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William Shakespeare 1 VOA Special English
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Исполнитель: VOA Special English

Название песни: William Shakespeare 1

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Дата добавления: 2015-06-30

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The Works of William Shakespeare Remain Full of Life

May 10, 2014

Welcome to EXPLORATIONS in VOA Special English. I’m Mario Ritter. Today, Steve Ember and Barbara Klein tell us about one of the most influential and skillful writers in the history of literature. For more than four hundred years, people around the world and in many cultures have been reading, watching and listening to the plays and poetry of the English writer William Shakespeare.
Juliet: Ay me!

Romeo: She speaks:

O, speak again, bright angel!

Juliet: O Romeo, Romeo! wherefore art thou Romeo?

Deny thy father and refuse thy name;

Or, if thou wilt not, be but sworn my love,

And I'll no longer be a Capulet.

You just heard part of a famous scene from a movie version of “Romeo and Juliet." This tragic play remains one of the greatest, and perhaps most famous, love stories ever told. It tells about two young people who meet and fall deeply in love. But their families, the Capulets and the Montagues, are enemies and will not allow them to be together. Romeo and Juliet are surrounded by violent fighting and generational conflict. The young lovers secretly marry, but their story has a tragic ending.

"Romeo and Juliet" shows how William Shakespeare’s plays shine with extraordinarily rich and imaginative language. He invented thousands of words to color his works. They have become part of the English language. Shakespeare's universal stories show all the human emotions and conflicts. His works are as fresh today as they were four hundred years ago.

William Shakespeare was born in fifteen sixty-four in the town of Stratford-upon-Avon. He married Anne Hathaway at the age of eighteen. The couple had three children, two daughters and a son who died very young. Shakespeare moved to London in the late fifteen eighties to be at the center of the city's busy theater life.

Most people think of Shakespeare as a writer. But he was also a theater producer, a part owner of an acting company and an actor. For most of his career, he was a producer and main writer for an acting company called the King's Men.

In fifteen ninety-nine Shakespeare's company was successful enough to build its own theater called The Globe. Public theaters during this time were usually three floor levels high and were built around a stage area where the actors performed. The Globe could hold as many as three thousand people. People from all levels of society would attend performances.

The poorer people could buy tickets for a small amount of money to stand near the stage. Wealthier people could buy more costly tickets to sit in other areas.

Often it was not very important if wealthy people could see the stage well. It was more important that they be in a seat where everyone could see them.

It was difficult to light large indoor spaces during this time. The Globe was an outdoor theater with no roof on top so that sunlight could stream in. Because of the open-air stage, actors had to shout very loudly and make big motions to be heard and seen by all. This acting style is quite different from play-acting today. It might also surprise you that all actors during this period were men. Young boys in women's clothing played the roles of female characters. This is because it was against the law in England for women to act onstage.

Shakespeare’s theater group also performed in other places such as the smaller indoor Blackfriars Theater. Or, they would travel around the countryside to perform. Sometimes they were asked to perform at the palace of the English ruler Queen Elizabeth, or later, King James the First.


Biography - SW - Shakespeare - Part 1 of 2 of William Shakespeare - English Writer


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