Presentation on theme: "An Overview. Elizabethan Times Time for heroes—Men were: Witty, eloquent Examined own nature Adventurers, fencers, poets, conversationalists Women had."— Presentation transcript:
Elizabethan Times Time for heroes—Men were: Witty, eloquent Examined own nature Adventurers, fencers, poets, conversationalists Women had lower social status, despite nation being run by a Queen
Elizabethan Times Great Chain of Being (social structure) Royalty, nobility, peasantry considered different species from each other Upset in Great Chain portended (warned) by signs and nature Weather, unusual animal behavior, etc. Divine Rule of Kings Reigning monarch was God’s agent Rebelling against monarch = rebelling against God; upset of the great chain
Elizabethan Times England in a succession crisis Queen Elizabeth left no heirs, refused to marry People feared another War of the Roses (long bloody battle-rival families fighting for crown) British people very concerned about this problem Shakespeare could not comment directly on England’s political affairs; did so indirectly in theater
Elizabethan Times 1599 very important year Globe Theater completed Julius Caesar first performed Caesar very popular subject Writers saw numerous similarities to England’s situation Political uncertainty due to lack of heir First attempts at colonization (Roanoke 1585)
Shakespeare’s Caesar Primary source for information on Caesar Plutarch’s Lives of Noble Grecians and Romans Written in blank verse (unrhymed iambic pentameter) Often shifts from poetry to prose Create mood, establish the status of a character, etc.
Shakespeare’s Caesar Play begins in medias res (in the middle of something) Figurative language Simile Metaphor Irony Dramatic Irony: audience knows something characters do not Situational Irony: when what happens is different than what is expected Verbal Irony: speaker says something but means another
The Tragic Hero Aristotle’s definition A god, demi-god, hero, high-ranking official Rises to high position then falls from position, usually to utter desolation or death Two forces equally powerful in classic tragedy - Hero’s tragic flaw (hamartia) - Fate
Tragic Hero During Renaissance, people felt less like pawns, more in charge of their destinies Elizabethan tragic hero responsible for own downfall, rather than fate “Waste of human potential” tragic to Elizabethans Contrast between destiny and free will recurring theme in play
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