Shakespeare Widely regarded as the greatest writer in English Literature
Shakespeare 1563-1616 Stratford-on-Avon, England wrote 37 plays about 154 sonnets started out as actor
Lesser-known Facts Teen father: married pregnant 26 year old Anne Hathaway when he was 18 Deadbeat dad: Left wife and children for stage career Father of twins Elizabethan rapper: uses rhythm and rhyme “Plagiarism” ?
Conditions in London BAD! Thames River: polluted with raw sewage Trees used for fuel Poverty
Personal hygiene/health Bathing considered dangerous Body odor strong Childhood diseases Children often died before 5 years Small Pox Bubonic Plague
Living Conditions No running water Chamber Pots Open Sewers Crowded
Clothes One set used all year long, rarely washed Underclothing slept in, infrequently changed Clothes handed down from rich to poor
The Globe Theater Built in 1599 For general public Roofless: might get wet! Across Thames No artificial lighting, limited sets
The Globe Theater Merchandise and refreshments attracted non playgoers to the market Thousands of people and no toilets! Sewage disposed of in Thames. Theatres closed during Bubonic Plague: disease spread via rats & fleas Color coded flags on day of performance -a black flag meant a tragedy, white a comedy, and red a history.
Spectators Wealthy got benches “Groundlings” (stinkards) stood in the “pit” for 1 penny All but wealthy were uneducated Women dressed as men to attend Much more interaction than today (threw rotten veggies)
Staging Areas Stage: platform extended into the pit Dressing & storage rooms in galleries behind & above stage Trap door: ghosts, smoke and other basic effects
Actors Only men and boys Young boys whose voices had not changed play women’s roles Would have been considered indecent for a woman to appear No kissing or hugging
Differences No scenery Settings: references in dialogue Elaborate costumes Plenty of props Fast-paced, colorful: 2 hours!
The Competition Bear-baiting Races Gambling Music Drinking/socializing Mental Hospitals Public executions
Elizabethan Words 1 An,and: If Anon: Soon Aye: Yes But: Except for E’en: Even E’er: Ever
Elizabethan Words 2 Haply: Perhaps Happy: Fortunate Hence: Away, from her Hie: Hurry Marry: Indeed
Elizabethan Words 3 Whence: Where Wilt: Will, will you Withal: In addition to Would: Wish
Monologue One person speaking on stage (may be other character on stage too)
Soliloquy Long speech expressing the thoughts of a character alone on stage.
Aside Words spoken, usually in an undertone not intended to be heard by all characters
Pun Shakespeare loved to use them!!! –Humorous use of a word with two meanings. Sometimes missed by the reader because of Elizabethan language
Tragedy (Shakespearean) Drama where the central character suffers disaster or great misfortune –Downfall results from: Fate Character flaw/Fatal flaw Combination of the two
Romeo and Juliet Written about 1595 A poem by Brooke 1562 Set in Verona, Italy Considered a tragedy West Side Story based on R&J Themes: Parental control, teenage rebellion, fate vs. free will