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Much Ado About Nothing

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... built in England for the first time, attracting 15,000 theatergoers per week ... One of 8 children, he grew up in the small town of Stratford-upon-Avon, 100 ... – PowerPoint PPT presentation

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Title: Much Ado About Nothing


1
Much Ado About Nothing
  • Introduction to
  • Elizabethan Era
  • Elizabethan Theater
  • The Life of Shakespeare
  • Comedy

2
Elizabethan Age
  • Elizabeth I became the Queen of England in 1558,
    six years before Shakespeares birth.
  • During her 45-year reign, London became a
    cultural and commercial center learning and
    literature thrived, and England developed into
    one of the major powers of Europe.
  • There was a lot of religious strife between
    Protestant and Catholic leaders and their
    followers at this time.
  • When compromise was not possible, she was an
    exacting and determined leader who did not shy
    away from conflict.

Information from Shakespeare in American
Communities Teachers Guide
3
Elizabethan Age cont.
  • Elizabeth I also recognized the importance of the
    arts to the life and legacy of her nation.
  • She was fond of the theater, and many of
    Englands greatest playwrights were active during
    her reign.
  • With her permission, professional theaters were
    built in England for the first time, attracting
    15,000 theatergoers per week in London.
  • After Elizabeths death, King James I rose to
    power. A writer himself, he displayed a great
    love of learning particularly theater. At the
    kings invitation, Shakespeares theater company
    continued to prosper.

Information from Shakespeare in American
Communities Teachers Guide
4
The Globe Theater
Outside of the Globe Theater in London
The Globe Theater was built in 1599 by
Shakespeares playing company.
5
The Globe Theater
Inside of the Globe Theater in London
6
The Globe Theater
Inside of the Globe Theater in London
7
Elizabethan Theater
  • Theater was central to Elizabethan social life.
  • As drama shifted from a religious to a secular
    function in society, playwrights and poets were
    among the leading artists of the day.
  • In spite of its popularity, the Elizabethan
    theater attracted criticism, censorship, and
    scorn from some sectors of English society.
  • The plays were often coarse and boisterous, and
    playwrights and actors belonged to a bohemian
    class.
  • Puritan leaders and officers of the Church of
    England considered actors to be of questionable
    character, and they criticized playwrights for
    using the stage to disseminate their irreverent
    opinions.

Information from Shakespeare in American
Communities Teachers Guide
8
Elizabethan Theater continued
  • They also feared the overcrowded theater spaces
    might lead to the spread of disease.
  • At times throughout the sixteenth century,
    Parliament censored plays for profanity, heresy,
    or politics.
  • Queen Elizabeth, and later King James offered
    protections that ultimately allowed the theater
    to survive.
  • Acting was not considered an appropriate
    profession for women in the Elizabethan era, and
    even into the seventeenth century, acting
    companies consisted of men with young boys
    playing the female roles.

Information from Shakespeare in American
Communities Teachers Guide
9
Elizabethan Theater continued
  • Each section of the theater bore a different
    price of admission, with the lowest prices in the
    pit below stage level where patrons stood to
    watch the play.
  • Most performance spaces were arranged
    in-the-round, giving spectators the opportunity
    to watch both the play and the behavior of other
    spectators.
  • Etiquette did not prohibit the audiences from
    freely expressing their distaste or satisfaction
    for the action on stage.
  • In 1642, with England on the verge of a civil
    war, theaters were closed because they felt it
    was a distraction.
  • When King Charles II took English throne in 1660,
    the theaters were reopened.

Information from Shakespeare in American
Communities Teachers Guide
10
The Life of William Shakespeare (1564-1616)
  • He was not born into a family of nobility or
    significant wealth.
  • He did not continue his formal education a
    university, nor did he come under the mentorship
    of a senior artist, nor did he marry into wealth
    or prestige.
  • He was born to a glove maker and tradesman, and
    the daughter of an affluent farmer.
  • One of 8 children, he grew up in the small town
    of Stratford-upon-Avon, 100 hundred miles NW of
    London, far from the cultural and courtly center
    of England.
  • At 18, he married Anne Hathaway, a women who was
    8 years older than him and already 3 months
    pregnant with their first child.

Information from Shakespeare in American
Communities Teachers Guide
11
The Life of William Shakespeare (1564-1616)
  • After the birth of their 3 children (including a
    pair of twins), the historical record of
    Shakespeare is incomplete.
  • Contradictory and unreliable, scholars refer to
    this 7 year period as his lost years.
  • In a 1592 pamphlet by Robert Greene, Shakespeare
    reappears as an upstart crow flapping his
    poetic wings in London.
  • Between 1590 and 1592, Shakespeares Henry VI
    series, Richard III, and The Comedy of Errors
    were performed.
  • In 1594 Shakespeare became a shareholder in the
    Lord Chamberlains Men, one of the most popular
    acting companies in London.

Information from Shakespeare in American
Communities Teachers Guide
12
The Life of William Shakespeare (1564-1616)
  • When King James came to the throne in 1603, he
    issued a royal license to Shakespeare and his
    fellow players, organizing the as the King's Men.
  • In 1616, with his health declining, Shakespeare
    revised his will to leave he bulk of his estate
    to his 2 daughters, with monetary gifts set aside
    for his sister, theater partners, friends, an the
    poor of Stratford.
  • He died on April 23, 1616.
  • To the world, he left a lasting legacy in the
    form of 38 plays, 154 sonnets, and two narrative
    poems.
  • He is recognized as one of the greatest English
    playwrights of his era.

Information from Shakespeare in American
Communities Teachers Guide
13
The Genre of Comedy
  • The comic hero is not so rigid.
  • He or she chooses to live in society, and
    frequently turns to compromise in order to be
    permitted to do so.
  • This is why so many classic comedic works end in
    a wedding.
  • The wedding symbolizes the degree to which
    individuality must be sacrificed to form a
    partnership with another person, and by
    extension, with a social group.
  • Ultimately, the complications in human
    relationships in a comedy are happily resolved in
    the end.

Information from Apex Curriculum(Critical
Reading and Writing Semester 2
14
The Genre of Comedy continued
  • While modern audiences interpret "comedy" to mean
    "funny," that's not always the case.
  • Certainly, comedy can present humorous incidents,
    and we likely will laugh at the ways in which the
    hero is challenged. Real life, however, is not
    always amusing, nor are the situations we find
    ourselves in from day to day.
  • We use comedy to laugh at the other guy's
    problems, knowing full well that we could be in
    the same position. But contrary to real life, we
    can be sure that with comedy, everything will
    turn out fine in the end.

Information from Apex Curriculum(Critical
Reading and Writing Semester 2
15
The Genre of Comedy Continued
  • The comic "villain" is the blocking force for the
    comic hero or heroine.
  • Sometimes this can be a bad guy, but sometimes
    it's simply an element that's out of the hero's
    control.

Information from Apex Curriculum(Critical
Reading and Writing Semester 2
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