William “The Bard” Shakespeare Life and Times Shakespeare the Man Born (approximately) April 23, 1564, in Stratford-upon-Avon. AND WHAT’S TODAYS DATE?! AWESOME! Son of John Shakespeare, a glove- maker and leading townsman, and Mary Arden, a farmer’s daughter. Studied Latin and Classical culture (evident in his writings). Married Anne Hathaway at age 18; gave birth to 8 children. Left for London around 1586; acted and wrote there for most of his life. Fun Fact: Anne Hathaway was Shakespeare’s birthplace in eight years older than Shakespeare Stratford-upon-Avon and three months pregnant when they got married…an Elizabethan taboo. Shakespeare the Actor, Playwright, and Poet Wrote and acted for the Lord Chamberlain’s Men, later called the King’s Men under James I. Produced 37 plays (tragedies, histories, and comedies) and 154 sonnets. Performed predominantly in the Globe Theatre in London. Retired in 1610 and returned to Stratford. The First Folio Published in 1623, this contains 36 of Shakespeare’s plays. It is the first, and generally most definitive, collection of Shakespeare’s plays. Compiling the Folio required collecting and reviewing earlier editions of plays, actors’ prompts and notes, and drafts—Shakespeare was not present to verify the result. 228 (of approx. 1000) First Folios are still in existence. The largest collection, 79 volumes, is housed in the Folger Library in Washington, D.C. Shakespeare’s London During Elizabeth’s reign, London’s population would reach 200,000. It was a growing, economically and culturally rich city. Challenges: the plague, religious conflict, strict social hierarchy. Theatre-going society. All social classes attended—from the aristocracy to the working-class and often vulgar “groundlings.” The Theatre, Julius Caesar First printed edition: 1597 (pirated). Written during the period when Shakespeare was writing his sonnets. Evidence suggests that the play was often performed by Shakespeare’s company during his lifetime. The Lord Chamberlain’s Men performed a different play every day—theatre was thus very different from the way we know it today. Major differences: all-male companies, minimal props. Sources “Othello” playbook. Shakespeare’s Globe Theatre. 2007. 4-6. http://www.shakespeare.org.uk/ http://www.rsc.org.uk/ http://www.folger.edu/ “Google” image search, http://images.google.com Break-Out Session! Quick! Get in groups of 3! Raise your hand once your group is together. I will give you 1 artifact and “Investigative Report.” Spend 10 minutes analyzing your artifact and writing 1 group report. Be prepared to present your findings.
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