Shakespeare's Theater & Emotions


Shakespeare's Theater

Heaven (the balcony and the area above):
Hopes, Dreams, Beliefs, "ideal" Love, Judgment, Hope, Happiness, Gratitude, Knowledge, Immortality, Wonder, Interest.

The Earth (on stage):
Humor, Envy, Worry, Love, (physical) Hurt, Worry,suffering, Sorrow, Shyness, Jealousy, Physical Senses (touch, see, smell, hear.

Hell (the area under the stage, the trapdoor):
Death, Grief, Despair, Hate, Horror, Hysteria, Arousal, Hunger (for revenge), Flight, Fight, Angst.

Audience: Laughter, Tears, Entertainment, Hopes, Screams, Excitement, Euphoria, Affection, Awe, Curiosity, Gratitude, Interest.

Some Additional Facts about Shakespeare's Theater

Shakespeare's audience could not only be found in the seating area, but also right close up to the stage.

Unlike many of today's theaters, Shakespeare's audience interacted with the actors.

Shakespeare's actors interacted with the audience. A tradition that was based on the time when plays were performed by travelling groups of actors.

Shakespeare and Emotions

Shakespeare lived in a time of great crisis during which the medieval belief of the order of the universe was destroyed. (A theme reflected in the "star-crossed" love of Romeo and Juliet.)

Shakespeare also lived in a time of social crisis when plots and conspiracies involved highest levels of Elizabethan society. (A theme reflected in Hamlet, Henry V, and other tragedies and histories)

However, it is Shakespeare's use of the crisis of emotions in each individual that defines his enduring legacy.

Emotions are timeless.

Love, hate, despair, humor, anger, ... are as much part of the human experience today as it was in Shakespeare's time.

Shakespeare neither editorialized, judged, nor eliminated any emotions. Instead, he explored the duality of emotions, their depths, and personified them in his characters.

The ability to turn a crisis and the most challenging emotions into growth is an art which is part of the human experience that each one of us can still learn today.

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