Flashcards in Elizabethan (1558-1603) Deck (43)
Shakespeare lived from 23 April 1564 until 23 April 1616. Associated with the Globe Theatre. Buried at Stratford on Avon. Married Anne Hathaway.
Much Ado About Nothing
a comedic play by William Shakespeare thought to have been written in 1598 and 1599, as Shakespeare was approaching the middle of his career. The play was included in the First Folio, published in 1623. Much Ado About Nothing is generally considered one of Shakespeare's best comedies, because it combines elements of robust hilarity with more serious meditations on honor, shame, and court politics. Like As You Like It and Twelfth Night, Much Ado About Nothing, though interspersed with darker concerns, is a joyful comedy that ends with multiple marriages and no deaths.
By means of "noting" (which, in Shakespeare's day, sounded the same as "nothing," and which is gossip, rumour, and overhearing), Benedick and Beatrice are tricked into confessing their love for each other, and Claudio is tricked into rejecting Hero at the altar on the erroneous belief that she has been unfaithful. At the end, Benedick and Beatrice join forces to set things right, and the others join in a dance celebrating the marriages of the two couples.
Romeo & Juliet
Romeo and Juliet is a tragedy written by William Shakespeare early in his career about two young star-crossed lovers whose deaths ultimately reconcile their feuding families. It was among Shakespeare's most popular plays during his lifetime and, along with Hamlet, is one of his most frequently performed plays. Today, the title characters are regarded as archetypal young lovers.
Shakespeare's use of his poetic dramatic structure, especially effects such as switching between comedy and tragedy to heighten tension, his expansion of minor characters, and his use of sub-plots to embellish the story, has been praised as an early sign of his dramatic skill. The play ascribes different poetic forms to different characters, sometimes changing the form as the character develops. Romeo, for example, grows more adept at the sonnet over the course of the play.
The Merchant of Venice
a play by William Shakespeare in which a merchant in 16th century Venice must default on a large loan provided by an abused Jewish moneylender. It is believed to have been written between 1596 and 1598. Though classified as a comedy in the First Folio and sharing certain aspects with Shakespeare's other romantic comedies, the play is perhaps most remembered for its dramatic scenes, and is best known for Shylock and the famous "Hath Not a Jew eyes?" speech. Also notable is Portia's speech about "the quality of mercy". Bassanio is considered as the central hero of the story, and his dearest friend Antonio, mainly described as the kindest man in this world.
The title character is the merchant Antonio, not the Jewish moneylender Shylock, who is the play's most prominent and most famous character. This is made explicit by the title page of the first quarto: "The most excellent History of the Merchant of Venice. With the extreme cruelty of Shylock the Jew towards the said Merchant, ..."
A Midsummer Night's Dream
a comedy play by William Shakespeare, believed to have been written between 1590 and 1596. It portrays the events surrounding the marriage of the Duke of Athens, Theseus, and Hippolyta. These include the adventures of four young Athenian lovers and a group of six amateur actors (mechanicals), who are controlled and manipulated by the fairies who inhabit the forest in which most of the play is set. The play is one of Shakespeare's most popular works for the stage and is widely performed across the world.
Richard II (play)
a history play by William Shakespeare believed to have been written in approximately 1595. It is based on the life of King Richard II of England (ruled 1377–1399) and is the first part of a tetralogy, referred to by some scholars as the Henriad, followed by three plays concerning Richard's successors: Henry IV, Part 1; Henry IV, Part 2; and Henry V. It may not have been written as a stand-alone work.
Although the First Folio (1623) edition of Shakespeare's works lists the play as a history play, the earlier Quarto edition of 1597 calls it The tragedie of King Richard the second.
Richard III (play)
a historical play by William Shakespeare, believed to have been written in approximately 1592. It depicts the Machiavellian rise to power and subsequent short reign of Richard III of England. The play is grouped among the histories in the First Folio and is most often classified as such. Occasionally, however, as in the quarto edition, it is termed a tragedy. Richard III concludes Shakespeare's first tetralogy (also containing Henry VI parts 1–3).
It is the second longest play in the canon after Hamlet, and is the longest of the First Folio, whose version of Hamlet is shorter than its Quarto counterpart. The play is rarely performed unabridged; often, certain peripheral characters are removed entirely. In such instances extra lines are often invented or added from elsewhere in the sequence to establish the nature of characters' relationships. A further reason for abridgment is that Shakespeare assumed that his audiences would be familiar with the Henry VI plays, and frequently made indirect references to events in them, such as Richard's murder of Henry VI or the defeat of Henry's queen, Margaret.
a tragedy written by William Shakespeare, and is considered one of his darkest and most powerful works. Set in Scotland, the play dramatizes the corrosive psychological and political effects produced when evil is chosen as a way to fulfill the ambition for power.
The play is believed to have been written between 1599 and 1606, and is most commonly dated 1606. The earliest account of a performance of what was probably Shakespeare's play is the Summer of 1606, when Simon Forman recorded seeing such a play at the Globe Theatre. It was first published in the Folio of 1623, possibly from a prompt book. It was most likely written during the reign of James I, who had been James VI of Scotland before he succeeded to the English throne in 1603. James was a patron of Shakespeare's acting company, and of all the plays Shakespeare wrote during James's reign, Macbeth most clearly reflects the playwright's relationship with the sovereign.
Macbeth is Shakespeare's shortest tragedy, and tells the story of a brave Scottish general named Macbeth who receives a prophecy from a trio of witches that one day he will become King of Scotland. Consumed by ambition and spurred to action by his wife, Macbeth murders King Duncan and takes the throne for himself. He is then wracked with guilt and paranoia, and he soon becomes a tyrannical ruler as he is forced to commit more and more murders to protect himself from enmity and suspicion. The bloodbath and consequent civil war swiftly take Macbeth and Lady Macbeth into the realms of arrogance, madness, and death.
Julius Caesar (play)
a tragedy by William Shakespeare, believed to have been written in 1599. It is one of several plays written by Shakespeare based on true events from Roman history, which also include Coriolanus and Antony and Cleopatra.
Although the title is Julius Caesar, Julius Caesar is not the most visible character in its action; he appears in only five scenes. Marcus Brutus speaks more than four times as many lines and the central psychological drama is his struggle between the conflicting demands of honour, patriotism and friendship.
a tragedy by William Shakespeare, believed to have been written in approximately 1603, and based on the short story Un Capitano Moro ("A Moorish Captain") by Cinthio, a disciple of Boccaccio, first published in 1565. The work revolves around four central characters: Othello, a Moorish general in the Venetian army; his beloved wife, Desdemona; his loyal lieutenant, Cassio; and his trusted but unfaithful ensign, Iago. Because of its varied and current themes of racism, love, jealousy, betrayal, revenge and repentance, Othello is still often performed in professional and community theatres alike and has been the basis for numerous operatic, film, and literary adaptations.
Henry IV, part 1
a history play by William Shakespeare, believed to have been written no later than 1597. It is the second play in Shakespeare's tetralogy dealing with the successive reigns of Richard II, Henry IV (two plays, including Henry IV, Part 2), and Henry V. Henry IV, Part 1 depicts a span of history that begins with Hotspur's battle at Homildon in Northumberland against the Douglas late in 1402, and ends with the defeat of the rebels at Shrewsbury in the middle of 1403. From the start it has been an extremely popular play both with the public and critics.
Henry IV, part 2
a history play by William Shakespeare, believed written between 1596 and 1599. It is the third part of a tetralogy, preceded by Richard II and Henry IV, Part 1 and succeeded by Henry V.
The play is often seen as an extension of aspects of Henry IV, Part 1, rather than a straightforward continuation of the historical narrative, placing more emphasis on the highly popular character of Falstaff and introducing other comic figures as part of his entourage, including Ancient Pistol, Doll Tearsheet and Justice Robert Shallow. Several scenes specifically parallel episodes in Part 1.
a history play by William Shakespeare, believed to have been written in approximately 1599. It tells the story of King Henry V of England, focusing on events immediately before and after the Battle of Agincourt (1415) during the Hundred Years' War. In the First Quarto text, it was entitled The Cronicle History of Henry the fift,:p.6 which became The Life of Henry the Fifth in the First Folio text.
The play is the final part of a tetralogy, preceded by Richard II, Henry IV, Part 1 and Henry IV, Part 2. The original audiences would thus have already been familiar with the title character, who was depicted in the Henry IV plays as a wild, undisciplined lad known as "Prince Harry" and by Falstaff as "Hal". In Henry V, the young prince has become a mature man and embarks on a successful conquest of France.
by William Shakespeare, believed to have been written in 1610–11, and thought by many critics to be the last play that Shakespeare wrote alone. It is set on a remote island, where Prospero, the rightful Duke of Milan, plots to restore his daughter Miranda to her rightful place using illusion and skilful manipulation. He conjures up a storm, the eponymous tempest, to lure his usurping brother Antonio and the complicit King Alonso of Naples to the island. There, his machinations bring about the revelation of Antonio's lowly nature, the redemption of the King, and the marriage of Miranda to Alonso's son, Ferdinand.
a tragedy by William Shakespeare. The titular character descends into madness after disposing of his estate between two of his three daughters based on their flattery, bringing tragic consequences for all. Based on the legend of Leir of Britain, a mythological pre-Roman Celtic king, the play has been widely adapted for the stage and motion pictures, with the title role coveted by many of the world's most accomplished actors.
Originally drafted between 1603 and its first known performance in 1607, the first attribution to Shakespeare was a 1608 publication in a quarto of uncertain provenance; it may be an early draft or simply reflect the first performance text. The Tragedy of King Lear, a more theatrical revision, was included in the 1623 First Folio. Modern editors usually conflate the two, though some insist that each version has its individual integrity that should be preserved.
After the Restoration, the play was often revised with a happy ending for audiences who disliked its dark and depressing tone, but since the 19th century Shakespeare's original version has been regarded as one of his supreme achievements. The tragedy is particularly noted for its probing observations on the nature of human suffering and kinship. George Bernard Shaw wrote, "No man will ever write a better tragedy than Lear".
a tragedy written by William Shakespeare at an uncertain date between 1599 and 1602. Set in the Kingdom of Denmark, the play dramatises the revenge Prince Hamlet is instructed to enact on his uncle Claudius. Claudius had murdered his own brother, Hamlet's father King Hamlet, and subsequently seized the throne, marrying his deceased brother's widow, Hamlet's mother Gertrude.
Hamlet is Shakespeare's longest play and among the most powerful and influential tragedies in English literature, with a story capable of "seemingly endless retelling and adaptation by others." The play seems to have been one of Shakespeare's most popular works during his lifetime and still ranks among his most-performed, topping the performance list of the Royal Shakespeare Company and its predecessors in Stratford-upon-Avon since 1879. It has inspired writers from Goethe and Dickens to Joyce and Murdoch, and has been described as "the world's most filmed story after Cinderella".
Ben Jonson, writer of Volpone, called him the “sporting Kyd.” He was roommate of Christopher Marlowe, writer of Dr. Faustus. Some suggest that Marlowe set him up to be tortured by the government.
The Spanish Tragedy
Thomas Kyd (Elizabethan)
nothing less than the most popular and influential tragedy of Elizabethan times. Inspired by the tragedies of Seneca, it tells the story of Horatio, the only son of the marshal of Spain, who falls in love with the beautiful Belimperia but is murdered by the Prince of Portugal and by Belimperia's brother Lorenzo who wants her to marry the Prince. Before she is whisked away by her brother, Belimperia manages to send Horatio's grief-stricken father a letter using her own blood for ink, and the old man soon sets out to avenge his son's death, feigning madness--like Hamlet--to avoid suspicion.
An Elizabethan poet and playwright. And translator.
A play by George Gascoigne. Introduced the Italian erudite theatre into England, and used as a source for Shakespeare in developing a sub-plot in Taming of the Shrew.
Sir Philip Sidney
Perfect Elizabethan courtier—poet, soldier, friend, and patron. Died fighting the Spanish Catholics.
The Defense of Poesy
Astrophil & Stella
"Marlowe's Mighty Line" = blank verse
Hero & Leander
The Jew of Malta
"The Passionate Shepherd to His Love"
Hero & Leander
Play by Marlowe.
Hero, woman at Sestos; Leander, man at Abydos, Marlowe depicts him as feminine in his beauty. Leander drowns swimming to Sestos. Byron later writes “On Swimming the Hellespont” in allusion to this piece.
Play by Marlowe
Faustus—German prof at Wittenberg
Famous lines—on hell (828), on Helen (859),on death
Play by Marlowe
Story of a Scythian shepherd who is the “scourge of God.” He conquers the territory from Black Sea to Delhi. Main femme in this is called Zenocrate.
"The Passionate Shepherd to His Love"
Christopher Marlowe poem
responded to by Walter Raleigh (Nymph’s Reply to the Shepherd), John Donne, Robert Herrick
The Jew of Malta
Play by Marlowe
a tragedy and parody about statesmanship and betrayal. "If one takes The Jew of Malta not as a tragedy, or as a "tragedy of blood," but as a farce, the concluding act becomes intelligible; and if we attend with a careful ear to the versification, we find that Marlowe develops a tone to suit this farce, and even perhaps that this tone is his most powerful and mature tone."
Spenserian Sonnet—one end couplet, two couplets in body. He wrote a sonnet sequence called Amoretti; it contained 89 sonnets.
“Spenserian Stanza”: 9 lines=8 iambic pent + 1 iambic hex
The Fairie Queene
Edmund Spenser (Elizabethan)
Elizabeth is “Fairy Queen,” Red Cross Night is “Holiness.” Uses archaic language. Written in 1590s—this is important, according to Princeton Review.
“Spenserian Stanza”: 9 lines=8 iambic pent + 1 iambic hex