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Elizabethan Theatre

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Elizabethan Theatre 1500-1700 Background Drama began to be affected by the study of ancient literature and philosophy Most early plays were done by university ... – PowerPoint PPT presentation

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Title: Elizabethan Theatre


1
Elizabethan Theatre
  • 1500-1700

2
Background
  • Drama began to be affected by the study of
    ancient literature and philosophy
  • Most early plays were done by university students
    and were performed at schools
  • This was a very turbulent time as Queen Mary
    forced Catholicism on England
  • This caused severe political and religious
    controversies

3
Background cont
  • These conflicts led to a huge change in drama
  • Plays began to be based on a sense of a moral
    force
  • There was also a ban on religious cycles, thus
    leading to professional companies

4
Globe Theatre
  • This is where the majority of Shakespeares plays
    debuted
  • Enclosed area with seating for the wealthy
  • Poorer patrons stood by the stage
  • Held approx. 2000

5
The Globe cont
  • Built in 1599
  • Housed a holding company
  • Located outside London
  • Behind the stage were dressing rooms and
    workrooms/storage areas

6
The Globes Stage
  • There was a second level to the stage used for
    high places
  • It also had a third area used for concealment and
    sometimes musicians

7
Management
  • Actors worked for noblemen who formed companies.
    (Shakespeares Lord Chamberlain's Men)
  • Each complex had rotating plays (up to 11)
  • Actors had to learn lines for multiple plays
  • A group of shareholders would own a theatre and
    do all bookings

8
Playwrights
  • Companies either acquired plays from free lancers
    or their own actors
  • Upon approval of the outline, the playwright was
    paid advances until the play was finished
  • This was the introduction of professional
    playwrights

9
Christopher Marlowe
  • Thought to have worked as a spy
  • Wrote 7 plays
  • Was an atheist
  • Murdered at the age of 29
  • Wrote energetic yet bizarre plays

10
Billy Shakespeare
  • The greatest of all playwrights
  • Had 3 kids
  • Moved to London at 24
  • Worked first as an actor
  • Became shareholder in the Globe and Blackfriar
  • Wrote 37 plays

11
Richard Burbage
  • Leading player in Shakespeare's plays
  • Son of one of the builders of the Globe
  • Carried the title role in Hamlet, Macbeth, and
    King Lear
  • Shakespeare wrote his plays with him in mind

12
The Acting Company
  • Stressed meaningful delivery of lines, convincing
    gestures and eloquence
  • Made up of from 5-14 men and boys
  • Each played several roles
  • Focused on story telling not character

13
Acting
  • Had to act at the end of the stage
  • Didnt worry about setting as they were often set
    in one place
  • Focused on the action and emotions
  • Did not learn other actors parts just their lines
  • This caused the focus to be on dominating a stage

14
Visual Elements
15
Architectural Facade
  • Above the stage there was a permanent piece that
    rose several stories
  • It had doorways, balconies and openings
  • It could symbolize whatever the setting needed to
    be (i.e. castle, city gates etc..)
  • Movies use these now to make things cheaper

16
Costumes
  • Extremely important
  • They were used to differentiate characters
  • Very few props were used. (only used if
    necessary)
  • Larger props would be carried on or discovered

17
Music and Dance
  • Music and dance was a big part of society
  • Musicians were used frequently for accompaniment
  • Henry VIII called for a cannon which actually lit
    the Globe on fire.

18
The Dumb Show
  • During different productions, artistic pantomimes
    would occur separate from the play.
  • They would describe historical meaning of the
    events of the play

19
The Audience
  • Extremely heterogeneous in makeup
  • One penny for standing room, and additional
    pennies for the galleries or private boxes
  • The audience was very emotional about theatre

20
Blackfriars
  • A private theatre that was used during the winter
    months
  • Long hall with the stage at the end
  • Lit by candles
  • 6 times more expensive
  • Dealt with far away places

21
Court Masques
  • Expensive, elaborate spectacle held for royalty
  • Developed from scenarios that featured
    mythological figures
  • Used elaborate settings and stage machines
  • Featured triangular settings, two side homes etc.

22
The Episodic Plot
  • The common idea that art reflected human behavior
  • Turned to romances and histories for plot
  • Concentrated on rapid progression
  • Worried about effect not cause

23
Exposition
  • Not a great deal happened before the play
  • Opening scene would introduce characters,
    setting, and names
  • A force would appear early to set things in motion

24
Scenes
  • 5 part form
  • Each scene did 1 of three things. 1) propel
    towards crises, (2) develop character or (3)
    compare and contrast characters
  • The highest tension occurred in the middle. Part
    4 lessened tension and the final part came the
    climax

25
Double Plots
  • Shakespeare loved using double plots
  • He would tell two stories to allow comparing and
    contrasting of the two
  • The lesser of the two would be resolved early

26
The Ending
  • Usually a public resolution, dealt with by an
    authority figure
  • In comedies love triumphed
  • In tragedy justice prevailed even if the hero
    died
  • The means of the ending were numerous
  • Usually followed by a speech and then exit

27
Language
  • Blank verse Unrhymed verse used for moods
  • Prose regular speech used in comic sense
  • Soliloquy Talking to oneself. Used to express
    emotion, reason aloud and ask for help
  • Asides Conversational and Solo
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