shakespeare by b0NjU20k


									William Shakespeare

                “All the world 's a stage, /
                And all the men and women
                merely players.”——
Born in Stratford
The 3rd of 8 kids
Married at age 18
   • (his wife was 26)
Worked as an actor
By 1594 at least 6
plays had been
Shakespeare’s Life
   Perhaps the most brilliant author in the
   English language.
   Incredibly well-developed characters.
   He was tremendously perceptive in
   creating complex character with a full
   range of emotions and internal conflicts,
   intensely, deeply rich in psychological
   Exquisite use of poetic language.
Shakespeare’s Life
   Plays are phenomenally well-crafted,
   and structurally, nearly flawless.
   Thematically, Shakespeare is
   unmatched in his ability to touch the
   human soul, and to speak lucidly and
   profoundly to human lives.
   Most quoted, most translated of any
   author on earth.
Shakespeare’s Life
   He left London when he was about 50 years old, and went back
   to Stratford-upon-Avon, after investing in real estate, and
   buying the best house in town. He died in 1616, near his
   birthday, April 23rd, at age 52. He is buried in Stratford, in Holy
   Trinity Church.
   He did not want to be buried in Westminster’s Abbey, in
   London, where many of England’s famous artists are buried. On
   his tombstone is the following verse:*

        Good friend for Jesus’ sake forebear
        To dig the dust enclosed here
        Blest be the man who spares these stones
        And curst be he that moves my bones
Shakespeare’s Life
    In his will, he mysteriously left his wife his “second best bed.” His
    property largely went to his eldest daughter, Susanna.
    Shakespeare did not think of himself as an intellectual, and during
    his life didn’t go out of his way to have his plays published. Although
    during his life some of the plays were published as quartos,
    individual versions of plays that folks could buy and read.
     He did publish—with great success—his longer poems, and he
    published his sonnets in 1609; some believe they are
    autobiographical, although there is no concrete support for this, as
    Shakespeare left almost no personal correspondence or diaries.
    For the most part, Shakespeare felt that plays were meant to be
    performed rather than read. After his death, his more intellectual
    friends did publish his plays in folio versions—something like a
    modern collection.*
Queen Elizabeth

What do you think she was like?
Elizabethan Fashion

"She must be stifling in that thing"
Elizabethan England
  Shakespeare’s life straddles the reigns of Elizabeth I and James
  I of England. This was England’s Renaissance.
  The word renaissance means “rebirth.” During this time in
  Europe, there was a rebirth of humanism, or the classical ideal
  that humans were heroic, although certainly below the gods.
  England, in a battle with Spain, had sunk the Spanish Armada in
  1588, and had established itself as a world power. To control
  the seas meant control of world power, for there was an
  enormous economic expansion based largely on maritime trade.
  This was a time of prosperity in Europe. Individual countries
  were gaining autonomy and power. They were actively trading
  with each other, with Russia, the New World, and the Far East
  and India. It was a time of nationalism, exploration and
Elizabethan England
   During this time, England became the most powerful country in
   the Western world, and would remain so until the end of the
   19th century.
   England was beginning to colonize the new world. The
   discovery of America and the presence of inhabitants very
   different from themselves in other parts of the world was a
   wonder to Europeans.
   Elizabeth commissioned Sir Francis Drake (1577-1580) to
   circumnavigate the world, which he does in a really tiny little
   boat, The Golden Hind. He reportedly landed in San Francisco,
   and crossed the Pacific to return to England and glory.
   Shakespeare’s play, The Tempest, was inspired by a shipwreck
   bound for Jamestown colony in 1610.
   This new wealth and rising merchant class fed into the
   intellectual pool of Elizabethan England. This rising bourgeoisie
   were interested purchasing tickets for plays, and sponsoring
   poets, musicians, and the arts.*
Elizabethan England
   The discoveries were not only of new continents and new
   The Protestant Reformation had come about in 1517, and the
   authority of the Roman Catholic church was eroded. Kings and
   nations were making decisions on their own.
   Henry VIII, Elizabeth’s father, was instrumental in dismantling
   the control of the Church over everyday affairs in England. He
   established the Church of England, and placed himself at the
   head of it, destroying all relics of Catholicism in churches, and
   ending ecclesiastic courts.
   He seized all lands and property of the clergy, greatly increasing
   his own personal wealth, but also adding to the overall economy
   of England.
   The door was now open to question Church teachings in areas
   of science as well as theology.*
Elizabethan England
   The world was opening up to new ideas, and in Shakespeare’s
   plays you see some of the old concepts questioned:
                 The Divine Right of Kings
                 Chain of Being
                 Divine Providence
   More and more, the individual human being was seen as taking
   a more active role in his or her own life.
   In theater, especially notable in Shakespeare’s plays, was a new
   depth of characterization, requiring a new type of acting style.
   Now, actors had to embody the character, rather than simply
   orate lines.
   This was reflected in Renaissance art as well as literature,
   where the human figure is more prominent, more realistically
   portrayed, and more powerfully depicted than ever before.*
Elizabethan England
   Henry VIII had six wives. He divorced two,
   executed two, one died, and one outlived
   him. Elizabeth I was the daughter of Anne
   Boleyn, whom Henry had executed. No
   wonder Elizabeth never married!
   Elizabeth I came to the throne in 1558 after
   her half-brother Edward VI and half-sister
   Mary I (Bloody Mary) died, and a usurper to
   the throne, Lady Jane Grey (granddaughter
   to Henry’s sister) is executed. Elizabeth’s
   reign, remarkably, would be irenic.
Elizabethan England
   The Elizabethan Age is the time that she ruled,1558-
   1603. Elizabeth was known as “The Virgin Queen,”
   although she did have many admirers. The state of
   Virginia is named for her.
   Before she reached menopause, she was pressed to
   marry. She refused, although there were efforts to
   wed her to princes of France and Spain. When these
   and other suitors failed to win her, and she passed
   the age of childbearing, the spin doctors of the time
   hailed her virginity. She never publicly discussed her
Elizabethan England
   James I, who succeeded her in 1603, was the son of Mary,
   Queen of Scots, a distant cousin of Elizabeth, whom Elizabeth
   also had executed for treason. James had been King of
   Scotland, and his coronation united the two countries, ending
   centuries of strive between them.
   During his reign, he commissioned the King James Bible, which
   is why this translation of the Bible sounds so much like
   Shakespearean English. Prior to Henry VIII and the Protestant
   Reformation, the Catholic Church had forbidden translation of
   the Bible into the vernacular. This was why, although no longer
   spoken, Latin was taught at the elementary school level—in
   order to read the Holy Scriptures.
   Although James’ reign is relatively peaceful, he is not a man of
   the people, as was Elizabeth. He also advocates the absolute
   power of kings, which will not help his heir, Charles I, who will
   lose his head for such notions.*
Elizabethan England
   Life in London during Elizabethan times was pretty dirty. The
   city contained around 400 thousand people by Shakespeare’s
   time, who crowded into a very small part of the present day
   city. People rarely bathed, and there was no indoor plumbing.
   When the water supply became tainted, typhus and cholera
   spread mercilessly through the town.
   London was also hit by recurrences of the Black Plague, and
   when there were outbreaks, the theaters would close down.
   Smallpox, sexually transmitted disease, and malaria were also
   popular killers.
   People used chamber pots for toilets, and would toss the
   contents out the window into the streets, occasionally on top of
   people below!
   Beer was the drink of choice, for the water was far too polluted
   to consider drinking! Beer was very popular in Southwark, and
   was sold in the theaters, along with nuts and other snacks.
Elizabethan England
   There was no refrigeration, and you had to watch what you
   bought in the market, especially since there were chronic food
   shortages in London, due to a series of bad harvests and an
   increase in population.
   London had its share of wealthy royal people, since the royal
   family lived there, but there was also a new, rising merchant
   class, a rising middle class of artisans, who were members of
   guilds, and many lower class folks who might be poor farmers
   or salespeople.
   Education was improving. Towns frequently had church run
   grammar schools, and upper class members of the society went
   to Oxford and Cambridge University.
   Still, literacy rates were fairly low, although this was changing.
   Books were published and sold to support poets and playwrights
   alike. St. Paul’s was a popular place to buy these small texts.
Elizabethan England
   Aside from attending executions, many, many
   people amused themselves by attending the
   London’s famous theaters, the Globe, the Rose,
   and the Swan, were located in the seedy side
   of town, along the south bank of the Thames
   This section of town, known as Bankside or
   Southwark, could be reached by crossing the
   London Bridge, the only bridge across the
   Thames, or by taking a boat across the river.
Elizabethan England
   The neighborhood was also the place to place bets on animal
   sports such as cockfighting, bear baiting and bull baiting. Other
   gambling, on cards and dice, was also common. There were
   many pubs and taverns, where people could drink strong beers,
   and there were many thieves and prostitutes as well. This was
   the wrong side of the river!*
   Since there was no electricity, the Globe and Rose theaters
   were open air theaters. Plays were performed only during the
   day, and if the weather was bad, the show was cancelled. A
   flag at the top of the theater would indicate if a play was
   performing that day.
   These theaters did operate during the winter, although the
   Globe closed, since in the winter Shakespeare’s company moved
   to the Blackfriars Theater, which was enclosed.
Elizabethan England
   Women wore long dresses, and covered their arms
   and legs. Men, on the other hand, wore leggings and
   short pants. Women were not allowed to perform on
   stage, and all of Shakespeare’s female characters
   were acted by young men or boys.
   Often, the audience who went to the theater, and
   stood in the “yard” in front of the stage were pretty
   rowdy, and would throw offal and other foul things at
   actors they didn’t care for. These folks were called,
   “groundlings” or “stinkards.”*
   Shakespeare didn’t shy away from pleasing this
   crowd. In sword fights, the combatants would carry
   sacks of animal blood and guts that would add
   realism when a character was wounded or killed.
Elizabethan England
   The Blackfriars theater was an enclosed theater that was lit by
   candles. It had been originally part of a Dominican medieval
   monastery. It was located on the north side of the Thames,
   and its admission fees were high, the audience wealthier and
   better educated than the average playgoer. Shakespeare’s
   players performed here during the winter, and for special
   Shakespeare also, notably, performed for Queen Elizabeth in the
   Temple Court, which was where the Knights Templar had once
   been housed in London. Today, you can still visit this large
   room where the Lord Chamberlain’s Men performed Twelfth
   Night for the Queen!
   The Lord Chamberlain’s men had originally performed at a
   theater called, the Theater, which was built by the famous
   theater family, the Burbages, on the north side of the Thames.*
The Globe Theater 1599

                   Burned in 1613
The New Globe Theater 1999

   The players were all men; the
   women's parts were played by boys.
     --Shakespeare in Love
   Specific parts were written for
   specific actors.
Conventions of Shakespearean
   For Greek and Latin classical playwrights, the
   drama turned on how the protagonist would
   act, in the face of inexorable doom.
   In Shakespeare, there is a real balance
   between fate and human choices, based on
   character flaws: Humans being are depicted
   as being in control of their own destiny.
   (Somewhat. Fate always plays a role!)
   Renaissance playwrights also included many
   sub plots, and included scenes of comic relief
   in tragedies.
Conventions of Shakespearean
   In classical tragedy, the action is limited to one place
   and one day. There are limits to the numbers of
   characters, as well. Shakespeare freely breaks these
   rules in his plays, while neoclassical playwrights in
   France, such as Racine, adhere to them strictly.
   In the late 1800’s a literary critic named Gustav
   Freytag noted that Shakespeare’s plays were tightly
   structured by act into five separate plot segments.
   This is now called, “Freytag’s pyramid” whereby in
   Act One there is Exposition; in Act Two, there is
   Rising Action; Act Three is Turning Point; Act Four is
   Falling Action; and Act Five is Resolution.
Conventions of Shakespearean
   Of course, in tragedy, the turning point of the play is
   where the goals of the tragic hero seem within reach.
   The catastrophe at the end spells disaster for the
   tragic hero, who is in some ways responsible for his
   own demise, although his plan was noble.
   In Shakespeare’s comedies, the low point happens in
   the middle of the play—where the protagonists seem
   destined for failure and loss. Of course, All’s Well
   That Ends Well, and a marriage (or two or three!) is
   usually the ending.
   Shakespeare’s history plays usually follow the pattern
   of tragedy. His romance plays—those that end
   happily, but don’t have the problems of young lovers
   as a central theme—follow the pattern of comedy.*
So how do we have Shakespeare’s
work today?
   Published work comes from a variety of
   Clean copy- copied by the scribe from
   Shakespeare’s original manuscript (kept in
   the playhouse)
   Quarto- printed editions sold to the public
   after the play was popular
   Folio- published by Shakespeare’s friends
   after his death
Book Sizes
  1. Folio: Sheet folded in half to make 4
  2. Quarto: Sheet folded twice so as to make
  4 leaves or 8 pages, (9 1/2" x 12")
  3. Octavo: Sheet folded so as to make 8
  leaves or 16 pages (6 x 9" )
  4. Duodecimo: Sheet folded so as to make
  12 leaves or 24 pages (about 5 x 7")
          The Plays

The Taming of the Shrew
Much Ado About Nothing
As You Like It
Twelfth Night
Midsummer Night’s Dream
Romeo and Juliet
King Lear
Early Editions of Hamlet

  First Quarto (1603)
    For Hamlet, the First Quarto presents a "bad" or
    memorially reconstructed text.
    Some scholars believe that these came from
    minor players remembering and dictating the
    play, although others have discredited this
    theory. In Hamlet, they believe that the actor
    playing Marcellus does this.
Early Editions of Hamlet
    The First Quarto text of Hamlet presents a
    much more sympathetic vision of
    Gertrude; she swears to assist Hamlet in
    his revenge, for example.
    A scene between Gertrude and Horatio
    exists in this version and disappears in
    later ones. Gertrude is told the news that
    Hamlet tells in his letter to Horatio, thus
    establishing her as Hamlet‟s ally.
Early Editions of Hamlet
  Second Quarto (1604).
   J. D. Wilson showed in 1934 that this
   quarto was prepared from
   Shakespeare‟s original manuscript or
   possibly from a corrected edition of
   the First Quarto.
   The Second Quarto has about 200
   lines not in the Folio.
Early Editions of Hamlet

  First Folio (1623)
    Contains 18 plays
    previously printed in
    quarto editions and
    18 others that
    would not otherwise
    have survived.
Early Editions of Hamlet

    The Folio edition
    has stage
    The Folio edition
    includes about
    90 lines not in
    the Second
“To be or not to be” in the Folio
To be, or not to be, that is the question:
Whether „tis nobler in the mind to suffer
The slings and arrows of outrageous fortune,
Or to take arms against a sea of troubles,
And by opposing, end them. To die, to sleep—
No more, and by a sleep to say we end
The heart-ache and the thousand natural
That flesh is heir to . . .
“To be or not to be” in the Quarto
To be or not to be, ay there‟s the point;
To die, to sleep, is that all? Ay, all.
No, to sleep, to dream; ay marry, there it goes.
For in that dream of death, when we awake
And borne before an everlasting judge,
From whence no passenger ever returned,
The undiscovered country, at whose sight
The happy smile, and the accursed damned . .
 Thomas Kyd's
 Hamlet in the 1580s
 (now lost); this is
 referred to as the
 Thomas Kyd's
 Spanish Tragedy
 (1587) (Revenge
          Historica Danica
          written in
          second half of
          twelfth century
   Shakespeare also may have used volume
   5 (1570) of Histoires tragiques, a free
   translation of Saxo by François de
   The Hystorie of Hamblet, an English
   version of Belleforest's work, was
   published in London in 1608, after
   Shakespeare‟s Hamlet had been
          From Harold Bloom,
          Shakespeare: The
          Invention of the
          Bloom believes that
          Shakespeare himself
          wrote the ur-Hamlet
          play from 1589 and
          that he made several
          changes in this

   The Ghost (which
   probably played) is
   less prominent in
   the version of
   Hamlet that we
Why is Shakespeare’s English so
   Don’t be fooled by the excellence of the language!
   This is Modern English! It is, however, about 400
   years old, and things do change over time.
   The most obvious of changes is the use of distinct
   second person familiar pronouns. Today, we call this
   “you, singular.” But once this was not the same as
   “you, plural.” These singular pronouns are: Thou,
   Thee, Thy and Thine. See your grammar notes on
   Another change is obvious in the conjugation of
   certain verbs: hadst; wouldst; and the like.
   Verbs occasionally took inflected endings in the past
   participle: closèd, blessèd, loathèd
Why is Shakespeare’s English so
   Shakespeare often inverts the syntax of his
   sentences for poetic reasons, and this sometimes
   confuses students: Make sure you can tell where the
   subject and verb of the sentence are. Think about
   what the pronouns refer to. This will help a bit in
   understanding the sentence.
   Shakespeare also uses many, many words, and is
   credited with creating many that are now in common
   usage. He is also good at making one word serve
   two purposes by using more than one meaning of a
   word at a clip! (Double entendres, or puns.) You will
   need a good dictionary when reading Shakespeare!
Example of Old English
(from Beowulf)
   Sigon þa to slæpe. Sum sare angeald
   æfen-ræste, swa him ful oft gelalmp
   siþðan gold-sele   Grendel warode,
   unriht æfnde,    oþþæt ende becwom,
   swylt æfter synnum.     þæt gesyne wearþ,
   wid-cup werum,      þætte wrecend þa gyt
   lifde æfter laþum, lange þrage,
   æfter guð-ceare.    Grendles modor,
   ides, aglæc-wif          yrmþe gemunde,
   se þe wæter-egesan      wunian scolde,
   cealde streamas,     siþðan Cain wearð
   to ecg-banan     angan breþer,
   fæderen-mæge;            he þa fag gewat,
Example of Middle English,
from Chaucer’s Canterbury Tales
   Whan that Aprill with his shoures sote
   The droghte of Marche hath perced to the rote,
   And bathed every veyne in swich licour
   Of which vertu engendred is the flour;
   Whan Zephirus eek with his swete breeth
   Inspired hath in every holt and heeth
   The tendre croppes, and the yonge sonne
   Hath in the Ram his halfe cours y-ronne,
   And smale fowles maken melodye,

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