Introduction to Shakespeare

Shakespeare’s World

please take some brief, point-form notes. How had society changed? What was life like in Elizabethan times? How do we see this reflected in Shakespeare’s works?

The Globe Theatre

Again, take some brief notes. How did the structure of the theatre (and the structure of society) change actors’ performances? What sorts of interactions did the space allow?

In Shakespeare’s plays, we have the same basic plot structure that we observed in novels and short stories.

Act 1 Introduction
Act 2 Rising Action
Act 3 Climax
Act 4 Falling Action
Act 5 Conclusion

Hamlet is a tragedy. This means that it will be sad in some way, more importantly, it will result from flaws in human nature. The audience knows this, so concentrate on which ways Hamlet conforms to the expected plot structure, and the ways in which it does not.


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