Shakespeare’s World Lived in England during the Renaissance. The Renaissance was a renewal of interest in individual human achievement and in life. Elizabeth I became Queen of England and supported all of the arts; therefore, notable writers emerged, and by the end of the 16 th century, London had more theaters than any other city in Europe.
Shakespeare’s Theater From the early 1590s, Shakespeare was affiliated with the Lord Chamberlain’s Men theater company. Shakespeare wrote the company’s plays, was part owner, and performed occasionally as an actor. In 1599, he became part owner of the Globe Theater. All classes of theatergoers enjoyed his plays because they included something for everyone.
Performances were given during the day in warmer weather. The stage had no scenery. The dialogue told the audience where a scene was taking place. Productions were by no means drab. Costumes could be quite ornate. Props such as swords, shields, and swirling banners added to the colorful display. Sound effects behind the stage
The most important element of a tragic drama was the unique experience of CATHARSIS, the arousing of the specific emotions of pity and fear so as to dispel or purge them in the spectator. This is tragedy defined by its emotional effect on the audience.
Ideal Plot A. One plot whose action extends over no more than a day or two and occurs in no more than one city and its surrounding countryside. This is the unity of time, place and action. According to Aristotle, this produced a stronger emotional response.
Ideal Plot B. A plot structured on principles which strengthen the emotions of “pity” and fear.” These principles are… 1. Reversal (Or change of fortune) Simple: character experiences a turn of fortune from happiness to misery or vice versa. Complex: the hero, seeking happiness, brings about his own destruction. (ironic reversal)
Ideal Plot 2. Discovery (or recognition) a. of someone’s identity or true nature b. of one’s own identity or true character c. of the nature of the gods and the universe 3. The ideal climax, turning point, combines ironic reversal and discovery in a single action.
Tragic Hero’s Characteristics The hero must be of noble blood. This provides the story with dignity. It also generates the feeling in the audience that if tragedy can happen to the advanced, it can happen to anyone. This is an example of how tragedy produces “fear.” Initially, the hero must be neither better or worse morally than most people. This produces “fear” because the hero is imperfect like us, and we can identify with him. It also produces “pity” because if the hero were perfect or totally good, we would be outraged by his fate. If he were completely evil, we would feel like he had gotten what he deserved.
Tragic Hero’s Characteristics Continued The tragic hero meets his fate because of a “tragic flaw.” The tragic flaw is not a defect in character, but an error in judgment of the kind we all make. Since we all make mistakes, this generates “fear” in that we recognize our own potential for tragedy by committing the same errors. It also generates “pity” because we do not blame the hero for his tragic fate.
Catharsis, or Purgation A. “Pity” is aroused for the hero as he meets his fate. B. “Fear” is aroused since we may meet a similar fate as the hero. C. These two emotions are dispelled eventually. We sympathize with the hero and his tragic circumstances, but we are not overcome with pity or fear for him. We learn a lesson from the story, our pity and fear disappear, and that is a cathartic experience.
a play that traces the main character’s downfall Shakespearean Tragedy a play that traces the main character’s downfall
Tragic Hero He must be of high rank. Exhibits extraordinary talents Displays a tragic flaw that leads to his downfall Faces downfall with courage and dignity
Tragic Flaw The flaw often takes the form of obsession. The Abnormal, The Supernatural, Fate/Fortune/Chance Shakespeare occasionally represents abnormal conditions of the mind. Shakespeare introduces the supernatural. Shakespeare, in most tragedies, allows “chance” in some form to influence some of the action.
The Tragic “Story” PLOT Shakespearean plays do not all occur in a day or two. Many plays give the assumption that they do. The tragic story leads up to, and includes, the death of the hero. The suffering and calamities that befall the hero are unusual and exceptionally disastrous.
The Tragic “Story” Continued PLOT The calamities of tragedy proceed mainly from men’s actions. The hero recognizes his own responsibility for the calamity too late to prevent his own death. The tragic hero faces downfall with courage and dignity.
Tragic Conflicts The action of the tragic hero is most often motivated by external or internal conflicts, which lead to complications from which further conflicts arise. This drives the action toward a tragic resolution.
AristotleShakespeare Classic definition: 1. Unity of time/ place 2. Hero must be of great stature 3. Hero’s fall is due to a flaw in his nature 4. Must produce catharsis Renaissance = rebirth of classics 1. Writers modeled their works on classic works but wanted to make them better. 2. They modified Aristotle’s 1 and kept 2, 3, and 4 the same.
Julius Caesar He was a Roman general and politician who lived from about 100 to 44 B.C. He was known as one of the greatest military leaders in Roman history; he conquered most of Gaul, a land that covered the areas now known as France and Belgium. He also brought Roman civilization to the island that eventually came to be Britain and later led his army in a takeover of Egypt.
Julius Caesar Triumvirate Board of commission in ancient Rome, composed of three men (Trimviri) 1 st Triumvirate made in 60 B.C. Pompey the Great, Julius Caesar, and Marcus Crassus designed to carry out schemes against the Senate. 2 nd Triumvirate: Octavian (Augustus), Mark Antony, and Marcus Lepidus
Julius Caesar Power Play While Caesar was in Gaul (~56 B.C.), his agents (Tribunes) attempted to dominate politics in Rome. Caesar threatened Pompey’s position, causing tension between them. In 53 B.C., Crassus was killed, destroying the buffer between the other two.
Julius Caesar The Senate (goaded by Pompey) called for Caesar’s resignation and dissolution of his army, lest he be considered a public enemy. The tribunes (Caesar’s agents) vetoed this motion…CIVIL WAR Caesar returns to Rome as dictator.
Julius Caesar Caesarian Reforms Eliminated the highly corrupt tax system. Sponsored colonies of veterans, extended Roman citizenship. Reconstituted the courts. Increased the number of senators. Reformed the calendar, giving Rome a rational means of recording time.
Julius Caesar Threats A number of senatorial families felt that Caesar threatened their position, and they feared that he would become a rex (king), a title the Republicans hated. In 44 B.C., an assassination plot was hatched by senators, including Gaius Cassius and Marcus Junius Brutus. On March 15, 44 B.C., when Caesar entered the senate house, they killed him.
Julius Caesar The Cast of Characters Cassius: Roman general, conspirator Fought against Caesar in the civil war, under Pompey. One of the leaders of the assassination conspiracy Raised an army to fight Caesar’s commander in chief, Mark Antony. After being defeated in battle, committed suicide to avoid captivity.
Julius Caesar The Cast of Characters Continued Brutus: Roman political leader Supported Pompey in the civil war. Pardoned and taken into Caesar’s favor. Conspirator Joined Cassius’ army against Mark Anthony. After being defeated in battle (20 days after Cassius), committed suicide.
Julius Caesar The Cast of Characters Continued Mark Anthony: Roman statesman and general Defeated the assassins of Julius Caesar. Formed the Second Triumvirate with Octavius and Lepidus. After fleeing to Egypt with his lover Cleopatra and being defeated, he fell on his sword, killing himself due to a false report of Cleopatra's suicide.