Group #1: William Shakespeare Date and location of birth

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Group #1: William Shakespeare

  • Date and location of birth: April 23, 1564 in Stratford-Upon-Avon, England

  • Date, location, and cause of death? April 23, 1616 at age 52. Buried at the Holy Trinity Church.

  • Who was he married to? Did he have any children? Anne Hathaway and 3 children

  • Of what did his education consist? Just grammar school; Stopped school after age 14

  • Overview of his career: 38 plays, 154 sonnets, 2 long narrative poems. Became partner in Globe theater productions.

  • Who were his peers? What influenced him? Richard Burbage (famous actor), Sir Walter Raleigh (writer/spy/aristocrat who helped colonize North America), Christopher Marlowe (Famous playwrite).

  • Influences: history, everyday events (jealousy, love, etc.)

  • Describe the Elizabethan lifestyle: food, clothing, entertainment, etc.

  • Food- Anything that could be hunted was. Meat was dried and kept in storage.

  • Clothing- Many layers of clothes. The style for women was small waist, big skirt, powdered faces. For men they wore stockings, britches, ornate shirts.

  • Entertainment- jousting, festivals, dances, bear and bull bating, gambling, hawking, etc.

Group #2: The Globe Theater

What was the Globe Theatre? An open air theater that Shakespeare’s company, The Lord Chamberlain’s Men (a group of traveling actors), performed.
The theater consisted of the stage, the pit, the yard, and the galleries as well as dressing rooms for men.
What was the layout, cost of tickets, and method of lighting? The theater was in the shape of an octagon. It was three stories high and held 3,000 people. The stage was 43 feet wide and 30 feet deep. The stage had trap doors and rigging for stage effects.

Cost- depended on the seats, usually 1-30 pennies. Expensive seats were as much as half a crown (30 pennies). Groundlings- cheap seats. Cost a penny and people had to stand and look up at the stage and actors.

Lighting- Plays were to be performed during the day because there was no electricity. Usually ended by 4 or 5.
Label the parts of the theater. Who attended performances? The queen of England (Elizabeth) attended performances.
Who were the actors, playwrights, and producers? Actors- Lord Chamberlain’s Men
Who was the audience? All classes of people would come and see the theater; it united all.
What was a day at the theatre like?

--If it rained, people got wet.

--They were big productions and people spent hours at the theater. There were vendors selling produce and goods in the streets outside the theater.

--If there was a show that day a flag would be raised, signifying there is a play taking place.
Describe the major events in the history of the theater.

  • Opened in 1599

  • In 1613 the original theater burned down (due to a cannon firing).

  • Shut down by the Puritans until it’s rediscovery in 1989

  • Richard Burbage built the original building

Group #3: Julius Caesar

Who is the man Julius Caesar?

  • What was his origin/background? Born July 12 in 100 BC and died March 15 44 BC. Born in Sabura, Rome. His family was noble, patrician roots. He was a Roman General.

  • Was he married? Did he have children? First marriage to Cornelia Cinnilla, from 83 BC until her death in childbirth in 69 or 68 BC

  • Second marriage to Pompeia, from 67 BC until he divorced her around 61 BC

  • Third marriage to Calpurnia Pisonis, from 59 BC until Caesar's death

Descr-Describe his career.

  • - King Ptolemy XIII of Alexandria and Egypt

  • - King Pharnaces II of Pontus (“I came, I saw, I conquered”)

  • -The Pompeian armies

  • -Before rising to power as the first Roman Emperor.

-Who were his friends? Who were his enemies? Was murdered by his own senators at a meeting hall next to Pompey’s theater. Murdered by his own friend, Marcus Brutus, who led the stabbing.

--Had an affair with Queen Cleopatra.

--Mark Antony and Octavious, his adopted son (technically his nephew) were his friends.
How did the Roman people feel about him?

Caesar had the support of the masses since he built Rome into the powerhouse he was but the senators were largely against his plight for power.

Roman form of government:
Senator: 600 men from Patrician roots that debated political decisions and ultimately had to approve ideas

Praetor: 8 voted representatives of the magistrates that were responsible for the administration of justice in specific territories.

Consul: 2 elected officials that had judicial power over the Army. They had to agree on their decisions and could only serve for 1 year terms.

Triumvirate: Triumvirate means 3 men and refers to a group of three men who hold political power, regardless of whether or not the trio has been elected. The first Triumvirate consisted of Julius Caesar, Pompey (Pompeius Magnus) and Marcus Licinius Crassus formed an alliance that wielded the real power in Rome from 60-54 B.C. The second triumvirate consisted of Octavian (Augustus), Marcus Aemilius Lepidus, and Mark Antony. The second triumvirate was an official body created in 43 B.C., known as Triumviri Rei Publicae Constituendae Consulari Potestate. Consular power was assigned to the three men. Usually there were only two elected consuls.

Plebian: Lower class population; the common folk. Consisted of 90% of the population. Could not hold office.

Patrician: Upper class. Came from ruling tribes of ancient Rome. These men controlled the senate and elected representatives.

Bondsman: Free men that worked off debt.

Tribune: Roman official whose task it was to protect the people against oppression. Represented Plebeians. “People’s voice”

Republic: The form of Roman government after the kingdom was overthrown. It’s a system of checks and balances with a senate and two elected consuls.

Group #5: Roman Culture

the Feast of Lupercal: Fertility Festival celebrated in the Coliseum
the Ides of March: March 15

Who was Pompey? Gnaeus Pompeius Magnus, also known as Pompey (/ˈpɒmpiː/) or Pompey the Great (September 29, 106 BC – September 29, 48 BC), was a military and political leader of the late Roman Republic. He came from a wealthy Italian provincial background, and established himself in the ranks of Roman nobility by successful leadership in several campaigns.

Pompey joined his rival Marcus Licinius Crassus and his ally Julius Caesar in the unofficial military-political alliance known as the First Triumvirate. The first triumvirate was validated by the marriage between Julia (daughter of Julius Caesar) and Pompey. After the deaths of Crassus and Julia, Pompey's wife and Caesar's daughter, Pompey sided with the optimates, the conservative and aristocratic faction of the Roman Senate. Pompey and Caesar contended for the leadership of the Roman state leading to a civil war. When Caesar defeated him at the battle of Pharsalus he sought refuge in Egypt, where he was assassinated. His career and defeat are significant in Rome's subsequent transformation from Republic to Principate and Empire.

Romulus and Remus? Rome’s founders.

Romulus wishes to build the new city on the Palatine Hill but Remus prefers the Aventine Hill. They agree to determine the site through augury. Romulus appears to receive the more favourable signs but each claims the results in his favour. In the disputes that follow, Remus is killed. Ovid has Romulus invent the festival of Lemuria to appease Remus' resentful ghost.[4] Romulus names the new city Rome, after himself, and goes on to create the Roman Legions and the Roman Senate. Rome's population is swelled by incomers, including landless refugees and outlaws; most are men. Romulus arranges the abduction of women from the neighboring Sabine tribes, which immediately leads to war but eventually results in the combination of Sabines and Romans as one Roman people. Rome rapidly expands to become a dominant force in central Italy, due to divine favour and the inspired administrative, military and political leadership of Romulus. In later life Romulus becomes increasingly autocratic, disappears in mysterious circumstances and is deified as the god Quirinus, the divine persona of the Roman people.

Colossus? Someone or something that is abnormally large and powerful; giant. Caesar referred to himself as the colossus of Rome.
Tarquin? The last known king of Rome before Rome turned into a republic.
Religion, superstitions and traditions:

  • Romans were Pagans, or believed in many gods and idols.

  • March 1st was the first day of new year

  • Girls married at 12 and boys married at 14

  • Choosing a name was an honor

  • Romans believed objects or living beings could possess spiritual power (

  • Nightmares were considered omens of bad luck

  • Believed in “signs” from the Gods and would have religious vessels interpret these signs.

Daily life in Rome as a patrician and a plebian: Patricians: The patricians were the upper class, the nobility and wealthy land owners. 

Plebeians: The plebeians were the lower class (about 90% of population). Nicknamed "plebs", the plebeians included everyone in ancient Rome (except for the nobility, the patricians) from well-to-do tradesmen all the way down to the very poor. Had no political stronghold or ranking.

What were their jobs? Social Life: A wealthy plebeian family and a wealthy patrician family did not meet socially. Under the kings, it was illegal for a pleb and a patrician to marry. In 445 BCE, about 60 years after the Roman Republic was formed, a new law was written that said it was no longer illegal for plebs and patricians to marry.

Apartment Houses: Many plebeians lived in apartment houses called flats. Some the apartments were above or behind their shops. Even fairly well to do tradesmen might chose to live in an apartment-building compound over their store, with perhaps renters on the upper stories. Their own apartments might be quite roomy, sanitary and pleasant, occasionally with running water. But others were not that nice.

The Poor, Unsanitary Living Conditions: In the poorer apartment houses, an entire plebeian family (grandparents, parents, children) might all be crowded into one room, without running water. They had to haul their water in from public facilities. Fire was a very real threat because people were cooking meals in crowded quarters, and many of the flats were made of wood. They did not have toilets. They had to use public latrines (toilets).  The lower class Romans (plebeians) might have a breakfast of bread, dry or dipped in wine, and water. Sometimes olives, cheese, or raisins were sprinkled on the bread.

Rich and Poor Life Style: The rich had beautiful mosaics on the floors of their home. They wore lots of jewelry made of gold and gemstones. They had beautiful clothing. They enjoyed a great deal of leisure time. The poor wore shabby clothing. Their jewelry was made of painted clay. They worked all the time. 

What did they do for entertainment?

Poetry readings, debated philosophy, studied astrology, cultivated the arts (mosaics, statues), put on plays, fished and hunted, chariot races, gladiator matches

Group #6: Marcus Brutus, Mark Antony, Cassius

Who is Marcus Brutus? Marcus Brutus was a close friend of Caesar who Caesar took under his wing after he defeated him in battle. Caesar had an affair with Brutus’ mother, which is what incited his sympathy. However, Brutus was uneasy with the thought of a king of Rome and was talked into conspiracy by Cassius.

Who is Mark Antony? Marcus Antonius (in Latin: M·ANTONIVS·M·F·M·N[1]) (January 14, 83 BC – August 1, 30 BC), known in English as Mark Antony, was a Roman politician and general. He was an important supporter and the loyal friend of Gaius Julius Caesar as a military commander and administrator, despite his blood ties, through his mother Julia, to the branch of Caesars opposed to the Marians and murdered by them. After Caesar's assassination, Antony formed an official political alliance with Octavian (Augustus) and Marcus Aemilius Lepidus, known to historians today as the Second Triumvirate.

The triumvirate broke up in 33 BC. Disagreement between Octavian and Antony erupted into civil war, the Final War of the Roman Republic, in 31 BC. Antony was defeated by Octavian at the naval Battle of Actium, and in a brief land battle at Alexandria. He and his lover Cleopatra committed suicide shortly thereafter. His career and defeat are significant in Rome's transformation from Republic to Empire

Who is Cassius? Brother-in-law of Marcus Brutus, helped convince Brutus to kill Caesar. Roman senator who took the lead in planning the assassination of Caesar. Formerly was under the commandment of Pompey, Caesar’s once friend turned enemy.

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