William Shakespeareand The Globe TheatreIntroduction to Romeo and Juliet
William ShakespeareEarly LifeBorn April 23, 1564 in Stratford, a market town about one hundred miles northwest of London. Father John a glover and tanner (makes clothes from hides), merchantMother Mary Arden daughter of prosperous familyAttended Stratford Grammar School 10 hours a dayStudied Latin and GreekRead ancient classics
Shakespeare Early Life cont.1577 possibly dropped out of school to help father1582 married Anne Hathaway (8 years older than him)1583 daughter born Susana 1585 twins born Judith and HamnetAfter twins were born moved to London, leaving his family in Stratford (He joined theatrical company called the Lord Chamberlains Men, which later became the Kings Men.)
Shakespeare Later Life By 1592 he had already become an actor and a playwright 1592 1612 wrote 37 playsRomeo and Juliet written between 1594 1596 (one of his earliest plays)Other famous works written during 1592 - 1612: Julius Caesar, Hamlet, Othello, King Lear, and Macbeth
Shakespeare Later LifeDied April 23, 1616 52 years old Buried in StratfordCarved over his grave: Good friend, for Jesus sake forbear To dig the dust enclosed here! Blessed be the man that spares these stones And cursed be he that moves my bones.
* He has lain undisturbed to this day.
Globe Theatre The Wooden OTheatre most closely associated with Shakespeare and his plays1599 building of the Globe begins (renovation of a theatre that once belonged to James Burbage, actor-manager, in England.) Many say it was octagonal in shape, but some say that the Globe may have had as many as twenty sides.
Characteristics of the GlobeThree stories high (corresponding to earth, heaven, and hell)Large platform stageDressing rooms (behind stage)Two doors for entrances and exits (on the inner stage)Small balcony / upper stageTrapdoors in the floor of the main stage (for the entrances / exits of ghosts and descents into hell.)
The GlobePlays were performed in the afternoonNo need for stage lighting (since open-air)Very few sets (furniture, etc.)The stage was set by the language. scene painting Well, this is the forest of Arden. But look, the morn in russet mantle clad Elaborate costumes Ex.) gold, lace, silk, and velvetColorful bannersEx.) Heavens were painted goldActors wore make-up, an abomination to the Puritans
The GlobePlays were often performed by all-male medieval trade guilds, so all womens parts were played by men. (It was many years before women appeared on stage in English theatre.) Venders offered beer, water, oranges, nuts, gingerbread, hazelnuts, and apples (occasionally thrown at the actors) Three thousand spectators No intermission No restroom! No producer or director; the actors were in complete control of the production.
Romeo and Juliet BackgroundShakespeare wrote this play over 400 years ago. Based on a long narrative poem by Arthur Brooke, which was published in 1562 as The Tragicall Historye of Romeus and Juliet. Brookes poem was also based on older Italian stories.
Romeo and JulietA young man and a nearly 14-year old girl fall in love at first sight. Star-Crossed Lovers Romeo = son of MontagueJuliet = daughter of Capulet They break the laws and marry unwisely and against their parents wishes. The two are doomed to disaster by fate. Most people in Shakespeares believed in astrology.They believed that the course of their lives was partly determined by the hour, day, month, and year of their birth (hence, the stars under which they were born)
Romeo and JulietTragedyNarrative about serious and important actions that end unhappilyUsually, a tragedy ends with the deaths of the main charactersIn some, the disaster impacts totally innocent charactersIn others, the main characters are in some ways responsible for their own downfall
Shakespeares tragic playsAct I ExpositionEstablishes setting, introduces some main characters, explains background, introduces the main conflictAct II Rising Action / ComplicationsConsists of a series of complications that occur as the main characters take action to resolve their problemsAct III Crisis / Turning PointMoment when a choice made by the main characters determines the direction of the action: upward to happy = comedy or downward = tragedy / This turning point is dramatic and tense as the forces of conflict come togetherAct IV Falling ActionPresents events that result from the action taken at the turning point take the characters deeper and deeper into disasterAct V Climax and Resolution Final and greatest climax occurs usually with the deaths of the main characters. In addition, all loose parts of plot are tied up.
How to read ShakespeareWritten in both prose and poetry Prose: ordinary speech or writing without metrical structure (see this mostly spoken by the common people)Blank Verse: unrhymed iambic pentameteriamb meter = unstressed syllable followed by a stressed syllable like in the word preferiambic pentameter = there are five iambic units in each lineBlank verse contains unrhymed iambic pentameter
How to read ShakespeareCouplet: two consecutive lines of poetry that rhymeOften punctuate a characters exit or signal the end of a sceneWhen reading, dont pause at the end of each line. Read like you are reading prose, using the punctuation you have been given. End-stopped line has punctuation at its endRun-on line has no punctuation at its end
Elizabethan LanguageAn, and: IfAnon:SoonAye:YesBut:Except forEen:EvenEer: EverHaply:PerhapsHappy:Fortunate
Elizabethan LanguageHence:Away, from hereHie:HurryMarry:IndeedWhence:WhereWilt:Will, will youWithal:In addition toWould:Wish