Presentation on theme: "Elizabethan Theater Your Need to Knows. The Globe Theater -Admission = one penny to stand, two pennies to sit. - Commoners stood. Only aristocrats occupied."— Presentation transcript:
The Globe Theater -Admission = one penny to stand, two pennies to sit. - Commoners stood. Only aristocrats occupied benches. - Nobles often sat on stage as a tribute their rank. -A flying flag from the roof notified people of a play. (Think Krispy Kreme) -The Globe was a wooden structure with 8 sides.
Actors and Costumes -Casts were usually made up of 25-30 players. -Actors didn’t receive complete scripts and there was no director’s language (stage directions) in the plays. -Costumes were not as elaborate as costumes we think of today. The words of the actor had to serve to realistically describe his costume, and the time and place in which it should be imagined. For example, the following lines are from Macbeth : Let's briefly put on manly readiness, / And meet i' the hall together" (2.3.133-134) Let's briefly put on manly readiness, / And meet i' the hall together" (2.3.133-134)
Language of the Plays Language was very important. In addition to clothing-specific words in plays, scenery was also something that language communicated instead of elaborate sets. The following scene-specific lines are from Macbeth : “This castle hath a pleasant seat; the air/ Nimbly and sweetly recommends itself/ Unto our gentle senses”
Timing/Language of the Elizabethan play -Plays typically lasted 2.5 hours. -There were no acts, but there were frequent intermissions. -Scenes had to flow smoothly from one to another. -There were no stage curtains (in the modern sense). One scene blended into another without a curtain being raised or lowered. You had to constantly listen to the language for clues about where one scene would end and another would begin.
Timing/Language of Elizabethan play Cont’d -To help the audience, the ends of scenes were often indicated by rhyme tags, rhyme-tags (rhyme-tag, a word or phrase used primarily to produce a rhyme.) or a change of characters. -Look at the following example from Macbeth : “Fair is foul, and foul is fair. Hover through the fog and filthy air.”
Other Language -The location of characters while they were speaking is critical to the understanding of a Shakespearean play. -The following types of speaking were used to show that characters were either speaking alone or with others: Aside : a medieval concept; they were not a character’s thoughts, but rather, a character intentionally speaking to the audience. Character in an aside If there are other characters present during an aside, they “don’t hear.”
Language, cont’d Soliloquy : a character is on stage alone and we hear him speaking out loud. What we are really hearing is the character’s inner voice. Usually, soliloquies are used when he is facing a dilemma and we are following him through his thought process.
Macbeth - Macbeth is a pivotal play in Shakespeare’s career. It was written between 1603 and 1606. -In 1603, after 45 years of ruling, Queen Elizabeth dies. She is succeeded by her cousin, James VI of Scotland, who becomes James I of England. He reigns until his death in 1625. -Why do you think this time period (1603-1606, between the end of Elizabeth's reign, and the beginning of James’s reign), was so significant for Shakespeare, and Macbeth specifically?
Macbeth, cont’d -For as much of a literary great as Shakespeare is, he did not create the storyline for Macbeth. He borrowed the plot of the play (which he did often) from a book called Chronicles of Scotland written by Raphael Holinshed. -Shakespeare made several changes to the play to appeal to the new king, James I, when it was likely performed for him at Hampton Court in 1606.
Organization of Acts Act I – (Exposition) – this provides the audience with everything critical to the background of the play: the setting, mood, antecedent action (what action happened before the play began), and introduction of characters. Act II – (Complication) – this is the part of the play which is the beginning of the real action. An obstacle arises for the main character. Act III – (Climax) – this is the turning point of the story, the play where the reader can foresee the outcome Act IV – (Falling Action) – this is where events steadily favor or oppose the main character. The playwright can’t disappoint the audience, though; he will either introduce a dramatic scene after the climax or show reactions of the main character with respect to what will happen to him Act V – (Denouement) – this is the final outcome and unraveling of events. There is death and there is a speech which concludes the action of the play.
FYI Macbeth was a Scottish figure who ruled from 1040 to 1057 Shakespeare drew heavily from Raphael Holinshed’s Chronicles of England, Scotland and Ireland Major alterations to the dramatics of the play center around the theme of kingship Macbeth was written and first performed in 1606 King James VI ruled in Scotland from 1567 to 1603, when Queen Elizabeth 1 named him King of England (King James I) on her death bed; having no male sons of her own to inherit the throne King James and Queen Elizabeth were relatives of each other James was a direct descendant of Banquo James was incredibly religious, having published the King James version of the Bible in 1611