Eng 1122 – Lecture 13
April 23, 1564 – April 23 1616
April 23 – St George’s Day (Patron Saint, England)
Came to London in late 1570s, at a moment when professional theatre was just
being invented. There was no permanent place for putting on plays in the UK until
1572. He wrote about 40 plays and produced them regularly (2 plays/year), one
fun/light play and one heavy/difficult one.
In order to make money with these new professional theatres, you had to have a
show to bring people in.
Young people went to the South Side Outside, and to see a play in the theatre.
Invented professional theatre for his generation, his job was to write the scripts that
would be mounted in professional theatres
From 1611-12, he made enough money to buy a house in Stratford
His plays are popular entertainment, even today.
When they started, they weren’t high culture, but low culture
Associated with Shakespeare’s retirement
Represented as his farewell to the theatre
It’s not his last play, but is has a traditional place in Canada as his farewell to
the theatre/ retirement piece
Comes first in the famous first folio edition of his plays after he died in 1616
In 1623, a book of his plays were put together with the Tempest coming first
A play about a storm
Has an imposition of a physical assault of a storm, physical
manifestation/representation of what a storm felt like for the audience
Performed under an open sky (complicated lighting effects…didn’t have
Always the same storm taking different forms