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Shakespearean Drama Conventions & Characteristics.

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Presentation on theme: "Shakespearean Drama Conventions & Characteristics."— Presentation transcript:

1 Shakespearean Drama Conventions & Characteristics

2 GENRE & CONVENTIONS I. Shakespeare’s plays can be divided into three distinct categories: A. A Tragedy is a work in which a series of actions leads to the downfall of the main character. A. The Comedies are generally identifiable as the comedies of Shakespeare in that they are full of fun, irony and dazzling wordplay. They also abound in disguises and mistaken identities with very convoluted plots that are difficult to follow with very contrived endings. 1. The highly contrived endings are the clue to what these plays, all very different, are about. A. The plays that we normally mean when we refer to the ‘history’ plays are the ten plays that cover English history from the twelfth to the sixteenth centuries, and the period in particular. Each play is named after, and focuses on, the reigning monarch of the period.

3 GENRE & CONVENTIONS I. Shakespeare’s plays can be divided into three distinct categories: C. The plays that we normally mean when we refer to the ‘history’ plays are the ten plays that cover English history from the twelfth to the sixteenth centuries, and the period in particular. Each play is named after, and focuses on, the reigning monarch of the period.

4 GENRE & CONVENTIONS II. Shakespeare’s tragedies are often cited as his greatest plays. A. A Tragedy is a work in which a series of actions leads to the downfall of the main character. B. This character is referred to as a Tragic Hero. III. Qualities of a Tragic Hero: A. Possesses importance or high rank B. Exhibits extraordinary talents/ability C. Displays a tragic flaw-an error in judgement or defect in character-that leads to downfall D. Faces downfall with courage and dignity

5 WRITING STYLE I. Shakespeare’s plays are verse dramas, plays in which the dialogue consists almost entirely of poetry. II. Generally speaking, Shakespeare wrote his verse dramas in blank verse, or unrhymed lines of iambic pentameter. A. Iambic Pentameter is a fixed pattern of rhythm, or meter, in which most lines contain five unstressed syllables each followed by a stressed syllable. B. EX.) Let me have men about me that are fat III. Qualities of a Tragic Hero: A. Possesses importance or high rank B. Exhibits extraordinary talents/ability C. Displays a tragic flaw-an error in judgement or defect in character-that leads to downfall D. Faces downfall with courage and dignity

6 WRITING STYLE III. Iambic pentameter Continued A. Iamb 1. Unstressed = u 2. Stressed=‘ 3. (one) Foot=u ‘ B. EX.) Let me have men about me that are fat

7 WRITING FOR STAGE VS PAGE I. The time constraints of stage plays mean writers must utilize additional tools to develop their characters. While these devices don’t occur in real life, they do allow for an audience to interact with character in a more intimate way. A. A Soliloquy is a long speech given by a character while alone on stage to reveal his or her private thoughts or intentions.

8 WRITING FOR STAGE VS PAGE B. An Aside is a character’s quiet remark to the audience or another character that no one else on stage is supposed to hear. A stage direction [usually in brackets] indicates an aside. 1. Aside to Audience Trebonius:Caesar, I will. [Aside] And so near will I be That your best friends shall wish I had been further. –Act Two, Scene 2, Lines

9 RHETORIC/EMOTIONAL DEVICES I. Shakespeare’s plays often contain speeches known for their masterful usage of rhetorical, or persuasive, devices. II. These devices use language and sound to appeal to the audience’s emotions and make the speech more convincing and memorable. These devices include: A. The repetition of words, phrases, and sounds B. Parallelism, or repetition of grammatical structures C. Rhetorical questions, or questions requiring no answer

10 RHETORIC/EMOTIONAL DEVICES III. Examples of Rhetorical Devices: A. The repetition of words, phrases, and sounds 1. Repetition: And do you now put on your best attire? And do you now cull out a holiday? -Act One, Scene 1, Lines B. Parallelism, or repetition of grammatical structures 1. Parallelism: Not that I loved Caesar less, but that I loved Rome more. -Act Three, Scene 2, Lines 22-23

11 RHETORIC/EMOTIONAL DEVICES III. Examples of Rhetorical Devices: (Cont.) C. Rhetorical questions, or questions requiring no answer 1. Rhetorical Question: Why friends, you go to do you know not what Wherein hath Caesar thus deserved your loves? Alas, you know not! -Act Three, Scene 2, Lines 22-23

12 USE OF IRONY:definition I. Another powerful tool used by the Bard is irony. Irony exist when there is a contrast between appearance and reality. Irony exposes and underscores a contrast between: A. what is and what seems to be B. what is and what ought to be C. what is and what one wishes to be D. what is and what one expects to be II. There are three common types of irony in literature:

13 USE OF IRONY:verbal I. Verbal irony occurs when people say the opposite of what they mean. This is perhaps the most common type of irony. A. The reader knows that a statement is ironic because of familiarity with the situation or a description of voice, facial, or bodily expressions which show the discrepancy. B. There are two kinds of verbal irony : 1. Understatement occurs when one minimizes the nature of something. 2. Overstatement occurs when one exaggerates the nature of something.

14 USE OF IRONY:verbal C. Irony is often more emphatic that a point-blank statement of the truth. The opposite is shown as a point of comparison. D. Verbal irony in its most bitter and destructive form becomes sarcasm. E. Someone is condemned by a speaker pretending to praise him or her.

15 USE OF IRONY:situational I. In situational irony, the situation is different from what common sense indicates it is, will be, or ought to be. A. Situational irony occurs when the final outcome is contradictory to what was expected. B. Usually, the episodes in the plot of a story will lead the audience to expect a particular resolution or ending. If such an expected outcome fails and instead another contrary outcome occurs, the absurdity is termed situational irony. 1. Such a form of irony is the result of a discrepancy in perspective, such that what is known and expected at one moment differs with what is known later on.

16 USE OF IRONY:dramatic I. In dramatic irony, the audience or reader knows something that one or more characters do not know. Because of that knowledge, the audience has a bigger sense of the action taking place. A. The key to dramatic irony is the reader's foreknowledge of coming events. B. Second readings of stories often increases dramatic irony because of knowledge that was not present in the first reading.

17 USE OF IRONY:dramatic C. Dramatic Irony: Caesar, Good friends, go in and taste some wine with me, And we (like friends) will straightway go together. -Act Two, Scene 2, Lines

18 IRONY:CARTOON A. What follows is a visual guide to irony.

19 MORE ON IRONY:

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