Glossary of Shakespeare FINAL

Start Studying! Add Cards ↓

Created by kivladon

Shakespeares Birth and Death
Baptised April 26, 1564

Died April 23, 1616

Liturgical Trope
An addition to a standard liturgical text (i.e. a church ritual like the Mass) that enlarges on and acts out the events celebrated in the ritual itself.
Passion Play
A dramatic presentation of Christs passion (i.e., his suffering and crucifixion).
Saints Play
A dramatic enactment of the legends associated with a particular saint.
Mystery Play
(also known as Corpus Christi play)--A dramatic representation of an episode from the Bible. After 1210, these plays were produced by laymen organized into trade guilds, typically as entertainment on festival days; prior to that they were performed the clergy, either within church precincts or in the exterior churchyard.
Mortality Play
(also known as an interlude)--An allegorical play that illustrates broad moral principles without specifically enacting an episode from the Bible, or a saints legend, or a liturgical passage.
University Plays
also known as scholastic plays or humanist drama)--Plays written and performed in school settings (usually at university, but sometimes at grammar schools), as an educational exercise, and typically adapting or imitating Graeco-Roman play-texts such as those of Plautus and Terence.
The first permanent purpose-built public theater in early modern England, known as The Theatre, is erected in the Shoreditch liberty of London by theatrical entrepreneur James Burbage and associates.
Londons second public theater, The Curtain, opens in Shoreditch, not far from The Theatre.
The Rose opens as the fourth public theater in the London area and the first to be located immediately across the Thames from London, in the Bankside liberty of Southwark.
A new acting troupe known as The Lord Chamberlains Men is formed under the patronage of Henry Carey, Baron Hunsdon, Lord Chamberlain to Queen Elizabeth. James Burbage oversees the company until his death in 1597, at which time his sons Richard and Cuthbert step into leadership roles in the group. William Shakespeare is a shareholder of The Lord Chamberlains Men by 1595 at least.
The Lord Chamberlains Men move from Shoreditch to a new acting venue in Southwark known as The Globe. (It is known to historians as the First Globe Theater.)
King James I ascends the English throne and claims patronage of the Lord Chamberlains Men, who are henceforth known as The Kings Men.
The Kings Men take possession of an additional, private theater within the bounds of London proper. This is known as the Blackfriars Theatre.
The Globe (more precisely known as the First Globe) burns down during a performance of Shakespeare and John Fletchers history play _Henry VIII_.
A rebuilt Globe (known to scholars as the Second Globe) is rebuilt on Bankside.
The Globe and all other theaters are closed by act of Parliament at the outset of the English Civil Wars. The (second) Globe is pulled down in 1644 or shortly thereafter.
Public Theater
A playhouse, usually polygonal or rectangular in shape, constructed around an open-air theater yard into which projects a thrust stage. The open-air form of the public theaters is probably derived from the design of the innyards which earlier, traveling players used as a favored performance venue. Audience capacity ran from 2000 to 3000 spectators who sat or stood in a variety of covered galleries or in the open-air theater yard itself. The Globe and The Theatre were both public playhouses.
Private Theater
A smaller kind of playhouse, fully enclosed and more expensive, with a typical audience capacity of about 500-800. This style of theater was probably derived from the manor house great hall, a performance venue frequently used by earlier groups of traveling players. From 1608 the Blackfriars served as the private playhouse of the Kings Men.
Tiring House
The backstage dressing area where the actors assembled to don their costumes and await their cues for performance.
Frons Scenae
Latin for "front of the scene," this phrase refers to the front wall of the tiring house, which provided the backdrop for the the thrust stage itself. The frons scenae contains two or three doors that lead from the tiring house onto the stage itself.
Latin for "place, or, more broadly, "house," this refers to the upstage (i.e., rear) part of the thrust stage, which is associated with specific places within the dramatic illusion of the performance.
Latin for "open space" or "street," this refers to the downstage (or frontstage) area of the thrust stage, where actors can play to the audience in a way that breaks the ilusion of a self-contained theatrical world.
The roof that extended over the thrust stage so as to protect the actors and their costumes from the elements. The ceiling of the heavens was decorated with painted representations of the sun, the moon, etc.: hence its name.
The Hut
A small enclosed structure above the tiring house and the heavens, this room housed a pulley that allowed actors to be lowered onstage through the air.
The Cellarage
Space beneath the thrust stage from which actors could enter onto (or exit from) the thrust stage through a trapdoor.
The Balcony
The upper gallery behind the thrust stage was often cordoned off and used as an upper-level acting space, to stage action above the thrust stage.
Disclosure Space
(or "discovery space")--The space created by opening one of the doors into the tiring house and turning it into an enclosed performance space.

(also "penny stinkards")--The least distinguished segment of the public-theater audience, the groundlings typically paid a penny for admission to the theater yard, where they stood during the course of a plays performance.
Foul Papers
An authors first draft of a play-text, so named because of the mess created by revisions.
Fair Copy
A revised copy of foul papers, usually incorporating revisions suggested by actors, censors, and others as part of the process of readying the play for performance. In theory, any number of fair copies of a text could be produced before its final revision as prompt copy.
(or prompt copy)--The final master copy of a play-text, incorporating all final revisions, used to oversee rehearsal and performance. The promptbook was kept by an acting company as its official blueprint for a plays production.
A one-page synopsis of a play-text, posted in the tiring house during performance and used to guide actors through their entrances and exits.
Master of the Revels
An appointee of the royal court whose job it was to manage the Office of the Revels--i.e., the office responsible for overseeing and licensing all royal entertainment, including plays. In effect, the Master of the Revels is Englands top censor. He was expected to read all the play-texts produced in England and to suppress any offensive matter they might contain prior to performance.
Stationers Office
The central office of the Stationers Guild of London, which was theoretically responsible for supervising all printing in the realm.
Stationers Register
A record book, maintained by the Stationers Company, in which printers could enroll their intention to publish a particular book. In its day, the Stationers Register served as an early form of copyright protection; now it provides scholars with a unique source of information about how and when early modern plays were printed.
Staying Entry
An entry in the Stationers Register that was apparently not followed up by immediate publication. Staying entries were used to prevent other printers from publishing the work thus registered.
The standard format in which early modern printers published cheap texts of individual plays. A quarto gathering is produced by printing eight pages of type on a single printers sheet, then folding the sheet twice and cutting the pages as necessary to produce four leaves and eight pages.
The largest and most expensive format for printed books, a folio is made by printing four pages of type on a single printers sheet, then folding the sheet once to create four pages and two leaves of print. In Shakespeares day, this format was usually reserved for costly, high-prestige volumes such as works of theology, philosophy, law, and history.
Ben Johnson First Folio
The first collected folio edition of early modern English play-texts, this is published by Shakespeares friend and younger contemporary Ben Jonson in 1616, the year of Shakespeares death.
Shakespeare First Folio
(often referred to simply as the "First Folio")-The first collected edition of Shakespeares plays, this is produced in 1623, seven years after the poets death.
Bad Quarto
An unauthorized, stolen, and surreptitiously produced play-quarto, usually printed without permission of the acting company that owned the play in question, and usually based upon a very corrupt text derived either from memorial reconstruction or covert transcription.
Terminus ante quem
(or terminus ad quem)--A Latin phrase (meaning literally "the date before which") referring to the latest date in which a work of uncertain date could possibly have been written.
Terminus a quo
A Latin phrase (meaning literally "the date afterr which") referring to the earliest date in which a work of uncertain date could possibly have been written.
The study of poetic meter and poetic form.
anguage not governed by the rules of prosody.
Language governed by the rules of prosody.
Poetic Meter
From the Greek metros, or measure, meter is a rule of measurement used to structure a line of verse. It usually consists of one or more syllables, although meter may conceivably be structured on other base units.
Poetic Form
he set of relations between different lines that make up a poem. Traditionally, these relations are determined by formal line-groups such as stanzas or verse paragraphs, with this relation often reinforced by patterns of rhyme.
Syllabic Meter
A meter-form that defines lines by the set specific number of syllables they possess.
Accentual Meter
A meter-form that defines lines by a set specific number of stressed syllables.
Accentual-Syllabic Meter
A meter-form that combines the principles of accentual and syllabic versification by counting both a set specific number of accented syllables and a set specific number of total syllables, usually disposed in recurring patterns of two or three syllables.
Free Verse
Line-lengths determined by the absence of formal meter.
Poetic Foot
he basic unit of meter (i.e., line-length) in accentual-syllabic verse (and some other kinds, such as quantitative), a poetic foot consists of two or three syllables used to form a recurring pattern of stress.
Two syllables, the first unaccented, the second accented.
Two syllables, the first accented, the second unaccented.
Three syllables, the first two unaccented, the last accented.
Three syllables, the first accented, the last two unaccented.
The process of marking the meter of a line of verse.
A right-leaning slash-mark (/) used in scansion to denote an accented syllable.

A single quotation mark (")--sometimes replaced by an x--used in scansion to denote an unaccented syllable.
Dactylic Trimeter
A line of verse containing three dactyls.
Anapestic Tetrameter
A line of verse containing four anapests.
Iambic Pentameter
A line of verse containing five iambs.
Blank Verse
Unrhymed iambic pentameter.
Rhymed Couplet
Two consecutively rhymed lines of verse.
A pause in a line of accentual-syllabic verse, usually after the second or third foot in a line of iambic pentameter. This pause is typically marked by a point of punctuation, and it divides the line into two balanced halves.
Literally, a half-line; one of two balanced halves of a line of verse divided by a caesura.
Figurative Language
Language used in a non-literal sense, usually involving classifiable figures of speech.
Figures of Speech
Ways of using language non-literally, figures of speech can also be classified by kinds according to the exact sort of non-literal usage they exhibit.
A comparison between two unlike terms (persons, things) that has been formulated to include the words "like" or "as."
A comparison between two unlike terms that does not involve the adverb "as" or the adjective "like."

The literal referent of a metaphor or other figure of speech; the real-world person or thing to which the metaphor refers.
The figurative referent of a metaphor or other figure of speech; the imaginary person or thing to which the tenor is being likened.
Essentially a specialized case of metaphor, personification compares two unlike things such that the tenor of the comparison is inanimate and the vehicle is animate.
Essentially personification in direct address, apostrophe is the sudden invocation of a concept or inanimate object.
Rhetorical Question
(also "Erotesis")--A question not meant to be taken literally; a statement of the obvious in question form.
Referring to a person or object by the name of another, associated person or object.
Referring to a person or object by the name of a part of the very same person or object.
The process of converting common land to private property by surrounding it with a fence, hedge, or wall, often in order to convert the land from arable husbandry to pasturage.

Occurring in the reign of Queen Elizabeth I (1558-1603)
Occurring in the reign of King James VI and I (1603-1625)
Occurring in the reign of King Charles I (1625-1649)
16th Century
17th Century

Add Cards

You must Login or Register to add cards