Presentation on theme: "William Shakespeare. What’s the big deal? Born in 1564, he was an English playwright, poet, actor, favorite dramatist of queens and kings, inventor of."— Presentation transcript:
What’s the big deal? Born in 1564, he was an English playwright, poet, actor, favorite dramatist of queens and kings, inventor of words, master of drama, and arguably the most famous writer of all time. His 36 plays and 154 sonnets left behind the evidence of a brilliant mind, a wicked sense of humor, a deep sensitivity to human emotions, and a rich classical education.
What do we know about the man? In the 400 or so years since Shakespeare died, there have been plenty of rumors about the Bard and the personal experiences that may have inspired his works. We don't know much about Shakespeare's inner world—he left behind no tell-all confessionals—but we know a lot about his outer world, and that is perhaps even more important to understanding his genius. Shakespeare came of age during the Renaissance, a flourishing of arts, culture, and thought that took place in the middle of the last millennium. All across Western Europe, ideas on everything from God to the nature of the universe were shifting. In England, it was a time of great literary and dramatic achievement, encouraged by Queen Elizabeth I and her successor James I. It was the perfect environment for a gifted dramatist to thrive.
What is a BARD? In medieval Gaelic and British culture a bard was a professional poet. THE BARD
What did he do for you? Shakespeare changed the English language, inventing dozens of new words we still use today. His plays have been translated into more than 80 other tongues. Diverse audiences all still recognize the timeless elements of the human experience as depicted by a young Englishman 400 years ago. GREED*LOVE*HATE*DECEPTION*JEALOUSY
Words Coined By Shakespeare The English language owes a great debt to Shakespeare. He invented over 1700 of our common words by changing nouns into verbs, changing verbs into adjectives, connecting words never before used together, adding prefixes and suffixes, and devising words wholly original. accused addiction advertising amazement arouse assassination backing bandit bedroom beached besmirch birthplace blanket bloodstained barefaced blushing bet bump buzzer caked cater champion circumstantial cold-blooded compromise courtship countless critic dauntless dawn deafening discontent dishearten drugged dwindle epileptic equivocal elbow excitement exposure eyeball fashionable fixture flawed frugal generous gloomy gossip green-eyed gust hint hobnob hurried impede impartial invulnerable jaded label lackluster laughable lonely lower luggage lustrous madcap majestic marketable metamorphize mimic monumental moonbeam mountaineer negotiate noiseless obscene obsequiously ode olympian outbreak panders pedant premeditated puking radiance rant remorseless savagery scuffle secure skim milk submerge summit swagger torture tranquil undress unreal varied vaulting worthless zany gnarled grovel
Shakespeare’s Birthplace William Shakespeare was born 23 April 1564 in Stratford-upon- Avon, an small English market town located about 100 miles northwest of London along the banks of the River Avon.
CHILDHOOD William's father, John Shakespeare, was a prominent local citizen who served as an alderman and bailiff (important roles in local government). His mother was Mary Arden Shakespeare. William was the fourth of the Shakespeare’s eight children, only five of whom survived to adulthood. By the age of four or five, young William Shakespeare was enrolled at the King's New School in Stratford, a grammar school run for the benefit of the sons (tough luck, daughters) of civil servants like John Shakespeare.
The Classical Education It's impossible to overstate how important this classical education was to Shakespeare's development as an author—and indeed, how important literature in general was to the development of Renaissance England. In continental Europe (particularly Italy), the Renaissance was a triumph of the visual arts—think of Leonardo da Vinci or Michelangelo or Raphael. England's Renaissance, however, was one of words. The advent of the printing press meant that more people had access to books than ever before. Classical texts were being translated and distributed at an unprecedented rate. Queen Elizabeth I and her successor, King James I, were both big fans and patrons of literature. Under their rule, writers like Shakespeare, Christopher Marlowe, Ben Jonson, Edmund Spenser, and John Milton were able to thrive. All of those men read the same books Shakespeare did while they were growing up. These classical texts formed the collective knowledge of a Renaissance audience.
Who did he marry? Anne Hathaway On 28 November 1582, the Bishop of Worcester issued a marriage license to "William Shagspere" and "Ann Hathwey." This confirmed the marriage of William Shakespeare, then 18 years old, and Anne Hathaway, the 26-year-old daughter of a local farmer. Later that year the couple baptized their daughter, Susanna. Two years later, Anne Hathaway gave birth to twins, a son named Hamnet and a daughter named Judith. No records exist of what Shakespeare was up to between 1585 and 1592, a period often referred to by Shakespeare scholars as the "Lost Years." Some early biographies speculated that he was forced to flee Stratford after he was caught poaching deer on a neighbor's property. Other theories hold that he was employed as a butcher, a teacher, or a clerk in a local attorney's office.
The Playwright Sometime during the Lost Years, Shakespeare moved to London to pursue a career as an actor and playwright (his wife and children stayed behind in Stratford). London was, by modern standards, a nasty, filthy, disgusting dump. Raw sewage ran in the streets. There was no way to get clean water. Public spaces closed down every few years while bubonic plague rolled through—the outbreak that shut down theaters in the late 1590s was considered a minor one, since only 5 percent of the city's population died. It was a coarse, rough place, but for a young Englishman in love with the stage, it was the only place to be.
He’s Famous In 1594, Shakespeare joined the Lord Chamberlain's Men, a theater troupe sponsored by a baron named Henry Carey, a.k.a. Lord Chamberlain. Shakespeare also purchased shares in the company, making him a manager and co-owner. Over the next few years, with Shakespeare as chief dramatist, the Chamberlain's Men became one of the most popular theater companies in London and a favorite of Queen Elizabeth.
The King’s Men Queen Elizabeth died in 1603, ending the Elizabethan era. Her successor, King James I was equally enamored of Shakespeare's troupe. The players changed their name to the King's Men and performed before the royal court a whopping eleven times in a single year. In 1608, the troupe moved their primary playing house from the Globe to the indoor Blackfriar’s Theatre in London. The golden age of the King's Men was coming to an end. During a 1613 performance of Henry VIII—possibly the premiere—disaster struck the Globe. Fireworks fired off to mark the king's entry on stage sparked the thatch roof, and the wooden Globe burned to the ground in less than an hour.
He’s Dead Sometime between 1610 and 1613, Shakespeare left London and moved back to Stratford, where his wife and married daughters had been living all the while. He had made his name and a successful career, and settled into a retirement that turned out to be rather short. By the spring of 1616, Shakespeare fell ill with some kind of illness; his precise ailment has been lost to history. On 23 April 1616, his 52nd birthday, William Shakespeare died. He was buried in Holy Trinity Church in Stratford, the same place he was baptized. As one final testament to his famous wit, he had his tombstone inscribed with a rather hilarious curse: "Good friend for Jesus sake forbear To dig the dust enclosed here! Blest be the man that spares these stones, And curst be he that moves my bones”
Cult of Shakespeare Thus began the Cult of Shakespeare. In the 400 years since his death, Shakespeare has been read, performed, translated and studied more than any other writer. Our understanding of the Bard's life story has undergone some changes over the years. Once all of the people who knew Shakespeare personally had died, a version of his life story circulated that was more myth than fact. Until the late 18th century, Shakespeare was rumored to have been a barely- literate genius son of a poor farmer who made his way to London and somehow produced his matchless body of work. Thanks to this unlikely biography, some scholars began to question whether William Shakespeare even wrote "Shakespeare's" plays in the first place. Several candidates have been put forth as possible "real" authors of Shakespeare's works, including Queen Elizabeth. Virtual Tour / Shakespeare's Globe
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