London during Elizabethan Era
London was a crammed, bustling city that constantly smelt of river water. The Thames was the cause of this smell, but without this river London would not have throve as it did. The river Thames was everybody’s way of transportation between both sides of London. Luckily by the time of Tudor’s London Bridge had been built and citizens could use the bridge, there were also boat-taxis. There was commerce on the river, but also gilded barges, sometimes with royalty on them. Chained to the banks there were sometimes criminals who had to abide to the washings of three tides, as their punishment for whatever crime had been committed. The streets of London were narrow, cobbles, and slippery with refuse lining the streets. All the houses were crammed together on these narrow streets, and there were a lot of clandestine alleyways. There was no drainage, so people had to resort to emptying their chamber pots out of their windows. Throughout the city there were many birds; these birds made their nests out of old rags and trash. Even back in Elizabethan times the city was full of excessive noise—hooves and the wheels of the coaches against the cobbles, traders yelling, apprentices scuffling around, and fights in the street. The city could not be called a sober city by any means people were always drinking ale.
Living Conditions of Various Classes
The different classes were based on the rankings of the English Court: Duke, Marquis, Earl, Viscount, and Baron. There were other people that were deemed too lonely to fit into any of these groups. The groups mentioned above were part of the upper echelon of society called, the Nobility. Other groups that existed were the Gentry, Yeaomanry, and the Poor. Social class could determine all sorts of things, from what a person could wear to where he could live to what jobs his children could get. For people in the nobility class they lived life as most people of the upper echelon today live. They had the best in everything, houses, clothing, and food. The Gentry were designated as people who did not work with their hand for a living. They were considered to be the most important social class in Elizabethan England. The gentry were the backbone of Elizabethan England: They combined the wealth of the nobility with the energy of the sturdy peasants from whom they had sprung. The Yeomanry was what could be considered the middle class of Elizabethan England. They were very prosperous and their wealth could sometimes exceed that of the gentries. As a whole they were very religious, and they were also literate. The poor on the other hand were not usually literate. The poor consisted of poverty stricken people as well as sick, disabled, old and feeble, and wounded soldiers. The church usually cared for the poor, since usually they had little to no housing. From the poor came one of the world’s first government-sponsored welfare programs, the Elizabethan Poor Laws.
... city^aEURTMs dynamism often confounded efforts to meet the needs of the people. 4. Hardest hit by urban growth were the poor ... 1. In the compact city if the early nineteenth century, class distinctions had been expressed by ... were manifest in the number of middle-class families that brook up. 4. In ... past had fostered community life. B. Middle- Class Families 1. In the re industrialize economy framers ...
Education in Elizabethan England
There was not any formal education system in England during the time of the Elizabethan Era. There was a general consensus that people of class should provide their children mainly sons with an education, and that people that do not belong to any class need little to any education whatsoever. Many people were able to read, but less were able to write. An even smaller amount could understand Latin, the language that was emphasized in school. Private tutors or parents taught most kids at home. There was a small amount of people who finished grammar school and attended university. There was an even smaller group of people who attended university but did not attain a degree. Girls were permitted to attend “petty schools” alongside boys. At these schools rudimentary reading, writing, and math were taught. Pupils would then move onto Grammar schools where they were subjugated to corrective classes until their writing skills were up to par with what the school wanted. After students finished grammar school would move onto university, if they decided too. Once at university students would be divided into the many colleges within the university. The two main universities at this time were Oxford University, in Cambridge, and Cambridge University in Cambridge as well. In the 1600’s there were about 3,000 students in each university.
... Shakespeare: Tragedy Class 101 If you were to walk out onto a street and get hit by a car, people ... just one of the many central characters in Shakespeare? s plays who have fallen "victim of his own ... presented in Hamlet, Othello, and other Shakespearian plays, the conflict resides within; it is between the ... In essence, it is the pieces of the plays, united together, that creates magnitude. A tragedy ...
Entertainment in Elizabethan England
In the Elizabethan era, there were a wide range of leisure activities entertaining both the nobility and the common classes. Among these leisure activities were animal fighting, team sports, individual sports, games, dramatics, music and the arts. Cock fighting was a common game played by most men or all classes during this time. Many respectable men lost all their money to this pastime. Hunting was usually the sport for people in the nobility or gentry class, due to that large amount of money needed to organize it. People of both the upper and lower echelons on society often played card games. During this era only men played dice, backgammon and draughts due to it being deemed inappropriate for women to gamble. People of all classes often enjoyed music and dance. Children were taught at a young age how to sing, play instruments and dance. Popular instruments that were played at this time were keyboard instruments, woodwinds, and stringed instruments.
Shakespeare’s Life as a Playwright
During Shakespeare’s time theatre in England was at its peak. Due to the immense popularity talented playwrights were bound to become apparent in society. William Shakespeare born on April 23rd 1564 and died on that same day 52 years later in 1616. Shakespeare was a playwright during the peak of the Elizabethan era, and was one of Queen Elizabeth’s personal playwrights. Before Shakespeare wrote plays, plays were considered a lesser form of writing compared to novels or poems. Shakespeare started writing plays in 1592 upon his move to London. Fast-forward two years and William Shakespeare was a successful actor, playwright and was part owner of an acting company called The Lord Chamberlin’s Men. During the years 1591 and 1593 Shakespeare wrote his first plays. These were considered to be his learning period; examples of some plays written during this time are Titus Andronicus, Love’s Labour’s Lost, The Two Gentlemen of Verona, The Comedy of Errors, and Henry IV parts 1,2,3. Within an almost twenty year span Shakespeare produced over 25 plays. Among these plays are Shakespeare’s most famous plays The Merchant of Venice, A Midsummer Night’s Dream, Julius Caesar, Hamlet, Romeo and Juliet, Othello, and Macbeth. These plays solidified Shakespeare’s presence as an established playwright. Due to his immense success Shakespeare and his family were bequeathed the honor of having a coat of arms. Having a coat of arms was the key to moving up in England’s caste system. As his plays became more popular and were produced more often Shakespeare started accumulating a miniature fortune. He was soon able to afford the lifestyle that had plagued him for so long, and become a part of the society that he always craved for.
... earliest plays were "Henry VI", "The Two Gentlemen of Verona", and "Titus Andronicus." In 1594, Shakespeare joined other people, creating a new theater company ... in Stratford. Shakespeare plays were performed only in London, where the buildings were designed specifically for performing plays. Most of the theaters were tall ...
Theater in the Elizabethan Era
The most popular for of entertainment for the people was to attend the theater. People of all classes attended the theater. The difference between classes was the location of the seats. ‘The Groundlings’ as they were referred to, were the people that stood in the ground floor also called the pit. The pit cost only one penny, and you got what you paid for. There were no toilet facilities; it was crowded, smelly, loud, no seats, and just down right dirty. There were three levels of seats above the pit. The first and third floor contained seats for the playgoers to sit in. The second level was the most exclusive level; in the Globe theater the Queen sat in the middle perpendicular to the stage on this level flanked by the royal court on either side of her. Before 1576 plays took place only in courtyards known as ‘inn-yards’. These inn-yards were not enough to hold the growing number of attendees. In 1576 James Burbage constructed the first theater called ‘The Theater’ located in modern day Hackney. After Burbage created the theater, many other theaters sprung up around England. The most famous being ‘The Globe Theater’ located on the River Thames in London. Between the years 1597 and 1598 Peter Smith designed and constructed the Globe Theater. As with most of the theaters that wee built in this time period, it was in the amphitheater design. It was a circle with the stage coming out into the middle in a square shape.
... their actions that took advantage of the lower class people. Again the book Animal Farm is a good ... Air strongly stated Orwell's views for the middle class people to revolt, and take over themselves 10. ... to make it easier for the less educated people to know what happened in the Russian Revolution. ... in this book are barnyard animals that represent people in the Russian Revolution. Orwell's reason for ...
After the Bubonic plague had ended, whish had significantly lowered the population of England and Europe; life for people of lower classes became slightly easier. Since there were few people who could fill the occupations, nearly everybody was able to find a job, even people of the lowest class. What job you would get corresponded with your standing in the social class. There were four main career paths that could be taken; the farmers and drovers, the artisans, the merchants, and the service providers. The farmers were generally uneducated country folk, whom the city people looked down upon. The artisans were far from upper class nobility, but were more respected than farmers and drovers due to that fact that artisans had a craft. The most respected workers were men of apprenticeships and guilds who honed their craft through precise training. Only through strict discipline the apprentices were able to become skilled craftsmen.
Thomson Gale, . Shakespeare for Students. 2nd. United States: Thomson Gale, 2007. Print.
Olsen, Kristen. All Things Shakespeare: An Encyclopedia of Shakespeare’s World. 1st ed. United States: Greenwood Publishing Group, 2002. Print.