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William Shakespeare A brief biography. Shakespeare’s Parents Father: John Shakespeare. Born a peasant (lower-class) he rose to the upper-middle class.

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Presentation on theme: "William Shakespeare A brief biography. Shakespeare’s Parents Father: John Shakespeare. Born a peasant (lower-class) he rose to the upper-middle class."— Presentation transcript:

1 William Shakespeare A brief biography

2 Shakespeare’s Parents Father: John Shakespeare. Born a peasant (lower-class) he rose to the upper-middle class in his profession as a glovemaker. Became mayor of Stratford in Father: John Shakespeare. Born a peasant (lower-class) he rose to the upper-middle class in his profession as a glovemaker. Became mayor of Stratford in Mother: Mary (nee Arden) somewhat wealthy heiress Mother: Mary (nee Arden) somewhat wealthy heiress

3 Shakespeare’s Birth Born in April Born in April Christened on April 26 th, 1564 Christened on April 26 th, 1564 Exact birthdate uncertain: christenings were often four or five days after birth Exact birthdate uncertain: christenings were often four or five days after birth Traditionally, Shakespeare’s birthday is recorded as April 23 rd, 1564 for two reasons: it is also St. George’s Day (a major English holiday) and it is also the day Shakespeare died. Traditionally, Shakespeare’s birthday is recorded as April 23 rd, 1564 for two reasons: it is also St. George’s Day (a major English holiday) and it is also the day Shakespeare died.

4 Shakespeare’s Siblings Joan I (older sister, died by 1569) Joan I (older sister, died by 1569) Margaret (older sister, died before William was born) Margaret (older sister, died before William was born) Gilbert (younger brother born 1566) Gilbert (younger brother born 1566) Joan II (younger sister born 1569) Joan II (younger sister born 1569) Anne (younger sister born 1571, died 1579) Anne (younger sister born 1571, died 1579) Richard (younger brother born 1574) Richard (younger brother born 1574) Edmund (younger brother born 1580) Edmund (younger brother born 1580)

5 Shakespeare’s Youth Probably saw plays when they came to his town when he was 5, 10, 12,13, 16, 17, and 18. Probably saw plays when they came to his town when he was 5, 10, 12,13, 16, 17, and 18. At 15, Shakespeare’s father was in financial trouble. At 15, Shakespeare’s father was in financial trouble. During late summer of 1582 (Shakespeare was 17) Shakespeare was in love with Anne Hathaway – a woman years old. During late summer of 1582 (Shakespeare was 17) Shakespeare was in love with Anne Hathaway – a woman years old.

6 Shakespeare’s Marriage Marriage license issued November 27, Marriage license issued November 27, Advent began fourth Sunday before Christmas – no marriages permitted during this time. Advent began fourth Sunday before Christmas – no marriages permitted during this time. February-March period also a no-marriage period. February-March period also a no-marriage period. First child (Susanna) baptized May 26, 1583 First child (Susanna) baptized May 26, 1583

7 Shakespeare’s Children Susanna (baptized May 26 th, 1583) Susanna (baptized May 26 th, 1583) Twins Hamnet (boy) and Judith (girl) born in 1585, named after family friends. Twins Hamnet (boy) and Judith (girl) born in 1585, named after family friends. Hamnet died at nine, in August of Hamnet died at nine, in August of 1594.

8 Shakespeare’s Work Plays: 37 total, divided by modern scholars into comedy, tragedy, history Plays: 37 total, divided by modern scholars into comedy, tragedy, history Sonnets: 154 Sonnets: 154

9 Elizabethan Theater Some permanent playhouses Some permanent playhouses Some improvised, traveling stages set up in inn courtyards or other open spaces Some improvised, traveling stages set up in inn courtyards or other open spaces Not generally popular among church Not generally popular among church Plagues would periodically shut down all theaters Plagues would periodically shut down all theaters

10 Elizabethan Theater Usually round Usually round Open area in front of stage had no seats and was open to the air – cheapest admittance; those in this area were called “groundlings” Open area in front of stage had no seats and was open to the air – cheapest admittance; those in this area were called “groundlings” Usually triple-level gallery around outside – top level for theater storage Usually triple-level gallery around outside – top level for theater storage Stage was elevated with area underneath Stage was elevated with area underneath

11 Theater Terms Act : major divisions in a play. All Shakespearian plays have 5 acts. Act : major divisions in a play. All Shakespearian plays have 5 acts. Scene : smaller division in play. There is no time or location change within a scene Scene : smaller division in play. There is no time or location change within a scene Line : a single printed line of text Line : a single printed line of text Aside : a speech spoken to just the audience – other characters onstage cannot hear it Aside : a speech spoken to just the audience – other characters onstage cannot hear it Soliloquy: a speech delivered alone on stage, revealing a character’s thoughts Soliloquy: a speech delivered alone on stage, revealing a character’s thoughts

12 Interesting Elizabethan Theater Facts ALL roles were played by males ALL roles were played by males Women were strongly discouraged from attending plays Women were strongly discouraged from attending plays Special visual and sound effects were employed Special visual and sound effects were employed There was no opening and closing of a curtain, nor were there set changes There was no opening and closing of a curtain, nor were there set changes

13 Interesting Elizabethan Theater Facts Groundlings showed their pleasure or displeasure forcefully, and often participated Groundlings showed their pleasure or displeasure forcefully, and often participated No marriages were allowed to be simulated on stage No marriages were allowed to be simulated on stage Many plays featured musical numbers Many plays featured musical numbers Idle young men of high birth who regularly attended plays were known as “Playboys.” Idle young men of high birth who regularly attended plays were known as “Playboys.”

14 Shakespearian Sonnet 14 lines long 14 lines long Strict rhyme scheme: ABABCDCDEFEFGG Strict rhyme scheme: ABABCDCDEFEFGG Strict iambic pentameter metric form Strict iambic pentameter metric form Usually written in “3+1” form: Usually written in “3+1” form: Each set of four lines advanced the sonnet in a particular way Each set of four lines advanced the sonnet in a particular way The last heroic couplet reversed or qualified the progress of the first 12 lines The last heroic couplet reversed or qualified the progress of the first 12 lines


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