An Introduction to William Shakespeare and the Tragedy of Romeo & Juliet
Mrs. Tinker 9th Grade Honors and Regular English
This presentation will… inform you about the life and work of the mysterious William Shakespeare. provide you details about Elizabethan society and theater. define basic terminology related to Shakespearean poetry and drama.
April 23, 1564: William Shakespeare was born in Stratford-on-Avon to John and Mary Shakespeare. There is a baptismal registration for Shakespeare, but few other written records exist. He was the 3 rd of 8 children.
Much of Shakespeare’s younger years remain a mystery, but there are rumors about what jobs he may have worked.
1582: According to church records, Shakespeare married Anne Hathaway.
At the time of their marriage, William was eighteen and Anne was twenty-six.
William and Anne have three children together (Susanna, Hamnet, and Judith).
August 1596: young Hamnet died at the age of eleven. The cause of his death is unknown.
Shakespeare left his family in 1591 to pursue writing in London.
In 1592, Shakespeare began developing a reputation as an actor and playwright.
As theatres were beginning to grow in popularity, it is probable that Shakespeare began earning a living writing plays (adapting old ones and working with others on new ones).
1594: William became involved with a company of actors named “The Lord Chamberlain’s Men.” This group later (1603) changed their name to “The King’s Men”.
In 1598, Shakespeare, in collaboration with other actors, designed and built The Globe.
This circular theatre was the first of its kind, breaking away from the traditional rectangular theatres.
1612: Shakespeare moved back to Stratford where he retired both rich and famous.
1616: William Shakespeare dies on his birthday.
At the time of his death, Shakespeare is said to have written around 37 plays and 154 sonnets. He is also known to have contributed over two thousand words to the English language.
Shakespeare is also known to have written around 884 words throughout all of his works.
Good frend for Jesus sake forbeare To digg the dust encloasedheare Bleste be ye man [that] spares thes stones And curst be he that moves my bones.
Which do you prefer?
Shakespearean Theater “The Globe” Romeo, Romeo…Wher e for art thou Romeo?
Elizabethan Theatre Fun Facts The First Elizabethan Theater: “The Wooden O” Built in 1576, first permanent stage in London Built by James Burbage Shaped in form of a tavern 1599 theatre torn down, but Shakespeare’s company used it to build The Globe Theatre
Elizabethan Theatre Fun Facts The Globe Round/polygonal building with a roofless courtyard No artificial light Three stories high – upper levels were for the weathy The “groundlings” paid a penny a piece to stand on the floor in front of the stage (800 people) Large platform stage Back of platform was curtained off inner stage Two door entrances/exits on either side of curtain Small balcony/upper stage Elaborate costumes but no props Young boys played the parts of women; women weren’t allowed to be actors
Fire and Rediscovery Shakespeare’s Globe burned down, but its foundation was discovered in 1990. It gave us many clues to the Elizabethan experience such as hazelnut shells! A replica has since been rebuilt. You can visit it and see a play today.
Dramatic Terminology Tragedy: A narrative about serious and important actions that end unhappily, usually with the death of the main characters. The play is broken up into acts and the acts are broken up into scenes. Monologue: A long uninterrupted speech given by one character onstage to everyone. Soliloquy: A long uninterrupted speech given by one character alone on stage, inaudible to other characters Aside: A short speech given by one character, traditionally the other characters cannot hear.
Dramatic Terminology Pun: A humorous play on words After that poisonous snake struck at me in the Arizona Desert I was really rattled. A gossip is someone with a great sense of rumor. A carpenter must have been here. I saw dust. Energizer Bunny arrested - charged with battery. Corduroy pillows are making headlines. The executioner decided to drop out of Executioner School. It was just too cut throat for him. He who farts in church sits in his own pew.
Dramatic Terminology Dramatic Foil: A pair of characters who are opposite in many ways and highlight or exaggerate each other’s differences.
Poetic Terminology Blank Verse: Unrhymed meter; unrhymed iambic pentameter specifically. Iambic Meter: Each unstressed syllable is followed by a stressed syllable. Couplets: Two consecutive lines that rhyme (aa bb cc). Usually followed when a character leaves or a scene ends. End-stopped Line: Has some form of punctionat at the end of the line (,;.!?). Run-on Line: Has NO punctuation at the end of the line and meaning is continued to following lines. Sonnet: A fourteen line poem using iambic pentameter and the following rhyme scheme: abab cdcd efef gg.
Poetic Terminology Internal Rhyme: Words rhyming inside one line. End Line Rhyme: Words rhyming at the end of consecutive lines. Perfect vs. Slant Rhyme: ball & hall are a perfect rhyme (end sounds the same). Ball & bell are slant rhymes (beginning and end sounds the same; middle sound is different). Alliteration: the repetition of the same beginning consonants Assonance: the repetition of the same vowel sounds in the middle of words Consonance: the repetition of the same ending consonants Onomatopoeia: words that are spelled much like how they sound.
Shakespeare’s 5 Part Storytelling Pattern: Act III: Crisis/Turning Point A series of complications
Act II: Rising Action A series of complications Act I: Exposition Establishes setting, characters, conflict, and background
Act IV: Falling Action Results of the turning point; characters locked into deeper disaster Act V: Climax/Resolution/Denouement Death of the main characters and then the loose parts of the plot are tied up
Tips for Understanding Romeo and Juliet Romeo and Juliet is based on Arthur Brooke’s long narrative poem the Tragicall Historye of Romeus and Juliet (1562). The play has a highly moral tone: disobedience, as well as fate, leads to the deaths of two lovers.
Motifs in Romeo and Juliet Power of Love Violence from Passion The Individual vs. Society The Inevitability of Fate
MONTAGUE Romeo Lord Montague (his dad) Lady Montague (his mom) Mercutio (friend) Benvolio (cousin)
vs. CAPULET Juliet Lord Capulet (her father) Lady Capulet (her mother) Tybalt (cousin) Nurse
A Pair of Star Crossed Lovers… “My only love sprung from my only hate! Too early seen unknown , and known too late!” ~ Juliet; Act I, Scene V