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SHAKESPEARE400 years of legacy

Shakespeare's biography

thou = you (subject, singular, informal) e.g. "Thou wast in the next room."ye = you (subject, plural) e.g. "Ye all came forth from the room."thee = you (object... "to you" ) e.g. "I saw thee in the other room."thine or thy = your (possessive, singular) e.g. "That is thy room."art = aredost = dodoth = does'ere = beforehast = have'tis = it is'twas = it waswast = werewhence = from wherewherefore = why hence = from hereoft = oftenyea = evenay = yesaught = anythingyon, yonder = that one therewould (he were) = I wish (he were)marry = (a mild swear word)nay = nohie = hurry

Some of the most famous lines in the history of literature come from the writings of William Shakespeare. As well, some of the most famous literary devices also come from William Shakespeare. He produced many highly-praised stories of human drama, comedy, and romantic sonnets and his work continues to influence writers to this day. Shakespeare created the majority of his popular plays and stories in the late 16th century. For many years he enjoyed writing comedies and historical plays until he found his true love: writing tragedies and dark dramas, such as Hamlet and Macbeth. Shakespeare wrote his earlier plays in the traditional style of the time. He relied heavily on using drawn out—sometimes extravagant—metaphors and narcissisms. His style often sounded pompous. Shakespeare wrote in iambic pentameter. The results were plays and sonnets that had ten syllables per line and with his plays, these lines were unrhymed. The simplest way to describe the rhythm of iambic pentameter is to liken it to a heartbeat, which means a series of stressed words, then unstressed words. In the case of the heartbeat, it would sound like bump BUMP, bump BUMP. Using an example from Shakespeare's sonnets, this would be: When I do count the clock that tells the time This style of writing lent itself to the theatricality of a play, which was as much about using the language beautifully as it was about telling a good story or furthering the plot. While writing such classics as A Midsummer Night's Dream, Romeo and Juliet, and Richard II in the late 16th century, Shakespeare gradually developed and changed his writing style from the traditional form to a more self-expressive style. The soliloquy or monologue was a common device that the famous playwright used to tell his stories. This monologue served to reveal the character's thoughts—as in the "Hamlet" example—as well as to create the play's setting or advance the plot. It serves to bring the audience into the story and let it in on secrets that the rest of the characters in the play may not know. The narrator character in the play "Our Town" by Thornton Wilder uses monologues extensively to let the audience in on the secrets of the town and to set the stage since typically this play features a mostly empty stage with the actors creating the settings with their words. This shows Shakespeare's strong influence as his plays relied on the same devices and often through the sililoquy of a single character, although not always. After completing Hamlet, Shakespeare adopted a more centered, swift, distinct, and non-repetitive writing style. He began to use more run-on lines, uneven pauses and stops, and excessive alterations in sentence length and structure. Shakespeare wrote about people who seemed real instead of using stock characters as was common in the theater during his days and in the generations that came before it. This literary device allowed him to make characters like MacBeth or Hamlet sympathetic even though they did some terrible things throughout the course of the play. It is because the Bard made them seem real and human, but flawed that he was able to do this. This influence can be seen in works from the 20th and 21st centuries in both movies and plays by writers like Sam Shepard or Arthur Miller. Additionally, Shakespeare's work deviated from that of his contemporaries in that he wrote for every type of person who came to the theater or read poems, not just for the upper class as was common. His plays like "Henry the 4th, part 1" featured not only a king and prince, but also one of the Bard's most famous comedic characters, Romeo and Juliet shows Shakespeare's witty writing style and his creative mastery. At this point in his life (around 1595), he favored a more theatrical structure, such as changing between comedy and tragedy to increase suspense. He expanded minor characters and developed sub-plots to amplify the story. Shakespeare also associated various poetic styles to different characters, occasionally evolving the style as the character developed. William Shakespeare was the most influential writer of all-time, bringing a lyrical element to plays about great kings and poor paupers alike. His iambic pentameter verses utilized a natural rhythm of the English language and his themes as well as his literary devices continue to inspire and influence writers even now in the 21st century. Read more at: ©

Acting was not a highly paid or highly respected profession. Actors were seen as vagrant troublemakers who promoted hard living and sin. Poor people called the groundlings, or penny knaves, were famous their love of plays. They would pay one penny to stand in front of the stage in an area called the open yard.

There was no copyright on those days the majority of playwrights did not trust actors. They were afraid they might steal the scripts and give them to competing acting companies. Therefore, an actor was given his role either as the play was in progress or someone would whisper the lines to him at the time of the performance.

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Going to a play was a lively event. Groundlings would frequently talk, yell, and even throw things (think rotten produce, etc.) during the play. If the audience liked or did not like the play or the actors, the groundlings would let everyone in the theater know it. Rich people would even sit on stage and make comments to the audience during the play.

William Shakespeare 26 April 1564 (baptised) – 23 April 1616) was an English poet, playwright, and actor, widely regarded as the greatest writer in the English language and the world's pre-eminent dramatist.He is often called England's national poet, and the "Bard of Avon". His extant works, including collaborations, consist of approximately 38 plays,154 sonnets, two long narrative poems, and a few other verses, some of uncertain authorship. His plays have been translated into every major living language and are performed more often than those of any other playwright.Shakespeare was born and brought up in Stratford-upon-Avon, Warwickshire. At the age of 18, he married Anne Hathaway, with whom he had three children: Susanna, and twins Hamnet and Judith. Sometime between 1585 and 1592, he began a successful career in London as an actor, writer, and part-owner of a playing company called the Lord Chamberlain's Men, later known as the King's Men. He appears to have retired to Stratford around 1613, at age 49, where he died three years later. Few records of Shakespeare's private life survive, which has stimulated considerable speculation about such matters as his physical appearance, and religious beliefs.Shakespeare produced most of his known work between 1589 and 1613. His early plays were primarily comedies and histories, and these are regarded as some of the best work ever produced in these genres. He then wrote mainly tragedies until about 1608, including Hamlet, Othello, King Lear, and Macbeth, considered some of the finest works in the English language.In his last phase, he wrote tragic comedies, also known as romances, and collaborated with other playwrights.Many of his plays were published in editions of varying quality and accuracy during his lifetime. In the 20th and 21st centuries, his works have been repeatedly adapted and rediscovered by new movements in scholarship and performance. His plays remain highly popular, and are constantly studied, performed, and reinterpreted in diverse cultural and political contexts throughout the world.Read more on


Shakespeare's company erected the storied Globe Theatre circa 1599 in London's Bankside district. It was one of four major theatres in the area, along with the Swan, the Rose, and the Hope. The open-air, polygonal amphitheater rose three stories high with a diameter of approximately 100 feet, holding a seating capacity of up to 3,000 spectators. The rectangular stage platform on which the plays were performed was nearly 43 feet wide and 28 feet deep. This staging area probably housed trap doors in its flooring and primitive rigging overhead for various stage effects.In 1613, the original Globe Theatre burned to the ground when a cannon shot during a performance of Henry VIII ignited the thatched roof of the gallery. The company completed a new Globe on the foundations of its predecessor before Shakespeare's death. It continued operating until 1642, when the Puritans closed it down (and all the other theatres, as well as any place, for that matter, where people might be entertained). Puritans razed the building two years later in 1644 to build tenaments upon the premises. The Globe would remain a ghost for the next 352 years.The foundations of the Globe were rediscovered in 1989, rekindling interest in a fitful attempt to erect a modern version of the amphitheater. Led by the vision of the late Sam Wanamaker, workers began construction in 1993 on the new theatre near the site of the original. The latest Globe Theatre was completed in 1996; Queen Elizabeth II officially opened the theatre on June 12, 1997 with a production of Henry V. The Globe is as faithful a reproduction as possible to the Elizabethan model, seating 1,500 people between the galleries and the "groundlings." In its initial 1997 season, the theatre attracted 210,000 patrons.

Romeo & Juliet Nino Rotta ''What is a youth?''

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Shakespeare's writing style

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