Elizabethan Era

Thesis: The Elizabethan Era was a strange time for England, as there were many historical events and writing developments, with a balance of good and bad things.

Daily Life:Not all people had the best lives, there were strict rules and laws." Not everyone prospered during the Elizabethan Age. Strict rules regulated clothing, land ownership, marriage, and religion. In the latter half of Elizabeth’s reign, she actively persecuted Catholics. Some radical forms of Protestantism also were not tolerated."(Bumgardner) Elizabeth persecuting Catholics is not right, she was not okay with other people's beliefs, and not all people prospered, but that will be true forever in every era.

Not everyone was royal, and there were plenty of hard workers "Daily life for the majority of Elizabethans had little to do with courtly life, and much to do with working hard to earn a meager living."(Benson) Even though it seemed like everyone lived in royalty, the truth is that times were just as they would be today, with the majority of people living normal lives with meager work.

The Elizabethan era made a lot more people literate, as the education was much better. “An extensive educational system developed in England during Elizabeth's reign, and the rate of literacy, or the ability of individuals to read and write, rose considerably. Only about one-fifth of the population could sign their own names at the beginning of the era, but by Elizabeth's death about one-third of the population was literate.”(Benson) It's a good thing that Elizabeth improved the amount of literacy, so that people could read. But still, it was a very low literacy rate compared to today.

People enjoyed many things during the Elizabethan Era, “Popular pleasures during the Elizabethan Age included archery, bowls (similar to bowling), and dancing. People liked music, and wealthy people were expected to play musical instruments on social occasions. The English also enjoyed dressing up for masques, pageants, and plays at Christmas and other special times. Elizabeth’s court became a center for musicians, scholars, and writers.”(Bumgardner) I had no idea that you could play bowling back then, also, there were a lot more social occasions. The Elizabethan era seems like it would be amazing to visit.

Historical events and Inventions:The Spanish Armada was defeated in 1588, they said God had chosen England to play a special role in history. "In 1588, the English Navy defeated the Spanish Armada, an invasion fleet designed to return Protestant England to Catholicism. After this victory, many English writers declared that God had chosen England to play a special role in world history.”(Lander) The Spanish Armada attacked to convert England back to Catholicism, and the Spanish deserved to be defeated.

Elizabeth didn't name a successor, so everyone was unsure about what was going to happen. This disturbed everyone, as it could lead to a foreign invasion or civil war. "As the 1500’s drew to a close, the aged and childless Elizabeth refused to name a successor, leading to uncertainty about what would follow her death. The possibility of a succession crisis leading to a foreign invasion or civil war disturbed both the political powers and the common people.”(Lander) Elizabeth should have named a successor, as it would have saved the people from much worrying and fear of war.

An important invention was made, which would make writing books and publishing them a lot faster. “A number of developments contributed to the brilliant literary output of the Elizabethan Age. One of the most important occurred in 1476, when William Caxton set up the first printing press in England. Before that time, books and all other literary works had to be slowly and laboriously copied by hand.”(Seidel) The printing press was a great invention, as were many other inventions in the Elizabethan age. It definitely sped up the process of publishing books.

Shakespeare’s plays and English literature:Shakespeare is still popular today, even if he's dead, "Shakespeare's plays are still produced all over the world"... (Anderson)"if Shakespeare were alive, he would be receiving 25k a week in royalties for a production of Othello alone"(Anderson) Shakespeare would be making a lot of money if he was alive today, and his work will probably be around forever.

Shakespeare wrote many plays and was very successful at what he did, "Shakespeare had written thirty-seven plays, including such masterpieces as Julius Caesar, Hamlet, Othello, King Lear, and Macbeth."(Anderson) Shakespeare's work will most likely live on forever, and we will always have his masterpieces.

There were many different types of English literature, “English literature is a rich, varied literature. It includes masterpieces in many forms, particularly the novel, the short story, epic and lyric poetry, the essay, literary criticism, and drama. English literature is also one of the oldest national literatures in the Western world. English authors wrote important works as early as the A.D. 700’s.”(Seidel) The English from this era is generally confusing to me, and I would have a hard time understanding it if I lived back then.

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