Hamnet & Judith) Sometime between , he moved to London and began working in theatre.

8 Not this one…

9 Anne Hathaway’s Cottage

10 Conditions in London-BAD!
Thames River polluted with raw sewage Trees used up for fuel Poverty

11 Personal Hygiene/Disease
Bathing considered dangerous Body odor strong Childhood diseases Children often died before 5 years Small Pox Bubonic Plague

12 Living Conditions No running water Chamber Pots Open Sewers Crowded                   

13 Clothes One set used all year long, rarely washed
Underclothing slept in, infrequently changed

14 Theater Career Performed in courtyards of inns
The Theater-first public theater-1576 Daytime/open air Limited set design Relied on music, sound, costumes, props and great description

15 Theatre Member and later part-owner of the Lord Chamberlain’s Men, later called the King’s Men Globe Theater built in 1599 by L.C.M. with Shakespeare as primary investor Was three-stories high and had no roof. Could together hold more than 1,500 people. In 1613, during a performance of Henry VIII, a misfired canon ball set the Globe's thatched roof on fire and the whole theatre was consumed.

16 The Globe Theater

17 The Rebuilt Globe Theater, London

18 The Globe Theater

19 Actors All men Female parts played by young boys
No actual kissing or hugging on stage

20 Groundlings Poor audience member Stood around stage in “the pit”
Threw rotten vegetables at bad performances

21 The cost of attending a show
1 shilling to stand 2 shillings to sit in the balcony

22 The Plays 38 plays firmly attributed to Shakespeare comedies histories
Tragedies romances Collaborated on several others

23 The Poetry Numerous poems 154 Sonnets

24 Shakespeare’s death The cause of Shakespeare's death is a mystery, but an entry in the diary of John Ward, the vicar of Holy Trinity Church in Stratford (where Shakespeare is buried), tells us that "Shakespeare, Drayton, and Ben Jonson had a merry meeting and it seems drank too hard, for Shakespeare died of a fever there contracted." He was 52. He is buried at Holy Trinity Church in his birthplace of Stratford.

25 Shakespeare’s epitaph
An epitaph is an inscription on or at a tomb or a grave in memory of the one buried there. Shakespeare also wrote his own epitaph because during his time, when the graveyard was full, people would dig up someone's corpse and burn it so that another could be buried in that person's place. This disgusted Shakespeare, and he didn't want this type of disrespect after his death. His epitaph reads as follows: Good Friends, for Jesus' sake forbear, To dig the bones enclosed here! Blest be the man that spares these stones, And curst be he that moves my bones."

26 Theatrical Conventions of Shakespeare's Theatre
Use of disguises/ mistaken identity Last speaker—highest in rank (in tragedies) Multiple murders (in tragedies) Multiple marriages (in comedies)

27 What is the English that Shakespeare used?? It makes no sense…

28 Shakespeare’s Language
Shakespeare did NOT write in “Old English.” Old English is the language of Beowulf: Hwaet! We Gardena in geardagum Þeodcyninga Þrym gefrunon Hu ða æÞelingas ellen fremedon!

29 Shakespeare’s Language
Shakespeare did not write in “Middle English.” Middle English is the language of Chaucer, the author of The Canterbury Tales: Whan that Aprill, with his shoures soote The droghte of March hath perced to the roote And bathed every veyne in swich licour, Of which vertu engendred is the flour;

30 The General Prologue Original Middle English:
Whan that Aprill, with his shoures soote The droghte of March hath perced to the roote And bathed every veyne in swich licour, Of which vertu engendred is the flour; Modern Translation When fair April with his showers sweet, Has pierced the drought of March to the root's feet And bathed each vein in liquid of such power, Its strength creates the newly springing flower;

31 Shakespeare’s Language
Shakespeare wrote in “Early Modern English.” EME was not very different from “Modern English,” except that it had some old holdovers. The Shakespeare Glossary

32 Omissions Again, for the sake of his poetry, Shakespeare often left out letters, syllables, and whole words.  These omissions really aren't that much different from the way we speak today.  We say: "Been to class yet?" "No.  Heard Miss R’s givin' a test." "Wha'sup wi'that?“ We leave out words and parts of words to speed up our speech.  If we were speaking in complete sentences, we would say: "Have you been to class yet?" "No, I have not been to class.  I heard that Mrs. Raaf is giving a test today." "What is up with that?"

33 A few examples of Shakespearean omissions/contractions follow:
'tis ~ it is ope ~ open o'er ~ over gi' ~ give ne'er ~ never i' ~ in e'er ~ ever oft ~ often e'en ~ even

34 Blank Verse: unrhymed iambic pentameter.
Shakespeare’s Poetry We speak in prose (language without metrical structure).  Shakespeare wrote both prose and poetry (verse).  To understand his poetry , we need to understand these terms: Blank Verse:  unrhymed iambic pentameter. Iambic Pentameter:  five beats of alternating unstressed and stressed syllables; ten syllables per line.

35 Shakespeare’s Language
Shakespeare coined many words we still use today: Critical Majestic Dwindle Fashionable Embrace (as a noun) Vulnerable

36 Shakespeare’s Language
one fell swoop flesh and blood vanish into thin air pomp and circumstance seen better days a sorry sight neither rhyme nor reason full circle dead as a doornail for goodness sake green-eyed monster

37 Shakespeare’s Language
A mix of old and very new Rural and urban words/images Understandable by the lowest peasant and the highest noble

38 Elizabethan Theatrical Conventions

39 A theatrical convention is a
Theatrical Conventions of Shakespeare's Theatre A theatrical convention is a suspension of reality. No electricity Women forbidden to act on stage Minimal, contemporary costumes Minimal scenery These control the dialogue. Good dialogue is key!

40 Theatrical Conventions of Shakespeare's Theatre
Types of speech Soliloquy- an extended speech, directed to the audience rather than to other characters, in which the speaker explores their thoughts and feelings. Aside- Words an actor speaks to the audience which other actors on the stage cannot hear. Sometimes the actor cups his mouth toward the audience or turns away from the other actors. An aside serves to reveal a character's thoughts or concerns to the audience without revealing them to other characters in a play. Audience loves to be scared. Blood and gore Use of supernatural

41 Reading Shakespeare: A Review
Unlocking Shakespeare's Language, by Randal Robinson Unusual Word Arrangements I ate the sandwich. I the sandwich ate. Ate the sandwich I. Ate I the sandwich. The sandwich I ate. The sandwich ate I. Robinson shows us that these four words can create six unique sentences which carry the same meaning.  Locate the subject, verb, and the object of the sentence.  Notice that the object of the sentence is often placed at the beginning (the sandwich) in front of the verb (ate) and subject (I).  Rearrange the words in the order that makes the most sense to you (I ate the sandwich). 

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