Presentation on theme: "Introduction to Shakespeare and A Midsummer Night’s Dream"— Presentation transcript:
1 Introduction to Shakespeare and A Midsummer Night’s Dream
2 William Shakespeare Born 1564, died 1616 Lived during the Renaissance (cultural “rebirth”)Patrons: Queen Elizabeth I, then King James ILeft family in Stratford-on-Avon & went to London to make a living as actor, poet, playwrightMarried Anne Hathaway and had 3 children: Susanna, Hamnet (died age 11) and JudithWrote 37 plays and over 150 sonnets (poems)
3 The Globe Theatre Built in 1599, burned down in 1613, rebuilt in 1614, closed in 1642by the Puritans.Shakespeare’s most famous playspremiered here.Built across the river from Londonproper - outside city limits.Open air, daytime performances.Flag flew on performance days.
4 Inside the Theater EVERYONE came, from nobles to “groundlings” People came to “hear” a playemphasis on languageNo curtainMinimal set and propsActing was not a respected professionMen played all partsRepertory - same group of actorsOthello: kSet up for Midsummer:
5 Genres and Conventions Types of playsComediesTragediesHistoriesStructure:Divided into five actsWritten mostly in verse (poetry)Minimal stage directions
6 Tragedies and Comedies TragedyComedyNamed after hero of high birth (royal or aristocratic)Hero has a tragic flawEnds in deathNo title characters, can be high or low bornMistaken identities, mixed up plans, chaosEnds in marriage
7 A Midsummer Night’s Dream was written c. 1594, early in Will’s career On “Midsummer Night” ….Fairies and sprites were especially powerfulPeople had especially vivid dreamsPeople were more susceptible to both love and insanity (perhaps because love was considered a form of insanity!)“Dream” could meanA fantasyA nightmareThe work of fairiesA way to work through problems
8 Four Groups of Characters RulersFour LoversMechanicals (Common Working Men)FairiesTheir lives intersect - chaos ensues.
9 Two Worlds Athens Ruled by Theseus Magic Forest Ruled by Fairies DaytimeOrderReasonLawSymmetryMagic ForestRuled by FairiesNighttimeChaosPassionAnarchyAsymmetry