Presentation on theme: "1558 - 1616 All the world's a stage, And all the men and women merely players; They have their exits and their entrances, And one man in his time plays."— Presentation transcript:
All the world's a stage, And all the men and women merely players; They have their exits and their entrances, And one man in his time plays many parts, His acts being seven ages. Jacques, from As You Like It, Act 2, scene 7,
The Reasons Behind Shakespeare's Influence and Popularity Ben Jonson anticipated Shakespeare’s dazzling future when he declared, "He was not of an age, but for all time!” While most people know that Shakespeare is, in fact, the most popular dramatist and poet the Western world has ever produced. Here is why Shakespeare is so important....
Illumination of the Human Experience Shakespeare’s ability to summarize the range of human emotions in simple yet profoundly eloquent verse is perhaps the greatest reason for his enduring popularity. If you cannot find words to express how you feel about love or music or growing older, Shakespeare can speak for you. No author in the Western world has penned more beloved passages.
Great Stories William Shakespeare was the most remarkable storyteller that the world has ever known. Homer told of adventure and men at war, Sophocles and Tolstoy told of tragedies and of people in trouble. Terence and Mark Twain told cosmic stories, Dickens told melodramatic ones, Plutarch told histories and Hand Christian Andersen told fairy tales. But Shakespeare told every kind of story – comedy, tragedy, history, melodrama, adventure, love stories and fairy tales – and each of them so well that they have become immortal. In all the world of storytelling he has become the greatest name. Shakespeare's stories transcend time and culture. Modern storytellers continue to adapt Shakespeare’s tales to suit our modern world, whether it be the tale of Lear on a farm in Iowa, Romeo and Juliet on the mean streets of New York City, or Macbeth in feudal Japan. (Marchette Chute)
Compelling Characters Shakespeare invented his share of stock characters, but his truly great characters – particularly his tragic heroes – are unequalled in literature. Shakespeare’s great characters have remained popular because of their complexity; for example, we can see ourselves as gentle Hamlet, forced against his better nature to seek murderous revenge. For this reason Shakespeare is deeply admired by actors, and many consider playing a Shakespearean character to be the most difficult and most rewarding role possible.
Ability to Turn a Phrase Many of the common expressions now thought to be clichés were Shakespeare's creations. Chances are you use Shakespeare's expressions all the time even though you may not know it is the Bard you are quoting. You may think that fact is "neither here nor there", but that's "the short and the long of it." Bernard Levin said it best in the following quote about Shakespeare's impact on our language:
If you cannot understand my argument, and declare "It's Greek to me", you are quoting Shakespeare; if you claim to be more sinned against than sinning, you are quoting Shakespeare; if you recall your salad days, you are quoting Shakespeare; if you act more in sorrow than in anger, if your wish is father to the thought, if your lost property has vanished into thin air, you are quoting Shakespeare; if you have ever refused to budge an inch or suffered from green-eyed jealousy, if you have played fast and loose, if you have been tongue- tied, a tower of strength, hoodwinked or in a pickle, if you have knitted your brows, made a virtue of necessity, insisted on fair play, slept not one wink, stood on ceremony, danced attendance (on your lord and master), laughed yourself into stitches, had short shrift, cold comfort or too much of a good thing, if you have seen better days or lived in a fool's paradise - why, be that as it may, the more fool you, for it is a foregone conclusion that you are (as good luck would have it) quoting Shakespeare;
if you think it is early days and clear out bag and baggage, if you think it is high time and that that is the long and short of it, if you believe that the game is up and that truth will out even if it involves your own flesh and blood, if you lie low till the crack of doom because you suspect foul play, if you have your teeth set on edge (at one fell swoop) without rhyme or reason, then - to give the devil his due - if the truth were known (for surely you have a tongue in your head) you are quoting Shakespeare; even if you bid me good riddance and send me packing, if you wish I were dead as a door- nail, if you think I am an eyesore, a laughing stock, the devil incarnate, a stony-hearted villain, bloody- minded or a blinking idiot, then - by Jove! O Lord! Tut, tut! for goodness' sake! what the dickens! but me no buts - it is all one to me, for you are quoting Shakespeare. (Bernard Levin, The Story of English)
The Bard The Bard was the nickname/title given to Shakespeare. A bard was a professional poet in medieval and Gaelic cultures. Shakespeare is known as “THE Bard.” Simply put, there has never been a greater playwright either before nor after the great and immortal William Shakespeare.
Tragedies Antony and Cleopatra -The story of Mark Antony, Roman military leader and triumvir, who is madly in love with Cleopatra, Queen of Egypt. Coriolanus -The last of Shakespeare's great political tragedies, chronicling the life of the mighty warrior Caius Marcius Coriolanus. Hamlet -Since its first recorded production, Hamlet has engrossed playgoers, thrilled readers, and challenged actors more so than any other play in the Western canon. No other single work of fiction has produced more commonly used expressions. Julius Caesar - Although there were earlier Elizabethan plays on the subject of Julius Caesar and his turbulent rule, Shakespeare's penetrating study of political life in ancient Rome is the only version to recount the demise of Brutus and the other conspirators. King Lear - The story of King Lear, an aging monarch who decides to divide his kingdom amongst his three daughters, according to which one recites the best declaration of love. Macbeth- Macbeth is one of Shakespeare's most stimulating and popular dramas. Renaissance records of Shakespeare's plays in performance are scarce, but a detailed account of an original production of Macbeth has survived, thanks to Dr. Simon Forman. Othello -Othello, a valiant Moorish general in the service of Venice, falls prey to the devious schemes of his false friend, Iago. Romeo and Juliet- Celebrated for the radiance of its lyric poetry, Romeo and Juliet was tremendously popular from its first performance. The sweet whispers shared by young Tudor lovers throughout the realm were often referred to as "naught but pure Romeo and Juliet." Timon of Athens -Written late in Shakespeare's career, Timon of Athens is often criticized as an underdeveloped tragedy. Read the play and see if you agree. Titus Andronicus -A sordid tale of revenge and political turmoil, overflowing with bloodshed and unthinkable brutality.
Scenes from Romeo and Juliet & a modernized Hamlet
Histories Henry IV Part I - One of Shakespeare's most popular plays, featuring the opportunistic miscreant, Sir John Falstaff. Henry IV, Part II - This is the third play in the second tetralogy of history plays - the others being Richard II, Henry IV, Part 1, and Henry V. Henry V - Henry V is the last in the second tetralogy sequence. King Henry is considered Shakespeare's ideal monarch. Henry VI, Part I - The first in Shakespeare's trilogy about the War of the Roses between the houses of Lancaster and York. Henry VI, Part II - Part two of Shakespeare's chronicle play, first performed between Henry VI, Part III - Part three begins in medias res, with the duke of Suffolk dead and the duke of York being named Henry VI's heir. Henry VIII - Many believe Henry VIII to be Shakespeare's last play, but others firmly believe that the Bard had little, if anything, to do with its creation. King John - In the shadow of Shakespeare’s second tetralogy of history plays lies the neglected masterpiece, King John. Although seldom read or performed today, King John was once one of Shakespeare's most popular histories, praised for its poetic brilliance. Richard II - More so than Shakespeare's earlier history plays, Richard II is notable for its well- rounded characters. Richard III - The devious machinations of the deformed villain, Richard, duke of Gloucester, made this play an Elizabethan favorite.
Scenes from Henry V and Richard II
Queen Elizabeth, King James I of England, and the Earl of South Hampden were patrons of Shakespeare. They would commission him to write and prepare plays sometimes on the historic topic of their choosing. The Royal support ensured Shakespeare appreciation and prominence.
Comedies All's Well That Ends Well - Modern scholars contend that this is a 'problem' play, due primarily to the character Helena and her ambiguous nature. Is she a virtuous lady or a crafty temptress? As You Like It - As You Like It is considered by many to be one of Shakespeare's greatest comedies, and the heroine, Rosalind, is praised as one of his most inspiring characters. The Comedy of Errors - This is Shakespeare's shortest play, which he based on Menaechmi by Plautus. Cymbeline - This play, modeled after Boccaccio's Decameron, is often classified as a romance. It features the beautiful Imogen, considered by many to be Shakespeare's most admirable female character. Love's Labours Lost - Love's Labours Lost fell out of favor for many years, criticized by scholars as muddled and confusing. But the play is making a comeback, and Kenneth Branagh's version has helped it along. Measure for Measure - Considered a "dark" comedy, Measure for Measure was inspired by Cinthio's Epitia and Whetstone's Promos and Cassandra. The Merry Wives of Windsor - The Merry Wives is unique amongst Shakespeare's plays because it is set in Shakespeare's England. It features the Bard's beloved character, Falstaff. The Merchant of Venice - The character of Shylock has raised a debate over whether the play should be condemned as anti-Semitic, and this controversy has overshadowed many other aspects of the play.
Scenes from Taming of the Shrew and A Mid Summer’s Night Dream
More Comedies A Midsummer Night's Dream - A magical exploration of the mysteries of love, and one of Shakespeare's best-known comedies. Much Ado About Nothing - The story of two very different sets of lovers, Beatrice and Benedick and Claudio and Hero. The witty banter between Beatrice and Benedick is the highlight of the play. Pericles, Prince of Tyre - Although the first half of the play is considered inadequate, Pericles is ripe with imagery and symbolism. The Taming of the Shrew - The Taming of the Shrew revolves around the troubled relationship between Katharina and her suitor, Petruchio, who is determined to mold Katharina into a suitable wife. The Tempest - Hailed as a stunning climax to the career of England’s favorite dramatist, The Tempest is a play praising the glories of reconciliation and forgiveness. Some believe that Prospero’s final speeches signify Shakespeare’s personal adieu from the stage. Troilus and Cressida - Troilus and Cressida is difficult to categorize because it lacks elements vital to both comedies and tragedies. But, for now, it is classified as a comedy. Twelfth Night - Shakespeare loved to use the device of mistaken identity, and nowhere does he use this convention more skillfully than in Twelfth Night. Two Gentlemen of Verona - The tale of two friends who travel to Milan and learn about the chaotic world of courting. The Winter's Tale - The Winter's Tale is considered a romantic comedy, but tragic elements are interwoven throughout the play. First produced at the Globe around 1610, it is one of Shakespeare's final plays.
Shakespeare’s birthdate is not known, as records were not kept as they are today. It is believed that Shakespeare was born on April 23, 1564 in Stratford England. Baptisms were often the only record- Shakespeare’s was April 26, 1564 Shakespeare was married to Anne Hatheway in November His first child Susanna was born in May His twins Hamnet and Judith. Hamnet died when he was 11. Shakespeare died 1616
His gravestone bears an epitaph which Shakespeare himself supposedly wrote. It warns: Good friend for Jesus sake forbeare, To dig the dust enclosed here. Blessed be the man that spares these stones, And cursed be he that moves my bones.
I am not mad; too well, too well I feel The different plague of each calamity.... I tore them from their bonds and cried aloud 'O that these hands could so redeem my son, As they have given these hairs their liberty!' But now I envy at their liberty, And will again commit them to their bonds, Because my poor child is a prisoner. And, father cardinal, I have heard you say That we shall see and know our friends in heaven: If that be true, I shall see my boy again; For since the birth of Cain, the first male child, To him that did but yesterday suspire, There was not such a gracious creature born. But now will canker-sorrow eat my bud And chase the native beauty from his cheek And he will look as hollow as a ghost, As dim and meagre as an ague's fit, And so he'll die; and, rising so again, When I shall meet him in the court of heaven I shall not know him: therefore never, never Must I behold my pretty Arthur more.
A view of what the Globe theatre might have looked like from the audience’s view.
Shakespeare Online- February 27, Mabillard, Amanda. William Shakespeare of Stratford: Shakespeare's Birth Shakespeare Online. 20 Aug (date when you accessed the information). References Bentley, Gerald Eades. Shakespeare: A Biographical Handbook. New Haven: Yale UP, Brooke, Tucker. Shakespeare of Stratford. New Haven: Yale UP, Burgess, Anthony. Shakespeare. London: Jonathan Cape, Kay, Dennis. Shakespeare. New York: William Morrow, Inc., Levi, Peter. The Life and Times of William Shakespeare. London: Macmillan, Rowse, A.L. Shakespeare the Man. London: Macmillan, Speaight, Robert. Shakespeare: The Man and his Achievement. New York: Stein and Day, Brown, Henry. Shakespeare's patrons & other essays. London: J. M. Dent & sons, Shakespeare Online. 20 Aug (date when you accessed the information).