Elizabethan Comedy Essay

Elizabethan Comedy Essay

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Do you like a good laugh? Elizabethan Comedy is the place to look. Full of puns and jokes plays like Much Ado About Nothing are sure to make you laugh. While their comedies were funny, the time period was a very serious. Even this did not stop the people of this era from having a laugh once in a while. Elizabethan era theatre, specifically Much Ado About Nothing, is still remembered today because it influenced theatre for future generations. This time was ruled by Queen Elizabeth who “was extremely fond of theatre” (Benson 169).
“The queen was intense, intellectual and hard to please, a strong willed and outspoken woman who ruled in an era when women were silent, especially when it came to public matters such as religion or politics” (Yancey 17). “English women were considered the weaker and lesser intelligent sex, and their options in life were limited, but they were not overprotected or confined to the home” (Yancey 56). “There was no right to free speech or freedom of the press in Elizabethan England” (Benson 142-4). “the reign of Queen Elizabeth I (1558-1603) that is often considered to be the golden age in English history” (Benson 181). “The population rose significantly during her reign, to about 4.1 million” (Benson 183). Even though it was a height in civilization it had its downfalls. “England’s farming economy was forever changed by the outbreak of a terrible plaque, or infectious disease… killing more than one-fourth of the population in a few years” (Benson 182). “Smallpox, scarlet fever and tuberculosis were just a few of the diseases that regularly killed thousands of people” (Yancey 35). “Elizabethans rarely drank water because it was impure and could lead to sickness.” (Benson 188). “In Elizabethan England one’s ...


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...speare). By mistaken identity involving Margret and Hero the wedding is cancelled causing the police to find of Don John’s villainy (Shakespeare). In the end Don John, Conrad and, Borachio are all caught for their crime and Claudio and Hero successfully get marriage (Shakespeare). In Much Ado About Nothing the themes are love and do not believe everything you hear. These themes are still common today.
Elizabethan theatre is still evident today. We still have sharers, play writers, and playhouses. Along with numerous companies all over the globe. Comedies still “… focus on themes of courtship and marriage” as they did in Elizabethan times (Benson 176). Shakespeare has also affected this century’s theatre. Shakespeare plays are still performed and read today. Although Elizabethan theatre has influenced us it has also allowed us to expand and make theatre even greater.

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