William Shakespeare

Background:

  • Born in Stratford-Upon-Avon, Warwickshire in 1564
  • Married Anne Hathaway in 1582 and had three children
  • William earned a career as an actor and playwright in London
  • William was a managing partner in the Lord Chamberlain's Men, an acting company in London
  • William and his business partners built their own theater and called it the Globe

Writing Style

  • William’s early plays were written in the conventional style of the time period
  • He adapted his own style of writing, which created a freer flow of words
  • Shakespeare primarily used a metrical pattern consisting of lines of unrhymed iambic pentameter, or blank verse, to compose his plays.
  • Shakespeare invented thousands of words, often combining or contorting Latin, French and native roots


Iambic Pentameter

  • Ten syllables per line

  • Unrhymed
  • Shakespeare often wrote sonnets and whole lines of dialogue from plays in this meter

Tragedies

Comedies

Histories

Shakespeare and today

  • Shakespeare introduced 2200 never-before-seen words into the English Language


  1. ADDICTION
  2. EYEBALL
  3. FASHIONABLE
  4. SWAGGER
  5. UNCOMFORTABLE

Romeo and Juliet:

“Despised, distressed, hated, martyr'd, kill'd! Uncomfortable time, why camest thou now to murder, murder our solemnity?” - Capulet


A Midsummer Night’s Dream:
“What hempen home-spuns have we swaggering here, so near the cradle of the fairy queen?” – Puck