Shakespearean _ Renaissance History

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					                                     Shakespearean & English
                                       Renaissance History




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                                      English Renaissance History
                                     • Dates: approximately 1500-1650
                                     • Renaissance literally means
                                       “rebirth.” This term was chosen
                                       because the Renaissance was a
                                       time when classic literature, art,
                                       music, and philosophy were being
                                       “reborn.”

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                                     Political History
                                          Political History


                                             • The Tudor dynasty
                                               ended only a
                                               generation before
                                               Shakespeare’s birth
                                             • Elizabeth I, or “The
                                               Virgin Queen” reigned
                                               from 1558-1603
                                             • James I, or James VI of
                                               Scotland, reigned from
                                               1603-1625
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                                     History of the Printing Press
                  • During the 15th century, books were
                    relatively scarce and had to be copied
                    by hand
                  • Between 1440-1450, Johannes
                    Gutenberg developed the printing press
                  • Within 20 years, the printing press had
                    revolutionized information
                    dissemination, fueling the start of the
                    English Renaissance
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                                                            Religion
                                     • As a result of growing intellectual
                                       curiosity, humans began to question
                                       the rules and tenets of the Catholic
                                       Church
                                     • On October 31, 1517 Martin Luther
                                       nailed his 95 Theses to the door of
                                       the Castle Church, sparking the
                                       Protestant Reformation
                                     • Soon after, the Catholic Church
                                       launched a Counter-Reformation,
                                       filled with heavy propaganda
                                     • Elizabeth I promoted tolerance to all
                                       religions, although the Anglican
                                       Church was the official Church of
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                                       England
                                                    Humanism



                                     • The central tenet of humanism was that
                                       learning would make humans more just
                                     • Humanism emphasized the power of the
                                       individual to influence both himself and those
                                       around him
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                                     • Famous humanists: Sir Thomas More,
                                       Erasmus
                                     Music, Art, and Literature
                                            • Music during this time period
                                              consisted mostly of religious
                                              masses (William Byrd) and folk
                                              music (street cries, ballads, and
                                              love songs)
                                            • Painters were experimenting with
                                              new techniques, particularly
                                              perspective (da Vinci, Michelangelo)
                                            • Poetry, drama, and religious,
                                              political, and philosophical treatises
                                              dominated the literary scene
                                              (Bacon, Sidney, Donne)
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                                            Renaissance Drama
                                     • Based on Greek and Roman drama
                                     • Incorporated the tragic and comedic elements
                                       of both cultures
                                     • Focused on Aristotle, an ancient Greek’s,
                                       unities of time and space
                                     • Included a Chorus



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                                                     Theaters
                                     • Public theaters were
                                       wildly popular during
                                       the Renaissance and
                                       catered to a wide
                                       variety of audiences
                                     • Most theaters were
                                       “open-air”
                                       amphitheaters
                                     • Famous theaters: the
                                       Swan, the Globe
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                                     The Globe




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                                     Productions
                                      • New production almost every
                                        night
                                      • Very few props were used
                                      • Costumes were elaborate
                                        and historically accurate
                                      • All parts were played by men
                                      • Plays could be shut down
                                        because of political/religious
                                        dissidence
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                                                Shakespeare’s
                                                Contemporaries
                                     • Christopher Marlowe: Dr. Faustus, Edward II
                                     • Ben Jonson: Every Man in His Humour




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                                         Shakespeare’s Biography




                                     • Birth: 1564 in Stratford-upon-Avon
                                     • April 26, 1564: baptismal records reflect the
                                       baptism of “William, third child of John and Mary
                                       Shakespeare”
                                     • January 25, 1616: Shakespeare’s will is drawn up
                                     • Death: April 23, 1616 in Stratford-upon-Avon
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                                     Family Life
                                     • Shakespeare’s father, John, was
                                       a wealthy business owner and
                                       civil servant. His mother, Mary,
                                       was the daughter of a lesser
                                       aristocratic father.
                                     • Shakespeare had 7 brothers and
                                       sisters
                                     • November 27, 1582:
                                       Shakespeare marries Anne
                                       Hathaway, the daughter of a
                                       farmer
                                     • The two had three children:
                                       Susanna, and twins Hamnet and
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                                       Judith
                                                                  Education
                                     • Shakespeare most
                                       likely began schooling
                                       at a “petty school” when
                                       he was 4 or 5, where
                                       he would have learned
                                       to read, write, and
                                       complete basic
                                       arithmetic problems
                                     • At about 7,
                                       Shakespeare would
                                       have advanced to a
                                       grammar school, where
                                       he would have learned
                                       Latin grammar. He
                                       probably quit at 13.
                                     • There are no records of
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                                       Shakespeare attending
                                       university
                                     Career Beginnings

                                     • News of Shakespeare’s career first appears
                                       in London in 1592, but it almost certainly
                                       began before this
                                     • Shakespeare began as an actor, a role he
                                       continued to play for the duration of his life
                                     • Although it is hard to date his plays, the
                                       earliest were probably Titus Andronicus, A
                                       Comedy of Errors, Richard III, Henry VI, The
                                       Taming of the Shrew, and Two Gentlemen of
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                                       Verona
                                           Shakespeare’s Works
                                     • At least 37 plays - comedies, tragedies, and
                                       dramas - although some plays are not so
                                       easily classified (Measure for Measure, All’s
                                       Well That Ends Well)
                                     • 154 sonnets
                                     • At least 6 longer poems: “The Rape of
                                       Lucrece,” “Venus and Adonis,” “The Phoenix
                                       and the Turtle,” “The Passionate Pilgrim”
                                       “Sonnets to Sundry Notes of Music,” and “A
                                       Lover’s Complaint”
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                                          Shakespeare’s Sonnets
                                     • 154, labeled Sonnets 1-154
                                     • First 17 are written to a young
                                       man, urging him to marry
                                       (procreation sonnets)
                                     • Sonnets 18-126 are written to a
                                       young man, expressing the poet’s
                                       love for him
                                     • Sonnets 127-152 are written to the
                                       poet’s mistress, expressing his
                                       love
                                     • Last 2 sonnets are allegories of
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                                       other issues
                                                       Sonnets 7 and 130
                                     SONNET 7                                         SONNET 130
                                     Lo! in the orient when the gracious light        My mistress' eyes are nothing like the sun;
                                     Lifts up his burning head, each under eye        Coral is far more red than her lips' red;
                                     Doth homage to his new-appearing sight,          If snow be white, why then her breasts are dun;
                                     Serving with looks his sacred majesty;
                                                                                      If hairs be wires, black wires grow on her head.
                                     And having climb'd the steep-up heavenly hill,
                                                                                      I have seen roses damask'd, red and white,
                                     Resembling strong youth in his middle age,
                                     Yet mortal looks adore his beauty still,         But no such roses see I in her cheeks;
                                     Attending on his golden pilgrimage;              And in some perfumes is there more delight
                                     But when from highmost pitch, with weary car,    Than in the breath that from my mistress reeks.
                                     Like feeble age, he reeleth from the day,        I love to hear her speak, yet well I know
                                     The eyes, 'fore duteous, now converted are       That music hath a far more pleasing sound;
                                     From his low tract and look another way:         I grant I never saw a goddess go;
                                     So thou, thyself out-going in thy noon,          My mistress, when she walks, treads on the
                                     Unlook'd on diest, unless thou get a son.             ground:
                                                                                      And yet, by heaven, I think my love as rare
                                                                                      As any she belied with false compare.
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                                     • 17 comedies
                                     • Main plot points/themes: struggle
                                       of young lovers to overcome
                                       difficulty, separation and
                                       reunification, mistaken identities,
                                       frequent punning
                                     • Famous comedies: A
                                       Midsummer Night’s Dream,
                                       Twelfth Night, Much Ado About
                                       Nothing, The Merchant of Venice
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                                     • 10 tragedies
                                     • Main plot/themes:
                                       protagonist is
                                       admirable but flawed,
                                       he undergoes a
                                       reversal of fortune,
                                       plot hinges on chance,
                                       elements of the
                                       supernatural are often
                                       introduced
                                     • Famous tragedies:
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                                       Othello
                                     • 10 histories
                                     • Main plot points/themes: tied very closely to
                                       what actually happened in history, end with
                                       the death of a king and a the ascent of
                                       another, combine the elements of both
                                       tragedy and comedy
                                     • Famous histories: Henry VIII, Richard III
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                                       Shakespearean Vocabulary
                                     Here are some common words used
                                     during Shakespeare’s time that have
                                     fallen out of use:
                                     Alack, Anon, Cuckold, Ere, Fain, Fie,
                                     Forsooth, Gramercy, Methinks, Morrow,
                                     Nonce, Prithee, Sooth, Verily, Whence,
                                     Zounds

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                                        Much Ado About Nothing
                                     • Much Ado About Nothing tabloid




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                                                   Bibliography
                                     • http://internetshakespeare.uvic.ca/Library/SL
                                       T/life/fastfacts.html
                                     • http://www.readwritethink.org/materials/ren-
                                       humanism/
                                     • http://www.uwm.edu/Library/special/exhibits/i
                                       ncunab/inchome.htm
                                     • http://www.bbc.co.uk/drama/shakespeare/60s
                                       econdshakespeare/themes_muchado.shtml
                                     • http://www.shakespeare-online.com/
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posted:6/25/2011
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