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The Renaissance Theater and


The Renaissance Theater and Macbeth Ms. Eckman Elements of Literature, Sixth Course. Literature of Britain. New York: Holt, Rinehart, and Winston. 2000. 282-288 – PowerPoint PPT presentation

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Title: The Renaissance Theater and

The Renaissance Theater andMacbeth
  • Ms. Eckman
  • Elements of Literature, Sixth Course. Literature
    of Britain. New York Holt, Rinehart, and
    Winston. 2000. 282-288

The history of the theater.
  • Where did drama come from?
  • .from church ceremonies such as Morality Plays,
    Miracle Plays and Mystery plays
  • Dramas are based on the 5 cycles of human life
    (according to 13th 14th century workers
  • Creation by God
  • Fall to Satan
  • Life in the Old Testament
  • Redemption by Christ
  • Final Judgement

The Beginning of Medieval Drama
  • The English had been writing and performing plays
    centuries before the Renaissance.
  • Medieval drama likely evolved from church
  • 1300-1400s Drama moved out of the churches and
    into the marketplaces of towns.
  • Workers Guild A trade union combined with a
    club. Example Carpenter Guild. Each trade had
    its own guild.
  • Guilds cooperated in staging cycles of plays that
    dramatized stories from the bible.
  • Miracle and Mystery plays taught people stories
    from the bible and of the saints.
  • Morality plays taught people how to live good
  • Guilds built large wheeled carts on which they
    would perform their plays throughout sections of
    the town.
  • The guilds used elaborate costumes, props, and
    effects to gain attention and make the plays as
    lifelike as possible.
  • Gradually, the plays became less religious and
    more comedic.

Representation of a Mystery Play by David Jee
History continued.
  • The first public theater was built in 1576 by
    Richard and James Burbage. It was called
    Theater (no really- just Theater)
  • In 1599, the Theater was torn town and its wood
    was used to build the Globe theater.

Introducing.The Globe Theater!
  • The Globe is the most famous of the public
    theaters because the company that Shakespeare
    belonged to owned it.
  • The Globe Theater burned down in 1613.
  • Though scholars are not certain what the Globe
    looked like, stage directions from Shakespeares
    plays and historical documents have provided
    enough evidence for a modern reconstruction of
    the Globe theater.

The Globe Theater
  • Wooden structure three stories high
  • Held 3,000 people
  • Inner yard open to the sky
  • The stage jutted halfway out into the theatre
    allowing for the audience to be in much closer
    contact with the actors.
  • The stage had trap doors in the walls and ceiling
  • Scenery was kept to a minimum.
  • Actors wore elaborate and expensive costumes.
  • Music and lyrics were specifically written for
    every play.

The Globe Theater Today Techniques used in the
reconstruction of the theater were painstakingly
accurate. Photo by Tom Green
Who attended the globe???
  • The Audiences at the Globe theater had to use
    their imaginations
  • because
  • The limited scenery and lighting techniques.
  • There were no actresses, so boys played female
  • Instead of seeing a scene, audiences often heard
    it described in the play.
  • Who attended plays at the Globe theater?
  • 1. Groundlings The youth and poor could afford
    to watch the plays from the floor for one penny.
  • Groundlings were often sardined on the theater
    floor and were characteristically boisterous and
  • Groundlings were grimy, snaggle-toothed
    creatures who stood on the ground without seats,
    eating picking pockets. -from USA Today
  • 2. Upper class and Patrons Paid more money to
    sit in the upper stories of the theatre and have
    a better view of the stage.
  • 3. Nobility and Very Wealthy The most expensive
    seats were chairs set along the side of the

So why did so many people go to The Globe?
  • They loved to be entertained!
  • They liked to be close to the stage because then
    they could see every nuance of the actors
  • Loved to see witches devils going to hell OR
    Gods angels going to heaven

Music Costumes
  • Very important
  • The more elaborate the better!
  • Used rich fabrics fake jewels
  • Were beautiful- set fashion trends
  • All the music songs were written for EACH play

Where else did acting guilds perform???
  • In Great Halls of castles Manor houses but
    they needed to bring a portable stage because
    they didnt have any (was primarily used for
    things like Bear baiting)
  • 2. Indoor theaters around London

William Shakespeare 1564 - 1616
  • Married Anne Hathaway when he was 18.
  • Two daughters and one son his son died at age
  • By 1592, Shakespeare was involved in Londons
    theaters as both an actor and writer.
  • His wealth and popularity prospered by 1596 and
    Shakespeare moved up in social rank.
  • Member and shareholder of the theatre company who
    owned the Globe.
  • Six of his plays given command performances by
    Queen Elizabeth I.

Shakespeare Complete Man of the Theater
  • Shakespeare created his plays specifically for
    his own acting company and stage at The Globe
  • had to provide good parts in every play for the
    main performers in the company.
  • limited number of female characters because there
    were no female actresses during the time boys
    often played the female characters.
  • wrote lyrics for the music because audiences
    expected singing in every play.
  • Arranged scenes carefully so that actors could
    have multiple roles in a play there were a
    limited number of actors in a company!

  • Macbeth

Your Cast of Characters
  • King Duncan King of Scotland
  • Malcolm son to Duncan, named to be King
  • Donalbain other son to Duncan
  • Macbeth Thane of Glamis, Thane of Cawdor
  • and future king of Scotland
  • Banquo Macbeths best friend
  • Fleance Banquos son
  • Lady Macbeth wife to Macbeth
  • The 3 Weird Sisters/Witches predict the future
  • Hecate Queen of the witches
  • Macduff former friend of Macbethloyal to

Minor Characters
  • Ross a nobleman, tells Macduff that his family
    is dead
  • Lennox a nobleman
  • Angus a nobleman (with a fun name!)
  • Menteith Caithness noblemen
  • Siward Young Siward an English
  • general loyal to Malcolm and his son
  • Apparitions 3 of them, predict Macbeths future

  • The setting is in Scotland and England
  • Shakespeare based this play on historical fact
    The Gunpowder Act of 1605
  • The Elizabethan audience considered this play a
    thriller even though we know it as a tragedy.
  • This was Shakespeares shortest play- he hoped
    that his patron, King James, would come and watch
    the play.
  • The play is about real people and real emotions
    greed, ambition, power and desire!

What is a TRAGEDY?
  • .a kind of play in which human actions have
    inevitable consequences, in which the characters
    bad deeds, errors, mistakes and crimes are never
    forgiven or rectified. (Elements of Literature
  • .in a tragedy an ill judged-action will
    remorselessly lead to a catastrophe.(to) death
    or multiple deaths. (300)

The Prophecies..
  • The 3 weird sisters (witches) give Macbeth and
    Banquo 3 prophesies
  • 1. Macbeth will be Thane of Cawdor
  • 2. Macbeth will be King
  • 3. Banquo wont be king but his sons will
  • be Kings
  • Then

The Apparitions..
  • The Head wearing a Helmet said Macbeth should
    beware of Macduff
  • 2. The Bloody Child said that no one born of
    woman could harm Macbeth
  • 3. The Crowned Child holding a tree branch said
    that nothing would happen to Macbeth until the
    Great Birnam Woods moved to Dunsinane Hill
  • 4. The ghost of Banquo followed by 8 Kings
    still predicted that Banquos sons will be King
    (this really upset Macbeth!!)- the last king held
    a cup that showed more kings

The Themes
  • The corrupting power of AMBITION!
  • - Macbeths ambition
  • - Lady Macbeths ambition
  • The relationship between Cruelty Masculinity
  • -Lady Macbeth

Motifs and Symbols
  • Hallucinations reminder of guilt the
    unconscious mind
  • Violence even though most of the deaths occur
    offstage, you see the brutality/after effects
    (i.e the severed heads, bloody child)
  • Prophecies self-fulfilling vs. destiny or fate
  • Blood symbolizes guilt
  • Weather storms, thunder lightening are all
    present when unnatural things occur (murder and
    moral corruption)