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Romeo & Juliet: Elizabethan England

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Romeo & Juliet: Elizabethan England - Page Text Content

S: Elizabethan England

BC: Elizabethan England (1558-1603)

FC: William Shakespeare | By Julia Ng | Life and Times in Elizabethan England

1: The Greatest Writer in the English Language: William Shakespeare | D.O.B.: April 23, 1564 D.O.D.: April 13, 1616 Shakespeare was an English poet and playwright, Shakespeare. Among his works are about 37 plays, 154 sonnets, two long narrative poems and several other poems. He is best known for the tragedies he had written: Hamlet, King Lear, Macbeth and of course, Romeo and Juliet. Shakespeare lived during England's Elizabethan era, during the English Renaissance.

2: sdfds | Geographic Location

3: England is a country of the United Kingdom, which is an island nation. The English Channel separates it from continental Europe. The western side of England usually has a mild, windy and wet climate while the eastern area experiences a drier, cooler climate [temperatures can fluctuate here] England has more sunny days than Wales, Ireland or Scotland and typically experiences less rain as well. July is known to be the driest month in the year [avg. of 2.13 in.] However, the levels of precipitation varies between each region [moors of Southwestern England, Pennines or mountains of Northern England, etc.] | Many people walked to and from places because everything was in walking distance.

4: PROTESTANTS | After the Protestant Reformation, Catholicism became a minority as the majority of English citizens became protestants. | Catholics were generally disliked, but unlike her predecessors, Queen Elizabeth tried to reduce the level of torture and persecution.

5: Religion and the Law | The religion of England was in despair when Elizabeth took the throne. Roman Catholicism was damaged as a result of her predecessors, but several Catholics also tried to remove Elizabeth from the throne by questioning the legitimacy of her mother's [Anne Boleyn] marriage to her father Henry VII. In 1559, Elizabeth reformed the Roman Catholic Church and became the Governor of the Church of England. The same year, the power of the Pope in Rome was overpowered, as the Act of Supremacy was passed. It granted full power to the ruling monarchy over the Church of England. | Another bill, the Act of Uniformity, required every person to attend Church every Sunday, including holidays. If anyone refused, they were forced to pay a fine. Elizabeth also created royal laws which included integral habits such as: -bowing one's head when Jesus' name is said -kneeling during a prayer -replacing bread with wafers during communion

6: SUPERSTITIONS | Many believed in witchcraft - witch hunts became popular, although Queen Elizabeth didn't actually support them. i.e. witches were blamed for any widespread disease like the bubonic plague, the deaths of animals, and failing harvests. | Considered Unlucky... Spilling salt -- bad luck Stirring soup counterclockwise -- spoilage Sudden loss of hair | Sailors were given a gold hoop because it was believed that it would give them a way to fare their far in the underworld if their ship ever sank.

7: Witchcraft and Hunts | With the growth of new innovations and thinking in the renaissance of the Elizabethan Era, there was a revival in the belief of witchcraft. Because of the limited knowledge in medicine and science, people blamed witches as the sole cause for several indescribable events. | Accused witches were usually female, although male "witches" did exist as well. Accused women had a few common traits such old age, and lack of wealth or family. These women were considered irrelevant in society because of their low ranks. | Queen Elizabeth was known to be significantly more permissive towards witches. She didn't allow for the suffering of any witches in any case. Although witches have been sentenced to execution, they were usually hung, not burned to death. France and Spain encouraged the act of burning "witches".

8: Music: All the plays had begun to use music to increase drama. Music of the court & church became more sophisticated. Famous composers were William Byrd, and John Dowland. The form of music is known as madrigal, performed today in singing groups. | Elizabethan theatre: Noted playwrights such as William Shakespeare and Christopher Marlowe wrote tragedies and comedies to be performed in theater halls, such as the Globe Theatre in London. | Art: During Elizabeth's reign, a flourish in paintings occurred - but ironically, the work was done by foreign artists. Domestic art was also created in embroidery on the hems of dresses, jackets and other articles of clothing. | Architecture: Renaissance architecture merged into complete symmetry, with emphasis on horizontal lines in court buildings, but vertical timbers in middle class housing.

9: Elizabethan Culture: Music, the Arts and Architecture

10: Queen Elizabeth I reigned from 1558-1603, the period known as the Elizabethan Era, and the "Golden Age" of English history. Queen Elizabeth I was the ruling monarch at the time – as a result, England was better off as a country at the time compared to other nations in Europe. | Queen Elizabeth I

11: The Elizabethan administrative structure was highly centralized. During her reign, Queen Elizabeth established an internal piece between the monarchy and parliament. | Queen Elizabeth had the last word on every state policy. | As Queen Elizabeth continued the country's trade policies, she also increase England's ability to trade. Many people increased their wealth during this time period. | Queen Elizabeth was known as a ruler who cared for her people and valued their goodwill. | Politics

12: Economic Status | As England emerged as an influential naval & commercial power, London became a major commerce center in England. With Queen Elizabeth's trading policy, the merchants in the middle class prospered - leading to economic expansion. | Woolen cloth became an important textile material. The iron industry also grew as tin and copper mining increased. | A portion of England's income also came from the onslaught of foreign naval ships. After the victory of sea battles with countries such as Spain and Portugal, English sea captions stole any cargo left on the ships. In one instance, Sir Walter Raleigh, a sea explorer, recovered silks, pearls, gold, spices and ivory from the Portuguese. | With the obtainment of land in the New World, England flourished more. Land in the New World was able to produce products like tobacco in greater quantities. The additional land also provided breathing space in England as people migrated from the overpopulated nation.

13: Food Produce | Home grown produce such as carrots, onions, radishes, turnips, apples, plums and garlic fed the majority of the English population. The upper classes of society lavished in various meats, including lamb, beef, bacon, rabbit and fowl. They also enjoyed imported spices from Asia like cinnamon, ginger, cloves, sugar, saffron and pepper which gave new tastes to meals. | Tobacco was another valued cultural import. Sea explorers [Sir Walter Raleigh, Sir Francis Drake, etc.] made tobacco an infamous commodity as it gained popularity in Elizabeth's court. | Besides farming, the English also excelled in artisan areas such as baking, blacksmithing, basket-weaving, candle making, and several more.

14: Society

15: Queen Elizabeth I had all the power in the country as the ruling monarch. The Queen was thought of as God's representation on Earth. | The Social Class Order: 1. Monarch 2. Nobility 3. Gentry (squires, gentlemen, knights) 4. Merchants 5. Yeomanry 6. Laborers | It was a general rule that laborers could not wear clothes of the wealthy. Lower class members ate vegetables & grains while the nobility ate sweet food & meats with an wide array of several spices.

16: * Family played an important part in determining one's role in society. Parents were expected to raise their children in a proper manner - as referred to in the Bible. * In the situation that a marriage took place, spouses were picked by their families. In essence, most marriages were arranged. * Men were expected to provide for his family, while women were supposed to run the household. * Although a few wealthy women stayed unmarried, lower class women married because 1. they feared being accused as a witch & 2. there was no other occupation available except for domestic service. * Women could not attend school or university, but were tutored at home. *Women were considered "weak" and thus, were inferior to men, even women of high status, | As long as a couple lived, a marriage stayed in place. Divorce did not exist during the Elizabethan Era, and the only way a couple could part ways was to issue an annulment which declared the marriage to be void.

17: Noble families were considered a threat to the monarchy, and therefore there were only about 55 during the Elizabethan Era. A Duke, Baron or Earl headed each family. At the time, being a noble was expensive because of the notorious lifestyle they were expected to lead. | The merchant class prospered with new goods coming from the New World. Merchants soon gained a monopoly over the shipping trade. | Nevertheless, the poor lived a harsh life and life expectancy was only about 49 years old. It increased as the rank in status went up. | Society Cont'd

18: Works Cited |


20: The Life of William Shakespeare | Born on April 23, 1564 in Stratford-upon-Avon and baptized three days later on April 26, William Shakespeare was the third child of a total eight. Shakespeare had three brothers and four sisters. John Shakespeare, a glover and later a political figure, was William's father and Mary Arden, his mother. William Shakespeare wed Anne Hathaway at the young age of 18, three years before the age of consent, while she was 26 years old. Because Anne was three months pregnant when the couple wed, it was believed that William had impregnated Anne - and the couple hastily arranged a marriage to avoid shame. Shakespeare had three children with Hathaway, a daughter Susanna, and twins Hamnet and Judith. Hamnet passed away at the age of 11 by the bubonic plague. | William Shakespeare passed away at the age of 52 on April 23, 1616 while his wife outlived him by seven years. Her date of death was August 6, 1623. | During his childhood years, it was thought that Shakespeare attended Stratford Grammar School, studying subjects such as grammar and Latin. He also participated in his school plays.

21: His Career | William Shakespeare is known for playwriting, acting and poetry. Shakespeare spent most of his life in London, England. He moved there in 1588 in hopes to establish a name for himself. | Shakespeare's acting company was known as Lord Chamberlain's Men, later changed to the King's Men during the reign of James I. In his lifetime, Shakespeare wrote 37 published plays, in genres such as history, comedy and tragedy. | Shakespeare gained a considerable amount of fame in his lifetime, as both an actor and playwright. Queen Elizabeth, a believer of the arts, even attended Shakespeare's plays.

22: the globe theater | The Globe Theater near London was owned by Shakespeare, along with his other fellow members of the Lord Chamberlain's Men. Richard & Cuthbert Burbage owned 50% of the shares, while Shakespeare, John Heminges, Augustine Phillips, and Thomas Pope each owned 12.5%. | The Globe Theater was built outside London's city limits because at the time, theaters were banned in London (they were places of gambling), and the lease on the Lord Chamberlain's Men's plot in London was up. The theater opened on September 21st, 1599, and was the main theater where Shakespeare's plays were held. However, in 1613, a fire burned it down and had to be rebuilt in 1614. The Globe Theater is a three story open-air amphitheater with a rectangular stage. Its circumference measure 300 ft, with a roof span of 46 ft. Lower class citizens stood in the "pit" while people of more wealth payed more to sit in the tiered seats.

23: A Taste of Shakespeare's Words... | "To be or not to be: that is the question" -Hamlet "What is in a name? That which we call a rose by any other name would smell as sweet" - Romeo and Juliet "The course of true lover never did run smooth" - A Midsummer's Night Dream "I will wear my heart upon my sleeve for daws to peck at" - Othello

24: Persona | Alessandra De Luca Age: 19 years old Height: 5 feet 3 inches Weight: 107 lbs Hair: Dark, brown and curly Eye Color: Brown Social Status: Wealthy Elite Occupation: Duchess

25: Hello All! I respond to the name Alessandra de Luca. I took my first breath on this earth 19 years ago and have recently become the Grand Duchess of Verona with my marriage to the Grand Duke, Francesco de Luca four months ago. I am also expecting a child in the next six months; therefore my husband is making a large effort to make sure I eat more. (I have no problem; the dishes are all so delicious and savory!) It is all so very exciting! I can be described as slender, having dark curly hair and eyes, and skin that has a slight tinge of color. My husband is much taller than I am, so I assume that my height is not one of my strengths. Day to day, I do not do much at the moment, but I do aid my husband in taking care of his mail, similar to a secretary of sorts. I also enjoy participating in holy activities, as I grew up around the influence of God and his holy church. I am amiable, outgoing, cheerful and talkative with several of the citizens in Verona, as I do not believe in shunning others because of their status in society. It is true that I am very much more educated than most women are, but that is because I have been preparing for my marriage to Francesco for a great deal of my life. Francesco and I are well off financially, and I hope it stays that way. I have seen many families go to ruin because of risky deals. I tend to wear colorful dresses with satin draping on a daily basis, in bright colors such as red, blue, and orange. Let us hope that this life I am living remains this way in the future!

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  • Title: Romeo & Juliet: Elizabethan England
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