Presentation on theme: "Chapter 3 Shakespeare the Writer. Above all, Shakespeare considered himself a poet. At one period when the theatres were closed from 1593-4, under his."— Presentation transcript:
Above all, Shakespeare considered himself a poet. At one period when the theatres were closed from 1593-4, under his patron the Earl of Southampton, he published two lengthy narrative poems Venus and Adonis and The Rape of Lucrece He seemingly wrote his sonnets over a number of years and shared them privately with friends
Influences He attended public school, but not university and was familiar with classic texts and rhetoric His works include his plays, sonnets and narrative poems THE SONNETS were a premier genre for writers in the Elizabethan world
Sonnets The form was established in the Renaissance by the Italian Francesco Petrarcha (Petrarch) The Petrarch form was widely imitated in England Shakespeare’s sonnets were not published until 1609 He seems to have written them over a number of years The printed sequence of the sonnets demonstrate his ability as a poet and dramatist to create character through text
Petrarchian form He chose not to follow Petrarch’s form which was two quatrains followed by a sestet a b b a c d c d c d
Spenserian form Edmund Spenser developed his form in THE FAEIRE QUEEN a b b c c d e Spenser, Sonnet 54 Of this World's theatre in which we stay, My love like the Spectator idly sits, Beholding me, that all the pageants play, Disguising diversely my troubled wits. Sometimes I joy when glad occasion fits, And mask in mirth like to a Comedy; Soon after when my joy to sorrow flits, I wail and make my woes a Tragedy. Yet she, beholding me with constant eye, Delights not in my mirth nor rues my smart; But when I laugh, she mocks: and when I cry She laughs and hardens evermore her heart. What then can move her? If nor mirth nor moan, She is no woman, but a senseless stone.
English form Shakespeare wrote using the English form which is three quatrains followed by a rhymed couplet a b a b c d c d e f e f g g All are composed in iambic pentameter (10 syllables, 5 feet) ˘ / ˘ / ˘ / ˘ / ˘ /
˘/ ˘ / ˘ / ˘ / ˘ /˘/ ˘ / ˘ / ˘ / ˘ / Most closely approximated the natural speaking rhythms of spoken English
Sonnet 18 Shall I compare thee to a summer's day? Thou art more lovely and more temperate: Rough winds do shake the darling buds of May, And summer's lease hath all too short a date: Sometime too hot the eye of heaven shines, And often is his gold complexion dimm'd; And every fair from fair sometime declines, By chance or nature's changing course untrimm'd; But thy eternal summer shall not fade Nor lose possession of that fair thou owest; Nor shall Death brag thou wander'st in his shade, When in eternal lines to time thou growest: So long as men can breathe or eyes can see, So long lives this and this gives life to thee.
Romeo and Juliet This early plays demonstrates his interest in the form. The first meeting of the doomed lovers is a shared sonnet (I.v). Here is the first quatrain… ROMEO [To JULIET] If I profane with my unworthiest hand This holy shrine, the gentle fine is this: My lips, two blushing pilgrims, ready stand To smooth that rough touch with a tender kiss.
2 nd quatrain JULIET Good pilgrim, you do wrong your hand too much, Which mannerly devotion shows in this; For saints have hands that pilgrims' hands do touch, And palm to palm is holy palmers' kiss.
3 rd quatrain ROMEO Have not saints lips, and holy palmers too? JULIET Ay, pilgrim, lips that they must use in prayer. ROMEO O, then, dear saint, let lips do what hands do; They pray, grant thou, lest faith turn to despair.
Rhymed couplet JULIET Saints do not move, though grant for prayers' sake. ROMEO Then move not, while my prayer's effect I take.
The scene continues with an added quatrain ROMEO Thus from my lips, by yours, my sin is purged. JULIET Then have my lips the sin that they have took. ROMEO Sin from thy lips? O trespass sweetly urged! Give me my sin again. JULIET You kiss by the book.
Shakespeare’s rhetoric Shakespeare lived in an age when rhetoric was at the heart of the educational system
Persuasive arguments were divided into three parts 1. Proposition or statement of an idea 2. Exploration or development of the idea 3. Conclusive proof The kissing scene from Romeo and Juliet and most of the sonnets follow this structure.
R&J (I.V) continued The scene also explores a CONCEIT, or extended metaphor....in this case allusions with strong religious connotations Single figures of speech are called TROPES The scene juxtaposes religious elements against erotic meanings
His plays use many verse forms and prose Ferdinand to Miranda in The Tempest (3.1) displays a maturity not present in Romeo and Juliet Full many a lady I have eyed with best regard and many a time The harmony of their tongues hath into bondage Brought my too diligent ear: for several virtues Have I liked several women; never any With so fun soul, but some defect in her Did quarrel with the noblest grace she owed And put it to the foil: but you, O you, So perfect and so peerless, are created Of every creature's best!
Antithesis Drama is all about conflict and in such rhetorical use of antithesis, Shakespeare discovers a way to reflect the conflicts of his story in the figural language of his characters In his teaching and actor training, British director John Barton admonishes his actors to “look for the antitheses and play them” when acting Shakespeare
Examples from R&J JULIET (1.5.139) My only love sprung from my only hate! FRIAR LAWRENCE (2.3.27-30) Two such opposed kings encamp them still In man as well as herbs, grace and rude will; And where the worser is predominant, Full soon the canker death eats up that plant.
Breaking the norm of iambic pentameter for dramatic effect HENRY V (Prologue) O for a Muse of fire, that would ascend The brightest heaven of invention, A kingdom for a stage, princes to act And monarchs to behold the swelling scene! Then should the warlike Harry, like himself, Assume the port of Mars; and at his heels, Leash'd in like hounds, should famine, sword and fire Crouch for employment. But pardon, and gentles all, The flat unraised spirits that have dared On this unworthy scaffold to bring forth So great an object: can this cockpit hold The vasty fields of France? or may we cram Within this wooden O the very casques That did affright the air at Agincourt?
O, pardon! since a crooked figure may Attest in little place a million; And let us, ciphers to this great accompt, On your imaginary forces work. Suppose within the girdle of these walls Are now confined two mighty monarchies, Whose high upreared and abutting fronts The perilous narrow ocean parts asunder: Piece out our imperfections with your thoughts; Into a thousand parts divide on man, And make imaginary puissance;
Think when we talk of horses, that you see them Printing their proud hoofs i' the receiving earth; For 'tis your thoughts that now must deck our kings, Carry them here and there; jumping o'er times, Turning the accomplishment of many years Into an hour-glass: for the which supply, Admit me Chorus to this history; Who prologue-like your humble patience pray, Gently to hear, kindly to judge, our play.
The decisions as to which words to stress are for the actor to work out in rehearsal, but hints are present in the text. In addition to blank verse, Shakespeare and his contemporaries used a variety of writing styles including rhymed verse, couplets and prose. Songs invariably stand apart from the dialogue.
Prose and poetry He uses everyday speech to draw distinctions between characters and to suggest variations in tone. Prose is generally the vehicle for the speeches of commoners like the gravediggers in Hamlet.
Inverted word order Chorus in Henry V: “let us on your imaginary forces worked.” Sometimes adjectives follow nouns “adders fanged” Double negatives “not never” Double superlatives “most best”
Modern English Contemporary British speech is less-suited to speaking Shakespeare than the “rougher” dialects found in America and Australia. Thus, American English is closer to Elizabethan speech than Received English.