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Shakespeare’s Effect on the English Language

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2 Shakespeare’s Effect on the English Language
12,000 words entered the language between 1500 and 1650 (about ½ of them still in use today) Shakespeare coined 2,035 words (Hamlet alone has 600 new words). A small sampling: Bloody, hurry, generous, impartial, road, critical, frugal, dwindle, extract, horrid, vast, excellent, eventful, assassination, lonely, suspicious, indistinguishable, well-read, zany, countless

3 Language Shakespeare’s phrases are now our clichés:
into thin air, in a pickle, budge an inch, cold comfort, flesh and blood, foul play, cruel to be kind, pomp and circumstance, catch a cold, heart of gold, method in his madness, too much of a good thing, break the ice, dead as a doornail, good riddance, love is blind, wear my heart upon my sleeve, wild-goose chase, the world's my oyster, for goodness' sake

4 Shakespeare’s Writing Style
Poetry vs. Prose Prose -form of language which applies ordinary grammatical structure and natural flow of speech rather than rhythmic structure See letter to Lady Macbeth (I.v) Shakespeare uses prose for 2 reasons: Lower status Familiar relationship

5 Iambic Pentameter The poetic form used by Shakespeare is
Iambic Pentameter: rhythmical pattern of syllables Iambic: rhythm goes from unstressed syllable to a stressed one. Rhythmic examples: “divine” “caress” “bizarre” Like a heartbeat: daDUM daDUM Each iamb is called a foot There are other rhythms. I.e., trochaic = DUMda Pentameter = the rhythm is repeated 5 times – each line is 10 syllables: daDUM daDUM daDUM daDUM daDUM The Prince of Cumberland! That is a step On which I must fall down, or else o’er-leap, For in my way it lies. Stars, hide your fires! Let not light see my black and deep desires. Shakespeare, will sometimes end iambic pentameter on an unstressed syllable, so that the last foot sounds like this: daDUMda. To be, or not to be, that is the question. Is this a dagger which I see before me

6 Blank Verse Blank Verse = unrhymed iambic pentameter
Used with “noble” characters Macbeth’s soliloquy Exceptions: Rhyming couplets often at the end of monologues/scenes, used for emphasis

7 Verse/Prose Averaging out all of Shakespeare’s plays, they were made up of about 70% blank verse, 5% rhymed verse, and 25% prose. Try this: THE WEIRD SISters, HAND in HAND, POSters OF the SEA and LAND, THUS do GO, aBOUT, aBOUT, THRICE to THINE, and THRICE to MINE, And THRICE aGAIN, to MAKE up NINE. PEACE! the CHARM'S WOUND UP (Act 1 Scene 3) Why would Shakespeare used a different meter for supernatural characters. Is the rhythm more chant-like? More spooky?

8 Elizabethan Age – Jacobean Age
Shakespeare gains his notoriety during a time when theatre is flourishing – the Elizabethan Age. Named after Queen Elizabeth I, who reigns until 1603. King James I reigns during the rest of Shakespeare’s life. Shakespeare writes Macbeth in 1606 to honor the King.

9 Elizabethan Age – Jacobean Age
Queen Elizabeth ( ) – Daughter of Henry VIII and Anne Boleyn. Protestant. The Virgin Queen. Takes throne from Mary I (aka Bloody Mary), a Catholic who executed Protestants in large numbers. Elizabeth I firmly establishes the Church of England (begun by her father)-Protestant England emerges as the leading naval and commercial power of the Western world. Elizabeth I's England consolidates its position with the defeat of the Spanish Armada in 1588. Elizabeth names James VI of Scotland to take the throne. Takes the crown as James I, and rules from

10 Elizabethan Age At this time, London was the heart of England, reflecting all the vibrant qualities of the Elizabethan Age. London became a leading center of culture as well as commerce. Its dramatists and poets were among the leading literary artists of the day. London in the 16th century underwent a transformation. Its population grew 400% from 1500 to 1600, swelling to nearly two hundred thousand people in the city proper and outlying region by the time an immigrant from Stratford came to town. A rising merchant middle class was carving out a productive livelihood, and the economy was booming.

11 Elizabethan Theatres Flowering of theatre. The Renaissance (rebirth) grew from England’s medieval theatre of mystery and morality plays with some stylistic infusion from educated men’s common reading of the Roman playwrights City authorities would often ban theatrical productions… gatherings encouraged crime. Theatres: The Theatre and The Curtain in North London; The Rose, the Swan, and The Globe (1599) in South London. Shakespeare ( )

12 Elizabethan Theatres Actors
Only men- crude atmosphere in the theatre(lots of drunks) Young kids played women roles They travelled around to perform In 6 Month, one company might give 150 performances with different plays/ one week to learn their text (about 800 Lines a day for leading roles!) The Building There was a dressing room, full of funny costumes. props weren’t used until the 1600’s round, (Wooden O) There were hardly any toilettes no or less roof, it could rain into the theatre 3000 people could fit The Stage trapdoor, they used it as a grave The stage consisted of 3 tears, Heaven (Balcony), Earth (Stage) and Hell (The place where the crowd was standing). When the play started there was a flag above the theatre: Black – Tragedy White- Comedy. Red – History.

13 The Globe Theatre The Globe Theatre was a theatre in London associated with William Shakespeare. It was built in 1599 by Shakespeare's playing company, the Lord Chamberlain's Men, and was destroyed by fire on June 29th 1613

14 Shakespeare’s Life Baptized on April 26, 1564. Died April 23, 1616
Married at the age of 18 to Anne Hathaway. A daughter, named Susanna, was baptized on May 26, 1583. On February 2, 1585, twins were baptized, Hamnet and Judith. (The boy Hamnet, Shakespeare's only son, died 11 years later.) Shakespeare leaves (around 1590?) family in Stratford to pursue acting in London.

15 Origins of Theatrical Career
Between 1585 and 1593…not much known It is not clear how his career in the theatre began; but from about 1594 onward he was an important member of the company of players known as the Lord Chamberlain’s Men(called the King's Men after the accession of James I in 1603). They had the best actor, Richard Burbage; they had the best theatre, the Glode; they had the best dramatist, Shakespeare.

16 37plays: Comedies; Tragedies; Histories; Romances
Henry VI, Part 1; Henry VI, Part 2; Henry VI, Part 3 Richard III, The Comedy of Errors Titus Andronicus, The Taming of the Shrew The Two Gentlemen of Verona, Love's Labour's Lost, Romeo and Juliet Richard II, A Midsummer Night's Dream King John, The Merchant of Venice Henry IV, Part 1; Henry IV, Part 2 Much Ado About Nothing c Henry V Julius Caesar, As You Like It Hamlet, The Merry Wives of Windsor Twelfth Night, Troilus and Cressida All's Well That Ends Well Measure For Measure, Othello King Lear, Macbeth Antony and Cleopatra Coriolanus, Timon of Athens Pericles Cymbeline The Winter's Tale c The Tempest Henry VIII, The Two Noble Kinsmen

17 Origins of the Play Witches
In 1591, 3 women from Forres were on trial in Scotland for using witchcraft in order to assassinate the King of Scotland – James. Court records show that James actually presided over the case. James wrote a book about witches in 1597 entitled Daemonologie, which discusses how witches operate and the extent of their power. The Gunpowder Plot An attempt to assassinate King James in 1605 – officials found a large amount of gunpowder in a basement below Parliament the day before he was to be there. Arrested for treason, Henry Garnet, a Jesuit, wrote A Treatise of Equivocation, which provided a justification for lying (a statement is not a lie if it could possibly be true from another perspective).

18 Motifs: any aspect of literature which recurs frequently(theme, image, character etc…)
Paradox “fair is foul,” “lost/won” “happy/not happy” “not great/greater” “father/fatherless” Clothing metaphors “borrowed robes,” “strange garments,” “lest our old robes sit easier than our new” Hiding true thoughts (deceit) Traitors, “There’s no art in finding the mind’s construction in the face.” “False face must hide what the false heart doth know.” “Look like the innocent flower but be the serpent underneath.” Nocturnal/dark animals Ravens, owls, snakes, wolf, scorpions, crickets, Child-bearing Blood Weather Sleeplessness Masculinity – what it means to be a man.

19 The Curse of Macbeth The story goes that the spells Shakespeare included in Macbeth were lifted from an authentic black-magic ritual and that their public display did not please the folks for whom these incantations were sacred. Therefore, they retaliated with a curse on the show and all its productions. ill luck set in with its very first performance. John Aubrey, left us with the report that a boy was to play Lady Macbeth at the play's opening on August 7, 1606 but died of a fever. In 1672, the actor in the title role used a real dagger for the scene in which he murders Duncan and done the deed for real. In 1942, three deaths in the cast -- the actor playing Duncan and two of the actresses playing the Weird Sisters -- and the suicide of the costume and set designer. In 1947, actor stabbed in the swordfight that ends the play and died as a result of his wounds. His ghost is said to haunt the Colliseum Theatre in Oldham, where the fatal blow was struck. Supposedly, his spirit appears on Thursdays, the day he was killed. In a production in St. Paul, Minnesota, the actor playing Macbeth dropped dead of heart failure during the first scene of Act III. In 1988, the Broadway production went through three directors, five Macduffs, six cast changes, six stage managers, two set designers, two lighting designers, 26 bouts of flu, torn ligaments, and groin injuries. In 1998, in the Off-Broadway production starring Alec Baldwin and Angela Bassett, Baldwin somehow sliced open the hand of his Macduff.

20 The Curse of Macbeth To many theatre people, the curse extends beyond productions of the play itself. Simply saying the name of the play in a theatre invites disaster. (You're free to say it all you want outside theatres; the curse doesn't apply.) The traditional way around this is to refer to the play by its nickname: "the Scottish Play.” To dispel the curse, the person who spoke the offending word must leave the room, turn around three times to the right, spit on the ground, then knock on the door of the room and ask for permission to re-enter it.

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