Introducing Shakespeare and Hamlet

Introducing Shakespeare and Hamlet


1563 1616 Shakespeare is widely regarded as the greatest writer in English Literature. Lived at Stratford-Upon Avon in England He was born and died on the same day. He married Anne Hathaway, a woman eight years his senior. Shakespeare wrote 37 Plays and about 154 Sonnets. His plays can be classified as Comedies,

Tragedies, and Histories. THE GREATEST BARD MORE SHAKESPEARE He fathered three children: Susanna and twins, Hamnet and Judeth. His greatest writing period was between 1600 and 1611. Hamlet was written


Shakespeare started his career as an actor. He worked with a troupe known as Lord Chamberlains Men (later known as The Kings Men). He was the principal playwright for the troupe. Then, in 1599, Lord Chamberlains Men came together to build The Globe. THE GLOBE ALL THE WORLDS A STAGE

Plays were performed for the general public.

The theater did not have a roof; therefore, plays were performed in the open air. No artificial lighting was used and rude mechanicals (the most basic prop forms) were employed. A different color flag flew atop the theater indicating the play to be performed. A red flag indicated a history play. A white flag indicated a comedy. A black flag indicated a tragedy. The stage consisted of a trap door from which ghosts would arise and a second-level gallery that served as the heavens or a balcony. The costumes were elaborate and expensive. All actors were male.

Young boys whose voices had not changed played the roles of women. ITS ALL ABOUT CLASS The theater consisted of a courtyard

surrounded by three levels of galleries. Groundlings (the lower class or poor people of the time) stood to watch the play in the courtyard. Groundlings would often yell at the actors on stage. Some even threw things. It was a theater based on much more interaction than todays theater. The wealthy sat in the galleries. The higher ones gallery seat, the higher his or her social class.

Remember, only the wealthy were literate at this time, so many spectators may not have understood content of the plays. SHAKESPEARES STYLE A Shakespearean Tragedy follows the basic plot structure according to Freytags Pyramid: Inciting Incident (Exposition), Rising Action, Climax,

Falling Action, and Resolution. IMPORTANT TERMS

Plot: The sequence of events in a literary work Exposition:The general atmosphere, time, place, main characters, and opening conditions of the play. Conflict: A struggle between opposing forces within a literary work. Crisis: This is the point where the protagonists situation will either get better or worsen. Climax: This is the storys turning point. Resolution: The end of the central conflict.

TRAGEDY A Tragedy is a drama where the central character suffers a disaster or great misfortune. In many cases, a downfall is the result of fate, a character flaw, or a combination of the two. WHATS THAT YOU SAY?

The writing is a combination of both prose and poetry. Higher social classes speak in prose to reveal education. Lower social classes speak in poetic form to reveal illiterate nature. LITERARY CONVENTIONS

Round Character: This character has many traits, much like a real person. Static Character: This character is unchanging throughout the work. Flat Character: This character embodies a single trait

throughout the entire work. Dynamic Character: This character changes throughout the literary work. Monologue: This occurs when a character speaks on stage for an extended period of time. Other characters will also be on stage. Soliloquy: This occurs when a character speaks alone on stage. This is typically a long speech which expresses the thoughts of the character. Aside: This occurs when words are spoken in an undertone and are not meant to be heard by all characters on stage.

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