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Elizabethan England and Shakespeare


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Title: Elizabethan England and Shakespeare

Elizabethan England and Shakespeare
Whats happening in England during this time
  • Tudors come to power at the end of the War of the
    Roses (English Civil War) and England is united
    under one monarchy.
  • Englands religion is Catholic.
  • After this, England has four different rulers in
    under 100 years each ruler has their own agenda.

The Different Rulers and Their Agendas
  • King Henry VIII (1509-1547) cant decide on a
    wife, has six.
  • Henrys marital unhappiness causes England to
    break with Catholic church
  • Church of England (Protestant Church)established
    so Henry can get a divorce
  • This causes split in country between Catholics
    and members of the Church of England
  • King Edward IV (1547-1553) brings peace with
  • Died at the age of fifteen
  • Queen Mary I (1553-1558) re-establishes
  • Persecutes Protestants
  • Burned 300 dissenters at the stake, earning her
    the name Bloody Mary
  • Queen Elizabeth I (1558-1603) daughter of Henry
  • Begins Englands Golden Age and the Renaissance
  • Art, Music, Poetry and Drama flourish
  • Restores Protestant Church

In shortthis is what happened
  • King Henry VIII (1509-1547) breaks with the
    Catholic Church and establishes the Church of
    England (Protestant Church)
  • Queen Mary (1553-1558) re-establishes Catholicism
  • Queen Elizabeth (1558-1603) restores the
    Protestant Church

Who is Queen Elizabeth?
  • Ruled from 1558-1603
  • Became queen at age 25
  • Daughter of Anne Boleyn and Henry VIII
  • One of the most successful and loved rulers of

Who is Queen Elizabeth?
  • Ruled during the Renaissance Period
  • Especially loved music, dance, and the theater
  • Nickname the Virgin Queen
  • Never married
  • Had many marriage proposals
  • Never had any children
  • Used her flirtatious nature to get what she
    wanted from male rulers of other nations

Queen Elizabeth and Religion
  • Was Anglican (Church of England) like her father
  • Completely opposed to Catholicism because she
    blamed the pope for her being called a bastard
  • TOLERATED Catholics because she knew that if she
    allowed some religious freedom she would have her
    subjects loyalty

Structure of Tudor Society
How did people live?Social Class and the Church
  • Life was governed by two important factors-
    religion and social structure.
  • England was a largely rural society
  • as much as 90 of the population lived in the
  • The Gentry owned the majority of land, and were
    by birthright the natural leaders of the
  • This group counted for just 1 of the population
  • Queen Elizabeths new laws
  • laws regarding religion were established
  • Everyone is required to attend church service
    every Sunday and on holidays
  • People were fined for not attending church
  • Illegal to be a Catholic priest

How did people live?Dwellings
  • Made of wood with straw roofs. If you were rich,
    your house was made of brick.
  • Type of house and amount of furniture depended on
    social class.

How did people live?Food
  • The richer you were, the more variety of food you
  • Food was salted or smoked to preserve it, and
    often spices were added to hide the taste of
    rotten food.
  • Ale and cider were common drinks, even for the
    children, as the water was dirty.

How did people live?Clothing
  • The type of clothing you wore depended upon your
    social class.
  • Poor people wore simple, loose-fitting clothes
    made from woolen cloth.
  • Most men wore trousers made from wool and a tunic
    which came down to just above their knee.
  • Women wore a dress of wool that went down to the
    ground. They often wore an apron over this and a
    cloth bonnet on their heads.
  • Clothing was regulated by Sumptuary Laws
  • Dictated what color and type of clothing, furs,
    fabrics, and trims were allowed to persons of
    various ranks or incomes
  • Created to control extravagant clothing and to
    make sure people dressed within their social class

How did people live?Education and Work
  • Education
  • Few people went to school, those that did were
    the sons of the wealthy (not the daughters)
  • The boys would go to grammar school everyday but
  • They would learn Latin, religious studies, Greek,
    arithmetic and music.
  • Majority of the population was illiterate and not
  • Work
  • Most children and adults worked each day tending
    their crops and animals
  • Most men and boys worked in the fields, and would
    hunt and keep animals to provide their meat.
  • Some men had special jobs such as blacksmiths
    making tools.
  • Women and girls looked after the home, cooking,
    washing, making clothes and candles, milking the
    cows and growing herbs for medicines and cooking.

How did people live?Cities
  • London
  • largest city in Western Europe
  • Most important trading city in England
  • City was dangerous and filthy
  • Great risk of fire because most buildings made
  • of wood
  • A large population and the lack of a structured
  • sewage system, meant that all waste was simply
  • dumped into the River Thames
  • There was a lot of disease
  • The government didnt help the poor,
  • so crime was high

Elizabethan Theater
  • During Elizabeths reign theater changed
  • New dramas were called Elizabethan Dramas
  • Designed to entertain the masses
  • Plays had religious undertones, but were not
    designed to teach religion or morality
  • Contained historical allusions that the audience
    would understand

The Audience
  • Commoners (poor) were called groundlings
    because they paid very little money (a penny) to
    stand on the ground to watch plays
  • One ticket would pay for a day at the
    theaterusually three plays in one day
  • There were no female actors in Tudor times. Boys
    played women's parts.

The Globe Theatre
  • Nicknamed The Wooden O because it was not
    rectangular but oval in shape
  • Could hold 2000-3000 people
  • Most expensive seats were closest to the stage
  • Very important guests were often seated ON the

What did Shakespeare contribute to society?
  • He wrote tragedies, comedies, and histories that
    are still read, studied, and performed today
  • He wrote 154 sonnets about love and life
  • He added words and phrases to the English

Shakespeares Writing
  • Tragedy A dramatic play that ends in
    catastrophe, often death for the main character.
  • Tragic hero The main character(usually someone
    noble) in a tragedy who has a tragic flaw, which
    is a weakness that leads to their downfall.
  • Comic Relief Following a serious scene with a
    lighter, humorous one.
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