вторник, 22 апреля 2014 г.

The Fame of English Literature : William Shakespeare

William Shakespeare (1564-1616),

`The Bard of Avon', English poet and playwright . 

 On the 23rd of April Shakespeare’s birthday is celebrated around the world. This year we mark the 450 anniversary of his birth. More books has been written about the greatest English dramatist and poet than about any other writer. But yet many facts of his life are unknown to us.

But what is more important for human society : we have the unique heritage created hundreds of years ago and still touching our souls and hearts .

The Midsummer Night’s Dream, illustrated by Sir John Gilbert

The list of Shakespearean works includes

154 Sonnets and 36 highly successful often quoted dramatic works. 
The most popular of them are  comedies Much Ado About Nothing , As You Like It,Merry Wives of Windsor  ,Twelfth Night ,All's Well That Ends Well ,  tragedies of the Prince of Denmark, Hamlet; Romeo and Juliet,Othello ,Antony and Cleopatra ,King Lear ,and others. I'm sure you have read or seen them.
 Sir John Gilbert

But what do you know  about Shakespearean theatre ?

The public theatre for which Shakespeare wrote his plays were quite different from those of today. They were built of wood. The stage projected far out into the pit where the spectators stood, so they were very close to the actors’ feet. Round the pit there were tiers of galleries, one over the other. The galleries were roofied, while the pit was open to the sky. Those spectators who could not pay for their tickets stood in the pit. Rich men sat in the galleries, and noblemen were allowed to sit on the stage.

Since the pit of the theatre was open to the sky, the performance depended entirely upon the weather. Flags were raised when a play was to be given, but if the weather suddenly changed for the worse, the flags were pulled down and the performance did not take place.

  Performances always began in broad daylight and the entertainment lasted for three hours.
There was no scenery in the modern sense. There were merely a few tables, chairs, and so on to give some indication of the setting. Sometimes an actor would come on the stage and say: “You shall have Asia on one side and Africa on the other” or “ We must believe the stage to be a garden”. Actresses were unknown on the stage, and all the women’s parts were played by boys and young men.

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