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SHAKESPEARE: His Life, His Plays, and His Stage

Father (John Shakespeare) a shopkeeper

Known as a man of considerable standing in Stratford Served as Justice of the Peace and High Bailiff (mayor)

Mom (Mary Arden)

Born around April 23, 1564 the third of eight children

Lived in Stratford-onAvon, a market town about 100 miles NW of London

Married Anne Hathaway

who was eight years older than he

Had three children Susanna (1583) Judith and Hamnet (twins, 1585)

Died Of

at the age of 11

the Bubonic plague

1594 Became shareholder in company of actors called Lord Chamberlains Men,

renamed in 1603 The Kings Men when James I became king of England

1610 Retired to Stratfordon-Avon

April 23, 1616 Died at the age of 52

Good friend for Jesus sake forbeare, To dig the dust enclosed here. Blessed be the man that spares these stones, And cursed be he that moves my bones.

Comedy All's Well That Ends Well As You Like It The Comedy of Errors Cymbeline Love's Labours Lost Measure for Measure The Merry Wives of Windsor The Merchant of Venice A Midsummer Night's Dream Much Ado About Nothing Pericles, Prince of Tyre Taming of the Shrew The Tempest Troilus and Cressida Twelfth Night Two Gentlemen of Verona Winter's Tale

History Henry IV, part 1 Henry IV, part 2 Henry V Henry VI, part 1 Henry VI, part 2 Henry VI, part 3 Henry VIII King John Richard II Richard III

Tragedy Antony and Cleopatra Coriolanus Hamlet Julius Caesar King Lear Macbeth Othello Romeo and Juliet Timon of Athens Titus Andronicus

Poetry The Sonnets A Lover's Complaint The Rape of Lucrece Venus and Adonis Funeral Elegy by W.S.

Poetic technique

Blank verse: unrhymed iambic pentameter Iambic pentameter


units of rhythm per line primary rhythm is iambic ( U / )

u / u / u / u / u / My mistress s eyes are nothing like the sun.

English theater in the time of Shakespeare

1576 James Burbage, an actor/manager, built the first permanent theater in England Called The Theater Burned down in 1599

Shakespeare and his company used materials salvaged from The Theater to build The Globe Theater

Was across Thames from London in area called Bankside

Was octagonal shape

Was built of oak timbers, plaster walls, thatched roof

The Globe was a typical sixteenth century English theatre.

Was three stories

Had Had

a thrust stage no covered roof


no curtain

the heavens, elaborately painted to depict the sun, moon, stars, planets no artificial lighting little/no scenery

Had Had


Only boys and men with young boys performing female roles


The Globe held 2000-3000 spectators. Well-to-do spectators sat in covered galleries around stage Most stood in yard around platform stage groundlings or penny stinkers.

The Lord Chamberlains Men (Shakespeares acting troupe) needed a place to perform their plays so they could compete with other acting troupes.


in 1598 and opened in 1599


down in1613 from a cannon blast during the play Henry VIII


and reopened in 1614

down by Puritans in 1642 and was torn down in 1644 a replica built on the original site in 1996


was three stories and held about three thousand people. was located in Southwark near the Thames River (just outside of London).

as not allowed to be built in the city of London because crowds often became rowdy. was place where most of Shakespeares plays were performed
had Shakespeare owning about 12 percent

Fights Spread Drug

of disease (the plague)


Prostitution Theft


classes of people attended plays there. often skipped work to go.

People Plays

had to be during the day.


actors had to deal with many distractions:

weather (no roof) rowdy audience fruits and veggies

thrown at them if the play or the acting was bad.

The Tragedy of Romeo and Juliet

was first published 1623
is a tragedy in five acts