Shakespeare and the Theatre

Cudzie jazyky » Angličtina

Autor: Chlapec studak
Typ práce: Maturita
Dátum: 28.01.2012
Jazyk: Angličtina
Rozsah: 930 slov
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Shakespeare and the Theatre
The English drama has a long tradition; it has 3 stages of development:
1. Dramatic conflict between God and Evil – represented as a conflict between angels and devils
2. Angels and devils are generalized into Virtues (truth, honesty) and Vices (greed, revenge)
3. The types are made more real, the qualities of individuals are given to them
The 1st English plays were about religious stories, they were performed in churches, were acted by people of the town on the stage on wheels.
· Mystery plays – mainly about biblical stories - Adam and Eve, the great flood, Abraham and Isaac
· Miracle plays – about the lives of saints and martyrs and miracles that happened during their lives or after their death
· The Morality plays – allegorical, the characters weren’t people, but virtues and vices, it presented moral truths
Long before the existence of regular theatres there were companies of actors, who had a portable stage and they used to play at public places. They needed a patron, because without it they would be considered as beggars and they could be arrested.
· Everyman – one of the best known Morality play from 15th century, translated from Dutch – the story about the end of Everyman’s life – Beauty, knowledge and strength leave him, only good deeds stays
· The Interludes – another kind of play, short comic stories with only a few characters
1576 - The 1st theatre was built in London, it was called the Theatre
 
John Lyly
· Represents the court drama – written for entertainment of the court, not for public
· The 1st who started to write romantic prose comedies
o Alexander and the Campaspe – prose comedy – performed on the court of Queen Elizabeth,  successful
 
Christopher Marlow
· Great dramatist of the time
· Maybe he helped Shakespeare with writing of his early plays
· He used blank verse
· In his works he showed “gigantic passions on a gigantic scale”
· In each tragedy he showed one of the passions
o Tamburlaine the Great – his 1st tragedy, about the passion for political power
o The Jew of Malta – about the passion for wealth
o Dr Faustus – about the passion for the power that is brought by knowledge (about man who sold his soul to the devil to gain power)
o Edward II – best play, Edward II – shame of England
o Massacre in Paris – about Bartholomew Night
 
WILLIAM SHAKESPEARE (23rd April 1564 – 23rd April 1616)
He is considered to be the greatest of all dramatists.
He was born in Stratford-upon-Avon in family of glove maker and shopkeeper. At the age of 18 he married Anne Hathaway (she 26), he had 3 children. He went to work to London and he left Anne and his children at home, he joined a group of actors (The Lord Chamberlain’s Men),it became the Kings Men under the patronage of James I. He soon began to act and write plays.
1599 – The Globe theatre was built on the south bank of the river Thames, most of Shakespeare’s plays were played there
· It’s a circular building, it has 6 sides, without roof
· Upper classes sat in boxes round the theatre, ordinary people stood in the pit (they were called groundlings)
· Most important seats for important people behind the stage – it’s not important to see, but to be seen
· All roles were played by men, even the female roles
 
He wrote 37 plays and 154 sonnets, his language was very rich. There are speculations if really all of his works are written by him.
He used blank verse (iambic pentameter – 10 or 11 syllables – if 11, it has feminine ending)
1.  Tragedies
· Macbeth – tragedy of passion for power (Macbeth is Scottish nobleman)
· Hamlet, the Prince of Denmark – tragedy of irresolution
· Romeo and Juliet – tragedy of unhappy love and hate of 2 families
o The story takes place in Italy, in Verona. There are 2 very rich families, the Montagues and Capulets and they hate each other. Juliet Capulet and Romeo Montague meet at the celebration and they fall in love, without knowing their families are enemies. Juliet finds out that she’s supposed to marry another man, Paris. She goes to Friar Laurence and he gives her a sleeping potion to make her appear death for 42 hours, co she couldn’t marry Paris. She took the potion and everyone thinks that she is death. She is carried to the family tomb. But Romeo didn’t receive the letter from Friar Laurence and he thinks that Juliet is really death. He buys a poison, goes to the tomb and he drinks it. After Juliet woke up, she sees death Romeo and she kills herself with a dagger. In the end the families reconcile.
· Othello, the Moor of Venice – tragedy of jealousy (Othello kills his wife Desdemona, because he was told she was cheating on him)
· King Lear – tragedy of children’s ungratefulness and old people’s foolishness and trust in their own children
2.  Comedies
· The Comedy of Errors
· The Merchant of the Venice
· A Midsummer-Night’s Dream
· Much Ado about Nothing
· Merry Wives of Windsor
3.  Historical dramas
· Henry IV, V, VI
· Richard II, III
· Julius Caesar
4. Romances
· The Winter’s Tale
· The Tempest
5.  Sonnets
· Love poetry, addressed to a man
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