William Shakespeare (Whoever That Was) 1564-1616

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William Shakespeare(Whoever That Was)1564-1616Birth and Early YearsBaptized: April 26, 1564Born: probably a few days before baptismBorn in Stratford-Upon-AvonAbout 100 miles NW of LondonEducation: Probably attended grammar school and church at Stratford-Upon-AvonElizabethan school: began at dawn, lasted most of the day, 6 days a week. He would have learned Latin, and the classics there. There is some indication Billy did not finish school.Elizabethan church: MANDATORY

What We Know For SureBorn c. 1564 Baptized 1564Married to Anne Hathaway Nov 28, 1582.Children: Susanna (1583), twins Hamnet and Judith (1585)Probably lived in or around Stratford until 1585.Died c. 1616There are some killer poems and plays attributed to him. (1585-1613)Joined and became part owner Lord Chamberlins men (later called The Kings Men), a theater troupe. (c. 1585-1592)Shakespeare acted and wrote plays for this group.

Elizabethan SocietyThe English Renaissance cultural and artistic movement in England dating from the early 16th century to the early 17th century.

More about music and literature, as opposed to Italian Rennaissance, which had notable visual arts

The Age of Shakespeare, or The Elizabethan Era

ReligionThere was an uneasy truce between Catholics and Protestants in 16th century England. Historically, the Catholic Church held about as much power as the king

Elizabeth recognized the Church of England (protestant) and put herself in charge of it.

The ArtsIn particular, the puritans, a sect of Protestantism, were very much against the theater, perceiving it as a den of vice and generally a distraction from the Lord.Fortunately for Billy Boy, Queen Elizabeth loved the theater, despite being Protestant! And so the show went on

Elizabethan TheaterComedy Everyone gets married at the end.More like what we call romantic comedyTragedy Everyone dies at the end.The main character either falls to ruin or is killedOften the protagonists fate is a result of a flaw in their character, or a moral weaknessThis is known as a tragic flaw.History Stories about Kings. Sometimes serialized (like a soap opera)

5 Act plays and the 5 elements of plotI: ExpositionIV: Falling ActionII: Rising ActionV: Resolution and DenoumentIII: Climax

The Globe Theater

The Globe Theater

Basically a thrust stage, with audience on all three sidesVery little in the way of a set; great costumes though!Creating the world of the play relied on compelling and descriptive languageThousands of attendees, representing all levels of societyCheap Seats in the pit Groundlings

Cost of a play about a pennyBlue collar workers made about 5-6 pennies a day; rent was about 12 pennies (a shilling)Attendees typically not as well behaved as a modern audienceTheater was considered to be somewhat unseemly; the Globe was built on the outskirts of townMore Pictures

Romeo and JulietWritten and originally performed c. 1596Makes it one of Billys earlier worksR and J is a TragedyTwo star-crossd lovers take their life

Setting15th Century Verona(A city in Italy)Before Italy was a unified countryCity-States, ruled by noblemen (Dukes)Two feuding familiesMontagues (Romeos family)Capulets (Juliets family)

Why do they talk to funny?1) Language changes the meanings and associated meanings of words change over time.2) Figurative Language metaphors, puns, imagery, etc. 3) Blank Verse (unrhymed iambic pentameter)4) Allusions things that were hip in the 16th century are now pretty obscure!Note Time!Make a page in your notebook for Shakespeare VocabularyTake notes over pages 986-987 in your textbookMacbethWritten/performed c. 1605At the height of Shakespeares and his companys popularityThe Scottish PlayCommissioned by then king of ScotlandSet in Scotland- 11th century (c. 1040AD)Costume considerationsWould have been originally performed in private halls, to wealthy crowds (so NOT in the Globe)Macbeth would have been performed in a space like this