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Shakespeare, William - life, time and lifework

Facharbeit (Schule) 2003 10 Seiten

Didaktik - Englisch - Literatur, Werke

Leseprobe

William

Shakespeare

1564 – 1616

Abbildung in dieser Leseprobe nicht enthalten

Sources of Information:

- Shakespeare.palomar.edu
- Abbey Library – The Complete Works of William Shakespeare
- Brock Haus Enzyklopädie
- Dorothy Turner – William Shakespeare
- Wendy Greenhill – Shakespeare: A life
- http://www.poets.org/poets/poets.cfm?prmID=123
- http://www.online-literature.com/shakespeare/
- http://www.entrenet.com/~groedmed/lcm.html
- Richard Burbage and the chamberlains: www.chatham-nj.org/coin/English9/ Heighway/chamberlain.gif
- History of the globe: http://www.aressel.com/globe/oldglobe.html
- pretty good: http://search.eb.com/shakespeare/
- lord chamberlain and his men: http://web.uvic.ca/shakespeare/Library/SLTnoframes/stage/chamberlainsmen.html
- Theaterheft von Hamlet am Freiburger Theater
- kategorisierte StüStücke: http://the-tech.mit.edu/Shakespeare/
- Ina Schabert(Herausgeberin) - Shakespeare-Handbuch (Filme, Opern, Musicals, Musik nach Shakespeare)
- Hans-Dieter Gelfert - Kleine Geschichte der englischen Literatur (Werk, Schaffensperioden,
- Elizabeth I : http://www.britannia.com/history/monarchs/mon45.html

Work: 37 plays, 154 sonnets, 6 songtexts, 5 poems

William Shakespeare’s life

Birth Date. William Shakespeare, who was probably one of the world's most performed and admired playwrights, was born in April, 1564 in Stratford-upon-Avon, Warwickshire, about 100 miles northwest of London. According to the records of Stratford's Holy Trinity Church, he was baptised (getauft) on April 26. Since it was customary to baptise infants within days of birth, he was probably born a few days earlier. As with most sixteenth century births, the actual day is not recorded. Since Shakespeare died 52 years later on April 23, which is also St. George's day, the patron saint of England, it has become traditional to set the birthday of England's most famous poet to April 23.

Parents and Family. Shakespeare was one of eight children of John and Mary Shakespeare, who lived in Henley Street, Stratford, which was an important agricultural center and market town. John Shakespeare was a whittawer (Weißgerber) (a maker, worker and seller of leather goods such as purses, belts and gloves) and a dealer in agricultural products. He was a solid, middle class citizen at the time of William's birth, and a man on the rise. He also served in Stratford government successively and finally became high bailiff (1568)--the equivalent of town mayor. About 1577 though John Shakespeare's fortunes began to disappear for unknown reasons. There are records of debts (Schulden). In 1586 he was replaced as mayor. Mary Arden’s father died when she was 16. Two years later, with the age of 18, she married John Shakespeare in 1558. As the wife of a 16th century tradesman (Händler/Handwerker) she not only had to care for her husband and children, but was also expected to run the business, when he wasn’t there. Mary would have had to know about tanning (Fell gerben) and preparing leather as well as glove-making, and would also have needed the confidence to stand up to her husband’s apprentices (Lehrlinge) and employees and other tradesmen in the town.

They had in all eight children, but the first two died as babies, which was not unusual in those days when there was no protection against childhood illness. William was the third child, and the first son but in fact it is remarkable that he survived at all as in the year of his birth 15 per cent of the town’s population died of plague, including 4 children of Richard Green, a miller who lived 2 doors away from the Shakespeares.

The building in Henley street known today as the "birthplace" was at the time of Shakespeare's birth actually two adjacent (angrenzende) buildings that John Shakespeare purchased at different times. Illustrations of it are based on the 18th century water color by Richard Greene made after the two buildings were joined into one. There are no renderings of the original buildings.

Education. Shakespeare undoubtedly attended Stratford grammar school since the school was built and maintained especially for the purpose of educating the sons of prominent citizens like his father. School began at dawn (six or seven depending on the season), with a 2hour lunch break and ending at 5 pm, six days a week. Schoolwork was based on the study of Latin but they also learned a little Greek and read the Roman dramatists. When he left school it is most like, that he became apprentice in his father’s business.

Marriage. When William was 18 he married Anne Hathaway, a woman from Shottery (a mile west of Stratford), who was then aged about 26. The marriage seems to have been arranged very quickly because a special license was obtained (erhalten/sich verschaffen) on 27 November 1582. There was a good reason for their hurry: an entry in Stratford parish registers(Gemeinderegister) tells us that ‘Susanna daughter to William Shakespeare’ was baptised on 26 May 1583. Anne must have already been three months pregnant when they married. After the marriage until Shakespeare bought a house called ‘New Place’ in Stratford 15 years after the marriage Anne and the children probably lived with William’s parents in Henley Street. Susanna was followed by twins, a son Hamnet and a daughter Judith, baptised on the 2nd February 1585. They were most likely named after Hamnet and Judith Sadler, apparently lifetime friends to Shakespeare.

Shakespeare goes London There is no documentary record of Shakespeare's activities from the birth of the twins, in 1585 until a complaint by Robert Greene about him as an "upstart crow" in 1592 in London. Biographers have therefore called these the lost years. The lack of details has not stopped authors from inventing theories about how Shakespeare got from Stratford to London

The most commonly told story about Shakespeare leaving Stratford is that he had to leave to escape prosecution for poaching (wildern) deer. There is one story that says Shakespeare got a job holding horses outside theatres in London. Others think he joined a travelling theatre company called ‘The Queen’s Men’ when they performed in Stratford in 1587 (he was 23). The Queen’s Men had been formed in 1583 in a deliberate attempt to put the best actors in London under the direct control of Queen Elizabeth I who ruled from 1558 – 1603 and her Council. In the year they came to Stratford, one of their members was killed in a duel, so they needed a new actor. Anyway London is where we next hear from Shakespeare some years later.

Shakespeare’s career in London In 1592 (Shakespeare was 28 by that time) Robert Greene, a playwright, educated at university wrote a sarcastic attack on a new young writer:

for there is an upstart Crow, beautified with our feathers (Gefieder, of the same feather – vom gleichen Schlag, also hier: durch unsere Gesellschaft verschoenert), that with his Tygers hart wrapt in a Players hyde ,(Tiger’s heart wrapped in a player’s hide) supposes he is as well able to bombast out a blanke verse (Blankvers: reimloser fünffüßiger Jambus) as the best of you: and beeing an absolute Johannes fac totum, (Jack of all trades – Hansdampf) is in his owne conceit (Eingenommenheit/Einbildung) the onely Shake-scene in a countrey.

The passage is famous because it clearly refers to William Shakespeare ("Shake-scene") and is the first documentary evidence we have of his rise to prominence in the London theater world. Its importance is that it verifies several facts about Shakespeare's career as it had developed by 1592:

- He had become successful enough to make Greene jealous.
- He had become well known among in the London professional theater world.
- He was known as a man of various abilities ("Johannes fac totum" or Jack-of-all-trades, as we would say), actor, playwright ("beautified with our feathers").
- He was well known as a poet ("bombast out a blanke verse").
- His Henry VI Part 3 had become famous enough to be recognize by one of its famous lines ("O, tiger's heart wrapped in a woman's hide").

In any event, we see that Shakespeare was well established in the London theater world by the end of 1592. By this time he had probably already written The Comedy of Errors, Taming of the Shrew, perhaps Two Gentlemen of Verona, the three parts of Henry VI, Titus Andronicus and perhaps even Richard III. Shakespeare's chief rival among early Elizabethan playwrights (then as now) was Christopher Marlowe, but he was murdered in 1593. Had Shakespeare died in the same year as Marlowe, his lifework (Lebenswerk) would have been thought remarkable, but Marlowe would undoubtedly today be seen as the better of the playwrights.

The Plague (Pest) However his work in the theater had proceeded through 1592, it all changed when in January 1593 the theaters in London were closed on account of the plague. This terrible disease was spread by fleas (Flöhe) and rats, which thrived (gedeihen) in the filthy (schmutzig) living conditions of London and other cities. The river Thames was an open sewer (Abwasserkanal) and people dumped their rubbish in the narrow streets. Anyone infected by the plague was isolated and left to die. The front doors of victims were marked with a red cross. From December 1592 until December 1593 Stow (the Elizabethan archivist) reports 10,675 plague deaths--in a city of approximately 200,000. The theaters were allowed to open again briefly during the winter of 1594, but were closed again in February and remained closed until spring 1594.

The poems This period of theater closures played havoc (verheerend wirken) with the professional acting companies, which were forced into the hand to mouth existence of touring with much reduced companies. Shakespeare may have been a member of a touring company but he also developed another kind of work. In 1593 he dedicated (widmen) the long narrative poem Venus and Adonis , printed as a book, to Henry Wriothesley, Earl of Southampton and Baron of Titchfield (1573-1624), who was 19 years old at the time. Shakespeare seems to have tried hard to win his patronage. Getting a patron meant gaining some financial support, protection, and an influential friend, all much needed in such unpredictable times. The dedication is courteous, self-deprecatory, but rather formal. He wrote: “…only, if your Honor seem but pleased, I account myself highly praised(gelobt), … “. Venus and Adonis, probably his first work, that appeared printed, was wildly popular. It was reprinted more than any other of Shakespeare's works up to 1640 - indeed, in Shakespeare's life time he was probably best known for this poem and his play Titus Andronicus - another runaway hit - more than for any other works. The next year Shakespeare published The Rape of Lucrece, whose dedication was to Wriothesley again:

‘The love I dedicate to your Lordship is without end...”

Obviously, Shakespeare had found himself in his Lord's favor and vice versa. This period of theatre closure was probably also the time when most of Shakespeare’s sonnets (sonnet: abab cdcd efef gg) were composed. It is often speculated that Love's Labour's Lost also belongs to this period. Southampton years 1592-95.

The Chamberlain’s Men In that time it was customary to have theatre companies, which worked under the patronage of a Lord. Before the theatres closed Shakespeare must have worked with some of them already but he never became member. They often had problems with the Puritans, who did not want any entertainment at all. They also had their problems with the plague and when theatres were closed they were either touring or performing in private homes for Lords or the Queen. Queen Elizabeth I. loved theatre and she was the main reason, that the Puritans did not succeed to close down the theatres. Without Elizabeth all the actors and playwrights would have had a lot less possibilities and there wouldn’t have been this amount and sort of Drama possible. If she had not supported theatre and drama in this time, there probably would not have been so many great dramatists and new plays. But (as she did support the theatres) it can be said, that what we call drama and theatre today was invented in this period.

In 1594 Shakespeare finally had enough money to join a theatre company. The company was originally formed under the patronage of Lord Strange, but when he died in 1594, it was refounded by James Burbage and under the patronage of Lord Hunsdon, Chamberlain(Kammerdiener) to Queen Elizabeth I and her cousin. Hence they were known as the Lord Chamberlain’s Men.

Shakespeare became a member (or sharer as it was called), - meaning that he was part owner/manager and as such shared in the profits. This provided him the stability necessary for his most fruitful years, when he, as the company's principal playwright, produced an average of 2 plays per year. They performed at the Theatre built by James Burbage in 1576 (even before Shakespeare arrived in London) north of the city. The company was well established. They often performed for Queen Elizabeth I, who loved Theatre and Drama. Richard Burbage (James Burbage’s son) was the great tragic actor of his day and the roles of Hamlet, Othello and Lear were probably written for him. Together with his brother Cuthbert, Richard owned half of the Chamberlain’s Men. Shakespeare, along with John Heminge, Augustine Phillips, Thomas Pope and William Kempe, who was the clown and comedian of the company, owned the other half of the shares.

Apparently Shakespeare's wife and children remained home in Stratford while he worked in London. In August, 1596 Shakespeare's only son Hamnet died. Shakespeare’s play Hamlet was written after his son’s death. In the play there is a very dark atmosphere and almost all main characters die and it has often been speculated that this has to do with Shakespeare’s mourning and grief about his dead son. Especially as William Shakespeare himself played the role of the ghost of Hamlet’s dead father. In May 1597 Shakespeare purchased New Place, the second largest house in Stratford, along with barns, orchards and gardens.(mit Ställen, Obstgärten und Gärten) His wife and daughters lived there. And later he retired and also came back to Stratford.

The Great Globe The ground landlord, who owned the land on which “The Theatre” stood was Giles Allen, a puritan, and by no means in favor of theatrical activities. In 1597 the lease expired, and the Chamberlain's men were forced to move to The Curtain, another public playing house near The Theatre. In the same year James Burbage died, leaving the struggle finding a new theatre to his two sons. As the Chamberlain’s Men did not find an arrangement with Allen, who wanted to pull down the “Theatre”, they finally made plans for a new theatre. It was built and opened in 1599 across the Thames using the timbers from The Theatre. It was called The Globe Theatre

The Globe, built by carpenter Peter Smith, was certainly the most magnificent Theater London had ever seen. It was an open-air theatre, was three stories high and had a diameter of about 30 meter. The rectangular stage at the front of the theatre was about 13 meter wide and 9 meter deep, and it was raised a few feet off the ground so there was a crawl space underneath. There were trap doors in the floor of the stage and in the Heavens in the roof above the stage for entrances, exits, or special effects.

Around the yard and stage were three tiers of galleries. Wealthier patrons could sit in these seats, while the "groundlings" stood in the yard for a penny each. A special tiring room behind the stage provided a place for storage or costume changes. A balcony above the tiring room, behind the stage, provided an acting space, a place for the orchestra, or for more seating

There were two doors on the left and right of the tiring area. In the middle was a large opening with a curtain, which could be drawn or opened as needed. There was no curtain hiding the entire stage. The plays were written so that the players could enter and exit the stage seen by the audience. There was no scenery and props were simple.

A flag at the top of the theatre announced plays every day since the Puritans would not allow publicity. A black flag meant a tragedy was being performed, white was a comedy, and red was history.

The actors and the audience always interacted. This interactivity was unavoidable because of the audience's rowdy behaviour particularly in the groundling areas. For instance, some people would join mock fights. The noise was tremendous. People could drink or eat without paying any attention to what happened on stage. Common refreshments were hazelnuts, beer, water, gingerbread, apples, and oranges, all of which were occasionally thrown at the actors onstage.

The Globe began its first season in 1599 with a production of As You Like It, and continued with works by Shakespeare, Jonson, Beaumont, Fletcher, and others. It became the most prestigious public playhouse in London and was owned by the Chamberlain’s Men themselves. As in the company Shakespeare owned 10 % and had a good income.

The King’s Men In 1603 Queen Elizabeth died and James VI of Scotland became James I of England. Its practical impact was that the Chamberlain's Men, the most popular acting company under the old queen, became the King's Men, receiving royal patronage. And no company performed more at court over these years. From November 1, 1604 to October 31, 1605, the King's Men performed 11 performances before the King. (Seven of the performances were plays by Shakespeare, The Comedy of Errors, Love's Labour's Lost, The Merry Wives of Windsor, Othello, Measure for Measure, and The Merchant of Venice --twice).

About 1611 Shakespeare might have decided to retire and go back to Stratford but in fact it is not known when exactly he left London. He might still have been there in 1613 when, during a performance of his play Henry VIII a canon was fired to mark the entrance of the king, and a stray spark set fire to the thatch roof. In one hour, the theatre was destroyed but luckily nobody was killed. Reconstruction of the Globe began quickly, and it was finished by June 1614. The King’s Men performed until in 1642 Puritans closed all theatres and they had to stop performing and the Globe was pulled down. With this happening the great time of drama and theatre came to an end.

Final Years By 1614 Shakespeare most probably lived in Stratford again, where his 2 daughters Susanna and Judith still lived. Susanna had married John Hall, a doctor who became one of the leading citizens in Stratford. Together they had one child in 1608 called Elizabeth. Judith married a man called Thomas Quinney. They had 3 children. The first, named Shakespeare died in infancy, the other 2 were born after William Shakespeare’s death.

On April 23rd 1616 presumably his 52 birthday William Shakespeare died. The nature of his final illness is unknown. In his will he leaves most of his things to Susanna and John Hall. His wife Anne is for unknown reason not mentioned in the will except to leave her his “second best bed”. It is often wondered that no books or play scripts are mentioned in the will, but of course Shakespeare would have owned no play scripts, since they were the property of the King's Men.

He was buried on April 25th 1616 at Holy Trinity Church in Stratford.

Shakespeare’s Work

In these days plays were normally not published. They were regarded as a minor class of literature just for short entertainment in theatres. This is probably one reason why none of his original manuscripts in his handwriting has survived up to now. In fact we don’t know a single letter of his and the only handwriting, we have (and which is definitely Shakespeare’s) are 6 signatures. Another playwright and friend of Shakespeare, Ben Johnson though published his work in 1616, the year of Shakespeare’s death. Inspired by this, seven years after his death, Shakespeare's fellows John Heminges and Henry Condell brought forth the First Folio: Mr. William Shakespeares Comedies, Histories & Tragedies. It published 36 plays, 18 of which were published therein for the first time including Macbeth. There is only one play (Pericles), today regarded to be written by Shakespeare, which was not published in the first folio. The two editors Heminges and Condell were friends of Shakespeare, whom he left money in his will to buy rings. They were also members of the Chamberlain’s Men and later the King’s Men. There exist some originals of the First Folio even today. Their price has increased though from one pound in the 17th century to over a half million pounds today.

Dating the plays His lifework are 5 long poems, 154 sonnets and 37 plays, one of them, Henry VIII, he wrote together with John Fletcher, he probably also wrote parts “The Two Noble Kinsmen”, which is officially often not counted as one of Shakespeare’s plays though.

The first of his plays written until 1594 (document found which mentions them) (upstart crow 1592) apart from his poems and sonnets composed during the Southampton years (92 – 95) were mainly comedies (like Love’s Labour’s Lost, The Taming of the Shrew and Two Gentlemen of Verona) and a histories (Richard II and Henry VI (1-3) ). The Comedy of Errors and Titus Andronicus both written before 1594 are called classical plays as they are written after the model of plays by Plautus and Seneca, who were Roman dramatists. With his history plays Shakespeare virtually invented a new genre.

By 1598 A Midsummer Night's Dream (probably written in late 1594 or 1595), Romeo and Juliet (probably 1595) King John (probably 1596) The Merchant of Venice (1596-97) and the Henry IV plays (probably 1597-98) were composed. This period is often called Shakespeare's lyric period based on the poetry in plays such as Midsummer Night's Dream, Romeo and Juliet and Richard II. There is also mentioned a play called “Love’s Labour’s Won” but this is either a second name for one of his other plays or a play which was lost as it does not appear in the Folio.

One year later he certainly had written Much Ado About Nothing and probably The Merry Wives of Windsor and As you like it.

In 1599 he probably also wrote Julius Caesar and sometime between 1599 and 1601 Shakespeare wrote Hamlet, and from Hamlet on, until about 1608 when he began writing the great Romances Cymbeline, Winter's Tale and The Tempest, Shakespeare's vision turned to tragedy. The comedies he produced over the next couple of years are distinctly un-funny, and have been called "problem plays": All's Well That Ends Well (probably written in the period 1603-1604) , Troilus and Cressida (probably written in 1602) and Measure for Measure (probably written in the period 1603-1604).

After Measure for Measure Shakespeare’s view turns completely away from comedy and he wrote his great string of tragedies Othello (probably 1604), King Lear (probably 1605) Macbeth (probably 1605), Antony and Cleopatra (probably 1607), Coriolanus and Timon of Athens (probably 1606-8).

What caused the shift in vision, from the sparkling comedies of the 90's to the sad tragedies after 1600? Comedy is social, leading to a happy resolution. Tragedy is individual, concentrating on the suffering of a single, remarkable hero--leading to individual torment, waste and death.

Many reasons for this change have been suggested, perhaps all are true:

1. In 1601 (probably the year Hamlet was composed) Shakespeare's father died.
2. In 1601 the Essex rebellion flared and failed, leaving Essex and Shakespeare's patron Southampton condemned to death in the tower. Essex--a larger than life, charismatic spirit of the late Elizabethan age--was executed, Southampton reprieved. In any event, it may have marked an end to Shakespeare's involvement with the Southampton circle.
3. Tragedies became more popular, along with the growing pessimism of the age, and drew large audiences.
4. An end of an age malaise afflicted London during the opening of the seventeenth century, accentuated by the death of the Queen in 1603.

1608 marks a change in tone in Shakespeare's work from the dark mood of the tragedies to one of light, magic, music, reconciliation (Versöhnung) and romance. Beginning with Pericles, Prince of Tyre (probably written 1607-08), and moving through Cymbeline, The Winter's Tale and finally in The Tempest.

Shakespeare's final plays Henry VIII (1613), Two Noble Kinsmen (probably also written in 1613 or 1614) were written in collaboration with the King's Men's new dramatist , John Fletcher.

Content meaning and themes Shakespeare’s first aim when he wrote the plays seems to have been the dramatic effect. In spite of that it can be said that in his histories the question is dominant what a good ruler should be like; (and in connection to that) when it can be accepted to overthrow a bad ruler. In the three parts of Henry VI he shows the chaos in a country led by a weak king, while in Richard III he draws the picture of a cruel domineering king, who is finally overthrown by Henry VII. In fact Richard III, who did really exist was not a ruler as bad as Shakespeare pictures him here but Shakespeare follows the so called Tudor myth that made Henry VII, an ancestor of Queen Elizabeth I look like a real hero. In Henry V Shakespeare shows a king, who can be regarded as a model king, just and fair.

In many of his comedies (e.g. Midsummer Night’s Dream) you find the problem of the contrary relationship between reasonable thinking on the one hand and passion, love and feelings on the other. An interesting point is, that the themes and topics of, the comedies are often found in the tragedies as well. The ambition in As You Like It is, what drives Macbeth crazy. All’s Well That Ends Well is about jealousy as well as Othello; and Twelfth Night and Antony and Cleopatra are both about blind love and its problems.

When you look at his tragedies from a bit of a distance you find a similar structure in many of them. It is often an originally noble character, whose passion triumphs over his reason and leads him to disaster. It is Macbeth’s ambition, Othello’s jealousy, Antony’s blind love and King Lear’s anger and hatred, which leads them to a tragic end. Shakespeare’s two most popular tragedies do not fit into this structure: Romeo and Juliet and Hamlet. In Romeo and Juliet we do not have a single person but the love between two failing tragically. And Hamlet is not a bad person as Macbeth for example. You can understand a lot of his thoughts and he is more a victim than a culprit.

So we see that it is pretty hard to categorize Shakespeare’s plays. On the other hand that together with very well detailed characters in his plays is also, what makes them interesting to the stage and movies but also to musicians. And that is my next and last chapter:

Shakespeare from then until today

My last chapter will be about how Shakespeare’s lifework inspired artists during the last 400 years and what role Shakespeare plays today that is what we still find of him and his work today.

Operas All of Shakespeare’s plays apart from Titus Andronicus and Two Gentlemen of Verona were models for at least one opera. Romeo and Juliet was model for even 268 operas. (said in Gooch and Thatcher music catalogue). Even a lot of famous musicians were inspired by his plays. Here are a few famous examples:Richard Wagner - Das Liebesverbot (Measure for Measure)

Hector Berlioz - Béatrice et Bénédict (Much Ado About Nothing)

Rossini – Otello

Verdi – Macbetto, Otello, Falstaff (Merry Wives of Windsor)

Carl Orff – Sommernachtstraum

There would almost be an opera by Mozart. He had accepted to compose an opera following the plot of The Tempest but he died before he was able to finish his work.

Other music But we do not only find operas written after Shakespearean plays. Several plays were also models for musicals. Really popular became Cole Porter’s musical “Kiss me Kate”(1949) after Taming of the Shrew and Leonard Bernstein’s “West Side Story” (1957) after Romeo and Juliet.

Mendelssohn-Bartholdy composed instrumental music for a performance of A Midsummer Night’s Dream; part of this music was the famous wedding march.

Movies and Theatre Shakespeare’s plays were often adapted for the screen by many directors including Roman Polanski and today there is huge amount of films. The latest Shakespearean movies were in 1993 Much Ado About Nothing starring Denzel Washington and Keanu Reeves; in 1996 Hamlet, Twelfth Night and Romeo and Juliet starring Leonardo DiCaprio and Claire Danes and in 1999 A Midsummer Night’s Dream starring Kevin Kline and Michelle Pfeiffer.

Apart from that Shakespeare is still one of the most performed playwrights in theatres. In the last season (2002/03) the “Theater Freiburg” for instance played four plays by Shakespeare, one based on Titus Andronicus and Verdi’s opera Macbeth. And in London there is a reconstruction of the Globe Theatre built in 1996 / 97 where they play heaps of Shakespearean plays.

Apart from movies, theatre and operas Shakespeare has also influenced the English language. Modern English is very different from the Shakespearean English but although even many people whose mother tongue is English have strong difficulties to understand Shakespearean English today, there is a huge amount of famous sentences form Shakespeare’s plays which became proverbs. Although we are not aware of it you find a lot of Shakespearean proverbs even in German. Here is a list of some popular quotes.

To finish my presentation I want to show you a short part of the making of “Shakespeare in Love”, a movie which is set in 1593. It tells the story of William Shakespeare writing Romeo and Juliet. In the part, which I want to show you, they talk about the role of William Shakespeare and the situation of the theatres in 1593.

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Titel: Shakespeare, William - life, time and lifework