1564William Shakespeare was born. He spent his early years in Stratford upon Avon where he attended Stratford Grammar School until he was 14 years old.
1582Marriage to Anne Hathaway (26-years old).
1583William Shakespeare and Anne Hathaway`s first child was born – six months after their wedding.
1585The twins, Hamnet and Judith were born.
1592William was established in the London theatre world as an actor, playwright and poet.
1593Begins writing the sonnets which were probably completed in 1597.
1594Founding member of an acting company.
1595-96“Romeo and Juliet, A Midsummer Night´s Dream” building in Stratford.
1597Shakespeare buys New Place, the second largest building in Stratford.
1599The Globe Theatre was built on Bankside in London; Shakespeare is part owner.
1605His acting company (The King´s Man) performs eleven times before the kings and seven of the performances are plays by Shakespeare.
1606Macbeth was published.
1609Sonnets of Shakespeare were published.
1610Shakespeare leaves London and settles in Stratford as a rich man.
1616William Shakespeare dies, having written 38 plays.
1623The first complete collection of his works was published.
The Elizabethan Era * Queen Elizabeth reigned 1558-1603; called the Elizabethan Era * Often considered to be a ‚golden age‘ in the history of English literature * The Elizabethan theatre grew during this time
* The Elizabethan Era was a short period of relative peace, stability and prosperity * The Elizabethans thought that every unusual event (e.g. floods, storms and unexpected death) was an unnatural thing * In the Great Chain of Being everything was connected in a hierarchy * God was at the top, then came the angels and spirits, kings and nobles, the lower classes, animals, plants, rocks and minerals at last * They all knew their duties and places to be
* In the Elizabethan family wives were expected to be obedient and respectful and the husbands were expected to provide for their families and wives * The kids had to raise respect towards their parents
* Unmarried mothers often lost their jobs
Shakespeare in connection with the Elizabethan Era * In this time William Shakespeare became famous * He was the greatest writer * His plays dominated the English literature * He wrote about 40 dramas and most of them are still regularly performed today * He wrote histories, tragedies, comedies and romances * In all of them prevail supernatural powers * his tragedies show timelessness and contain passionate protagonists * jealousy plays a major role in “Othello” and ambition is picked out as a central theme in “Macbeth” * The genius quality of William Shakespeare is reflected in the character development and the linguistic format as well as in his reinterpretations of already existing materials
The Elizabethan Theatre * The performances took place in daylight on open-air stages * Backdrops and stage settings were almost not used * The imagination of the audience was provided * The audience stood directly in front of the stage * Stage was open on three sides * The cheap entrance tickets almost enabled every class of population to come to the theatre * Some performances were enact at yards
* The typical Elizabethan stage widely abdicates from backdrops and props * On these grounds it wasn’t necessary to mention corresponding stage directions in the script * The audience stood around the stage in daylight
* So-called ‘word backdrops’ were used so the audience could better imagine the respective situations * It was a stage setting which was only evoked with language * The lack of scenery on stage had a direct influence on the linguistic version of the drama * That is the reason why you should always consult the historical context into consideration * The detailed description of the environment is necessary to get the right impression of the scene and general view of the play
Shakespeare´s sonnets and language
Sonnet: * A sonnet is a fourteen line poem Shakespeare´s sonnet is made up of three quatrains and a concluding couplet * the ryme scheme in Shakespeare´s sonnet is often “abab cdcd efefe gg” * usually, the quatraibs abd the couplet form should show a line of argument, a problem is described in the first 12 lines and “solved” in the last two lines with a form of a witty summary or commentary * the sonnet often contains a “turn” or a change of thought, e.g if there is a “but” in the beginning of one line
Language: * Start of 16th century there were very little serious writing in English – Latin was the educated language during this time
* One difference between Shakespeare´s English and modern English : The form of address:
“thou”-used in informal context “you”-were the more formal form of address
* Shakespeare´s verb form were different from the verb forms today:
Modern:Shakespeare do-dost does-doth did-didst