Presentation on theme: "Elizabethan Drama What is a tragedy?"— Presentation transcript:
1 Elizabethan Drama What is a tragedy? Why do people write/watch tragedies?
2 A Movement from Religious to Secular within the Theatre Previously, most of the drama done was in the church in order to help educate the people about their religionCycle plays were used to reenact historyCreation by GodHuman’s fall to SatanLife during the Old Testament timesRedemption by ChristFinal judgment at the end of the worldIn the 14th century the plays began to move out into the town courtyards where they began to take on a more secular tone
3 What is going on with Theatre? Miracle and mystery playsUsed to teach stories from the BibleMoralitiesUsed to show people how they should live and dieInterludeOne-act playsSome used the framework of the MoralitiesOther were written for entertainment and could be quite farcical
4 Writing and Developing Plays Scholars and writers were viewing the world with a more humanistic view (they were no longer focusing all their attention on studying of the divine)Though the views were more humanistic medieval practices and conventions dominated English theatre through most of the 16th centuryPlaywrights were constantly intertwining secular and ecclesiastical storiesMixed both comic and seriousMany bloody plots were used during this timeKing Henry VIII created the Church of England and the secular writing was more common
5 Tragedy and Tragic Heroes Elizabethan Tragedy- a dramatic form in which a character of high rank is involved in a struggle that ends in disasterElizabethan Tragic Hero- main character with a tragic flaw (usually excessive ambition, pride, jealousy, or some other human frailty—How is this different than a Greek TH?)Catharsis – purging of emotion, usually pity or fearFatal Flaw (Hamartia or Tragic Flaw) – a fatal weakness in the character that causes this person to become enmeshed in events that lead to his or her downfallHubris – excessive pride or self-confidence
6 MeterIambic Pentameter- five sets of an unstressed syllable followed by a stressed syllable (dun-DUN)(Shall I comPARE thee TO a SUMmer’s DAY?)Blank Verse- unrhymed poetry written in iambic pentameter. Usually spoken by the noble characters, or when someone is being very serious.
7 Words, Words, WordsSoliloquy- longer speech in which a character—usually alone on stage—speaks as if to him/herselfMonologue- a long uninterrupted speech by one character that others can hearAside- a brief comment a character makes to reveal his/her thoughts to the audience or to one other character
8 Shakespeare on StagePublic theater: roofless courtyards (daylight only)Globe Theater (reconstructed)No scenery; barest minimum of furnitureDescribed in dialogueElaborate costumesScenes occurred rapidly: colorful, fast-paced; about two hours
9 Other Facts:Like Greece, only men and boys acted on the Elizabethan stage (it was considered “immoral” for women to act!)Elizabethan playwrights (especially Shakespeare) broke the Greek Tragedy “rules” of time, place, and actionViolence could be shown on stage—and it was!
10 Elizabethan Theaters They were round and open to the air Higher-class people sat along the sides in seatsThe lower classes stood on the ground in front of the stage (groundlings)There were costumes, but no elaborate sets
11 The expensive seatsBalconyGroundlingsThe StageThe Globe Theater, London