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William Shakespeare Analysing and understanding his plays.

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1 William Shakespeare Analysing and understanding his plays

2 William Shakespeare Born 1564, Stratford-upon-Avon Died April 23rd 1616, Stratford-upon-Avon Often referred to as England’s national poet Playwright and actor in his own theatre company known as ”The Lord Chamberlain’s Men”, later known as ”The King’s Men” Performed many of his plays at ”The Globe” on the south bank side of London





7 Married Anne Hathaway at age 18, she was 26 They had 3 children, Susannah, Hamnet and Judith She lived in Stratford- upon-Avon He worked in London and provided for the family

8 Language and style of Shakespeare Shift between verse and prose - Verse: when the dialogue is structured in a rhythmical way like a poem: ”Away and mock the time with fairest show: False face must hide what the false heart doth know” Used to add more sophistication to the speech, signals nobility - Prose: when the dialogue is not structured in a rhythmical way, but flows more freely: ”Was the hope drunk, Wherein you dress’d yourself? Hath it slept since? And wakes it now, to look so green and pale At what it did so freely.” Used in scenes with comic characters, light scenes and in scenes in which the action is supposed to move rapidly.

9 Grammar of Shakespeare Verb forms: Second person singular adds -(e)st Thou vanishest Third person singular adds –(e)th He vanisheth

10 Blank verse and heroic couplet Blank verse: no rhyme, but contains a certain number of rhythmical stresses Usually five = iambic pentameter ”I ’have thee ’not, and ’yet I ’see thee ’still” ( Macbeth, act 2, scene 1, line 35) Heroic couplet: two iambic pentameters that rhyme together ”Which ’shall to ’all our ’days and ’nights to ’come, Give ’solely ’sovereign ’sway and ’master’dom.” ( Macbeth, act 1, scene 5, line 69)


12 Macbeth

13 Macbeth summary Macbeth, thane of Glamis, meets three witches who tell him that he can become the king of Scotland. He figures this can only be achieved by killing the king. His desire for power is greater than his moral doubts, and after being called a coward by Lady Macbeth, he assassinates the king and wins the throne. However, since he is now in power, he becomes paranoid and has more people murdered. In the end, most of his men and army turn against him and he is killed.

14 Scene V Lady Macbeth receives news that Macbeth has won the title of thane of Cawdor and may also be crowned king. She develops a plan to murder the king. First impression of Lady Macbeth ”Unsex me here” – Lady Macbeth has to be the man Wants the same things as Macbeth but cannot achieve it without him

15 Study questions for Scene VII 1. Before Lady Macbeth arrives, Macbeth seems to have a discussion with himself. What is it about? What are his main thoughts and feelings about this issue? 2. What is the nature of Macbeth and his wife’s relationship? 3. In line 44, Lady Macbeth compares Macbeth to a saying that goes ”The cat would eat fish and not wet her feet.” In what way do you think this saying describes Macbeth? (Remember that would in this case means wants to) 4. Can you find any examples of imagery in this scene? What do they mean or symbolise?

16 Lady Macbeth Driven by deception and manipulation rather than violent action Scheming, more powerful than her husband Is opposite of typical, weak female image of the time Seems to be the one ”in charge”, has to clear path for Macbeth: ”Hie thee hither, That I may pour my spirits in thine ear, And chastise with the valour of my tongue All that impedes thee from the golden round, Which fate and metaphysical aid doth seem To have thee crown’d withal.” (p. 47 l. 58)

17 Macbeth Driven by action and violence rather than deception and manipulation Personality paradox: desires power but has moral doubts Knows that he must ask his wife for guidance before he can act. (p. 47. l. 43)

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