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William Shakespeare's Background

Gap-Fill Exercise
William Shakespeare, who is often referred to as the ____________. which
merely means poet, was born in the year____________.
in_____________________________, which is a town in ____________.
William Shakespeare's dad _____________ Shakespeare was a merchant, he
made ____________, but on the side he dealt in black market ____________.
Because of his father's social standing, William was able to attend Stratford
Grammar School until the age of 14 years old for free. Here he studied Latin and
Greek. Historians lose track of what happened to William Shakespeare after
school until he marries ____________________, who was older than him.

After his dads shady dealings, Shakespeares family had to sell off much of their
property. William Shakespeare eventually leaves his family behind and arrives
in ____________ where he joins the___________________, a successful
theater company. This company changes its name to_____________________
in 1603. Shakespeare stays a member of this company until he ____________.
in 1610. While in the company, Shakespeare made his living three ways: he was
part owner of the theatre, he was an ____________ and he was a playwright.

Shakespeare was alive during the late____________ . This word means
____________ , because Europe experiences a surge in creativity in the arts and
sciences. In England, this period is referred to as the____________ Era, so
named after Queen ____________ who was Britain's first female monarch. She
was the daughter of ____________, and the half sister to ____________ ,
otherwise known as ____________ for the murders of many Protestants.
Elizabeths mother was ____________ . She died by having her head chopped
off for not producing a male child. She was one of ___________ wives of King
Henry who started out a ______________ but ended up a _________________.

Shakespeare and his fellow theatre colleagues were fortunate, because the only
thing Elizabeth liked better than killing a few ___________ was the theatre. The
only time the theatres ever closed was due to the ____________ , which had a
tendency to not only cut down on theatre attendance but the population as well.
_______ has a way of doing that. Luckily, the queen was good about having the
theatres reopened. Otherwise, some would have liked to see these theatres,
such as the Globe, which held about 2,500 to 3,000 spectators, closed for good.

When we study William Shakespeare's plays, we usually categorize them into
three genres: comedy, tragedy, and ____________ . ____________ , which was
written in Shakespeare's early years, is considered a ____________. This play
however, is not an original story; Shakespeare retells a story that can be dated
back to as early as fourth century Greece. Shakespeare uses a narrative poem
called "Tragicall Historye of Romeus and J uliet," which is written by Arthur Brook,
to get most of his information for his play. Shakespeare sets this play in
________, a city in the country of ____________. This country, incidentally, is
where the Renaissance began, mainly because it was so close to the
__________ routes that led to such far off places as ________ , the
___________ and ____________. Another reason Shakespeare set his play in
this location was to show the contrast between his people, the very rational
Northern Europeans and the ______________ Southern Italians, who were
known for having long-standing ________________ between wealthy and
prominent ___________, like the Capulets and Montagues. Elizabeth, like most
absolute ______________, despised dueling and feuding and tried to suppress
it. Remember, Elizabeth was Shakespeares _____________ and supported all
his plays. He could hardly anger her by glorifying things she stood against like
____________ and feuding.

You see, while Shakespeare is considered the greatest writer of all time, he also
knew what side his ___________ was buttered on, meaning, he wasnt beyond
kissing a little royal ___________. Youll recall that when J ames ascended the
English throne from _______________, Shakespeare had to rewrite the real
history of ______________. In real life _____________ murdered King Duncan.
But since this person was a ______________ to J ames and Shakespeare
wanted to stay in J ames good graces, he made another character the murderer,
thus changing the way we view history. Shakespeare like many people was a -
______________ creature.

In ____________ the Burbage brothers built the Globe Theatre, of which William
Shakespeare owned____________ percent. This theatre, like most theatres, had
a flag on the top of it, which indicated to people that there would be a play that
day. The _______ of the flag indicated the _______ of the play. Plays were
performed during the afternoon because they needed to take advantage of the
____________. Like all other theatres in Elizabethan England, it had
only____________ perform on stage because____________ were not allowed to
act. Still, the theaters were enormously popular with both ____________ and
____________ alike. It didnt matter who you were, because everyone could
afford the theater. Poor patrons, called ____________, would stand in an area
called ____________, while those with money may be sitting in stands or
galleries rising above the ____________ stage. Crowds in Shakespeares time
loved to participate, becoming emotionally involved in the play. They would show
their pleasure by cheering wildly or sounding drum. But if the performance went
badly or an actor was off that night, he could expect his performance to be met
with ____________ or ____________ to his head. Talk about a rough crowd.

In 1613 the theatre burned down during a performance of Henry VIII. How
____________ ! A canon was accidentally shot into the thatched roof and the
whole theatre was set ablaze. The theatre was rebuilt in 1614 without
Shakespeare, for he had retired. Shakespeare dies in____________ at age 52.
About 30 years later, Puritans assume power in England and have the theatre
torn down. The Puritans did not believe in ____________.

Word Bank

1564
1599
1616
Actor
Africa
Ann Boylen
Anne Hathaway
Asia
Bard
Bloody Mary
Bubonic Plague
Butt
Elizabeth
Families
Italy
J ohn
London
Lord Chamberlins Men
Macbeth
Mary
Men
Patron
Pit
Catholics
Bread
Color
MacDuff
Complete Babe
Complete Blob
Dueling
Funff
Death
Elevated
Elizabethan


Elizabeth
England
Rotten Eggs
Hot-blooded
Feuds
Genre
Gloves
Relative
Political
Groundlings
Henry VIII
Monarchs
History
Ironic
Poor
Rebirth
Renaissance
Retires
Rich
Romeo and J uliet
Scotland
Six
Stratford-upon-Avon
Sunlight
Ten
The Kings Men
The Middle East
The Pit
Trade
Tragedy
Vegetables
Verona
Women
Wool