The Elizabethan Era Maycee Bainum Period 3

1500s-1600s Reign of Elizabeth I
Life in England during the Elizabethan Era differs from life today because of their fashion, literature, and drama.
Theatrical Fashion

Quote #1: "Clothiers (clothmakers) had organized their expanding industry into the domestic system. By this system, they bought wool from farmers, distributed it to spinners and weavers who worked at home, and then sold or exported the finished cloth. The clothiers offered good prices for wool, and sheep farming became profitable" (Morril).

Commentary: Making clothes in the Elizabethan Era had many steps to success. To start off the process, clothmakers have to purchase wool from a shepherd, transport it to spinners and weavers, and then sell the finished cloth. This process does not take 3-5 business days to "ship." Today, making clothes is easier, yet it is still a steady hand process. The fashion during that time was very recognizable. Clothing was more complex to create. Now, factories are built for hundreds of people and machines, to do what spinners and weavers once did during the Golden Age. Clothes were unique at that time, so each stitch was just as unique as the next.

Quote #2:"In 157I, by an Act of Parliament, all male citizens of London over the age of six, excepting the nohility, gentry, and officeholders, were required to wear special knil caps on Sundays and holidays. 'City Flat Caps.' berets with narrow brims, had been worn since the 1530s" (McAllister).

Commentary: Women were not the only ones in this time to have an obsessively impressive style at all times. Men were required by law to wear special caps for Sundays and holidays. It was a fad that would not last very long in fashion today. This specific act also demanded that the people of England must be a certain religion. Sundays and most holidays were very religious days. They required people to wear something in respect for days that many of them did not believe in.

Quote #3: "After starch was introduced in England about 1560. The ruffs grew stiffer and larger than ever, sometimes measuring over nine inches wide, and often had to be supported by steel rods. The queen herself fancied the style and wore it often" (McAllister).

Commentary: Their fashion was so ridiculously striking that collars over nine inches wide were braced by steel rods. These elaborate styles were often originated by the Queen herself. Like today, fads were started by people in a position of status. The more known the person is, the more the fad spreads.

English Literature

Quote #1: "People liked music, and wealthy people were expected to play musical instruments on social occasions. The English also enjoyed dressing up formasques, pageants, and plays at Christmas and other special times. Elizabeth’s court became a center for musicians, scholars, and writers" (Bumgardner).

Commentary: People in this age loved to be entertained by writing. Acting, singing, and any kind of performing thrived during the Elizabethan Era due to the elaborate literature by some of the most famous writers. People lived for the dramatics. Today, very little people appreciate literature. Some enjoy reading, and some enjoy theater. Literature was somehow a part of everyone's life during the Elizabethan Era.

Quote #2: "Shakespeare wrote at least 38 plays, two major narrative poems, a sequence of sonnets, and several short poems. His works have been translated into a remarkable number of languages, and his plays are performed throughout the world. His plays have been a vital part of the theater in the Western world since they were written about 400 years ago" (Lander).

Commentary: Shakespeare is a remarkable part of the Elizabethan Era because of his visionary writing. He was, and still is in some parts of the world, a very popular influence on people's everyday lives. William Shakespeare was a very intelligent man who created stories and new worlds of people who had passion. Many people today, find his language difficult to comprehend, and therefore interpretation is challenging. In the time of Shakespeare's popularity, people understood his language and saw it eye to eye. Now actors are recreating Shakespeare's stories to help the audience better understand the storyline. Which is an incredible way to share the great arts of William Shakespeare.

Quote #4: "Shakespeare has had enormous influence on culture throughout the world. His works have helped shape the literature of all English-speaking countries...In addition, his widespread presence in popular culture extends to motion pictures, television, cartoons, and even songs" (Lander).

Commentary: William Shakespeare sculptured a great history of art that everyone can experience today. His work has been translated and shared through various forms of entertainment. Shakespeare has influenced so many writers to create their own work that is unique and incredibly special. Shakespeare's eye for creativity and difference in society is amazingly impressive.

Elizabethan drama

Quote #1: "The first public theater in England, called The Theatre, was built near London in 1576. By 1642, there had been at least nine others in and around London, including the Globe, Rose, and Fortune" (Novick).

Commentary: After The Theatre was built, people seemed to significantly enjoy the art of drama that theater became popular. Nine other theaters were built by 1642 in London. Since the arts thrived during the 1500s and 1600s, theaters were places that were special for people who enjoyed performance art. Today, there are probably five movie theaters to every one performing arts theater in a town.

Quote #2: "The period from about 1550 to 1580 may be thought of as a period of transition from mystery, morality, folk plays, and interludes to regular English drama" (Wright).

Commentary: During the early years of the Elizabethan Age, popular genres were mystery, morality, and folk plays. Most of those genres are still greatly used in performances and movies. People seem to enjoy when the unexpected happens in a show. The intensity draws people to the creative arts.

Quote #3: "Only three authentic chronicle plays had been written before 1590, but soon history, especially English history, was to become an important subject for all types of literature... Shakespeare soon learned to use the stories and characters he found in history to write plays analyzing politics, love, hate, revenge, and other elements of the human condition" (Wright).

Commentary: During this era, most dramas were written about history, specifically English history. People recognized the historical value, which made the story more understandable. It was a popular genre and still is for that matter. People were entertained by realistic stories that convinced them they was true.

Quote #4: "Elizabeth encourages the growth of theater at her court, which includes playwright William Shakespeare...She even forms her own theater troupe called the Queen's Men"(Boatner).

Commentary: Queen Elizabeth, whom many people considered an icon, enjoyed theater. She encouraged people to experience it. The Queen was very open to having performances at her court. She was a very theatrical young woman. During her reign, theatre grew in popularity.

Works cited

BOATNER, KAY. “Queen Elizabeth I.” National Geographic Kids 456 (2015): 11. MAS Ultra - School Edition. Web. 9 Dec. 2016.

Bumgardner, Jake. “Elizabethan Age.” World Book Advanced. World Book, 2016. Web. 6 Dec. 2016.

Lander, Jesse M. “Shakespeare, William.” World Book Advanced. World Book, 2016. Web. 9 Dec. 2016.

Morrill, John S. “United Kingdom, History of the.” World Book Advanced. World Book, 2016. Web. 7 Dec. 2016.

Novick, Julius. “Drama.” World Book Advanced. World Book, 2016. Web. 8 Dec. 2016.

Riley, Dick, and Pam McAllister. “When ”Goose-Turd Green“ Was All The Rage: Elizabethan Fashions.” Bedside, Bathtub & Armchair Companion To Shakespeare (2001): 219-225. Literary Reference Center. Web. 7 Dec. 2016.

Wright, Eugene P. “Elizabethan And Jacobean Drama.” Critical Survey Of Drama, Second Revised Edition (2003): 1-22. Literary Reference Center. Web. 9 Dec. 2016.


Created with images by irinaraquel - "Quentin Metsys - Portrait of Queen Elizabeth I" • WikiImages - "william shakespeare othello poster" • WikiImages - "hamlet william shakespeare sarah baird" • virtusincertus - "Globe Theatre groundlings" • Mild Mannered Photographer - "Globe Theater - 56" • tonynetone - "William Shakespeare" • marybettiniblank - "globe london theatre"

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