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Facharbeit: Shakespeare

Alles zu William Shakespeare

1.Shakespeare, the man

William Shakespeare was probably born on 23. April 1564 in a little town called Stratford-on Avon, Warwickshire. His parents were John Shakespeare, a prominent man, a glover and a brilliant dealer with agriculture and Mary Arden. They had eight children, from who William was the third and eldest son. He went to a grammar school, more is yet not known about his education. Fact is that his father took himself away from the public life and get financial problems in 1577.
When William became eighteen he married a woman named Ann Hathaway who was twenty-six at that time. She was the daughter of a farmer in Shottery near Statford.
Five month later their daughter Susan was born and in 1585 the twins Hamnet and Judith followed.
Until 1593 nobody exactly knows what happened in the life of William Shakespeare. He had to left Stratford and went to London. In 1594 he became quite well known as an actor and writer of plays. He became a member of The “Lord Chamberlain’s Company” who first performed at Shoreditch, later at the Rose Theatre in Sothwark. Beside Shakespeare there were Richard Burbage, John Heminge and Henry Condell in the group. They later published the First Folio edition of Shakespeare. Shakespeare stayed until 1611. The theatre was pulled down and the Globe theatre was built in 1598. The company moved to the new theatre in 1599. It was situated across London Bridge close to the Rose. Shakespeare invested some of his capital in the Globe. Until it burned down in 1613 the Globe was the famous one in whole England. Almost every year Shakespeare tried to write two plays for the Globe and so his success grew with the Globe.
In 1608 the King’s Men bought a more expensive Theatre in Blackfrias, which they used for indoor playing in summer.
It seemed as in 1610 and 1611, Shakespeare lived in Stratford again and so he spent his last years in his little town until he died on 23. April 1616. He was buried at the eastern end of Holy Trinity Church at Stratford.
2.Shakespeare’s work

Shakespeare’s work can be divided in four periods of creation:
First Period until1594
Second Period from 1594 until 1601
Third Period from 1601 until 1609
Forth Period from 1610 until 1613
It is hard to order all his work because it is very much and there are different numbers of appearance. So the next chronological is just a try to sum up.
Kind of work Poem Comedie Historie Tragedie A Lovers Complaint (1580-1600) The Comedy Of Errors (1591) Henry 4.(1591) Titus Andronicus (1593) Venus And Adonis (1592-1593) The Two Gentleman of Verona (15939 Richard 3. (1591-1593) Romeo And Juliet (1595) The Rape Of Lucrece (1593-1594) The Taming Shrew (1594) King John (1591- 1597) Julius Caesar (1599) The Passionate Pilgrim(1599) Love’s Labours Lost (1594) Richard 2. (1594-1595) Hamlet (1602) The Phoenix And Turtle (1600) A Midsummer Night’s Dream (1595) Henry 5. (15959 Othello (1604) 154 Sonnets (1593-1594) The Merchant of Venice (1597) Henry 8. ( 1613) Macbeth (1606) Much Ado About Nothing (1599) King Lear (1606) As You Like It (1600) Anthony And Cleopatra (1606-08) Twelfth Night (1600) Timon of Athens (1608) The Merry Wives of Windsor (1601) Troilus And Cressida (1602) All’s Well That Ends Well (1603) Measure For Measure (1605) Perides, Prince Of Tyre (1609) Cymbeline (1610) The Winters Tale (1611) The Tempest (16129
3. The time Shakespeare lived in
Between 1590 and 1600, William Shakespeare becomes the most famous and popular English dramatician. That was just the time of England’s cultural and military wealth. England’s superior status was defended, the monarchy was highly appreciated and love and marriage were seen as not seperatable. The British people were enthusiastic about the theater, there was a true “boom” and drama were highly popular.
That was the time when Shakespeare started to write dramas with their origin in the English history, the so known “Historical dramas”. But it was not very much developed in that time and Shakespeare wanted spread it further.
He describes in his plays how Britain came to such a glory and wealth. You can even say that Shakespeare started a wave of patriotic dramas. This also was the time after the defeat of the Spanish “Armada”. So, Shakespeare’s dramas could satisfy the need for plays that underlined the national need to celebrate the English wealth and spread it to the world. Another point is that they wanted to point out the special English position in the international competition.
But there was also a need to conceal the weakness of the unmarried and rather old Queen, who was even without a follower.
Summing up, you can say that Shakespeare’s plays where on the hand praise of wealth, but on the other hand they were warnings against the anarchy of the century before.
The strength and weakness of Britain and its monarchy is analyzed and the ideal ruler is defined there in. In that time there have also been tragedies, but they were not really wide-spread yet.
After the time of Elizabeth 1. the time of Jacob 1. started. This also effected the work of Shakespeare. The optimistically view of the Elizabeth-era turns more and more into a rather pessimistic view. The background of the Renaissance affected the people as well. The former theories in areas like medicine, astronomy, geography, logia, sciences, rhetorical, the bible and so on are being questioned by the people, there is a demand for further knowledge.
The Elizabethan Age

The Renaissance in England
The Renaissance in England began in the year 1485. This year was very important for the history of England because it was the end of a long and bloody civil war in which two rival branches, the House of Lancaster and the House of York, fought for the English throne. Richard 3. lost the war at Bosworth Field. He belonged to the House of York. New king became Henry 7. . With him the dynasty of the Tudors started, which lasted until 1603 when the last Tudor Queen Elizabeth 1. died. With the Tudor monarchy the importance of monarchs grew up with all its power. Consequence was the development of weapons and the growing nationalism. The Tudors were responsible for the reorganization of the economic system. A new class, called the bourgeoisie set new standards in education and knowledge. So for example new colleges were founded (Oxford, Cambridge). Ones started to doubt on the church and its influence got worse. The final break with the Pope in Rome was in 1535 under Henry 7. and so a long period of religious and social unrests began, which divided the nation. England founded its own church, the “Anglican Church”. This was during the time of Elizabeth 1. and it did not meant that the Roman Catholicism gave up its influence in England. So for example they sent a fleet of Spanish ships, the “Armada”, in 1588 to conquer England. The victory of England established itself as one of the most powerful countries in the world at that time.
It’s important to say that the Renaissance was the age of invention, discovery and exploration. Man began to expend their knowledge. The Renaissance was a new period of history and introduced the Modern Age. It had his highest point and greatest influence in Shakespeare’s time.
The Elizabethan Age – The Elizabethan word picture
The Age also Queen Elizabeth 1. is also often called the “Golden Age”. And it shows the features of the Renaissance. It has its own world picture. The medieval world of view was only slowly displaced by humanism of the Renaissance.
There were two opposite views which caused a conflict in Shakespeare’s time: the pessimistic and the optimistic view of man. Both describe the man as weak, sinful and out of right to everlasting live and prominent position in universe after Adam’s fall. In contrast to this medieval formed view, the optimistic, Renaissance influenced one contained the themes of mans dignity, his high rang among natures creatures and his promised harmonic place-the earth- in universe. people thought that they would live in a geocentric world with the earth in its center. Ones believed that every star influence the events on earth. This system was also called “ Aethereum”. Although there were new theories by Copernicus, Kepler or Galilee a lot of people believed in the old system.

A special relation is the relation to nature. There is the good and the evil since Adam . Humans have to respect the laws of nature because there is no higher law. Nature is the instrument of God to warn and to order human beings. Here is also a special system the “Chain of Beings” :
Lifeless things

4.The Elizabethan theatre
It is not right to say that only Shakespeare is important for the theatre in that time, but he has done a lot for it.
For the people theatre-going was one of the famous events at 1600. There were public and private theatres. Public ones had a very mixed audience and were often outdoor theatres. One the other hand private theatres were indoor houses and just the rich could visit them.
A study showed that 13 % of the population of London went every week to the theatre. In 1596 the third best known theatre were the Rose, the Swan and the Fortune.
The price of administration at the public theatre was low enough for ordinary craftsmen and workmen to afford. It was a penny per person for standing room in the pit or yard, which was a good place for watching the play if the weather was fine. One penny more and you could seat in the gallery.
The first public playhouse was built by James Burbage in 1576. The stage was very large, so the actors, who just were men, had a lot of space to act. To protect it from rain a roof was built. The new theatre had four stages, the main stage, the rear stage, the upper stage and the under stage.
The behavior in the theatre was very strange. Eating, talking loud, throwing things around and such things were normal. The spectator was directly involved in the events.
5. Sources
German foulder class 11
Literaturwissen William Shakespeare Reclamverlag 2000
Shakespeare Hans Dieter Gelfert C.H.Beck Wissen 2000
Shakespeare Jean Paris rororo verlag1992
Kleine Geschichte der englischen Literatur Gelfert C.H. Beck Wissen1997
The Shakespeare Background Reader Langscheidt_Longman Verlag1989
Eine arbeit über shakespeare sein wirken und seine zeit auf englisch (1747 Wörter)
16.04.2002 von unbekannt
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