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Reasons why Shakespear is considered the greatest writer in the world

1. He is Universal
2. His works are timeless
3. His image making devices


1. Universal

- His literature is studied throughout the world
- 2nd to only Bible in translations of book


2. Works are timeless

- He was born in 1564, writings are over 400 years old
- Taught throughout the world by HS teachers more than any other writer
- Things he writes about don't change (people, love)


3. His image making techniques

Shakespeare creates great images for the audience and reader through his words


The 4 Shakespearean Conventions

1. Soliloquy
2. Aside
3. Structural climax
4. Disease imagery


1. Soliloquy

Lengthy speech where the character reveals their inner thoughts, moral character, and reactions


2. Aside

Character speaks to audience but no other people on the stage hear it


3. Structural Complex

Act 3 of his tragedy's, protagonist is at high point of his fortune, right before he plummets down


4. Disease Imagery

- Image making devices that deal with disease
- Bubonic plague was going around at the time


Shakespeare Writings

- Wrote 37 plays, 154 sonnets, 2 long narratives, and 124 songs
- His last play was the tempest ("storm")
* main character who is a magician gives up his magical powers, metaphor for his will to give up writing


All plays in 3 categories/divisions

1. Comedies
2. Histories
3. Tragedies


Each play demonstrates 3 plots

1. Comedy = Love
2. History = Political
3. Tragedy = Societal
- Even though all three themes are in each of his plays, the predominate one determines the category


The Globe "The Wooden O"

- Shakespeare was an architect, the globes design is still used today
- Three levels and 8 sides, 3 of which are for performing, 5 for audience


Level One

- Bottom level is main acting level
- Called APRON


Level Two

- Used for far away places
- Balcony


Level Three

- Orchestra in one section, other used for distant lands
- Another country


Shakespeare writing habits

1. His questions are without the use of the word do or did
- what says romeo = what did you say
2. His past tense would be considered ungrammatical
- we say wrote, he says writ
3. He uses words were not used to seeing
- fu*k= fie, thine =your, wax= to grow
4. Two negatives are acceptable
- canst not
5. Eliminates parts of word
- havior


The center of the Apron

Trap door opens and closes, things come out


The top of the Globe

There is a flag, one of three colors
- Told which play would be shown
1. Black - Tragedy
2. White - Comedy
3. Green - History



Red curtain -"Arras"- used to hid things
- A murder



Paid half penny and stood and leaned on the Apron
*only men attended plays except Queen Elizabeth


Blood, sweat and tears in plays

Blood - Many killings
Sweat - It's hot, they're outside, heavy robes
Tears - Plays had emotional affect on audience


The Globe and its atmosphere

- 4000 men fit in the globe
- A man went to one play a week
- 3 to 4 hours long
- Ale and mead were drank and it was a night out for men
- Men got very rowdy
- Vegetables, fruits, and nuts were sold - eaten and thrown


Shakespeare vocabulary

- Invented 12,000 words
- 40,000 word vocabulary
- Quoted in 20,000 songs


Literary Contributions

1. Dramatic Narratives conveyed sense of psychological identity through literary techniques
- Considered master of conveying thoughts : ideas through dramatic dialogue
- Studied by more psychologists than any other person

2. Developed extended Language

3. Perfected: blank verse, iambic pentameter, heroic couplet

4. Use of word play
- Would use the same word as a noun and a verb in the same sentence.

5. Writes toward a written performance


5 steps to Elizabethan Revenge Tragedy

1. Hero has not created situation in which he finds himself

2. Opening is horrible situation, hero does not take fatal steps, but is confronted with appalling facts

3. The villain is indicator of action & resolution, not hero. Hero is committed to counter action and response rather than creation. The hero plays the waiting role.

4. Denouement (falling action) comes a out through the villain. The revenger takes opportunity provided by the villain.

5. The hero descends to the moral level of his opponent. The vengeance is as hideous as the crime.


Classic View of Tragedy (Cathartic Effect):

1. Pity
2. Flaw
3. Suffering
4. Hero



We pity this character because he has fallen from prosperity to misery



His flaw is always excessive pride.



Has capacity to endure his tremendous suffering creates catharsis in the reader