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General Books - Product Detail
Shaking Hands with Shakespeare
Cover image of Shaking Hands with Shakespeare
9780743246835 04

Shaking Hands with Shakespeare

Price: $12.00



Dear Reader,When I was in eighth grade, my English teacher had us read Much Ado About Nothing. A traveling troupe of players was coming to my hometown to perform it and she wanted us to be very familiar with the play by the time we saw it. We didn't just read it silently, we read it aloud, we performed it, we discussed it, we picked it apart, and we put it back together again. That experience opened doors for me, because "Shakespeare" was no longer a confusing jumble of antique words. Shakespeare turned out to be a complex, insightful playwright whom I could understand and relate to, at the age of 13.This book is an overview of Shakespeare's work with a heavy emphasis on acting and getting involved in the material. You'll learn about Shakespeare's life and the times he lived in, and how to understand his language. Then, you'll get to know the plays themselves: the four main categories, the types of characters, and the greatest moments of his plots. Finally, you'll learn the basics of performing his plays and get to know the best ways to support his work as an audience member. Also, you'll find out what to read if you want to know more, which are the best Shakespeare movies, and where to look for Shakespeare's most famous lines.And you won't learn sitting down!Shaking Hands with Shakespearecontains more than 50 ACTivities to get you out of your seat and into the world of the Bard, including performing a scene using different acting styles, organizing a Shakespearean awards show for all the best characters, and writing and performing your own "Shakespearean" scenes based on modern storylines.I hopeShaking Hands with Shakespearewill help you...well, shake hands with the Bard. Introduce yourself. Learn about him, and find out what he knows about you. I think you'll be pleasantly surprised, and I hope that, in time, you can grow to love him as much as I do. Trust me, you'll never be bored. "For here, I hope, begins our lasting joy."Henry VI, Part 3 Act V, Scene vii, Line 46Allison Wedell SchumacherSeattle, WA

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About the Author

Section One: Meeting Shakespeare: History and Language
Chapter One: Shakespeare, His Theatre, and His Times: A Quick Overview
Chapter Two: Shakespeare's Language: Say What?!

Section Two: Studying Shakespeare: Plays and Characters
Chapter Three: The Four Types of Plays
Chapter Four: Shakespeare's Characters: Strong Women, Tragic Heroes, and Evil Villains
Chapter Five: Great Moments: Shakespeare's Dilemmas, Hoaxes, and Romances

Section Three: Performing Shakespeare: Actors and Audiences
Chapter Six: Acting Shakespeare
Chapter Seven: Going to See Shakespeare: Why It Is Not Like Watching TV

Section Four: Appendices
Appendix A: Famous Lines from Shakespeare
Appendix B: An Annotated List of Shakespeare's Plays on Film
Appendix C: ACTivities Listed
Appendix D: Glossary
Appendix E: Works Consulted 207

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TOC, Chapter 1 Chapter One: Shakespeare, His Theatre, and His Times: A Quick Overview 'Tis a chronicle of day by day. --The Tempest,Act V, Scene i, Line 191 JUST THE FACTS, MA'AM Think about all the things we know about famous people these days. For instance, take the Hollywood filmmaker Steven Spielberg. Of course, you already know what he does for a living. But how hard would it be to find out where and when he was born? Or find out how many kids he has, and what their names are? Easy, right? Believe it or not, those basic facts are pretty much all we know about the life of the famous 16th-century English playwright, William Shakespeare. If you really wanted to, you could delve deeper into Spielberg's life and background just by doing a little bit of research on the Internet or by watching tapes of the many interviews he's done over the years. In addition to all of the things mentioned above, you could readily find out other intimate details such as how he got his start, what kinds of things inspire his work, etc. But with Shakespeare, we don't have that option. In fact, we don't know very much about him at all. Here are all the things we know for certain: BAPTISM: William Shakespeare was baptized at Holy Trinity Church in Stratford-upon-Avon (named so because the town of Stratford sits on the Avon River), England, on April 26, 1564. HOUSE: Shakespeare bought a big house called New Place in Stratford in 1597. Although he lived in London off and on for the rest of his life, he never sold New Place, and his family most likely lived there full-time. MARRIAGE: On November 28, 1582, Shakespeare was issued a marriage license allowing him to marry Anne Hathaway. He was eighteen and she was twenty-six. She was also pregnant with their first child. CHILDREN: Shakespeare and his wife had three children. Susanna was born in 1583, and their twins, Hamnet and Judith, were born in 1585. Hamnet died in 1596, when he was only 11 years old. BUSINESS: Along with other players, or actors, Shakespeare formed a theatre company called the Lord Chamberlain's Men in 1594 and became an owner of the Globe Theatre in 1599. He bought quite a bit of land in the Stratford area and invested in a house in London. He once testified in a court case in London. WILL: In early 1616, Shakespeare wrote his will, leaving his "second-best bed" to his wife (no one knows why, nor what happened to his very best bed), some money and other items to his daughter Judith, and most of the rest of his estate to his daughter Susanna and her husband. He also left some money to three of the actors in his company: Richard Burbage, John Heminge, and Henry Condell. DEATH: Shakespeare died on April 23, 1616, and was buried near the chancel of Holy Trinity Church, where he had been baptized. < ;P> Not much, is it? All the things we know about the man otherwise known as the Bard of Avon are kind of boring. It would be much more interesting if we knew more personal details. Did he write his plays at home or at a pub over a pint of ale? How did he become interested in theatre in the first place? Is there any connection between the grief over the death of his son Hamnet and the creation of the sad and tortured character Hamlet five or six years later? Connecting the Dots rUnfortunately, we will have to be content with those basic facts. Based on those facts, however, and upon inferences derived from his plays and sonnets, many people have made educated guesses about Shakespeare's life. While these are informed decisions based on extensive research off the period in which he lived, they are really only conjecture. Here are some of the speculations that SShakespearean scholars and biographers have made about his life: BIRTH: We do not know his exact birth date, but babies in Elizabethan England were

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