Wednesday, 19 September 2012

Elizabethan Theatre

            In England, prior to 1576 or the reign of queen Elizabeth I there were no established theatres in the country. Actors of that time wandered around looking for spectators. They usually performed in the courtyards of Royal Palaces or anywhere that could accommodate large audiences. Along with the drawback of no permanent acting house or theatre, actors had to deal with the social stigma accompanied with their trade; they were usually regarded as vagabonds.
            In 1576, actors could finally enjoy performing in a permanent theatre when James Burbage, an actor who was once a carpenter built England’s first theatre located in Shoreditch. It was given an effortless name, “The Theatre”. The main area of the theatre was opened to the sky with a large yard for spectators who couldn’t afford seats to stand. The cheapest seats in the theatre were normally 2 pence. The theatre was later closed in 1599; however James Burbage’s son stripped it down and hauled it across town to Bankside where it took 6 months to reconstruct. It was called The Globe. It was not known for sure if the theatre was actually shaped like a globe but from Shakespeare’s description in one of his play’s leads historians to believe this.
            Unfortunately, in 1613 during a performance of Henry III, a canon that was fired caught fire to the thatched roof and the theatre burnt down. The Globe was rebuilt; however it was closed permanently in 1644 when all plays were banned by Parliament. It was only in the 20th century was a new theatre built and opened for acting.
            During that era actors did not enjoy the luxury afforded by modern-day actors today. The theatres did not have a set or lighting. Therefore, performances had to be held in daylight. They also utilized little props and costumes and music and songs were used to set the scene. It was also difficult for actors to capture the audience because they were normally loud and frequently ate and drank while watching the play.
            Other theatres included: The Curtain and The Swan which were public theatres and The Cockpit and Blackfriars which were private.


Monday, 17 September 2012

Synopses of Shakespeare 

William Shakespeare is recognized as one of literature’s greatest influences and widely regarded as the greatest writer in the English Language. He was born in 1564 to John Shakespeare and Mary Arden in Stratford-upon-Avon. His birthday is unknown but from his baptismal records it can be ascertained that he was born in 1564. He was the third child of eight siblings.
It is believed that Shakespeare attended the King’s New School in Stratford. Very little is known about his life after this, up until a bond certificate dated November the 28th, 1582, reveals that an eighteen year old William married the twenty-six and pregnant Anne Hathaway. Seven months later they had their first daughter Susanna, William and Anne also welcomed twin Hamnet and Judith in February 1592.
It is not known exactly when Shakespeare began writing, but contemporary allusions and records of performances show that several of his plays were on the London stage by 1592. From 1594, Shakespeare's plays were performed only by the Lord Chamberlain's Men (later renamed King’s Men), a company owned by a group of players, including Shakespeare. It soon became the leading playing company in London. Shakespeare’s work includes 38 plays and 154 sonnets, two long narrative poems, and several other poems. Amongst these, his well-known plays include: Richard ะจ, The Taming of the Shrew, King Lear, The Merchant of Venice, Romeo and Juliet, Macbeth  and Hamlet.
Shakespeare retired to Stratford in 1616 where he passed away on April 23rd, 1616 and was survived by his wife and two daughters. Many of Shakespeare’s plays were later developed into films, reinterpreted or used as the main idea behind many literary works. Shakespeare is deemed as one of the greatest writers due to his versatility and genius within his work. His plays and poems have been translated in many languages worldwide.

Tuesday, 11 September 2012

What is a theme ?
A theme is the underlying idea which  a literary work attempts to convey or the motivation it seeks to explore.

1.) Friendship means a great deal to me.
2.) Yes, I am still friends with my childhood friend who I met at age 7.
3.) Loyalty means a great deal to me.
4.) I would react passively.
5.)  There has never been a situation where I thought my friend betrayed me then found out I was wrong because my friends are loyal so the idea would never occur to me.
6.) Nope.
7.) I have never been cheated on and my best friend would never do such a thing.
8.) If that were the case I would be too hurt to think of payback.
9.) I once caused discomfort to a female who was spreading rumours about me. She deserved every bit of the embarrassment. 
10.) To be banished from society.