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EN 3535
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Shakespeare EN3535 – Fall/Winter 2011/2012 – Elizabeth Pentland Lecture 1 – Intro to Shakespeare – Sept 13 - Work examined in chronological order (readings). - Language – Who’s language in Shakespeare writing in and what language is used in Shakespeare’s plays. - Tempest – colonialism. Who Was Shakespeare - Born April 23, 1563 in Stratford-upon-Avon, England. - His father – John Shakespeare, was a Glover. - His mother – Mary Arden, came from a wealthy, landowning family. - Grammar school education (no university). - In 1582, at age 18, married Anne Hathaway. - Daughter, Susanna, born in 1583. - Twins, Hamnet and Judith, born in 1585. - Career in the London theatres began in the early 1590s. - Theatres closed due to plague 1593-1594. - Shakespeare took the opportunity to publish a pair of poems dedicated to Henry Wriothesly, Earl of Southampton, who became his literary patron. Shakespeare’s Patron rd - Henry Wriothesley – 3 Earl of Southampton. Venus & Adonis (1593) - Shakespeare’s immensely popular rewriting of the story from Ovid’s Metamorphoses. - Full of comic inversions. - Roman goddess Venus pursues a reluctant young man, urging him to give in to her seductions. Lucrece (1594) - Tragic poem based on the story of the Roman prince Tarquin’s rape of a virtuous woman, Lucrece. - A key moment in the history of Rome (transition from monarchy to republic). The London Theatres - Contemporary drawing of the Swan Theatre (Bankside, London) by Dutch visitor, Johannes de Witt (ca. 1596). - The first permanent theatre (‘The Theatre’) built just outside London, in Shoreditch, in 1576 by James Burbidge. - Shakespeare’s Globe built in 1599. Queen Elizabeth (1533-1603) - Another important patron of Shakespeare’s work. - Queen of England from 1558 until her death in 1603. - Shakespeare’s theatre company, The Lord Chamberlain’s Men, performed at court for Elizabeth and for her successor, James I (1603-1625). Rivalry and Inspiration - Shakespeare worked alongside other well-known playwrights of the period, including Thomas Kyd, Robert Greene, Christopher Marlowe and Ben Jonson. - He learned much from these playwrights (especially Kyd and Marlowe) in the early years of his career, and was seen by some of them as an ambitious ‘upstar
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