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Introducing Mr. William Shakespeare: A BriefBiography of the Bard ofAvon William Shakespeare (1564-1616) was an English playwright and poet. He is ge:q.~rally considered to be the greatest dramatist the world has every known and one of the finest poets to have written in the English language. His fame basically rests on his understanding of human nature and his ability to create characters that have meaning beyond time and place of his plays. Shakespeare wrote at least 37 plays, which are divided into comedies, tragedies and histories. He has had enormous influence on culture throughout the world and has contributed greatly to the development of the English language." He experimepted freely with English spelling and grammar and helped prevent literary English from becoming fixed and artificial. Many words and phrases from Shakespeare's poems and plays have become part of our everyday speech. They are used by millions ofpeople who are unaware that Shakespeare created them. For example, Shakespeare originated familiar phrases such as, "fair play, a foregone conclusion, catch cold, disgraceful conduct." He also invented the following words, "assassination, bump, eventful and lonely." At the time of Shakespeare's writings, class structure was based on wealth and heredity were the basis of society. Once a person was born into a certain class it was very difficult, if not impossible to change out of it. People often followed the occupation of the parents and so family ties were very important. Kings controlled their territories and countries~ They were seen as the heart and soul of the country. Kings were ordained by God or the Pope to rule. They were a great source of patriotism and ruled at times ruthlessly. They controlled what was Written or produced tightly. " Religion, the church and "natural law" (the idea of offending God, good & evil) were still a controlling influence on all tiers of society. . .. ~



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Elizabethan is a term used to describe the period in England roughly between the early 1500s and about 1600. We refer to this period in this way after Queen Elizabeth 1 who reigned in Engiand at the time.


The sixteenth century was in the middle of the period known as the Renaissance. which marked an upsurge in' most fields of human endeavour. Art, literature, music, science, mathematics and cosmology all made great progress in Europe during this time. The works of Leonardo da Vinci, Michelangelo and of, course, Shakespeare, belong to this amazing period. Publishing grew and literacy levels began to rise.


Under the rule of Queen Elizabeth, England became a wealthy power, setting sail for the socalled 'New World' and becoming rich on the products brought back to Europe, such as tobacco, spices, potatoes and -tomatoes. This wealth was accompanied by a grow1ng sense of awareness of the world outside England. Shakespeare was so inspired he set many of his plays in these faroff places, such as Athens or Bohemia, none of w~ich he had ever visited.


During this period, drama developed greatly in England. Whereas players had previously roamed the countryside, performing religious and simple comedy plays, now big theatres were designed and built in London, where the theatre fiourished. The theatres were built across the Thames river because the Puritans had a great deal of infiuence on the city of London and its laws. Puritans were people of strict religious belief who wanted amusements such as theatre banned, because they felt it to be sinful. Nevertheless, the theatre was very successful. The poor could pay a small amount and stand during the performance (this part of the audience was referred to as the 'groundlings'). The rich C~lJrd pay for seats built up high or even for a seat on the side of the stage right next to the actors. The theatres either employed or were owned by writers. Shakespeare was part-owner of the Globe theatre. He began work there as an actor and then became their most famous writer. Other Elizabethan playwrights were his rivals, including Christopher Marlowe who was probably the most talented of the other playwrights.

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Shakespeare belonged to the Elizabethan and Jacobean ages, corresponding to the times of Elizabeth I and her cousin, James 1. Many great dramatists lived during this time, such as Christopher MarloWe and Ben Jonson, creating a colossal theatrical explosion. London was the centre of European culture, drawing inspiration from foreign sources, especially Italy and France, bl,Jt taking its own art to greater heights. "


The most famous theatre was The Globe, but others existed outside the city walls too, such as The Bear Garden and The Rose. They were built across the Thames River from the city itself, as the city councillors distrusted theatre people, considering them to be morally low and a corrupting influen~e on society. They also thought that theatres were a breeding ground for disease, which they probably were with so many spectators crammed into a small space, sneezing and coughing on each other. For these reasons, theatres were also closed for certain periods of the year, though " this was mostly dictated by the weather, religious observance, like Lent, and outbreaks of the plague. Theatres were built of wood and had thatched roofs, in an octagonal shape (a-sided), forming a kind of '0', and open to the sky. A flag flying from the roof signaled that a play was in.performance, and the afternoon show began with a cannon firing or trumpet blast. This is even referred to in the prologue of Shakespeare's' Henry V, which also provides other clues about how plays were staged then. ". _..... - ..-:-- _.


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Clearly, there was little money for elaborate sets or to pay crowds of actors, so audiences were encouraged to use their imaginations. For a vast army of soldiers, there were a few bodies, opposing sides indicated by the contrasting colours they wore. A forest was represented by a couple of trees, the banquet had a long table with some chairs. This places emphasis on the meaning of the words and the actors' ability to create characters, communicate emotions and thoughts. They had few props or fancy costumes to rely on - they created the images themselves through the power of speech. Many plays were written with clever and strong imagery in blank verse, a flowing form of poetry which uses the natural emphasis of the English language. The iamb;c pentameter rhythm (five beats of unstressed~stressedfeet) fits the speech patterns of English words with their many syllables. When you hear Shakespeare's plays, you are almost unaware that it is a strict poetic form, so perfectly does this match ordinary dialogue. There are also some passages of prose (regular sentences as they would appear in a novel or everyday speech), used as a contrast to the poetic style. Prose often indicates a different social class or the lower classes, servants or clowns, who were unable to speak in the elevated, educated way that kings and queens, heroes and heroines, did. The structure of the theatre was designed to accommodate up to 2000 patrons, more than half standing in front of and around the thrust stage, which jutted into the crowd. These sturdy-legged people were called "groundlings" on account of their upright position with feet firmly on the earth. On the rising tiers of seats which formed the walls of the building were'balcony seats. These were never more than 15 metres from the actors, creating an intimate atmosphere and real audience involvement. In fact, audiences wo"uld react verbally to parts of the action in ways we would frown 01') these days. Shouting abuse at the villains or cheering the victors was their way of showing their appreciation, apart from their catcalls or applause to indicate their opinion of the play or acting. ~ .,.....They would even throw peanut shells or fruit skins to show approval or disapproval- now that's really audience participation! The seats changed in price depending on your visibility. Wealthy patrons, such as dukes or barons, would even purchase seats on the edges of the stage, thus becoming part of the drama which the audience could view. To stand, for 2 to 3 hours, cost the least, of course.

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Shakespeare wrote 37 plays and they can be divided into three categories. All plays are struc~ed similarly, but each category has features you路can identify.



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COMPLIMENTS SHAKESPEAREAN ......,._ __ .. , - - ,





; Add .... "Tnou" toth~ beginning, _---





Column B

Column C

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rare sweet fruitful ,brave sugared flowering precious ,gallant ,delicate celestial

honey-tongued well-wishing. fair-faced' best-tempered tender-hearted tiger-booted smooth-faced thunder-darting sweet-suggesting young-eyed .

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welsh cheese song true-penny valentine











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smilet toast cukoo-bud nose-herb wafer-cake





. 17TH -CENTURY LINES OF LOVE & FRIENDSHIP Woo the object of your admiration with these expressions of love and friendship from Shakespeare's day. Once you've tried out these wooing words and friendly phrases, create more of your own by imitating these 17th-century models. I am a cast-away in love. You are the rising sun which I adore. You have a face where all good seems to dwell. I'll bathe my lips in rosy dews of kisses. I wear you in my heart. You are the miracle of friendship. Mine eyes have feasted on your beauteous My genius and yours are friends. Your breath casts sweet perfumes. .

It is no pilgrimage to travel to your lips. By you, like your shade, I'll ever dwell. You, like a comet, do attract all eyes.




SHAKESPEARE: WHY DO WE STILL CARE! What's the big deal- he has been dead for over 400 years, so why do we have to' leam about him? The fact that people are still reading and performing his plays 400 years after his death is quite an achievement. It would be like people still reading Harry Potter or watching Star Wars in the year 2400! Nowadays, if you watch a film that was made in the 1960's or 1970's, you would think it was badly dated by the clothes worn and the way the actors speak. These are films that were made only 30 years ago. People can still watch Shakespeare's plays and apart from a few 'doth's' and 'wherefore's', they have not really dated. His characters have problems and faults like everyone else, therefore everyone can relate to them. His plays show us basic human flaws played out to their tragic conclusion. But Shakespeare doesn't judge these faults or preach, instead he simply tells us a story and we can make our own minds up. That is why they can be so effective because we as an audience draw our own conclusions. One of the biggest problems with reading or watching his plays is dealing with his style. For some, it is like a foreign language. Shakespeare didn't write his plays in a particular way to make it difficult or to be clever. Like every writer, he writes so that people can enjoy his stories. SHAKESPEARE'S STYLE: Shakespeare's style can be broken down into three basic sections: Structure, Language and Imagery. Structure that Shakespeare used is the foundation of his writing. He had two writing styles. The first style would be for all important characters. They would speak in VERSE. This would make the heroes more heroic, the bad guys more evil and royalty more royal. He didn't use close-ups or music, he used verse! The second style was for everyone else, particularly if they were funny. This would be PROSE. It is easier to be funnier in prose than in verse. LANGUAGE: Shakespeare's plays are written in verse. This is poetry. Most of it doesn't rhyme. But why bother? If you are dealing with massive events or serious emotions, you need a structure that allows you to sound serious. For instance in the film, "Gladiator" at the beginning they are preparing for a massive battle. The hero is talking to his soldiers and says:

"What you do in life echoes through eternity!" That sounds inspirational and heroic, but what if he had said!

"Okay, lads I want you to be very brave and fight well, because then you'll be famous heroes one day!" It doesn't quite have the same ring to it. Not inspirational and definitely not poetic. Shakespeare uses poetry to inspire us, not to put us off and to make his characters almost larger than life. So how does it work? Usually it obeys the basic rules of poetry. Look at the first line of a Limerick,

There was an old woman from Rhy! That is a standard first line. On the other himd if you wrote,

There was an old woman from a small town in Outer Mongolia This is not a good first line because it doesn't fit. It ruins the rhythm of a standard limerick. There are too many syllables in the line.

There was an old woman from Rhy! This line has eight syllables; the alternative line has 16. Shakespeare decided to keep his lines to a nice, round ten syllables. In poetry they have given technical names to the lines with different numbers of syllables. To make it easier Shakespeare paired the syllables writing lines with 5 pairs of syllables. This is called PENTAMETER. Pent means five - meter refers to the rhythm. Shakespeare listened to how people spoke and incorporated this into his poetry. The way we speak has a particular rhythm related to how we stress words

There was an old wo-man from Rhy! This is the way we would naturally stress the words. The regular rhythm has one un-stressed followed by a stressed syllable. this is the way we speak. This is called IAMBIC. Shakespeare adopted this to make life easier. He used Iambic Pentameter. It is quite difficult to write each line so it contains 10 syllables. So Shakespeare would cheat. If a line had more than 10 syllables he would trim words to fit, if the line didn't have enough syllables he would add an extra one. This was the basic rule it sounds good and it is easy to speak but it can be restrictive especially if you have a scene with an argument etc. So Shakespeare often broke his own rules and added lines with 11 or more syllables. This style is very important for actors as it gave them clues to help them deliver lines and to establish the emotional state of the character. There are some lines that do rhyme it can add a magical quality but most commonly rhyming comes at the end of scenes it can be very dramatic and the rhyming couplet emphasises the drama, it also served a functional purpose, the audience would know that the scene had ended. The effect of the verse is to help create drama and deal with fundamental issues.

THEMES: • • • •

A theme is the main idea of central issue It is different from the subject and the setting and the characters. A theme is usually a general idea which does not depend upon time or setting. Shakespeare's plays deal with the same sorts of general themes as any modern piece of writing A theme will often revel itself by incidents and events which keep creeping up in the play.

STRUCTURES: All Shakespeare's plays are structured in 5 acts. Each act has a particular function, regardless of its form ACT 1 The conflict and characters are established and the audience takes 'sides'. It gives the rationale and emotional background of the coming action ACT II Suspense builds up as the 'good guys' and the 'bad guys' make the preliminary moves against one another ACT III Things begin to look as if the bad guys are going to win so the audience is interested to see if they actually do so ACT IV The good guys rise up. The act ends at a point where the audience is ready for the final victory - but not quite at it. ACT V The good guys win and although there could be a twist or turn that was not expected, the win is inevitable. SHAKESPEARE'S COMEDIES: • The central story is about love. • The lovers must overcome obstacles put in the way of their union; often there are misunderstandings to be cleared up before they can be together. • Use of conventions such as mistaken identity, farce, slapstick, equivocation (half-truth) and clowns • The marriages can appear to be utterly unlikely and often occur through the machinations of others. • The themes are often the power of language, the importance of love. • the value of the individual, and that appearances can be deceptive. • Comedies are not funny in the modern sense. The term is used to describe the structure and content rather than jokes and innu

Shakespeare Insult Kif Combine one word from each of the three columns below, prefaced with "Thou": Column 1

Column 2

Column 3

artless bawdy beslubbering bootless churlish cockered clouted craven currish dankish dissembling droning errant fawning fobbing froward frothy gleeking

base-court bat-fowling beef-witted beetle-headed boil-brained clapper-clawed clay-brained cornman-kissing crook-pated di srnal-drea.rn:Lng dizzy-eyed doghearted dread-bol ted earth-vexing elf-skinned fat-kidneyed fen-sucked flap-mouthed fly-bitten folly-fallen fool-born full-gorged guts-griping half-faced hasty-witted hedge-born hell-hated idle-headed ill-breeding ill-nurtured knotty-pated milk-livered motley-minded onion-eyed plume-plucked pottle-deep pox-marked reeling-ripe rough-hewn rude-growing rump-fed shard-borne sheep-biting spur-galled swag-bellied tardy-gaited tickle-brained toad-spotted unchin-snouted weather-bitten

apple-john baggage barnacle bladder boar-pig bugbear bum-bailey cariker-blossom clack-dish clotpole coxcomb codpiece death-token dewberry flap-dragon flax-wench flirt-gill foot-licker fustilarian giglet gudgeon haggard harpy hedge-pig horn-beast hugger-mugger joithead lewdster lout maggot-pie malt-worm mamrnet measle minnow miscreant moldwarp mumble-news nut-hook pigeon-egg pignut puttock pumpion ratsbane scut skainsmate strumpet varlot vassal whey-face wagtail

goat ish gorbellied irnpe:r;tinent infectious jarring ~oggerheaded

lumpish mammering mangled mewling paunchy

pribbling puking puny quaIling rank reeky roguish ruttish saucy spleeriy spongy surly tottering unmuzzled vain venomed villainous warped wayward weedy yeasty

SHAKESPEAREAN INSULTS: Using the insult list - make up 5 creative insults and write them down to add to your journal. Who would it be appropriate to address these insults to? 1.


Who would this be addressed to &why?

2._ _--,-


Who would this be addressed to &why?



Who would this be addressed to &why?



Who would this be addressed to &why?

5., Who would this be addressed to &why?


The Life and Times of William Shakespeare ,I •

When William Shakespeare (15_- 16-> was

born in

_ _ _ _ _ had been queen for nearly six years. He was the son of John' Shakespeare, a wealthy merchant, and attended the local grammar school until his father's business began to fail in 1577, the same year in which set out to circumnavigate the world in 'The Golden

Sir f

Hind.' Two years after Drake's return in 1580, Shakespeare married Anne His daughter,

Susanna, was born in



Shakespeares had twins, Hamnet and Judith, in 1585. Little is known of his life until about 1586, when he went to London and became an actor or 'player'



in a theatre company. It was an exciting time to be in London. He may well have shared in the rejoicing at the publication of the death warrant of Mary Queen of

; she was executed in 1587. In the same year news

of the building of the great Spanish fleet or A


London; it was defeated by Sir Francis Drake in 1588. VI', R

His first plays, 'H of E

III' and 'The C


' were written around 1591 - 92. From 1592 - 94 there was

plague in London and the playhouses were closed down.

Queen Elizabeth died i n , two years after Shakespeare's father, by


which time he had written many of his great comedies and histories, 'Much Ado About

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" As

_ _ _ _ _ _'. The reign of

,the new king, saw Shakespeare

working on some of his great tragedies.

His final play was probably 'The


' (1612). In 1613 he settled for the remainder of his life in

_ _ _ _ _ _ the town of his birth.

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It' 'Henry V' and 'Twelfth

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Shakespeare's Life and Times

Use these words to fill in the blanks on your Life and Times sheet. . Look carefully at the dates as you are going along.

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Elizabeth I







James I



Francis Drake





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A Trip to the Elizabethan Theatre

Every day, at two o'clock in the afternoon in the City of London two i.and sometimes three comedies are performed, at separate places, . jwherewith folk make merry together, and whichever does best gets I... ¡


Ithe greatest audience. I

The places are so built, that they play on a

raised platform, and everyone can well see it all.


separate galleries,



There are,

one¡ stands


comfortably and moreover can sit, but one pays more for it. Thus anyone who remains on the level standing pays only one English penny: but if he wants to sit, he is let in at as further door and there he gibes another penny. If he desires to sit on a cushion in the most comfortable place of all, where he not only sees everything well, but can also be seen, then he gives yet another English penny at the door. And, in the pauses of the comedy, food and drink are carried round amongst the people, and one can thus refresh oneself at one's own cost. ,By Thomas Platter ,

As a class discuss the differences between the Elizabethan theatre and a modern theatre. Fill in the form below Elizabethan Playhouse !:J6 special lighting (why?)

Modern Theatre

Very little scenery

female actors - female parts , No played by boys (Why?) Few special effects




Shakespeare Vocabulary Word Find


WORD BANK FOR THE WORD FIND PUZZLE: • abstinence, ambition, bard, 'cauldron, comedies, conscience, drama, histories, imagination, inconstant, infinite, mercy, outrageous, playwright, resolution, revenge, Shakespeare, soliloquy, sonnet, symbolism, tragedies

Heinemann English Zone 2

Worksheet 4.2 Name




Shakespeare speak respond &0 compose 1 Complete the table using the words from the box below. Shakespeare speak

Contemporary English

Methinks Bait me not This is most strange Thrice Consent you X? How comes that? How fares X? Leave to go It was Greek to me I do not think it good You can go How is X? Three times I think I disagree I couldn't understand Don't argue with me Do you agree X?

Weird Why?

2 Translate the following into contemporary English. Cicero

Hail to thee Marcus.


Good morrow to you Cicero. Spake you with Macbeth?


Nay. Commend me to Portia.



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Heinemann English Zone 2

Worksheet 4.3 Name




Shakespeare speak respond



1 Complete the table using the words from the box below. Shakespeare speak

Get thee gone


Marble-hearted fiend

Contemporary English Don't argue with me Stinky Coward No brains You should be dead already Heart of stone Lazy people I curse your family Go I won't change my mind Rogue, thou hast lived too long

Bait me not


I am firm


Idle creatures

A plague on your house

2 Translate the following into contemporary English. Beatrice 0 abominable villain. Idle creature. Thou hast tricked me. A plague on your family. Let vultures gripe thy guts. Rogue, thou hast lived too long. I will die a beggar!

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Heinemann English Zone 2

Worksheet 4.4 Name




Shakespeare terms and techniques respond & compose 1 Add the correct words to make the following statements true. a The audience expected the characters of

to speak in verse.

b Shakespeare's verse was written in iambic c

_ sometimes spoke in prose.

Low-status characters called

d Prose has no



e Shakespeare used irony when he had his characters say one thing but f


is two characters conversing.

9 _______ are brief comments to the audience by characters that other characters on stage can't hear. h Shakespeare

many events and characters from

history and other writers. 2 Match the characters in the box to their correct description. I


protagonist fool




kings and queens

witches and ghosts

a Main character, usually hero but may have problems


b An anti-hero c


High status characters-important as very powerful beings, like gods on Earth

d Someone who predicts the future


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Heinemann English Zone 2

Homework Zone

respond &. compose I conilnued e

Low status characters-simpletons, drunks and servants included for comic effect


Supernatural element, speak in riddles or haunt murderers


Group of persons who introduce the play via a prologue



h Character who seems foolish but is actually very wise and often makes astute observations and comments about other characters


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Heinemann English Zone 2

Worksheet 4.5 Name




A Midsummer Night's Dream extract Bottom is a simple worker and, together with fellow workers, is staging a play. In this extract he is telling the others that they need to advise the audience about something in their play or they may be scared. Bottom

Masters, you ought to consider with yourselves: to bring in, God shield us! a lion among ladies is a most dreadful thing; for there is not a more fearful wild-fowl than your lion. Therefore, another prologue must tell he is not a lion. Nay, you must name his name, and half his face must be seen through the lion's neck; and he himself must speak through, saying thus, or to the same defect-Ladies, fair ladies, I would wish you, I would request you, I would entreat you, not to fear, not to tremble; my life for yours. If you think I come hither as a lion, it were a pity of my life: no, I am no such thing; I am a man as other men are; and there indeed, let him name his name; and tell them plainly he is Snug the joiner.

respond &. compose 1 Quote what Bottom calls his fellow workers.


2 What is it that Bottom thinks they need to warn the audience about?

3 How many times does he refer to it in the extract? 4 What does he compare it to? (Give a direct quote.) 5 Who will play the part?


6 What three things does Bottom propose so the audience won't be scared?

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Heinemann English Zone 2

Homework Zone



compose I continued

7 What stage technique does he propose they use?

8 What type of Shakespearean character is Bottom?

9 What word should Bottom use instead of'defect'? 10 Identify the three quotes used in the passage that mean, 'I ask you'.

11 In addition to mixing up words what other technique does Shakespeare use to make Bottom appear a fun character?

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Heinemann English Zone 2

Worksheet 4.6 Name




Romeo and Juliet extract The following extract from Romeo and Juliet Act 1 Scene 5 (43-53) presents Romeo's reaction when he first sees Juliet at a party thrown by her father, to which he was not invited. Romeo

0, she doth teach the torches to burn bright! It seems she hangs upon the cheek of night As a rich jewel in an Ethiop's ear: Beauty too rich for use, for earth too dear! So shows a snowy dove trooping the crows, As yonder lady o'er her fellows shows. The measure done, I'll watch her place of stand, And, touching hers, make blessed my rude hand. Did my heart love till now? Forswear it, sight! For I ne'er saw true beauty till this night.'

respond 8r. compose 1 Quote words from the extract to match the following. a

black man




crough _ d

where she stands


2 Circle one of the following Shakespearean themes that best relates to the extract. jealousy




3 Quote the two items Romeo compares Juliet to.

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Heinemann English Zone 2

respond &: compose I continued 4 Briefly explain the following. a

'beauty too rich for use'


'for earth too dear'

5 Quote lines that mean the following. a

Romeo will be blessed.


Juliet's the most beautiful girl Romeo has ever seen.


Romeo's never been in love before.

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Heinemann English Zone 2

Worksheet 4.8 Name




Extract from About Shakespeare talk Check your knowledge of Shakespeare by completing the following transcript of an extract from a talk to Years 9 and 10 students. Choose from answers in the box.




_ _ _ _ _ _ Shakespeare was a famous playwright and referred to as the

. He is also

. Shakespeare lived in

_ _ _ _ _ _ years ago and wrote three genres:

plays. His plays belonged to one of and

Shakespeare's audience were

over .

(that means they lived when Queen

_ _ _ _ _ _ reigned). During this time there were no


_ _ _ _ _ _ were scarce and people loved going to the theatre. At the theatre

weren't paid much money and


permitted to act. The audience included people of all ages and ranged from people who were poor to the Queen herself. Poorer people stood throughout the performance and were called could sit on the The

sat in better seats and the richest

. Wealthy '

theatre, where a lot of Shakespeare's plays were performed, was an

_ _ _ _ _ _ theatre. Acting companies were poor so they didn't have many lavish _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ or props. Actors (or called) often played more than one

as they were _

. There was only one

and it was locked away so the actors only received the pages they needed. The plays featured

, romance and wars. Characters included


_ _ _ _ _ _, kings and queens because the audience expected them.

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Heinemann English Zone 2

Homework Zone

respond &. compose I continued The audience relied on Shakespeare's

to describe everything. Actors

spoke their thoughts and feelings out loud in


so the

audience knew what they were thinking but the other characters on stage did not. Sometimes this technique helped build tension in a play.

was used to let

the audience know when supernatural creatures or kings and queens entered ... history William




England cinemas







books part



language drunks






Elizabethans players

soliloquys witches






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English dramatist and poet William Shakespeare (J 564-1616) is generally


recognised as the greatest

writer in the English language.


* His poetry consists of Venus and Adonis, The Rape ofLucrece and the Sonnets.

Tne poet's eye, in a fine frenzy rol[lng; Dotn glance from neaven to eartn, from eartn to neaven; And, as lmagmation bodles forth The forms of things unknown, the poet's pen Turns them to shapes, and glves to airy nothing A local habltation and a n"me.

_ ...

How much do I love thee? SDnnet 141

A sonnet always has fourteen lines, although its rhyming pattern can have some variation. If you look closely at Sonnet 141 you will notice that the pattern is regular until the rhyming couplet which finishes the poem. When Kat asks Mr Morgan whether their version of Sonnet 141 need~ to be written in .iambic pentameter, she is referring to the rhythmic structure of the poem.

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Remember your five senses? They are: sight, sound, .smeil, taste and touch, You can use your five senses to iwrite poetry and bring a sUbject alive,




·_· _· G e-

Five senses --:::=:-.>--''\, '>-,-/' Ji


i+ In this unit you wlli write a poem about a person,



piaCe, event object or animal. By applying each of your senses to your subject you will create a rich picture, A simple way to do this is to say what something 'smells like', 'feels iike', 'looks like', 'sounds like' and 'tastes like',



y.... ~\:'\'


:• Think of an exampie for each of the categories listed below, Use your senses to add details to your exampie, To show you how, a 'person' exampie has been done, Try filling in the categories from the rest of the table,

1. Person

I Aunty Iris

Lined paper



I Jris.h lullaby I Lavender!

Dawn Blush lipstick


I Cardigan

2. Person 3. Place 4. Event 5. Animal

6. Celebration

7. Landscape 8. News event 9. War 10. Peace

=-..... ,

. +.: Here's the exampie from the 'person' category where the details have been turned into lines, '.'>,;.,. " ",,:' ... '>.\>1;;;;;.,"''''''-''


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~ Aunty Iris


- Sight Aunty Iris looks like lined parchment paper DRAI/'J' I Sound Aunty Iris sounds like a soft; Irish lullaby Smell /Aunty iris smells like lavender and lilac talcum powder Taste' Aunty Iris tastes like Revlon's Biush of Dawn lipstick Touch Aunty Iris feels like a mauve cardigan and a prlckiy brooch


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You will see that every line Is a simple statement describing Aunty Iris. Each one begins with the words 'Aunty Iris', This makes the poem feel rather stiff and predictable, It doesn't fiow smoothly.

• You can Improve your poem by starting the lines in different ways and joining some sentences, See below for some ideas,

. ,~;;:;",-,c~:~:;~~:;::::~k~-I:::c;:;:~::,~:,: p:~"" Sound Smell Touch Taste


.:. You can see some changes have been made, as suggested, and the DU!\FI' 2 ~. order of the lines has been altered,

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but she sounds like a soft; Irish lullaby She smells like lavender and lilac talcum powder and feels lik~ a mauve ~ardigan and a pri~klybrooch She tastes like Revlon s Blush of Dawn lipstick '=



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• The third draft shows how you can further Improve your A metaphor is a description of one thing in poem by: terms of another: 'His face was a stormy cioud'. ! - using metaphor Instead of siiniie A simile is a comparison of one thing with i - adding some personai details . another- using the words 'like' or 'as': - rethinking the line openings 'His face was like a stormy cioud'. removing words that Identify the senses. , ...",.. ".",,;, ,"-;'"'-1<..,'" ",;;;;.'''';' .., .,.-.';''''''' ':i.""-" ,'- . u, '.-;;; ! .:. So finaliy we have a poem that uses .. . '." . "' . •.. the senses but doesn't name theml . Sight A, ._~•. ,",. , ",.


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'/ • Compare the three drafts. Choose ? Sound , two changes that you think make a Smell significant difference to the poem Touch and explain how you feei about the 'Taste changes. Comment on whether you ._ .think they improve the poem and why.''''''''''''·-"·'''''''·-'''''''-~·'''''''''''''''''''-77c~'''''''''''''~''_Y''''~~.,c . • Your tum to write some Five-In-One Poems. Try to write three. Write a first draft in the box on the left and the next draft in the box on the right. To start with, write a 'person' poem and an 'occasion' poem. In the last space, write a poem of your own choice. Refer to the list of categories on the previous page,



An 'occasion' poem celebrates a speciai event such as a birthday: Christmas, or an anniversary. ~.





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- ' - _. . . . _ - . . , , ; . _ .

Language of poetry

Poets often capture meaning, or a particular feeling, while using very few words. To achieve this, poets have to choose words or phrases that are suggestive. Suggestive language is referred to as 'figurative' language'. Some labels used to describe figurative language are listed below. The first examples show how people sometimes use figurative language in daily life. The second examples show the ways a poet might use figurative language. Definitions and examples of figurative language. Simile: A phrase used to compare one thing to another, usually identified by use of the words 'like' or 'as'. I Example I: She eats like a pig! ,i1 I, Example 2: ·'The stars twinkled like diamorids against a velvet midnight sky.' Your tum


. . Metaphor: A phrase used to compare one thing with another, where the phrase is not realistic. A metaphor is usually stronger than a simile and the words 'like' or 'as' are not used. ~e Ex.ample I: Those boys are animals! • Example 2: 'she wore an angel's face which masked the devil's heart.' Your turn Personification: Objects or abstract ideas are given human or living qualities. Example I: Your homework's callirig! Example 2: 'And last the cannon's voice that shook the skies' John Dryden: Astraea Redux Your turn ,...,--'--'-





Poets often choose language which appeals to the senses - touch, taste, smell, sound and sight - as well as the mind. The pictures poets.create in the readers' mind through the words they use are referred to as imagery. Sight: Example: 'A quay of fire ran all alo~g the shore And lighted all the river with the blaze.' John Dryden: Annus Mirabilis Your tum _

; Taste: Example: 'Burnt marshmallows melting pink' •

Your turn -:.''''''


Touch: Example: 'The gun felt hard and deathly cold' Your turn


Smeil: Example: 'Where the daisies are rose-scented' John Keats: Ode Your turn



~I Sound:


Example: 'And scream thyself as none e'er screamed before.' Alexander Pope: The Dunciad Your turn --,--





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Shakespeare's Poetry: simile couplets




A simile usually contains the words like or as. However, here Shakespeare


writes a simile without those words because the couplet that starts this poem is two separate sentences. Work out the meaning of the simile and then try to write versions of your own.




Shall I compare thee to a summer's day? Thou art more lovely and more temperate.

A love version:


Shall I compare thee to Thou are more

_ and more


A hate version,




Shall I compare thee to Thou are more

_ and more - - I



A funny version








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Shall I compare thee to

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Thou are more =


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The sound of language

11. The sounds words make are important elements in poetry. Literary labels are used to describe the various techniques poets use to achieve sound and rhythm in poetry. Task I : Below is a list of some of those labels and their definitions. Match the definitions to the examples by drawing lines to them. He tried again and again and again. '0 horror! horror! horror!' William Shakespeare:~acbeth

Repetition: Words, phrases, or rhyming patterns are repeated, usually to stress a thought or develop a rhythm. onomatopoeia: Words are chosen because they make the sounds they describe. .

Don't grind your teeth 'The crack of a rifle' Jessie Pope: Noise

Come inside quickly and quietly.

Alliteration: Two or more words close to each other begin with the same consonantls or a vowel sound is repeated (not necessarily at the start of words) close together.

'toil and trouble' William

Rhyme: Rhyme involves the use of identical sounds close together. The last stressed vowel and all the speech sounds following the last stressed vowel are exactly the same.


'A distant rock, a far off land deeply planted stands loyal and grand.' Elizabeth Brown: Spiritual Land

• Task I.


Choose two definitions from the list and think up one example for e·ach.

Example of


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Example of

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WHAT ARE SHAKESPEAREAN SONNETS? Sonnets were first written in the 13th and 14th century in Italy, celebrating the poet's feelings for their beloved and their patrons. The Sonnet is one of the most widely known poetic forms in English language poetry. Shakespeare loved sonnets and wrote 154 of them. They follow strict rules: • The sonnet has 14 lines. • The 14 lines are organised into three groups of four lines c.alled quatrains and a pair of rhyming lines called a couplet. • Each line is made up of 10 syllables • It must be written in iambic pentameter employing the rhyme scheme; abab, cdcd, efef, gg • The syllables are traditionally arranged in a heart beat like pattern of stresses called iambic pentameter, ego duh-DUH-duh-DUH-duh-DUH-duh-DUH-duh-DUH. For Example; Shall I / compare / thee to / a sum / mer's DA Y? Thou art I more lov I ely and I more temp I orate.

SONNET STRUCTURE: Every A rhymes with every A, every B rhymes with every B, and so forth. You'll notice this type of sonnet consists of three quatrains (that is, four consecutive lines of verse that make up a stanza or division of lines in a poem) and one couplet (two consecutive rhyming lines of verse).

But there's more to a sonnet than just the structure of it. A sonnet is also an argument - it builds up a certain way. And how it builds up is related to its metaphors and how it moves from one metaphor to the next. In a Shakespearean sonnet, the argument builds up like this:

• First quatrain: An exposition of the main theme and main metaphor. • Second quatrain: Theme and metaphor extended or complicated; often, some imaginative example is given. • Third quatrain: Peripeteia (a twist or conflict), often introduced by a "BUT" (very often leading off the ninth line). • Couplet: Summarizes and leaves the reader with a new, concluding image.

ONE OF SHAKESPEARE'S BEST-KNOWN SONNETS, SONNET 18, FOLLOWS THIS PATIERN: Quatrain 1 (four-line stanza) A Shall I compare thee to a summer's DAY? B Thou art more lovely and more temporate A Rough winds do shake the darling buds of MAY B And summer's lease hath all too short a DATE,.........• Quatrain 2 (f6ur-line stanza) ... C Sometime too hot the eye of heaven SHINES D And often is his gold complexion DIMM·D;..... C And every fair from fair sometime deCLINES•... D By chance or nature's changing course unTRIMM'D•••. Quatrain 3 (four-line stanza) E But thy eternal summer shall not FADE•••• F Nor lose possession of that fair thou OWEST•. E Nor shall Death brag thou wander'st in his SHADE•. F When in eternal lines to time thou GROWEST Couplet (two rhyming lines) G So long as men can breathe or eyes can SEE G So long lives this and this gives life to THEE

The rhyme scheme is as follows: First stanza (quatrain): ABAB Second stanza (quatrain): CDCD Third stanza (quatrain): EFEF Couplet: GG The argument of Sonnet 18 goes like this: o First quatrain: Establishes the theme of comparing "thou" (or "you") to a summer's day, and why to do so is a bad idea. The metaphor is made by comparing his beloved to summer itself. o -Second quatrain: He extends the theme, explaining why even the sun, supposed to be so great, gets obscured sometimes, and why everything that's beautiful decays from beauty sooner or later. He has shifted the metaphor: In the first quatrain, it was "summer" in general, and now he's comparing the sun and "every fair," every beautiful thing, to his beloved. o Third quatrain: Here the argument takes a big left turn with the familiar "But." Shakespeare says that the main reason he won't compare his beloved to summer is that summer dies - but she won't. He refers to the first two quatrains - her "eternal summer" won't fade, and she won't "lose possession" of the "fair" (the beauty) she possesses. So he keeps the metaphors going, but in a different direction. And for good measure, he throws in a negative version of all the sunshine in this poem - the "shade" of death, which, evidently, his beloved won't have to worry about. o Couplet: How is his beloved going to escape death? In Shakespeare's poetry, which will keep her alive as long as people breathe or see. This bold statement gives closure to the whole argument - it's a surprise.


Shall I compare thee to a bale of hay? Thou art more dusty and far less neat. Rough winds do toss thy mop about, I'd say, Which looks far worse than hay a horse would eat. Sometime thy squinty eye looks into mine Through stringy, greasy hair that needs be trimm'd, And ne'er a horse had such a stench as thine, As though in stagnant sewers thou hast swimm'd. Thy disgusting image shall not fade; }bis my tortured mind and soul doth know. 0, I should love to hit thee with a spade; And with that blow I hope that thou wouldst go. So long as I can breathe, my eyes can see, And"! can run, 111 stay away from thee...


Can I contrast you to a winter's night? You are so hot that you give me a chill. Your warmth prevents me from getting frost bite. The looks you give could make me stomach ill. Many people say you have a cold heart. But I think your heart is warmest of all. The love I have for you is off the chart. My face lights up when you give me a call. When I see you, my eyes begin to shine. My head becomes as light as the snowfall. Oh how I love when we go out to dine. We bounce around just like a rubber ball. The chemistry we have is magical. If our love ends it would be tragical.

FOUND POETRY WITH SHAKESPEARE AND HIP-HOP: In groups of three or four, using the found Poetry handout overleaf, cut out all of the lines on the handout and place the strips in a container. Shake the container and randomly draw out 10 lines of poetry. Glue these onto the pieces of paper provided in the order in which they are drawn out. (Lines in bold are from Shakespeare, the plain font are from hip-hop songs). Read or "rap" the "found poem" to the class. -~i

Repeat the exercise, drawing new lines from the bag. This time arrange the lines in any order the group decides makes sense and glue them onto the paper provided. Read or "rap" the poem to the class. In your groups answer the following questions: How do hip hop artists and Shakespeare use language to talk about love?

How are their lyrics similar?

How are their lyrics different?

Give some examples of literary devices such as alliteration, metaphor, simile, personification, rhythm and rhyme?

Do some Shakespeare lines sound like they could be from a hip hop song? Give some examples!

Do some hip hop lyrics sound like they could come from Shakespeare? Give some examples!

Do the modern lines and Shakespeare lines go well together to form a poem? Give some examples! fj

i i

SELECT THE "FOUND POEM" YOU LIKE AND WRITE IT IN YOUR JOURNAL - write a one paragraph comment on how you made your choice!

WOMEN'S CHANGING PLACE THROUGH HISTORY It isn't likely that the characters in The Taming of the Shrewwould have thought of themselves as being affected by sexism. In fact the word did not exist until quite recently. The way that women have been seen has changed dramatically throughout history. Your group will select one of the time periods below and research the treatment of womeri during a specific period in history. Research Questions: 1. What were the customs regarding marriage, divorce, dating (?), ownership of property, etc.? 2. What were the customs regarding education and employment for women? 3. What did women wear? What rules were there regarding clothing for women? What does this say about a woman's place in society? 4. What did the women who lived then think of their own place in society? 5. How many women were writing about their lives and experiences? What did they say?

Time Periods Medieval & Elizabethan Victorian Age & 1920's 1950's & 1970's 1980's to the present

JOURNAL REQUIREMENTS _1. Discuss and write down what you know about the two time periods you have chosen to study. Use the Internet to check your facts, make sure you know what . you think you know. .• • • • •

Find at least three relevant sources of information about the two time periods you have chosen. Make an accurate list of the resources you find and their location. (Websites etc.) Check your resources for reliability and perspective? What is the bias of the site? How trustworthy is it? Fill out your own note chart (overleaf) about your group's time periods. Write up a 1 page report that synthesizes the information you gathered and explains what it was like to be a woman at that time in history,

2. Write a paragraph in response to the following .. What are your views on love and marriage? How do you view the roles of women and men in love relationships? Who should ask whom to get married? Out on a date? Is love necessary for marriage?




Women's Place in History - retrieval chart



Time Period ?

Time Period?

Customs Marriage /courtship Property ownership


I, Education Employment

I Clothing Personal appearance Standard of beauty




, ,

What women thought

What women wrote




















,.- .




Language Synonyms A synonym is a word which means the same, or nearly the same as another word. Talk, utter, speak, verbalise, express are all synonyms for 'say'. At the start of the film Miss Perky is struggling for synonyms to use in her noveL Later on,.Joey shows that he doesn't understand the word 'pensive' when he uses . 'thoughtful' instead. This makes the audience laugh at him.

Hyperbole Hyperbole (pronounced 'high-per-bo-Iee') is an exaggerated statement that is not intended to be taken ·literally. When you tell your friends you would 'kill' for day off school, you don't really mean you would commit murder: you are just emphasising the intensity of your wish. Ili I When Patrick is told that Kat 'hates him with the fire of one thousand suns', he is lefr in no doubt that she is still angry with him for not kissing her in the car afrer Bogie's party. When hyperbole is overused it becomes cliched.. How many times have you heard someone say they could 'eat a horse' or that 'everyone is going' to a party that they aren't allowed to go to?

Jargon Jargon is the term used to describe the specialised language used by a particular • group or profession. Michael uses business jargon when he talks about a corporate takeover. Kat uses the jargon of post-modern feminism when she refers to 'the oppressive . patriarchal values that dictate our society'. While jargon can be a convenient way for people to communicate with each other to achieve a particular purpose, like a group of medical specialists conducting surgery or discussing a patient's treatment, it can also be used to impede communication, show superiority or exclude non-members of a particular group. •• , ...:...::..~,-~ ...... .:",.~~_~c:.:...~.;.."-,-,~",,,~~,--,,-,--


Metaphor ~


1.•1A comparison b:rwe,en things in which their similarities are implied. ! Unlike a simile It does not use like or as. j

~ Mr S~tford relies on metaphor when he talks to Kat about his feelings towards her 1 ~I growing,ilidependence. He uses the vocabulary of SpOIt to liken life to a game and himself to a player, telling Kat that while Bianca lets him playa few innings, Kat has had him sittirlg on the bench for years and that when she goes away he won't even be able to watch the game. This speech is also significant as it sh~ws Mr Stratford's acceptance of Kat's decision to . study at Sarah Lawrence. I



Not saying what you mean Irony Have you ever heard someone say ~How ironic!'? What exactly is irony? @

Irony is a device used by writers where the words that are said contradict

their real meaning.. The most important feature of irony is that there is a contrast between what is said and its meaning. a . Saying 'Well done!' to someone who has just missed a goal or failed a test is an example of irony. o Some~es the irony occurs when a person's actions coJj;tradiet their words. G Irony and humour are closely related. Audiences laugh when characters contradict themselves because we get to see what they are really like instead of the image they try to project. @

Here are three examples of irony from

10 Things I Hate About You.



-', ~;


JOURNAL ACTIVITIES: 1. Show your understanding of language use by finding 4 synonyms for the following words. .






2. Show your understanding of language use by finding 4 antonyms (opposite meaning) for the following words.

~-strong curious

motivated 1




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3. Make up some interesting hyperbole to describe the following situations. a) An extremely unfortunate hairstyle

b) Your reaction to a bad school report

c) Bianca's obsession with designer labels

d) Joey's ego

4. Create a jargon guide for someone to take up a particular interest, ego Bike riding, skateboard, playing a sport.



JOURNAL ACTIVITIES: a) What is a Shakespearean comedy? How does it function?

b) List some Shakespearean films that have been made into films in the last fifty years. Which ones are comedies?



c) What aspects of Ten Things I Hate About You make it comic.

d) What are the main differences between the Taming of the Shrew and Ten Things I Hate About you?


Shakespeare Love is merely a madness The course of true love never did run smooth You, in my respect, are all the world My heart unto yours is knit O,.how I love thee! How I dote on thee! I do lOve nothing in the world so well as you I give away myself for you Speak low if you speak love I love you with so much of my heart that none is left to protest My bounty is as boundless as the sea, my love as deep Is love a tender thing? 0, she doth teach the torches to burn bright! I ne'er saw true beauty till this night They do not love that do not show their love /,:..

Love hath chased sleep from my enthralled eyes Love, lend me wings to make my purpose swift

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Love is like a child that longs for every thing that he can come by If music be the food of love, play on For such as I am all true lovers are Love sought is good, but given unsought is better The sight of lovers feedeth those in love So holy and so perfect is my love .Men have died from time to time, and worms have eaten them, .but not for love Love is a spirit of all compact of fire .Touch but my lips with those fair lips of thine Love is not love which alters when it alteration finds . . ! My love shall in my verse ever live young II

Then may I dare to boast how I do love thee â&#x20AC;˘

For thy sweet love remembered such wealth brings that then I



I scorn to change/my state with kings .l-

I, beYond all limit of what else i' th' world, do love, prize, honor you

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Hip Ho~ Walk this earth for her, glory, I'm grateful To be in her presence I try to stay faithful From lack of Idve many hide, some run Love can free us, to it some of us react as a slave Serenade her, without speaking a word , Because of you I'm stronger, I'm afraid no longer I feel so alive in me, you have liberated me I I just want you to know your whol~ being is beautif!J1 II want to build a tribe with you, protect and provide for you I




C'.- .... ' . - - - ' - _ .


, And it feels so beautiful, put it in a rhyme because it feels so musical . You make my heart skip the beat that I drum to I want to be the one yo,u run to, when pain confronts you You're everything, sometimes I get nervous when I'm in front you Send your soul through your lips to my heart , Sweet music will start, I want you to be the music of my art Go through the seasons of love and never change with the weather . The language of love cannot be translated Love is blind, you just see bright light ,,

. - ....




Loving you is like a battle and we both end up with scars I chose a road of passion and pain, sacrificed too much and waited in vain Loving you is a like a song I replay every three m.inutes and 30 seconds of every day Every beautiful melody of devotion every night "

Is this the pain of too much tenderness? I hope that you're the one - if not, you are the prototype We met today for a reason If what they say is "Nothing is forever," then what makes love the exception? You're all I've ever wanted, but I'm terrified of you This the first time that I've ever considered wedding rings See.' use to be a player and all of this is new to me .


You will always be in my heart with unconditional love

Shakespeare's England STUDENT JOURNAL WORK (TillS INFORMATION IS TO BE PRESENTED IN YOUR JOURNAL AND HANDED IN WEEK 8) This will introduce you to what life was like in the Elizabethan age, at the time William Shakespeare was writing his plays. (Here are some ideas for topics, focus questions and sites.)

1. Clothing in Elizabethan times: • Difference between rich and poor people's clothing • What fabrics were used? • What were some unusual garments? • What did the garments look like?

Internet Sites: Elizabethan Period Costumes (see Costuming and Needlework Links (see http://www.tudorhistory.orgl1inks/sew.html) Fashions: Women and Men (see Elizabethan Clothing (see C10thinglC10thingE1izabethan.html) A Fashionable Vocabulary: Clothing and Fabrics (see

2. Weapons in Elizabethan times: • What sort of weapons were used then? • What were they made of? • Who carried them? • What was the deadliest weapon?

Internet Sites: Elizabethan Fencing (see Honour and Duelling (see

Timeline of Shakespeare's Life Fill in the relevant dates and events

• 4',

Internet Sites: I77e Stratford-an-Avon guide to William Shakespeare (see!bardl.html) The Seven Ages ofShakespeare's Life (see A Shakespeare Timeline (see Shakespeare Resource Center - I77e Man (see

6. Beliefs: • What did they believe? • A person who had an influence on what the Elizabethans believed was a man named Dionysus. Find out about him and his ideas on how the world was ordere on The Holy Angels site (see • What were the four humours? Work out which humours go with which characte in your play?

Internet Sites: El~abethanA1edicalBeliejS

(see Medical%20Beliefs) A1edical BeliejS and Practices (see

7. Playhouses: What were the names of some of the playhouses and actors? How did the playhouses differ from present day theatres? What was unusual about the actors then?

Internet Sites: fllustrations ofStages (see Shakespeare's Globe (see 171e Swan (see Shakespeare Resource Center - Shakespeare's Globe (see

8. Sources of the play Shakespeare's plays are usually based on another story. Find out the source of the play you are studying (hint: look through the beginning of the book your play is in). When you have found out about the source, research some aspect of the background to the story.

Internet Sites: Shakespeare's Stories - Taming ofthe Shrew (see Shakespeare's Sources (see

3. Language in Elizabethan times: • What did the language sound like? • What words do we no longer use? • What sort of swear words did they use? (Curses) • Were there class differences in the way people spoke?

Internet Sites: Elizabethan Accents (see http://www.renfaire.comlLanguage/index.html) Language: Idiomatic Idiosyncrasies (see

4. Profile of Elizabeth I: • Where was she born? • Who were her parents? • How did she come to be queen? • Who were her advisers? • Did she marry anyone? • What was her relationship with Mary? • How long did she reigu?

Internet Sites: Elizabeth I: British Monarchs (see http://www.britannia.comlhistory/monarchs/mon45.html) The Life ofElizabeth I (see http://www.luminarium.orglrenlit/eliza.htm) Elizabeth I (see http://www.tudorhistory.orglelizabeth!)

5. Events of the time: • Who were explorers at that time? What did they do? • What was a famous battle in Elizabethan times? • Describe the conflict in the Church at the time. • Who were the enemies of Elizabeth I?

Internet Sites: Elizabeth, the Movie (see 171e Life and Times ofQueen Elizabeth I (see El~zabethan England (see Elizabethan English Historical Figures and Events (see http://www.springfield.kI2.iLus/schools/springfield!elizlhistevents.htull)

romeo and Juliet  

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