Shakespeare Blandspace Notes

Elizabeth Underwood

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Things I learned from this video:

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  • English
  • His birth date isn’t confirmed, but most think he was born around April 23rd, 1564
  • Did not go to University
  • Had a wife, daughter, and set of twins. One of the twins dies, named Hamnet, hencee drawing the theme of death and father-son into his play Hamlet.
  • 37 plays attributed to him
  • People think of him as an artist and playwright; however, he was also a great business man. He was an entrepreneur and knew his market well, therefore attaining much wealth and success.
  • His plays can be separated into histories, comedies, tragedies and then tragedy-comedies.
  • Shakespeare was a poet due to economic demand and wrote 154 sonics in addition to several narrative poems.
  • Is considered to be one of the world’s professional writers.
  • He is credited with introducing almost 3,000 words to the English language.
  • Idolized to the point that some say he is the most influential individual in human civilization history.

Picture Caption and Citation:

The First Folio of William Shakespeare

Publishing Shakespeare. (2014, December 15). Retrieved December 11, 2015, from

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  • There are more than 80 variations recorded for the spelling of his name (we really need a time traveler to find out these things!).
  • His plays are made up of a total of 884,429 words.
  • He created 1,380 characters. 1,221 of these characters had speaking parts.
  • The characters with the top-three most speaking parts are as followed: Falsaft with 471, Henry V with 377, and Hamlet with 358 (while reading Hamlet I have learned most of these speaking parts are very long, props to the actors who could remember these!).

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Insults that stood out to me:

  • “More of your conversation would infect my brain”
  • “Away, you three-inch fool”
  • “Out, hyperbolical fiend”
  • “Though has in thy skull no more brain that I have in mine elbows”
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*brain explodes*

We ❤ It. (n.d.). Retrieved December 11, 2015, from

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Phrases I didn’t know that came from Shakespeare:

  • “Knock knock! Who’s there?”
  • “Fight fire with fire”
  • “Wear your heart on your sleeve”
  • What’s done is done”
  • “In a pickle”
  • “Love is blind”
  • “A piece of work”

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Brief Hamlet Background

  • Written during the first part of the seventeenth century, probably around 1600.
  • We think it was first performed in July 1602 and first published in print in 1603
  • Story takes place in Denmark
  • Prince hamlet, the prince of Denmark is the Play’s protagonist
  • The Kind of Denmark, Hamlet’s uncle, is the play’s antagonist.

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Science behind Shakespearian Language

  • Although famous for his plays, Shakespeare was first and foremost a poet.
  • Stressing syllables is important when learning to understand Shakespearian language.
  • Poetic meter = rhythm
  • Trochee is a stressed syllable followed by an unstressed one.
  • His favorite way of descriptive language is Iambic Pentameter. - 10 syllables
  • Meter is about sound not spelling
  • Iambic Pentameter was easy for his actors to memorize.

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Response to video

- This man put so much emotion in his speaking that he was actually easy to follow. For once, I was able to follow Shakespeare!! If I was reading this, I wouldn't have any idea what those random syllables and words meant; however, he makes it easy to watch and listen to because he is so engaged in the subject. I can now “hear” the Iambic Pentameter mentioned in the last Blendspace.

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