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Shakespeare Notes- The Bedford Companion to Shakespeare ch. 3

by: Madison Krasko

Shakespeare Notes- The Bedford Companion to Shakespeare ch. 3 657

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Madison Krasko

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These are notes for "The Bedford Companion to Shakespeare" Chapter 3-Theater a la Mode: Shakespeare and the Kinds of Drama. It is an outline on the different genres of plays Shakespeare wrote. ...
Shakespeare 657
Dr. Murphy
Class Notes
Shakespeare, english, The Bedford Companion of Shakespeare, Shakespeare notes, Romeo and Juliet
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This 5 page Class Notes was uploaded by Madison Krasko on Wednesday March 2, 2016. The Class Notes belongs to 657 at University of New Hampshire taught by Dr. Murphy in Spring 2016. Since its upload, it has received 12 views. For similar materials see Shakespeare 657 in Foreign Language at University of New Hampshire.

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Date Created: 03/02/16
The Bedford Companion of Shakespeare Chapter 3 notes: 1. -Plays can’t be written according to a formula 2. -Shakespeare’s writing’s worked in about 2 phases  Phase 1= First 10 years (1590-1600) i. Devoted to comedies and histories  Phase 2= Second 10 years (1601-1611) i. Devoted to tragedies and romances  Clearly they were not separated, their was a mixture but it was mostly this 3. The First Folio divides Shakespeare’s plays into: Comedies, Tragedies, Histories Comedy 1. Comedy Play= It moves towards a happy ending and implies a positive understanding of human experience. 2. They often show that its good to laugh at the world. Life leads to satisfaction and away from despair. Happiness is possible. 3. The “happy ending” is normally a marriage or some kind of reunion that brings peace 4. Comedy goes from confusion order, ignorance understanding, from unhappiness satisfaction  Love first, then marriage, then sexual union, then birth 5. They laugh because they know that the characters are protected from serious harm 6. Types of Comedy:  Farce  Satire  Slapstick  Intrigue comedy  Romantic comedy  Tragicomedy  Religious comedy  Comedy of manners 7. All comedies have a religious dimension 8. Although the plays end with a happy, unified ending, this doesn’t happen until the last 5 minutes. The audience is supposed to enjoy and laugh at the world for the majority of the play 9. All Shakespeare’s comedies are a mixture of farce and romance, sunshine and shadow, and absurdity and profundity.  He even mixed up the normal endings and some comedies did not end in marriage or a happy ending 10. Shakespeare would have his plays reflect the happenings in present day England Tragedy 1. Tragedy= moves towards an unhappy ending. Implies an unfavorable assessment of human experience 2. Death occurs here as marriage does in comedies 3. Hero/heroine dies along with others. It ends in misery, separation and loss. 4. Emphasize failure, waste, disappointment and self destruction. 5. Tragedy promotes the impression that hope is futile, the heroic figure can never escape the traps that await anyone who lives on this world 6. Shakespearean tragedy depends on a Paradox a. This is to create admiration for the tragic protagonist b. The world may be a wicked place, the deck may be stacked against us, but humans are capable of extraordinary heroism and endurance 7. The emphasis may fall on either the horrors of the human situation or the hero’s reaction to those horrors 8. Tragic figures may be monstrous and admirable. 9. Tragedy is dispiriting and uplifting at the same time. 10. TRAGIC FLAW= basic- the tragic hero has a “fatal flaw” a. This doesn’t exactly separate them from the other characters in a play though b. Heroic men and women are destroyed by their own capable hands, victims of the very traits that set them apart from the rest 11. A tragic flaw is a problem because it is misleading History 1. History plays were being invented while Shakespeare began to write 2. They were to some extent, dramatic experiences. 3. They were a mixture of comic and tragedy as will. 4. “The textuality of history”= how we know history. The text is written by the winners 5. “Historicity of Texts”= has to be aware of the audience. Has to adjust to the time he’s writing to. 6. Metadrama= a play that draws the audience’s attention Romance 1. Romances arrive at a happy ending by an unusual perilous route 2. The action usually involves desire and fulfillment. It is an adventurous story. 3. The main character must endure a series of hazards and trails that lead to success and reward 4. The ending is not only happy but joyous. 5. Towards the end of his career, Shakespeare turned towards fantasy and magic within this genre. a. This changed the emphasis to the perils and deceits of illusion within tragedies Mixed Modes 1. Many of Shakespeare’s plays are hard to classify as a specific genre. 2. In some comedies, the irony can become very bitter and the works may seem more like a tragedy. 3. In a tragedy the audience needs to sympathize with the protagonist. This is difficult if there is emphasis on the characters weakness. Notes from class about Shakespeare: -Rhetoric= art of persuasion -Script= Just the language -Play= tells actions and more than just the language -Oxymoron= 2 words but totally opposite meanings -Mythos= myth, stories to describe the unknown -Ethos= has to do with characters. Emotion and ethics he imitates -Dyanoya= ideas/themes of the play -Lexis= the language of the script -Melos= the plays melody. The music -Opsis= the look/ what they are seeing The time frames: 1564---- Shakespeare’s Birth Year. Important because: -Michelangelo died -John Calvin (in charge of the Reformation) also died -Galileo (the astronomer) was born -Christopher Marlo (invented blank verse) was born These are important because there was drama with the change and Providence Reform -Shakespeare wrote in Early Modern English 1050- Middle English was created 1485- End of the War of Roses Blank Verse= doesn’t rhythm. Chris Marlo invented this Galileo stirs the pot because the sun is now the center of the galaxy, not the Earth The City of Dyonysis= An event where great play writers present their plays. It was a competition and named after the King of drinking and partying -Shakespeare’s plays had to get cleared by the royalty. He could and almost has been killed. -He had to make sure the current royal family looked good in his plays -Renaissance= Rebirth of classical literature. Only the Clergy had access to reading and writing so he is working with biased historical records Doctrine of Passive Obedience*** -This is the principle that Queen Elizabeth sustained while she ruled for 45 years. Doctrine of Divined right= the right that the nobles are in charge because that’s Gods plan. The last thing one should do is disobey God by killing the ruling family. If there is a bad ruler they are A Scourge of God. A person sent by god to punish the wicked. * Medieval Mystery -Renaissance gets to England late. The classics and Medieval collide and create new works -Mystery Play=bible story plays. Amateurs run these. They tell the mysterious acts of God -Morality Plays= Professional actors did these. Actors aren’t meant to represent real people. They represent ideas. Good deeds are what help you. -Vice= the character that is a con-man and trickster (Richard in Richard III) *Boccaccio (1355-1374) “De Casibus Virorum Illustrium” -tells how great men rise but once on top, they will fall *Machiocelli (1469-1527) -“machiovels” -the cliché “The end justifies the means” comes from him -he was a writer -Pattern and Variation -curses get fulfilled -Richard in Richard III talks to the audience. He is like the chorus in this play


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