2 IntroductionIn order to fully understand the works of Shakespeare, it is important to gain insight into his life and the times in which he lived. Studying Elizabethan England will give you the information you need to appreciate the works of one of the most famous poets and playwrights in history.
3 The TaskIn preparation for reading Romeo and Juliet, you will work in groups to find information about aspects of Shakespeare's life and times.You will use the Internet to obtain information on the following topics: Who Was Shakespeare?Historical and Social Context Intellectual and Religious Life of the 1500s and 1600s The Elizabethan TheaterMedieval and Renaissance Marriage Customs Literary Terms for Techniques Applied in Shakespearean Works
4 The TaskYou will be assigned to a group that will plan a presentation to instruct your classmates about your particular topic of study. Your presentation may include role playing, costumes, panel discussions, Power Point, or any other effective method.Your group will also be responsible for submitting three questions that can be used on a quiz about your topic.
5 The Process Group 1: Who Was Shakespeare? Answer the following questions about William Shakespeare:When and where was Shakespeare born? Describe his upbringing and education.What were the types of plays he wrote?Where were his plays performed and by whom?Besides writing plays, what other skills made Shakespeare a "jack of all trades?"When and where did Shakespeare die?Why do we still read his works today? (Hint: think of theme)How did Shakespeare influence the things you say today? Give some examples of words/phrases/terms coined by Shakespeare.
6 The Process Group 1: Shakespeare’s Life Links Life of Shakespeare More Life of ShakespeareThe Seven Ages of Shakespeare’s LifeEducating ShakespeareShakespeare’s Influence
7 The Process Group 2 Historical and Social Context Answer the following questions about events and people in the Elizabethan Era.Who was Queen of England during the time Shakespeare began to write? Who ruled after her?Give the approximate dates and explain the significance of the Elizabethan period.Identify the social classes during Shakespeare's time.Describe the status of women. How would a young woman respond to a request from her father?What is primogeniture?What was the Bubonic Plague and how did it affect society during Shakespeare's time?Describe these aspects of Elizabethan life:a. food b. socialization c. city life, hygiene, crime d. homes
8 The Process Group 2: Historical and Social Context Links Elizabethan PeriodPlagueElizabethan LifeLife in Elizabethan EnglandPrimogenitureEducation
9 The ProcessGroup 3 Intellectual and Religious Life Answer the following questions about life in Elizabethan England. Describe the four elements thought to compose the universe.Describe the four humours and their relationship to personality.What was the relationships between humours and illnesses.What type of medicine was administered and by whom was it dispensed during this time period?Describe the religious climate during this time.What was considered to be the center of the universe at this time? Who controlled it?Describe the hierarchy of beings or "chain of beings" believed in by Shakespeare and his contemporaries.
10 The Process Group 3: Intellectual and Religious Life Links Medicine HumoursReligionMore MedicineElizabethan View of the WorldChain of Beings
11 The Process Group 4: The Elizabethan Theater Answer these questions about the Elizabethan theater:Where were most theaters built? (in or out of the city)? Why? Why is the Globe Theater so famous?What time of day did performances take place? How was the public notified about performances?Who played the female roles and why?What type of scenery and props were used?What were the costumes like?What other skills did actors need besides acting ability?What was the cost of standing room at the Globe?Who was Richard Burbage?Who were the King's Men or Chamberlain's Men?Identify:PitGroundlingHeavensTrap doorTiring house
12 The Process Group 4: The Elizabethan Theater Links Globe Theater More about the Globe TheaterFemale RolesActorsShakespeare and his theaterStill more about the GlobeVirtual Tour of the Globe
13 The Process Group 5: Medieval and Renaissance Marriage Customs Answer the following questions about medieval and Renaissance marriages:Where did marriages take place during the Middle Ages? Why were marriage contracts arranged?Who performed the marriage ceremony?What was the common age for marriage?What is a betrothal?What was the goal of a Renaissance wedding?Describe the common wedding attire during this period.Describe what foods might be served at a wedding feast.
14 The Process Links Group 5: Medieval and Renaissance Marriage Customs Feasts, Attire, and CustomsLove and MarriageElizabethan AttitudesElizabethan Marriages and Weddings
15 The Process Group 6: Literary Terms Relating to Shakespeare Define and give an example of each of the following:sonnet (Shakespearean)iambic pentameterblank versesoliloquyforeshadowingapostropheoxymoronhyperboleirony (dramatic)irony (verbal)allusionmotifpunpersonificationcouplet
16 The Process Group 6: Literary Terms Relating to Shakespeare Links *Use a dictionary or other such source in addition to these sites.DefinitionsMore Definitions
17 EvaluationYour presentation will receive a group grade based on the following: Answers all questions your group has been assignedAnswers are accurate and complete Presentation shows creativity and maintains the interest of your classmatesYour three quiz questions will be evaluated based on theirClarity of wordingAccuracyReasonable degree of difficulty
18 ConclusionAfter completing this project and learning from your classmates’ work, you will have a clearer picture of William Shakespeare, the world in which he lived, and the theater for which he wrote. This knowledge will not only help you to have a better understanding of the Bard’s work, but it should also allow you to appreciate the extent to which literature reflects the person whocreates it and the society in which the writer lives. Literature is a window through which we can see history!