An Incredibly Brief Introduction to Shakespeare Everything you
An Incredibly Brief Introduction to Shakespeare Everything you NEED to know to read his plays Click icon to add picture Three Basic Types of Shakespearean Plays Tragedy Comedy History Tragedy
Shakespearean Tragedy is the classification of drama written by William Shakespeare which has a noble protagonist, who is flawed in some way, placed in a stressful heightened situation and ends with a fatal conclusion. Typically there is a clear progression regarding the choices faced by the protagonist. Consequences become increasingly intense. It is as if the character is unknowingly sealing his or her fate. Comedy "Comedy", in its Elizabethan usage, had a very different meaning from modern comedy. A Shakespearean comedy is one that has a happy ending, usually involving marriages between the unmarried characters,
and a tone and style that is more light-hearted than Shakespeare's other plays. A pattern in the comedies is movement to a "green world main characters escape the order of a city for a forested and wild setting adjacent to the city. Another common dynamic found in comedies is the contrast of Apollonian values with Dionysian values. Characteristics of Shakespearean Comedies Shakespearean comedies tend to also include:
A greater emphasis on situations than characters A struggle of young lovers to overcome difficulty, often presented by elders Separation and re-unification Deception of characters A clever servant Disputes between characters, often within a family Multiple, intertwining plots
History The histories might be more accurately called the "English history plays" and include the outliers King John and Henry VIII as well as a continuous sequence of eight plays covering the Wars of the Roses. Histories are dramatizations of real historical figures. Basic 5 Act Structure Act One: The conflict and characters are established and the audience takes sides. It gives the rationale and emotional background of the coming action. (Exposition) Act Two: Suspense builds up as the good guys and the bad guys make
preliminary moves against one another. (Rising Action) Act Three: Things begin to look as if the bad guys are going to win, so the audience is interested to see if they actually do. (Climax) Act Four: The good guys rise up. The act ends at a point where the audience is ready for the final victory, but the play has not quite arrived there. (Falling Action) Act Five: The good guys win and although there could be a twist or turn that is not expected, the win is inevitable. (Denoument) Instant Analysis, or Shakespeare Made Easy The structure goes like this:
When the play begins, the word is in chaos. There is an inadequate solution imposed by a Duke or King, resulting in: A rebellion against that duke or king (successful in comedy, unsuccessful in tragedy), leading to: The installation of a new (or renewed) duke or king, but resulting in a less satisfying resolution for the world of the play. Instant Analysis, or Shakespeare Made Easy We might label it like this:
Disorder Order 1 Rebellion Successful/Unsuccessful Order 2 Lets look at a popular Shakespeare play we all love For Example: Romeo & Juliet
Disorder: The opening fight and the Montague/Capulet feud. Order 1: The Duke of verona orders an end to the fighting, or the Montagues and Capulets will pay with their lives. The Capulets throw a ball; Romeo and his friends attend so that he can see his true love, Rosaline. Everyone seems happy. Then Rebellion: R & J fall in love, defying evryone and everything. Successful: No. Many people die, including the two lovers. Order 2: Peace is restored by the Duke, who, renewed, now knows the truth of R & Js love. The families agree to build a monument to honor their children. Iambic Pentameter Iambic refers to a foot (unit of two or more syllables that
together make up the smallest unit of rhythm in a poem) consisting of an unstressed syllable followed by a stressed syllable. Pentameter means that each line will contain five feet sets of syllables. This is often compared to a heart beat. Soliloquy, Aside, & Monologue Soliloquy: a long speech given by a character that is alone on stage in order to reveal his or her thoughts Why does Shakespeare use soliloquies to reveal characters' thoughts?
Qu to esti Why is it important that the character is alone on stage during the soliloquy? yo ask ons Monologue: a speech given by a single person to an audienceurse l f: How would this monologue be different if it were a soliloquy? What effect, if any, does this monologue have on other characters? Aside: a comment made by a character to the audience or another character that no one else can hear Dramatic Irony
When the reader is aware of an inconsistency between a characters perception of a situation and the truth of that situation Shakespearean drama consists of dramatic irony, when the audience knows something that at least one character does not. Dramatic irony increases suspense, gives the audience the big picture, and helps make the audience feel superior. Here is one famous example: In Romeo and Juliet, we know that Juliet has taken a potion to simulate death. Everyone else thinks she is dead. Allusion A reference to a well-known person, place, or thing from literature, history, etc.
A Contemporary Allusion Swifts Taylorsong Swiftalludes alludestotoother Shakespeare parts of when she sings the following her Shakespeares Romeo
& Juliet,from as well. song Love Story: She mentions disapproving families and the famous balcony scene from the play. That you were Romeo
This is allusion because she mentions You were throwing pebbles the names and plot aspects of Romeo & And my daddy said Juliet in passing assuming her audience will understand. Stay away from Juliet Stock Characters
Love Struck Boy/Girl Unfair Parents Tyrannical Rulers Stupid or Clever Servant The Fool
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