by: Lizzy Kelly

Background on Shakespeare

Shakespeare was born in Stratford-Upon-Avon, Warwickshire, in 1564. Shakespeare wrote plays, sonnets, and poems. Around 1592, Shakespeare was living in London, England, and working as an actor. Although, through 1590-1613 he wrote around 37 plays, some of these famous plays were Romeo and Juliet, A Midsummers Night's Dream, Hamlet, and many others. These plays were a mix of tragedies, and romances. After his many successful days of conducting plays, he retired in 1613. Shakespeare died three years later in 1616. His life in London was where he made his success. He wrote many famous plays, opened the Globe Theatre, and had a great affect on the popularity of the Elizabethan theatre.

Elizabethan Theatre

Elizabethan Theatre was originated around 1576 in England until the protestants came into power. The order of the Elizabethan theatre to be shut down was around 1648. The actor ors were whipped and anyone attending these plays were charge 5 shillings. Although, the Elizabethan theatre did not end there. The theaters that held the plays were called amphitheaters, and held around 3000 people! The outbreak of the bubonic plague during this time was a health hazard during this time. The large theaters that held lots of people gave the plague an easy way to spread quickly. The popularity of this type of theatre was during the time of William Shakespeare, he also owned part of the Globe theatre which was a huge success. The Globe theatre is now known as the Shakespearean Globe. Later, when the puritans came into power they restricted the staging of plays, which led to the end of the theatre, until King Charles II came into power and restored the right to produce and stage plays.

Shakespearean Language

Shakespeare was a great writer who introduced us to many words. Shakespeare created nearly 3000 words to the english language. His work was also the standard of the english language. We often use the words Shakespeare created today. Shakespeare was a master of words and without his demonstration of it, we wouldn't be so largely influenced by his vocabulary.

Shakespeares Playwrights

"Shakespeare's works are often divided into four periods beginning with what is referred to as an experimental period starting around 1591 and ending around 1593 which includesTitus Andronicus, Love's Labour's Lost, The Two Gentlemen of Verona, The Comedy of Errors and The Taming of the Shrew.

The second period ending around 1601, marks the establishment of Shakespeare and includes the tragedy Romeo and Juliet, the comedies, The Merchant of Venice, A Midsummer-Night's Dream, Much Ado about Nothing, The Merry Wives of Windsor and the history plays, Henry IV, Parts I and II, Henry V, Richard II, King John and Julius Caesar.

The third period ending around 1610 marks perhaps the apex of Shakespeare's work with the tragedies, Hamlet, Othello, Macbeth, King Lear but also comedies such as Twelfth Night, All's Well that Ends Well and the epic history play, Antony and Cleopatra.

The final period ends around 1611 with the plays, Cymbeline, Henry VIII and romances such as The Tempest and The Winter's Tale" (Greatest English Playwright).