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What you need to know for Mr.
Johnson’s class before reading
Romeo & Juliet
Shakespeare is probably the
greatest playwright of all
He wrote 37 plays and 154
sonnets and other poems
Shakespeare's works have
been translated into every
major living language, and
his plays are continually
performed all around the
world. In addition, many
quotations from his plays
have passed into everyday
usage in English and other
languages. Over the years,
many people have
speculated about
Shakespeare's life, raising
questions about his
sexuality, religious
affiliation, and the
authorship of his works.
The beginning
Shakespeare was born in Stratford-upon-Avon on April
23, 1564. At least we think so!!
His parents were John Shakespeare, a successful
glover Snitterfield, and of Mary Arden.
We know that the King’s New Grammar School taught
boys basic reading and writing. We assume William
attended this school since it existed to educate the
sons of Stratford but we have no definite proof.
Likewise a lack of evidence suggests that William,
whose works are studied universally at Universities,
never attended one himself!
The house on Henley Street
This is where Will was born and raised.
Anne Hathaway
At 18 years old, Will marries Anne Hathaway, his
pregnant girlfriend 8 years his senior. She is 26.
No, that’s not really the Anne Will married,
but maybe it will help you remember her.
William and Anne had three children together.
The first was Susana, then twins, but one of
the twins, Hamnet, died at 11.
Will was kind of a jerk to his wife. He left them
for many, many years to work in London. And
when he died, he only left Anne “his second
best bed.”
Will’s England
Conditions in London-BAD!
Thames River
polluted with raw
 Trees used up for
 Poverty
Personal hygiene/health
Bathing considered dangerous
 Body odor strong
 Childhood diseases
 Children often died before 5 years
 Small Pox
 Bubonic Plague
Living Conditions
 No
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 Chamber Pots
 Open Sewers
 Crowded
One set used all
year long, rarely
 Underclothing slept
in, infrequently
 Clothes handed
down from rich to
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Theater in London
Performed in courtyards
of inns
The Theater-first public
Daytime/open air
Limited set design
Relied on music, sound,
costumes, props and
great description
The Globe
Built in 1599
 Across the Thames- “Wrong side of town”
 King’s Players - Shakespeare’s company
 Penny admission
All men
 Female parts played
by young boys
 No actual kissing or
hugging on stage
The groundling
Poor audience
 Stood around stage
in “the pit”
 Women not allowed
(had to dress up as
men to attend)
 Threw rotten
vegetables at bad
“Romeo and Juliet”
 Written in 1595
 Set in Verona, Italy
 Themes: parental
teens; fate/freewill;
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Play’s source
Borrowed from a
poem by Brooke1562
 Poem found in
French translation
by Brooke
 Shakespeare gave
story new life and
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