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Elizabethan Drama
Queen Elizabeth I
was the daughter
of Henry VIII and
Anne Boleyn. She
reigned as Queen
of England from
1558-1603. This
time period is
known as the
Elizabethan Era or
the Golden Age.
Anne Boleyn
King Henry VIII had Anne Boleyn’s head
chopped off because she could not produce a
male heir.
пЃ® This made Elizabeth illegitimate and she lost the
title of princess.
пЃ® Elizabeth later reconciled with her father; he was
unable to ever produce a healthy male heir, and
she was reinstated in the line of succession. She
reigned England for 45 years.
пЃ®
Nicknames
 Some of Elizabeth’s nicknames were:
 The Virgin Queen: she never married. It is
thought that she held a wedding ceremony
for herself to marry England.
 Gloriana or Good Queen Bess
 Elizabeth’s half sister, Mary, was nicknamed
Bloody Mary because so many people were
executed while she was queen.
The Signature of a Queen
Queen Elizabeth’s Signature
Westminster Abbey
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Elizabeth is buried at Westminster Abbey in
England.
Among those buried there are:
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Charles Darwin
Issac Newton
Robert Browning
Charles Dickens
The Current Queen: Elizabeth II
The current Queen
of England is
Elizabeth II.
She is the Queen of
the United Kingdom,
Canada, Australia,
New Zealand, South
Africa, Pakistan, and
Ceylon (Sri Lanka
1972).
She became Queen
in 1952.
Elizabethan Drama
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This time of Elizabeth’s reign over England
is also known as the Renaissance- this
means a rebirth of classical learning.
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Elizabeth I encouraged new learning in
England. The Golden Age was a time of
learning and growth.
Elizabethan Drama
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Before the Renaissance in England,
countries had fallen into a slump. The
citizens were uneducated and had lost
interest in education and arts.
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Drama was the main form of literature
because most people were illiterate,
therefore there was a demand for
theatres.
Elizabethan Drama
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Before 1576, theatres had
not existed.
Plays were performed in
tavern (bars) innyards to
entertain the wealthy.
In 1576, James Burbage
built the first theater in
London, England, it was
called “The Theatre.”
Elizabethan Drama
Drama rapidly developed because of Elizabeth I.
She loved plays!
пЃ¬ She was educated and wanted other people to
better themselves.
пЃ¬ During the Elizabethan Era, England was called
“Merry England,” because there were markets,
fairs, dancing, drinking, and rioting in the
streets.
пЃ¬ Drama of this time period is known as
Elizabethan Theatre or Early Modern English
Theatre.
пЃ¬
Typical Elizabethan Audience
Groundlings- a.k.a. Pennystinkers, dirty
jokes and fighting appealed to them.
пЃ¬ Middle Class- music appealed to them
пЃ¬ Royalty- poetry appealed to them
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An Elizabethan playwright had the task of
appealing to all audience members.
Weird Fact:
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Boys played all the women’s parts because it was
not acceptable, nor suitable, for a woman to act.
Until the reign of Charles II, female roles were
played by young boys dressed in women’s
costumes.
Yes! Juliet was originally played by a man.
Acting Requirements
Good
пЃ¬ Good
пЃ¬ Good
пЃ¬ Good
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voice
memory
dancer
health
Be able to sing
пЃ¬ Be able to play a
musical instrument
пЃ¬ Good swordsman-very
important
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Elizabethans liked
their plays to be gory,
bloody, noisy, and
action packed.
The Playwright
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Not all playwrights fit the image of a poet or of
an intellectual
Christopher Marlowe was killed in a tavern
brawl.
Ben Johnson was killed in an acting duel.
The Plague
A.k.a. Black Plague, Bubonic Plague,
Black Death, Great Plague
пЃ® Horrible epidemic that began in Europe in
1592.
пЃ® By 1593, so many had died from it that the
government would wheel death carts
through the streets and yell “Bring out your
dead.”
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Finale
пЃ¬All theatres were closed in 1642 due to the
Puritan movement.
пЃ¬The Puritan people did not like young men
dressing as women, theatres being
located near taverns, or opposing political
views being displayed on the stage.
William Shakespeare
• Shakespeare was
born in StratfordUpon-Avon on April
23, 1564.
• His parents were
John and Mary
Shakespeare.
The Bard’s Signature
Schooling
• Shakespeare
attended Stratford
Grammar School, an
all-boy school.
• He attended year
round from 7 am to 7
pm daily.
• His formal schooling
ended when he was
14 yrs. Old.
Family
• He married Anne
Hathaway. He was 18
she was 26.
• They had 3 children.
• Susannah, and twins
Hamnet and Judith.
• Hamnet was the only
son and he died at 11
yrs old.
Next Move
 After his son’s death, he moved to
London to act.
пЃЇ When he finally began to act the
Plague closed the theaters.
пЃЇ He then began to write.
Lord’s Chamberlain’s Men
• In 1594, he formed an
acting company with
Richard and Cuthbert
Burbage called the Lord
Chamberlain’s Men.
• Acting companies had
patrons who supported
them.
• Their patron was Lord
Hudson, who held an
important position for
Lord Chamberlain. It was
the best company!
The Globe
• In 1599, Shakespeare
and the Burbage
brothers built The
Globe, the greatest
theatre in London.
Facts about the Globe
 It was built on the
Thames River.
(Pronounced “Tims”)
 It was octagonal (8
sided).
 It was open air.
 It accommodated 2,000.
 Its emblem was Atlas
with the world on his
shoulders.
More Globe Facts
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Costs to get into see a performance at the globe:
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1 pence- to stand in the pit (groundlings)
2 pence- to sit in the upper balconies
3 pence- to sit in the best galleries
4 pence- to have a cushion
The rich could sit on Stage.
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3 Levels of the Globe
• “The Heavens”- upper balcony for
musicians and sound effects
• Stage
• “Hell”- area under the stage- used for
storage ( A trap door led to this area.)
The Globe Today
Shakespeare Plays
• Shakespeare wrote 37 plays. These are
the three types of plays:
• Comedies– Ex. Taming of the Shrew,
Comedy of Errors
• Histories– Ex. Henry VIII, Henry IV
• Tragedies– Ex. Romeo and Juliet, Julius
Caesar, Hamlet, Macbeth
Sonnets
• Shakespeare is also famous for his
sonnets ( 14 line poems ).
• His sonnets were a collection of 154
poems that dealt with such themes as
love, beauty, and mortality.
• The prologue of Romeo and Juliet is a
sonnet.
Queen’s Death
• Queen Elizabeth died in 1603.
• James I succeeded her.
• He took Lord Chamberlain’s Men and
renamed them to the King’s Men.
Tragedy
• In 1613, the Globe
burned down when a
cannon backfired and
caught the roof on
fire.
• No one was hurt
except for a guy
whose pants caught
on fire!
• It was rebuilt the next
year.
Shakespeare’s Loops
• Shakespeare made his money by his
ownership in Theatres.
• He owned 1/10 of the Globe and a portion
of Blackfriar’s Theatre.
• He did not own his plays. They were
owned by the theatre company.
Retirement
 In 1611, Shakespeare retired to Stratford
with his family.
 They lived in the 2nd largest house in
Stratford.
Death
• Shakespeare died on April 23, 1616.
• It is said that a truly “great man” is born
and dies on the same day.
• Shakespeare’s gravestone reads the
following words:
• Good friend for Jesus sake forbear,
To dig the dust enclosed here!
Blest be the man that spares these stones,
And curst be he that moves my bones.
• These are thought to be the last words he
ever wrote.
Death
• Shakespeare is
buried in Stratford in
Holy Trinity Church.
A Heir to the Name
• He always wanted a male heir, but did not
have one.
• He left everything to his favorite daughter,
Susannah.
• He did leave his wife his 2nd best bed.
Friends
• His friends put
together his first
published edition of
complete works,
entitled First Folio.
More Cool Facts
• Shakespeare’s first job in the theatre was
holding horses at the stage door.
• Nothing is known of Shakespeare between
the ages of 18 and 25. These are known
as the Lost Years.
• The theatre competed for its audience with
public executions. People loved to attend
a good execution.
•
Will the real William
Shakespeare please stand
up?
Many claim that Shakespeare did not actually write the
plays or even exist.
• These claims have never been able to be proved.
• Here are their arguments:
– His education was limited, so he couldn’t have had such an
excellent command of English.
– Shakespeare did not travel the world, so he could not have been
able to write plays that depicted Egypt, Italy.
– He knew little of foreign languages, so how could he have written
passages that contained Latin and French.
– His plays depict the lives of Queens and Kings. How could he have
known what this life was like?
How to Speak Shakespeare
• “Romeo, Romeo,
wherefore art thou
Romeo?”
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