Classify the following plays according to their author:
The Gardener’s Dog
The merchant of Venice
The Best Mayor, the King
Romeo and Juliet
-The Knight of Olmedo
William Shakespeare and Félix Lope de Vega lived and worked at the same time in history and both wrote plays for the theatre.
Discuss with a partner what you know about both playwrights and why they are so famous. At the time of Shakespeare and Lope de Vega the theatre was the main form of entertainment. How do you think this fact affected the status of a playwright?
Now read the text to see if your ideas are mentioned:
Shakespeare (1564 - 1616) and Lope de Vega (1562–1635) were both from normal families: Shakespeare’s father made gloves, and Lope de Vega’s father made clothes. Lope de Vega’s life was very dramatic: he had two wives, three mistresses, many love affairs and 14 children. He also had many different jobs: private secretary for the Duke of Alba, he wrote love letters for the Duke of Sessa and finally he became a priest. In comparison, Shakespeare’s life was very boring! He was eighteen when he married Anne Hathaway (who was twenty-six) and they had 3 children. Historians think that he was a teacher for a few years until he joined a drama company and started writing plays. Shakespeare and Lope de Vega both wrote for the popular public theatre, where performances were watched by all social classes, from the illiterate to the cultured. However, the situation of theatre as an art form was very different in the two countries at this point in history. Drama was an established, popular pastime in England during Shakespeare’s time, but there were only theatres in London. In other towns and cities, the plays were performed in the street or special outdoor areas. In Spain, at the time of Lope de Vega, theatre was not a common activity for ordinary people and was really only performed for the Court. This is why Lope de Vega is often called the “father of Spanish...
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