Shakespearean Drama: Romeo & Juliet

Who was William Shakespeare? •(1564-1616) Shakespeare was commoner and only the nobility kept formal records of themselves, he was baptized on April 26 1564 born on April 23. Shakespeare goes to a grammar school in Stratford and the language was Latin. •In 1583 when Shakespeare was 18 he married Anne Hathaway.

They had three children. Susannah, born in 1583, and twins, Hamlet and Judith, born in 1585. Susannah married and had a child, Elizabeth, who also got married, but she had no children. Hamlet died in 1596, at the age of 11. Judith married, but her children did not live. •Shakespeare moved to London he spend all his life time there. He became famous, a jealous one perhaps, named Robert Greene, who called him “an upstart crow, beautified with our feathers.”

•In one of the company were some of London’s best actors, including Richard Burbage and Will Kemp. Shakespeare wrote and acted for this company. The king liked this company so much that he gave its members copyrights to perform anywhere in the kingdom give them special clothing, increased their salaries, and appointed their chief members, including Shakespeare, to be grooms of the Royal Chamber.

•In London, Shakespeare made enough money to buy a coat of arms. •Shakespeare returned to Stratford-upon-Avon in 1612 to live in one of its finest houses, He lived there until he died on April23, 1616, at 52 years old, on the date of his birth. He was buried under the floor of Stratford Church and left the inscription as warning. “Good friend, for Jesus’ sake forbear To dig the bones enclosed here!

Blest be the man that spares these stones And curst be he that moves my bones.” Shakespeare’s Genius: •it’s hard to say what kind of person was Shakespeare, because he didn’t left any letters, diaries or other private writing. Only plays. Shakespeare’s characters represent such a vast range of human behaviours and attitudes. •Shakespeare was a complete man of the theater who created works specifically for his own acting company and his own stage. He provided good parts in every play. But there were no actresses, he had limited number of female parts in his play, and create then in way that they could take by boys.

Many of Shakespeare’s plays have boys playing girls part. He also provided words for song, so that they would show the talents of particular actors with good voice. There are less actors so a single actor would have to perform more than 1 part. •A careful study of the plays show that shake spear handle all these technical problems very well. •Shakespeare’s work never go out of print. His work are always available in many different language and different format. What was London like in Shakespeare’s time?

•London in 1590 was a bustling city about 200000 people. Lots churches in the city. London was known as the city of churches. •Streets were narrow, cobblestoned in places, always dirty and crowded. •Shakespeare lived first in St. Helen’s parish near bishop Gate Street and later lived near cripple gate and across the river in Southwark. •It was an exciting city, full of strange things and sound.

There were many exotic sights such as clothing from Arab countries, masks and charms from Africa, goods from china, and stage fruits and vegetables such as tomato and potato. •London was a port city with many language be heard. Like French, Italian, Dutch and Russian. Londoners receive their education by reading books. No public libraries or newspaper but Broadsides-one page sheet printed on both sides that repots news happening in the communities, like murder, death, fire, disasters.

•The streets were crammed with humanity. People begged for food. Cries out for alms, church bells called citizens to pray. Londoners worked 12 hours a day. •Sprawling markets, there were shops everywhere imaginable, cloth was sold on London Bridge. London loved entertainment and was free. Water gas, small zoo, public executions and plays. •Permanent theatres where rapidly replacing the old inn yards as play of entertainment, and great actors, it was wonderful and glorious time in which to be working in one of the liveliest cities in the world. What was it like to go to the theatre in Shakespeare’s time?

•Inn years were best place for play performances. Because they provided a reader made audience and their long narrow entrance and surrounding balconies served as makeshift theatres. •Stages were probably improvised from any available materials. The inn’s stable and out building it’s the change rooms. In the early years of these production performers took up a collection at the end of each day. In later years, the performers contracted with the yard keeper to have him charge admissions. As play gets more popular, some actors considered having a permanent work.

•The globe’s stage was primitive by our standards. It had doors on both sides for entrances and exits, and has a recessed area which would serve as an inner stage. There’s a little room for storage of pros and elaborate scenery. About the stage was a balcony. •The Elizabethan stage provided an intimacy between actors and audience not possible in modern theatres. This is sometimes danger for actors if the audience was not happy. •One advantage was the speed and flexibility the stage offered, because the play did not have to be interrupted while the sets are being shifted. •The last big Elizabethan theatre build in 1600 called the fortune was square. Acts and scene division:

•Most of the acts and scene division in renaissance drama have been added by later editors. They have tried to adapt plays written for the old platform stage to the modern picture-frame stage. It is hard to tell how accurate the stage directions re. Props and Effects:

•Renaissance interiors were painted brightly, many decorations, and the space at the rear of the stage could be covered with colourful tapestries. Costumes were rich, elaborate and expensive. •Henslowe’s list of theatrical properties mentions, among other things, fountains, dragons, beds, tents, booths. The audience enjoyed the processions religion, royal, and military that occurs in many plays, these would enter the stage from one door, pass over the stage then exit by the other door. Display, sound effects, and music, both vocal and instrumental, all helped give members of the audience their money’s worth of theatrical experience.