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Background Information. Perhaps the most famous playwright/ author in the world to this day Born 1564 (April 23 rd is celebrated as his birthday) Born.

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Presentation on theme: "Background Information. Perhaps the most famous playwright/ author in the world to this day Born 1564 (April 23 rd is celebrated as his birthday) Born."— Presentation transcript:

1 Background Information

2 Perhaps the most famous playwright/ author in the world to this day Born 1564 (April 23 rd is celebrated as his birthday) Born in Stratford-upon-Avon, England (100 miles west of London) Agricultural center, market town Married Anne Hathaway of Stratford in 1582 Had three children with her lost years – not much is known about him.

3 Theatres were closed due to outbreak of the plague During this time, it is believed that Shakespeare made social connections with others Theatres reopened. Shakespeare is listed as treasurer of the Queens Chamber (an acting guild)

4 Between 1594 and 1599 Shakespeare wrote a lot Principle actor and manager for Chamberlain's men Prospered financially, made investments 1599 – became part owner of the Globe Theater 1603 – James I becomes king of England – Shakespeares company performed for him 11 times. Around 1608 – stopped writing plays Died in 1616 at the age of 52. Credited with writing 37 plays and 154 sonnets

5 Four Main types of writing Comedies Histories Poems/Sonnets Tragedies Also other works attributed to him called Aprocrypha

6 Comedies Has a happy ending – usually involves marriages Light-hearted tone Emphasis on situations, multiple plots Clever servants Examples – The Comedy of Errors, Midsummer Nights Dream, Much Ado About Nothing, Taming of the Shrew Histories Mostly based on the lives of English kings Used other peoples writings of English and Roman history to write these plays Often viewed as Tudor propaganda Examples: King John, Richard II, Henry V, Henry VIII

7 Sonnets About 154 poems Themes of love, time, beauty, mortality Structure: 14 lines total Three four-line stanzas (called quatrains) Final couplet (2 lines) in iambic pentameter Rhyme Scheme (ABAB CDCD EFEF GG)

8 Tragedies Linked to Aristotles ideas about tragedy: Noble/Admirable Protagonist - Audience must like, understand, and sympathize with main character Protagonist has a tragic flaw – Hamartia – character flaw Hubris - pride Catastrophe/ Fall ending in death Fate/Fortune Catharsis – emotional purging – fall evokes pity and terror in audience (ie. The audience feels bad for the main character)

9 Tragedies ALSO influenced by Roman Tragedies Revenge plays a big role Tyranny – main leader with a lot of power over others Excessive violence/bloody horror (everyone dies) Further influenced by the world he lived in Hierarchy of people (kings, nobles, serfs, etc.) Order is given by God Order is disrupted in tragedy Internal forces – human weakness External forces – bad luck/fortune Order is restored through an authority figure

10 Tragedies - Characteristics Noble but flawed characters Motivated by – spiritual virtues, feelings, sincerity, glory/failure Plot - Key features - Cause and effect tragic destiny or fate Protagonist has an inner struggle Always ends in death. At the very end, might leave audience with some sort of hope. Examples: Romeo and Juliet, King Lear, Macbeth, Hamlet, Othello, and many more

11 No women actors – womens roles were usually played by younger boys The plays were usually written by actors, people kept in mind certain people to play certain roles Audience – close packed no reserved seats for commoners Would throw food/hiss/boo No scenery - words describe what is supposed to be seen Costumes were elaborate



14 Based on existing material – old poems and plays First published in 1597 Genre: tragedy Setting: Italian city of Verona (mostly) 14 th century Protagonists: Romeo and Juliet

15 Themes – a theme is a universal idea Hastiness Infatuation Selfishness Forcefulness of love Individual vs. Society Inevitability of fate Motifs – help explore themes Light/dark Opposite points of view

16 comic relief in the form of lesser characters Specifically the nurse fights to get audience excited about the play thumb-biting – like giving the middle finger Shakespeare uses puns or plays on words to keep audience interested/entertained Characters divided into two sides – kind of like two gangs. Capulets vs. Montagues

17 Theme, Motif, symbol, metaphor, simile, pun, allusion, analogy, aside, iambic pentameter, blank verse, characterization, irony, dramatic irony, monologue, oxymoron (you already defined these in web activity)

18 Protagonist – good guy / who story is about Antagonist – bad guy works against the main character Dramatic structure – structure of the play Conflict – struggle between characters or forces Figurative language – language that is NOT meant to be taken literally. Foreshadowing – hints or clues about what is coming up.

19 Imagery – language that appeals to senses Motivation – why a character does something Personification – figure of speech in which something non-human is described as human and/or given a personality Suspense – makes audience uncertain about whats going to happen next Soliloquy – speech in which a character is alone on stage and expresses thoughts aloud

20 Irony – portrays differences between appearance and reality 1. dramatic irony – contrast between what the audience sees and what the character does not know 2. situational irony – contrast between what is EXPECTED and what actually happens 3. verbal irony – contrast between what is SAID and what is meant (most common)

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