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An introduction to the Elizabethan era

The Elizabethan Era began at the end of Queen Marys reign during mid
16th century in 1558 due to her tragic passing. Her 25-year-old half sister
Elizabeth over took the throne and began to build an empire that carried on
for 45 years until 1603. Queen Elizabeth I is largely recognised as one of
Englands greatest monarchs due to her efforts in fighting invasions and
rebellions, as well as earning the love of the English people. Her time as
queen is regarded as the Golden Age, as a result of the peace and
prosperity that was created. She is also responsible for multiple major
progressions that were produced within her reign in regards to war and
peace keeping.

The Elizabethan Era embarked upon many of the largest developments


within English poetry and literature. These are still widely studied and
performed throughout institutions today. Poets such as Nicholas Hilliard
and George Gower were some of the most widely recognised figures within
the fine arts. The most influential of this period however was Shakespeare
for his numerous writings that combined Elizabethan drama with the fine
arts.

Well known plays written by Shakespeare include:

- Taming of the Shrew (1593)


- Romeo and Juliet (1594)
- Midsummer Nights Dream (1595)
- Julius Caesar (1599)
- Hamlet (1600)
- Othello (1604)
- Macbeth (1605)
Here is a timeline of significant events that happened throughout the

Elizabethan era

The History of William Shakespeare


The personal history of William Shakespeare is surprisingly very much a
mystery. However, there is a lot of information that has been uncovered
throughout the years following his passing. He was a man of many titles
including Bard of Avon and a National Poet as a result of his incredible
contribution as a playwright, actor and poet. It is understood that he was
born in Stratford-upon-Avon, however this is not factually confirmed. The
celebration of his birthday is recognised as April the 23rd which is actually
the official date of his death in 1616 age. He passes at age 52 due to
unknown causes.

He was the 3rd son of 8 to John Shakespeare who worked as a leather


merchant, and Mary Arden, who worked as a local landed heiress. He has
two older sister and 3 younger brothers. Unfortunately, 3 died during their
childhood. There are no records of his education, it is more than likely that
he attended a very well-regarded local grammar school. Subject would
include Latin grammar and classics. It is unknown whether or not he
completed his studies.
On November 28th 1582, William Shakespeare married Anne Hathaway in
Worcester. He was 18 at the time while she was 26 and carrying their first
child. They named their first daughter Susanna and she was born on May
the 26th 1583. Two years prior, twins Hamnet and Judith were born.
Unfortunately, Hamnet passed due to unknown causes at age 11.

Shakespeare wrote a total of 37 plays over 2 decades. His main themes


included histories, tragedies, comedies and tragicomedies. These plays are
still being performed all over the world, and have continued to for over 400
years. His incredible contribution to the English language, is a legacy that
will never die.

The history behind the story of Romeo and Juliet


The tragic drama between Romeo Montague and Juliet Capulet is based on
real lovers from the city of Verona in Italy who died for each other in the
year 1303. Within the time period, the Montagues and Capulets were
among the inhabitants of Verona.

Shakespeare drew is inspiration from a written poem by Arthur Brooke that


was titled The Tragicall Historye of Romeus and Iuliet that classically
followed the story line of two star-crossed lovers who died for each other. It
was originally written in 1562. This was Shakespeares primary source for
the story line of the famous play.