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Shakespeare - R & J


What are the typical characteristics of Shakespeare's tragedies? - A character/Characters of noble background - An overall good person with a fault in his/her character that will lead to their eventual downfall and death - Before dying, the character gets aware of his/her fault
What is the English Renaissance culture best known for? Its theatre and poetry
What is the other name for the English Renaissance? Where does it originate from? The Elizabethan era (named after Queen Elizabeth I)
What is the historical period of the English Renaissance? The second half of the 16th and the very early 17th centuries.
Why did visual arts (paintings) never flourish during the English Renaissance? Because of England's conversion from Catholicism to Protestantism under Henry VIII and the subsequent destruction of icons (iconoclasm) and discouragement of religious painting.
Was the theatre considered respectable art? What proofs can you provide? No, it wasn't. Playhouses were isolated from the "good" urban districts and set in areas with ill reputation because of crime, gambling, prostitution.
Could the Elizabethan theatre be considered "democratic" in terms of its audiences? What proof can you give from Shakeaspeare's "Romeo and Juliet"? Yes,.The Elizabethan theatre was frequented by both common people, the middle-classes and nobility. "R&J" alternates monologues/dialogues of pure poetry between the lovers with filthy language on the part of the servants, thus suiting everyone's taste.
Who was called "groundlings" in the Elizabethan theatre? The commoners who stood on the ground, in front of the stage, and often interacted with the actors by cheering or booing them, or throwing objects at them.
What time of the day were plays conventionally performed? Why? In the early afternoon as there was no lighting available.
What did a black/white or red flag on the theatre's roof signal? Flags informed the public whether a tragedy, comedy or historical play was to be performed.
How did the Elizabthan theatre keep the attention of its audiences? With various stage effects (trapdoors seeing actors appear or disappear; ropes for taking actors in the air, canons for battle sounds).
Were the plots of Shakespeare's plays original? Mostly NOT. Shakespeare used to make use of medieval tales or chronicles by reinterpreting them and providing them with psychological depth and plausability.
What major changes did Shakespeare introduce in the early version of "Romeo and Juliet"? Why? He lowered their age - from 20 to 13 &16, erasing lust from their affair, but leaving them with the innocence and purity of first love. Instead of moralising, the ending sees the two families reconcile and thus restore the social peace in Verona.
What is the major fault in Romeo's and Juliet's characters? They are too rash in making decisions, led by impulses and emotions - something peculiar for teenagers, yet also taking them to the edge of risk and danger.
How are Romeo and Juliet similar and different at the same time? They are both extremely emotional: Romeo is in love with love, coming to the ball for Rosaline, yet leaviing with Juliet; Juliet falls in love at first sight. Yet she is the more rational and initiative one - urging for marriage and plotting an escape.
Find the metaphor in the two abstracts: Juliet is the Sun.
Sum up the plot of "Romeo and Juliet", following your Textbook, p.