William Shakespeare (1564–1616), `The Bard of Avon', English poet and playwright
While Shakespeare caused much controversy, he also earned lavish praise and has profoundly impacted the world over in areas of literature, culture, art, theatre, and film and is considered one of the best English language writers ever
At this time of prolific writing, Shakespeare began his association until his death with The Lord Chamberlain's Men. With the accession of James I they became the King's Men, who bought and performed most of Shakespeare's plays. The troupe included his friend and actor Richard Burbage. They performed frequently at court, and in the theatres that Shakespeare was co-owner of including the Blackfriars, The Theatre, and The Globe in London until it burnt down during a performance of King Henry VIII.
It is generally agreed that most of the Shakespearean Sonnets were written in the 1590s, some printed at this time as well. Others were written or revised right before being printed. 154 sonnets and "A Lover's Complaint" were published by Thomas Thorpe as Shake-speares Sonnets in 1609. The order, dates, and authorship of the Sonnets have been much debated with no conclusive findings.
Some probably inspired by Shakespeare's study of Lives (trans.1597) by Greek historian and essayist Plutarch and Raphael Holinshed's Chronicles (1587). Some are reworkings of previous stories, many based on English or Roman history.
1.) The most important reason to study Shakespeare is because his plays provide windows into human nature. Though the costumes, the language, and the environments have changed, this is the one aspect of his plays that will always remain. People are the same today as they were then. In life, you will find the easily misled (Brutus), the vengeful (Iago, Hamlet, and others), the insecure and gullible (Othello), the overly ambitious (Macbeth and his wife), the lovers, the fighters, the innocent, and the villains. You can find the good, the bad, and the ugly - remember those witches? Any personality you can think of is represented somewhere, and by reading a Shakespearean play, you can understand those personalities better. Companies have been known to study Shakespearean plays to educate corporate executives on human nature.
2.) Focus on the DRAMA. My students often became lost in the language, but the real focus should be on the drama. These plays were some of the very first soap operas, filled with politics, family problems, insanity, murder, revenge, love, war, manipulations, the supernatural, humor, heartache, and the list goes on. These plays are popular for the same reasons that we enjoy television shows and movies today. The action is nonstop.
3.) Don't hate the language; learn to respect it. Shakespeare wrote most parts of his plays in iambic pentameter. Iambic pentameter is a series of 5 sets of unstressed followed by stressed syllables.
ta - DA / ta -Da / ta - DA / ta - DA / ta - DA
Most lines in Shakespeare's plays and sonnets formed this rhythmic beat. This is not an easy thing to do. You should take a few minutes and try to formulate your own lines of iambic pentameter. If you can do that, you can at least develop an appreciation for the skill involved. Of course, the poetry can be overwhelming, but usually"
Shakespeare's writings greatly influenced the entire English language. Prior to and during Shakespeare's time, the grammar and rules of English were not fixed. But once Shakespeare's plays became popular in the late seventeenth and eighteenth century, they helped contribute to the standardization of the English language, with many Shakespearean words and phrases becoming embedded in the English language, particularly through projects such as Samuel Johnson's A Dictionary of the English Language which quoted Shakespeare more than any other writer. He expanded the scope of English literature by introducing new words and phrases, experimenting with blank verse, and also introducing new poetic and grammatical structures
"William Shakespeare's influence extends from theatre to literature to present day movies and to the English language itself. Widely regarded as the greatestwriter of the English language and the world's pre-eminent dramatist, Shakespeare transformed English theatre by expanding expectations about what could be accomplished through characterization, plot, language and genre. Shakespeare's writings have also influenced a large number of notable novelists and poets over the years, including Herman Melville and Charles Dickens. Finally, Shakespeare is the second most quoted writer in the history of theEnglish-speaking world after the various writers of the Bible, and many of his quotations and neologisms have passed into everyday usage in English and other languages.
• A laughing stock (The Merry Wives of Windsor)
• A sorry sight (Macbeth)
• As dead as a doornail (Henry VI)
• Eaten out of house and home (Henry V, Part 2)
• Fair play (The Tempest)
• I will wear my heart upon my sleeve (Othello)
• In a pickle (The Tempest)
• In stitches (Twelfth Night)
• In the twinkling of an eye (The Merchant Of Venice)
• Mum's the word (Henry VI, Part 2)
• Neither here nor there (Othello)
• Send him packing (Henry IV)
• Set your teeth on edge (Henry IV)
• There's method in my madness (Hamlet)
They both connect differently. The adults take much more of a rehearsed approach. They already know Shakespeare and relish the chance o perform. Whereas the students throw themselves into it as for them its something new and exciting. Being able to perform outsider seems to add to the atmosphere it gives you something that you wouldn't get on a normal stage. With the students that have been here for a while find it a lot easier to just slip into the Shakespeare roles, and sometimes they begin to ad-lib, which we don't really encourage but it still shows the students vast understanding of Shakespeare.
THE RSC HOLDS A VARIETY OF WORKSHOPS FOR THE AGES BETWEEN 8-18. ALL ARE GEARED TOWARDS THE SEPARATE AGES GROUPS, BELOW ARE INFORMATION ABOUT THEM AND WHAT THEY DO.
FOR THE YOUNGEST CHILDREN, THEY CAN PERFORM YPS HAMLET, YPS COMEDY ERRORS, A VARIETY OF OTHER PLAYS DONE BY STRATFORD AND PUPPET WORKSHOPS. BELOW IS A LITTE INFOR ABOUT THE COMEDY OF ERROS.
We believe students have the best possible introduction to Shakespeare if actively introduced to the themes, characters and language before seeing a production. Depending on your students' knowledge of a play, school workshops can offer a first introduction or a more in-depth insight to the play and creative choices made for this production.
These 90 minute workshops delivered by our artistes will offer an active insight into the characters, themes and text of the play. They are ideal sessions for engaging students new to Shakespeare.
Thursday 9 September, 1.30-3pm
Oh defiantly! I have seen kids grow from the age of 7 up to 18 and leave and the way they hold themselves completely changes over that time. By learning Shakespeare, their vocabulary immediately improves. By performing his plays they become more confident with themselves and their use of language. Its interesting to see how responsive they actually are, because what they learn from us i.e the fundamental interaction skills in groups, the confidence of performing and reciting, they ease of creating a character, these are all skills that they can adapt and take on later in life. This is the same with anything a child performs, but more specifically with Shakespeare, they earn a respect for the writing and the english language as well as understanding part of or countries great history. Those are things you just cant learn from performing in a Pantomime for example.
The globe offers a great opportunity for kids to interact with Shakespeare in a well known and historic place. They run a few workshops but their interaction with kids is mostly through schools. They have set a large chunk of the actors time aside to help teach the kids and get them involved with Shakespeare in a hands on way.