Shakespeare facts + Romeo and Juliet

1. In what Warwickshire town was William Shakespeare, eldest of six children of John and Mary (Arden) Shakespeare, born? William Shakespeare was born in the market town of Stratford-upon-Avon.
2. Shakespeare died on April 23, 1616. On what date was Shakespeare born? Shakespeare was born April 26, 1564.
3. After completing “petty school,” and the lower form years in an English “grammar school,” an Elizabethan boy moved into the upper form, where the curriculum excluded science and mathematics while concentrating on rhetoric, logic, and literature. The study of what language, other than English, also dominated his studies in the upper form? Other than English, the study of Latin also dominated his studies in the upper form.
4. On November 27, 1582, a marriage license was issued to an eighteen-year-old William Shakespeare and a woman nearly eight years his senior who became the mother of three children (Susanne in 1583, twins Hamnet and Judith in 1585) and the most famous literary spouse in English literature. What was Hamnet’s mother’s full maiden name? Hamnet, Susanne, and Judith’s mother’s full maiden name was Anne Hathaway.
5. Upon roughly how many plays does Shakespeare’s dramatic reputation rest? In other words, how many plays are currently attributed to Shakespeare? Within, say, five? About 38 plays are currently attributed to Shakespeare.
6. In what poetic form did Shakespeare write the former poems? These poems were in the sonnet form.
7. To what literary genre do these latter two titles belong? The genre of these poems is long narratives.
8. Venus and Adonis and The Rape of Lucrece were likely written in 1593 and 1594, years during which the theaters were closed. Why were the theaters closed? The theaters were closed because of the plague, a contagious epidemic disease that devastated the population of London.
9. & 10. In 1594, Shakespeare became a charter member of a theatrical troupe that later changed its name in 1603, when King James VI of Scotland became King James I of England, succeeding Queen Elizabeth I. What were the two names by which this theatrical troupe was known? 9. The first name that his theatrical troupe was known by was the Lord Chamberlain’s Men.10. Later, their name was changed to the King’s Men (King James I).
11. While actors in Elizabethan times were not highly regarded socially, they were capable of making a very good living. What indications do we have that Shakespeare acquired significant wealth? He possessed a very large house and his family had a coat of arms. He was also a landowner proven by surviving documents. His will also helped indicate Shakespeare had wealth.
12. In his will, Shakespeare left his considerable possessions to friends and family members. What did he leave to his wife, and what explanation is traditionally given to explain this seemingly unusual bequest? He left her his second best bed, and back then beds were really hard to come by.
13. In 1576, James Burbage (a carpenter turned actor), objecting to a new requirement that plays and inn yard theaters within London had to be licensed, rented a plot of land northeast of the city walls, upon which he built his first theater, England’s first permanent construction designed specifically for plays. What was this important theater named? The name of this theater was the Theatre
14. In 1599, Burbage lost his lease on the land upon which his first theater stood, so he dismantled the timbers, found a new site across the Thames, and constructed the most famous theater in British history. What was this new theater named? The name of this famous new theater was the Globe
15. In terms of casting the roles in plays, what is the single biggest difference between Elizabethan theater and contemporary theater? Women were not allowed to act and female roles were played by prepubescent boys.
16. Describe briefly the composition of the audience at a public performance in an Elizabethan theater. The audience consisted of the wealthy to lowly prostitutes.
20. Identify these lines: Good friend for Jesus’ sake forbear To dig the dust enclosed here. Blessed be the man that spares these stones And cursed be he that moves my bones. These are the lines inscribed on Shakespeare’s grave.
18. & 19. In 1623, seven years after the death of Shakespeare, John Heminge and Henry Condell, thespians and colleagues of Shakespeare’s for approximately twenty years, performed the service for which the world continues to thank them.18. What did they produce?19. By what name is it known today? John Heminge and Henry Condell put all of his plays into one book.It’s known as the First Folio.

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