History of the Elizabethan Theater Essay

History of the Elizabethan Theater Essay

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The Elizabethan era, in the 1600s, was a great period of progress in the world of theater. The period was named after Queen Elizabeth I of England. It is from this period that the modern day society has its foundation for the entertainment industry. From the violence that occurred through the aftermath of the Black Death, people turned to the theater for its wide variety of performances. Many aspects of the theater in the Elizabethan time period led to the way the theater works today. Actors and playwrights had to overcome strenuous times, but as time passed the theater became more accepted and a required part of society in the Elizabethan Era.
In spite of its popularity, the Elizabethan theater attracted criticism, censorship, and was ridiculed from some spectators of English society. Puritan leaders as well as officers of the Church of England considered actors to be of questionable character. Not only did they criticize actors, but they also judged playwrights for using the stage to advertise their irreverent opinions. At times throughout the sixteenth century, Parliament censored plays for profanity, heresy, or politics. Their ultimate goal was to shut down the theater so playwrights wouldn’t “manipulate” their audiences. But Queen Elizabeth and later King James offered protections that ultimately allowed the theater to survive. To appease Puritan and Parliament’s concerns, the Queen established rules to control the production of theaters. These rules prohibited the construction of theaters and theatrical performances within the London city limits. Even though the Queen set these rules, they were loosely enforced, however, and playhouses such as the Curtain, the Globe, the Rose, and the Swan was constructed just outsid...


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...he dogs back because they proved to be more trouble then it was worth (Larque, 2001.)

Works Cited

The Black Death. (n.d.). Retrieved April 22, 2014, from Black Death website:
http://www.lordsandladies.org/black-death.htm
Elizabethan Actors. (n.d.). Retrieved April 3, 2014, from Elizabethan Era
website: http://www.elizabethan-era.org.uk/elizabethan-actors.htm
Gurr, Andrew. "The Elizabethan Theater." EXPLORING Shakespeare. Detroit: Gale,
2003. Student Resources in Context. Web. 7 Apr. 2014.
Harrison, G. B. (1956). Elizabethan Plays and Players. The University of
Michigan Press.
Jackson, S. (1978). Costumes for the Stage. London, England: The Herbert Press
Ltd.
Larque, T. (2001). Elizabethan Theatre. Retrieved April 3, 2014, from
Shakespeare and his Critics website: http://shakespearean.org.uk/
elizthea1.htm

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