Presentation on theme: "William Shakespeare Widely regarded as the greatest writer in English Literature."— Presentation transcript:
William Shakespeare Widely regarded as the greatest writer in English Literature
Shakespeare: The Bio Lived 1563-1616 Lived in Stratford-on-Avon, England Wrote 37 plays About 154 sonnets Started out as an actor
Stage Celebrity Actor for Lord Chamberlain’s Men (London theater co.) Also principal playwright for them 1599 Lord Ch. Co. built Globe Theater where most of Sh. Play’s were perform
The Genres Comedy (e.g. A Midsummer Night’s Dream and Twelfth Night) Tragedy ( Othello and Hamlet) History ( Richard III) Romance ( The Tempest) The Problem Play/ Mixed Genre (Measure for Measure)
Comedy Definition: a drama, novel, film, text that moves toward a happy ending and implies a re-ordering of the world. Plot structure is that at the beginning the world is “out of order” but through the course of the play the natural/normal order is restored equaling a “happy ending” Comedies often have humor, but it is not a prerequisite e. g. The Divine Comedy by Dante
Comedy Cont. Comedies often take us to the brink of tragedy, but it is the lack of death or serious harm that make these plots a comedy. Comedies focus on a group or a community, and often have general titles because of it. Comedies usually resolve in the last 5 minutes and often end in marriage. Types of comedy: farce, satire, slapstick, intrigue comedy, romantic comedy, tragicomedy, religious comedy, black comedy and mannered comedy. Shakespeare always mixes the types of comedy in his plays never adhering to just one format.
Tragedy Tragedy is when a text moves from order to disorder Tragedy usually focuses on one individual not the society as a whole The end of the play should bring about a catharsis The hero of a tragedy is usually of an elite class and has a “tragic flaw” that will be exposed and exploited through the play Tragedy involves choices and there consequences Often have a fatalistic tone
Romance "Romance" was not a generic classification in Shakespeare's time. The modern term "romance" refers to a new kind of play, a hybrid of comic and tragic elements It was developed by Francis Beaumont and John Fletcher with their play Plilaster in 1609 Shakespeare took on this genre at the end of his career with: The Tempest, The Winter’s Tale, Cymbeline, and Pericles
Romance Cont. Sometimes called tragi-comedies because they combine elements of those two genres. Plots of romances involve a tragic event that leads to reconciliation or restoration and forgiveness However, the endings are always muted happiness as opposed to the “pure” happiness of a comedy Plots usually focus on the whole human community and healing rifts. Finally, the plots of romances always contain supernatural elements Characters are either larger than life or one-dimensional
History History plays focus on historical events, but often contain opinionated subtext about the event Shakespeare wrote about two types of history: Roman and English For the English Histories, Holinshed's Chronicles (1587), but he also drew on other sources, e.g. the anonymous history play The Famous Victories of Henry the Fifth (1598) The main source for the Roman plays was Plutarch (which Shakespeare would have studied in grammar school)
The Problem Plays These plays focus on a problem in society, but they have no true solution or ending; instead, their endings are awkward. In these plays, the situation faced by the protagonist is put forward by the author as a representative instance of a contemporary social problem Shakespeare's "problem plays" set out to explore specific moral dilemmas and social problems through their central characters. The problem plays are characterized by their complex and ambiguous tone, which shifts violently between dark, psychological drama and more straightforward comic material
Theater in the Ren. Theater was NOT a high class affair. It was a red light district activity, which meant that it was competing with Bear baiting, sex shows, sword fights, punch and judy shows, etc. for an audience Pick pockets were a major concern at theater All the actors were men The classes were separated in the theater seating.