Elizabethan Theater Essay Research Paper OUTLINETHESIS Elizabethan

9 September 2017

Elizabethan Theater Essay, Research Paper


Thesis: Elizabethan Drama changed literature and theatre into what it is today.

I. History of Elizabethan Theater

a. forming of theatre

1. mediaeval church

2. enigma and morality

b. histrions

1. knaves and stealers

2. moving clubs

II. Influences and people

a. commanding histrions

1. Shakspere

2. Burbage

b. other

1. wars of the roses ( other historical influences )

2. Torahs curtailing theatre

III. The theatres

a. monetary values

1. seating

2. phase

b. the theatre and the Earth

1. locations and features

2. Burbage and other achievement

Elizabethan Drama

During the reign of Queen Elizabeth I, England underwent a dramatic alteration in precedences. The importance of art and literature became extremely prevailing. The impact of the Elizabethan play and manner still influences civilization. It changed altered it into what it modern literature and theatre is today.

The Elizabethan Age began during the last 20 old ages of Elizabeth I? s reign ( Lace, 71 ) . Elizabeth loved the humanistic disciplines and England had increased in wealth and internal peace ( Lace, 71 ) . Elizabethan play placed its roots in the mediaeval church ( Lace, 71 ) . Since all services were held in Latin, a linguistic communication common people did non talk, priests acted out the narratives of the bible to learn ( Lace, 71 ) . Get downing in church behind the alter, plays grew more popular as more people wanted to see them ( Lace, 71 ) . When there were non adequate priests to make full the functions, common mans were given parts. Finally, the common people took over the dramas and the church became less involved ( Lace, 72 ) . The scriptural dramas transformed into enigma and morality dramas. Morality plays were more serious and meant to learn people the difference between right and incorrect ( Lace, 78 ) . Mystery plays, while still learning ethical motives, were the more entertaining dramas. Both were extremely spiritual. The histrions of the clip led an equivocal life. In the first half of the sixteenth century they were seen as little better than stealers ; some, in fact, were stealers ( Lace, 73 ) . While some histrions were executing others would travel through the crowds and choice pocket ( Lace, 74 ) . Touring companies were little, normally less than 10 people ( Lace, 74 ) . Actors traveled by waggon and slept in or under them ( Lace, 74 ) . Almost no adult females were histrions, adult females? s parts were played by younger male childs ( Lace, 74 ) .

Elizabethan theatre was strongly influenced by persons and events & # 8211 ; It besides was an influence on the people themselves. Although there were many outstanding histrions and dramatists, merely a few are acknowledged for their affect in modeling early theatre. When Christopher Marlowe, the most celebrated

dramatist in his clip ( Lace, 79 ) , died, William Shakespeare was his replacement. Shakespeare decided play was to be his calling after seeing the Queen? s Players during a visit to his hometown of Stratford-on-Avon in 1587 ( Lace, 79 ) . By the clip of Marlowe? s decease, Shakespeare was already good known for his three portion? Henry VI? in 1592 ( Lace, 79 ) . His dramas? Love? s Labour? s Lost? and? Romeo and Juliet? , both in 1594, were performed and he became the most outstanding dramatist of his clip ( Lace, 79 ) . Before Elizabeth? s reign was over, ? Richard II? , ? Julius Caesar? , ? Henry V? , and? Hamlet? had been performed ( Lace, 79 ) . James Burbage was the 2nd most influential histrion of the Elizabethan period, but non merely for his acting endowment. Burbage built the first of all time public wendy house in England, opening in 1576 ( Unknown, 218 ) . Burbage financed the edifice of? The Theater? entirely, a good off adult male but was still considered a knave. Actors were non the lone influence on theatre. When Mary Tudor decided the throne was truly hers, the War of the Roses ensued ( Lace, 73 ) . Because of the War of the Roses, many Lords, that employed histrions, were killed ( Lace, 73 ) . This forced histrions to organize their ain companies ( Lace, 73 ) . In 1572, parliament passed the Poor Laws, doing it a condemnable

discourtesy to be a vagabond ( Lace, 75 ) . This reduced the figure of moving companies and required them to be licensed by the authorities ( Lace, 75 ) . Companies already sponsored by Lords were given licences ( Lace, 75 ) . This made deriving legal position an of import measure for the acting profession ( Lace, 75 ) . Informal protection was now backed up by the jurisprudence, this was utile to the increasing ill will of metropolis functionaries towards dramas and histrions ( Lace, 75 ) .

The basis of Elizabethan Drama were, in fact, the theatre houses themselves. At? The Theater? the monetary value of admittance was a penny, this entitled one to stand on the land around the phase ( Lace, 77 ) . The poorest and most rambunctious were looked down upon by the more good off, who called them groundlings ( Lace, 77 ) . The following higher were low galleries that cost another penny, and monetary values travel up the higher you go ( Lace, 77 ) . The highest gallery were private suites, but non the most expensive ( Lace, 77 ) . The most expensive were on the phase itself. These people frequently disturbed the public presentation by speaking, playing cards, or demoing off new vesture ( Lace, 77 ) . The theatres were built much like the tribunal yards the histrions were used to ( Lace, 76 ) . The edifice was round and the phase extended out so that the

audience about surrounded it ( Lace, 76 ) . Scenery was limited but particular effects were now possible ( Lace, 76 ) . Actors could start up through trap doors or be lowered from above from a room known as? heaven? ( Lace, 76 ) . At the rear of the phase there were two doors used for both scenery and histrions ( Lace, 76 ) . Wing were suites for storage, ? palling suites? ( where histrions got appareled, dressed ) and the green room where histrions waited for their cues to travel onstage ( Lace, 76 ) . ? The Theatre? was an immediate success with both upper and in-between categories ( Lace, 77 ) . Middle-class merchandisers, largely puritans, disliked dramas but learners frequently snuck off from work to watch them ( Lace, 77 ) . The audience was largely male. Traveling to a public drama, even if escorted, was considered non respectable for adult females ( Lace, 77 ) . Merely lowest category adult females and the greatest Lords enjoyed dramas by themselves ( Lace, 77 ) . Upper category adult females and the greatest Lords enjoyed dramas, but the histrions came and performed in private halls ( Lace, 77 ) . The Globe was the most celebrated of all the Elizabethan theatres ( Lace, 77 ) . In 1594, Burbage? s rental had run out on? The Theatre? and the landlord wanted to raise rent ( Lace, 77 ) . They argued for old ages. Finally Burbage tore down? The Theatre? and transported the timber across the Thames to Southwark and built The Globe ( Lace, 77 ) . The new theatre was occupied by the freshly formed Lord Chamberlain? s Players, founded by Elizabeth? s cousin, Lord Hudson ( Lace, 77 ) . This most celebrated company included Shakespeare and James Burbage? s boy Richard, considered the best histrion of the clip ( Lace, 77 ) . Opened to the populace in 1599 with Shakespeare? s? Henry V? ( Lace, 78 ) . Some historiographers believe Shakespeare played the portion of chorus stating:

? But pardon gentles all,

The level arraised liquors that hath dared

On this unworthy scaffold to convey Forth

So great an object can this cockpit keep

The immensely [ huge ] field of France? Or may we jam

With in this wooden O the really casques [ helmets ]

That did frighten the air at [ the Battle of ] Agincourt? ( Lace, 78 ) .

All the minor inside informations and piddle ways that shaped the manner of the Elizabethan epoch are the same that changes the manner of modern times. Unknown to the pioneers of their clip, their parts to the theatre they lived for are still recognized and appreciated. Had it non been for these baronial few literature and theatre would non rather be the art signifier it is today.


Lace, William W. Elizabethan England. San Diego, Ca. Lucent Books, 1995.

Boas, Fredrick S. An Introduction to Tudor Drama. Oxford, Eng. Clarendon Press, 1977.

? The English Theater. ? Cultural Atlas of the Renaissance, p218.

Arnold Edward. , ed Prentive Hall Literature. Englewood Cliffs, New Jersey: PrenticeHall, 1989.

Internet. hypertext transfer protocol: //www.springfield.k12.il.us/schools/springfield/eliz/costumes.html.

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