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WILLIAM SHAKESPEARE London, Theatre and His Life.

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1 WILLIAM SHAKESPEARE London, Theatre and His Life

2 FOUR BASIC FORMS OF PLAYS History: English history Comedy: love stories Tragedy: dark stories with lots of death/foreshadowing Romance: stories of children growing up, mom/dad refusing to let go

3 THEATRE/DRAMA On paper, his work is just literature… the live performance of this literature is what creates actual drama and makes his work understandable. These works were DESIGNED to be read out loud. If you are not reading this work out loud, the point gets muddled.

4 THEATRE/DRAMA The following help create drama:  Tone, diction  Body language  Comic jokes  Actions made

5 THEATRE/DRAMA Additional Factors in Drama ▫ Background action ▫ Monologues ▫ Costumes and sets ▫ Fights

6 ELIZABETHAN STAGE / THE GLOBE THEATRE No roof so all plays performed during day Actors were often in a center stage pressed on the back wall, while the audience surrounded them Actors were constantly moving to ensure all aspects of audience were addressed Theatre went to great expense to make it an experience  Pigs bladders were filled with blood and sewn up

7 ELIZABETHAN STAGE

8 Shakespeare wrote the play, but had no more authority than that Actors, upon receiving the script, could change and alter everything in the script to ensure the play worked while on stage

9 ELIZABETHAN STAGE They would play the same play twice in a row, and during the course of a week would perform six different plays It was all situational: weather, audience, authority, etc. Some days, it worked. Other days, it failed miserably.

10 ELIZABETHAN STAGE These people had memorized THOUSANDS of lines, and knew the roles over nearly 18 different characters! Mostly, the troupes consisted of SEVEN people total!

11 WILLIAM SHAKESPEARE

12 WILLIAM SHAKESPEARE: BACKGROUND INFO : Approximate dates Church records show he was born in Stratford upon Avon, Trinity Church Parents: John Shakespeare and Mary Arden

13 WILLIAM SHAKESPEARE: BACKGROUND INFO 1582: Shakespeare is 18 and marries Anne Hathaway who is 26 (probably was an arranged marriage)  Left questions to consider: why was she so late getting married? Why does he marry so early? Their ages should be reversed. They had a daughter (Susanne) in 1582, and then twins (Hamnet and Judith) in 1585

14 WILLIAM SHAKESPEARE: BACKGROUND INFO He had basic reading skills (the Bible and some Latin), basic mathematics There is no proof that Shakespeare was taught how to write.

15 WILLIAM SHAKESPEARE: BACKGROUND INFO There are no records to show writing ambition, he simply showed up in London in 1592 to write We don’t know why he left his family, but we know it happened in 1592 because we have articles from other playwrights hated him (the theory is because his son died)

16 WILLIAM SHAKESPEARE: BACKGROUND INFO Writing begins…  Started writing comedies (they were awful)  Progressed to histories (takes place in early English history; civil wars predating Henry VII)  England’s history and monarchy IS important when it comes to this subject!  How he wrote was directly impacted by who was King or Queen, or what the official religion was…

17 WILLIAM SHAKESPEARE: BACKGROUND INFO He NEVER wrote about the current historical times….  He did this intentionally: if you talked about Elizabethan times, you could upset the audience as they were all aware there was no heir.  If Elizabeth caught wind of this, she would cut off your hand leaving you unable to write It was a matter of safety for his own life

18 WILLIAM SHAKESPEARE: BACKGROUND INFO : writes plays, but we have no idea of what order they came in After Elizabeth’s death, he focused mostly on tragedies  King Lear, MacBeth, Romeo & Juliet As he ages, his works become darker and darker

19 WILLIAM SHAKESPEARE: BACKGROUND INFO The Romances (the last ones we know of) are pretty dark, however still fit in the specific genre as there is always some form of reconciliation at the end Real life connection: there are no happy families or couples in Shakespeare literature  Relate to authorial purpose:  Is it to assume he did not know a happy married life? We do not have those answers.

20 WILLIAM SHAKESPEARE: BACKGROUND INFO Financially…  He owned 1/5 of the theatre  Never made a dime off his writings 1609: His sonnets are published (possibly without consent) 1616: dies of natural causes (though that’s speculated as well), his will still survives

21 LATE 16 TH TO EARLY 17 TH CENTURY ENGLAND These are references we’ll read within Macbeth or show why the play discusses what it does…

22 SETTING THE STAGE… Queen Elizabeth reigned from (the majority of Shakespeare’s life) She was nervous the majority of her reign due to a war with Spain in 1580s  Simple reason: She was a woman leading a kingdom  You’d never guess it, but the word “kingdom” actually has specific implications of being male dominated

23 WOMEN IN THEATRES Not officially in theatres, they were not allowed; however, there were street performers that were women ▫ Men were the only actors – even for women roles. This is why some women in his plays were bearded – and we called as such!

24 PATRIARCHAL SOCIETY All was ruled by dad Patri is derivative of a Greek word, meaning “father” Archy is derivative of another Greek work, meaning “power” Literally translates to “father power”

25 LONDON: Large city  30 times bigger than the second largest city  The city was built up rather than out: 50 people stacked up in a house Filthy, trash diseases run rampant  Pig were encouraged to run in the streets to “clean” the filth Shakespeare could have been accepting of death as it happened so frequently around him

26 LONDON Bathing was considered to be deadly ▫ Damp hair in cold weather caused illnesses, but they didn’t know better ▫ Also the time of The Plague You’ll notice in Macbeth that… ▫ Characters would call each other stinky, which was true – they were incredibly stinky. ▫ Character would refer to some women as “bearded” – they were played by men… he just made fun of that fact.

27 ELIZABETH I She refused to marry or to have an heir (she chose not to as an attempt to play off other countries desires of marrying her

28 She was the leader during the majority of Shakespeare’s life  It has impact on what he writes She reigned for 45 years, which finally created some sort of stability for the throne She left no heir to the throne – and with her, the Tudor dynasty died. She left the throne to the Stewart’s in Ireland.

29 JAMES I Upon Elizabeth’s death, James I took the throne He was a distant cousin of Elizabeth, and was the Scottish king  King of TWO countries! Two names, but the same person!  James VI in Scotland  James I in England

30 JAMES I Because of his Scottish lineage, Shakespeare wrote a play to pay homage to this new history: Macbeth James I always said he was a direct descendent of Banquo… who is a major character of the play… hence why I mention him here.

31 LINK TO MACBETH Macbeth is a REAL person. This is a REAL story – with a bit of added fiction. ▫ For example: Ghosts and visions However, this was written for James I to really make him feel welcome. It’s not about Elizabeth’s death or his ascent to avoid upsetting the people who were still upset over the transition.

32 WELCOME TO SHAKESPEARE’S WORLD Prepare for drama at its absolute finest:  Murder  Requited love  Suicide  Family problems  Monarch problems


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