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CONTENT

Introduction: .......................................................................................................................... 3

1. Drama ............................................................................................................................ 4

2. What is Drama? ............................................................................................................. 4

3. Origin ............................................................................................................................ 4

a. Secular and Religious Origin of Drama ............................................................... 4

4. Development of the Drama ........................................................................................... 5

a. Drama as Entertainment ....................................................................................... 5

b. The Old Theatre ................................................................................................... 5

c. The New Globe .................................................................................................... 6

d. Drama Inside the Church ..................................................................................... 6

5. Elizabethan Tragedy...................................................................................................... 8

6. Elizabethan Comedy: ................................................................................................... 8

7. Themes .......................................................................................................................... 8

a. Anti-Semitism ...................................................................................................... 8

b. Disguise................................................................................................................ 9

c. Humours ............................................................................................................... 9

d. Revenge................................................................................................................ 9

e. The Supernatural ................................................................................................ 10

8. STYLE ........................................................................................................................ 10

a. Asides ...................................................................................................................... 10

b. Blank Verse ........................................................................................................ 10

c. Iambic Pentameter ............................................................................................. 11

d. Insults ................................................................................................................. 11

e. Wordplay............................................................................................................ 11

e. Rhymed Couplets ............................................................................................... 11

f. Scenery and Settings .......................................................................................... 11


g. Soliloquy ............................................................................................................ 12

h. Violence ............................................................................................................. 12

9. University wits: ........................................................................................................... 12

a. John Lily (1554-1606) ....................................................................................... 13

b. Thomas Kyd (1558-1594) .................................................................................. 13

c. Christopher Marlowe (1564-1593) .................................................................... 14

d. William Shakespeare (1564-1616) .................................................................... 16

e. Ben Jonson (1572-1637) .................................................................................... 17

10. The importance of Elizabethan’s time ...................................................................... 18

11. Role of Elizabethan Theatre in Development of Drama ........................................... 18

12. To Sum Up ................................................................................................................ 19

CONCLUSION ................................................................................................................... 20
Introduction:
The Golden Age of Drama also known as the Elizabethan era went on during the years of
Queen Elizabeth’s I reign, between the years 1558-1603. The era is mostly known for the huge
rise of English drama, such as poetry, music, literature and of course theatre with Shakespeare
and Marlowe among others who renewed the style in English theater. Elizabeth granted the
creation of professional theaters in England, which would attract a lot of visitors, from poor to
rich.
In this period the theater flourished largely because of popular support. The ordinary citizen
found much of his amusement outside the city walls- noth of London where the first theatre
was erected in 1576. Plays were given by travelling companies on platforms set up in innyards.
When the first theatre was build, they looked much like Elizabethan inns, this type of building
represented plays by the greatest dramatists England has ever produced. They gradually learned
to use blank verse.
There were important playwrights in that time. For example: Marlowe who develop his
“mighty line” of poetry histories; Shakespeare, the master of all of them, gave every man and
woman what seemed to fit his own inner needs. And, Ben Jonson, wrote classical stories and
realistic comedies.
In the theatre more than anywhere else, the Elizabethan could see that he was living in a
“brave new world”, bustling with action, thronged with people ranging from the vulgar and
ludicrous to the noble, people laughing and weeping, impulsive, confident, and aspiring in
tragic drama to the best than man can think or do.
1. Drama
Elizabethan drama was the dominant art form that flourished during and a little after the
reign of Elizabeth I, who was Queen of England from 1558 to 1603. Before, drama consisted
of simple morality plays and interludes, which were skits performed at the banquets of the
Queen’s father Henry VIII or at public schools at Eton. The Elizabethan era saw the birth of
plays that were far more morally complex, vital and diverse.
As with the interludes, the earliest Elizabethan plays were put on for university students.
They were modelled after the comedies of the Roman playwrights Plautus and Terence and
the tragedies of Seneca.
2. What is Drama?
Drama is a type of literature telling a story, which is intended to be performed to an
audience on the stage.
Generally, while is the printed text of a play, the word theatre often refers to the actual
production of the text on the stage. Theatre thus involves action taking place on the stage,
the lighting, the scenery, accompanying music, the costumes, the atmosphere, and so on.
3. Origin
The origin of the drama is deep-rooted in the religious predispositions of mankind. Same
is the case not only with English drama, but with dramas of other nations as well. The ancient
Greek and Roman dramas were mostly concerned with religious ceremonials of people. It
was the religious elements that resulted in the development of drama. As most of the Bible
was written into Latin, common people could not understand its meanings. That’s why the
clergy tried to find out some new methods of teaching and expounding the teachings of
Bible to the common people. For this purpose, they developed a new method, wherein the
stories of the Gospel were explained through the living pictures. The performers acted out
the story in a dumb show.
a. Secular and Religious Origin of Drama
The history of drama is deeply rooted in lay and religious annals of history. It may
be well at this point to sketch the main lines of development, before dealing in greater
detail with the early plays that merged gradually into Elizabethan drama. Pausing them
to consider the lines of development shown by the drama from Plantagenet times down
to the era of Elizabeth, we find certain distinctive stages, whilst underlying the entire
movement is a twofold appeal. The drama appeals to two instincts deeply rooted: i. The
craving for amusement ii. The desire for improvement. This twofold appeal accounts for
the complex origin of the drama, and enables us to differentiate the lay from the sacred
element.
4. Development of the Drama
The Elizabethan Age was one of the most productive Ages for literature. Great dramatists
highly artistic poets, philosophers like Bacon made this Age extremely fruitful for literary
creation. On the other hand welcomed and responded literary of art.
a. Drama as Entertainment
Regarding the lay element and the craving for amusement, we note that in the Middle
Ages, the juggler, the tumbler and jester ministered to the needs of the time. They are
found in the twelfth century, and Langland tells us how gaily and unblushingly they
flourished in the fourteenth century, though the serious-minded, wished to restrain them
to a modest hilarity. Much of it was very primitive fooling, but there were dialogues and
repartees of which fragments only have survived. The Middle Ages solely needed a
Pepys. Of these entertainers, the jester was the best. He lived by his wits in a very literal
manner, disgrace and death following upon an unsuccessful sally, and he survived into
Shakespeare’s day, though fallen then from his high state to play the fool between the
acts of a play. What he had been at this zenith we may judge from the picture of
Touchstone, of Feste, and the Fool in Lear. Such debates as The Owl and
Nightingale influenced the development of the drama; for before Chaucer’s time some
of these were turned into story.
 The Pageants
The most important entertainments of the Middle Ages, however, were
supplied by the Pageants and the May Games, and by the Mysteries and Miracles
of the Church. Roughly speaking, we may say that the Juggling and Clowning
heralded the coming of Farce and Comedy, the Pageants anticipated the Historical
Drama, while in the May Games we have a foretaste of the Masques and Pastoral
Plays so popular in Elizabethan times.
b. The Old Theatre
The original Globe Theatre, built by an acting company to which William
Shakespeare belonged, opened in 1599. Technically, six men owned different shares in
the theatre, with the bulk of the property belonging to brothers Richard and Cuthbert
Burbage.
Unfortunately, the original Globe Theatre lasted only fourteen years. In 1613, it burnt to
the ground during a performance of Shakespeare's Henry VIII. The fire was attributed
to a theatrical cannon, which misfired and set the thatched roof and wooden timbers
aflame.
The theatre was rebuilt the following year, but the Puritans - who didn't believe in such
entertainment - closed it down in 1642. It was destroyed in 1644 to make way for homes
and it wasn't until excavation work was being done in 1989 that the original location of
the theatre was finally revealed.
c. The New Globe
The new Globe Theatre, built according to Elizabethan plans, was the brainchild of
American actor and director Sam Wanamaker. The theatre, as designed by architect
Theo Crosby, opened in 1997. It is located on Bankside, about 183 meters (200 yards)
from the original site. It was the first building with a thatched roof allowed to be built in
London since the Great Fire of 1666.
Similar to the original, the stage of the new Globe Theatre extends into a large circular
yard, which is surrounded by three tiers of very steep seating. The most expensive seats
are covered. All others are exposed, which is why plays are held here only during the
summer months. Additional standing room for about 700 is available at a very low cost
for those who don't mind remaining erect during the entire production. (Sitting in the
yard is not allowed!) In total, the theatre can accommodate about 1,300 patrons, less
than half of the 3,000 or so who could attend productions during Shakespeare's time.
While designers tried to remain as faithful to the old plans as possible, there are modern
differences that are apparent. Lighting is state-of-the-art, sprinklers are ever-present, and
there is a lobby and visitor center for guests as well as an expanded backstage area for
the actors and technical staff.
Though the Globe Theatre is not open for productions during the winter, tours of the
facility are available year-round.
d. Drama Inside the Church
Passing from the lay to the sacred element, it is remarkable what use the Church made
of the rough humorous already noted in the clowning and debates. The Church made
skillful use of these, moulding them to her purpose and, in the parlance of a familiar tag,
combining instruction with amusement. Drama is obviously inherent in the very ritual of
the Church, and the Mass itself was factor in dramatic development. The season of the
year suggested the subject matter of plays: Christmas, Easter, stories derived from the
Bible, called Mysteries, stories from the lives of the Saints, called Miracle Plays. Early
in the Middle Ages the clergy celebrated Holy Days. Christmas, Easter, etc, by playing
scenes from the Life of Christ. The first positive stage in the development of the drama
is marked by the performance of these stories in the Church.
The platform prepared by University Wits who were beneficial to Shakespeare and
his contemporise. Drama had become voice and choice of people.Threatres had become
the voice and choice of attraction.It was the most popular form of literature in that Age.
Genius Dramatists like Shakespeare,BenJonson,Marlowe;JohnWebster satisfied
people’s interest for the drama.Great tragedies like ‘Othello’,‘Hamlet’, ’Macbeth’, ‘King
Lear’ etc. classical comedies like ‘As You Like It’, ‘Volpole’ by Jonson etc.were leading
dramas.
 Miracle Play:
A Miracle play is basically a religious play. It deals with the lives of saints and
the miracles performed by them. The life and Martyrdom of a saint formed by the
central theme of a miracle play. The Normans undoubtedly brought religious
plays with them but it is probable that they began in England before the conquest.
 Mystery Play:

The Mystery plays basically deal with the themes taken from Bible.They
present in a chronological order major event from the creation and fail of man
through nativity, crucifixion, Resurrection of Christ to the last judgement.

 Moral Play:
Moral play of the drama is shows by the increasing prevalence of the Morality
Play. In this the characters were allegorical personages, Life, Death, Repentance,
Goodness, Love, Greed, and other virtues and vices. The Morality marks a
distinct advance over the Miracle in that it gave free scope to the imagination for
new plots and incidents.
 Interludes Play:
The Interludes were generally short entertainment inserted within a longer play
or amidst some other festivities or festivals. Their primary function was to
entertain the audience by humour or even by farce. The Interludes originated
undoubtedly, in sense of humour, and to John Heywood, who raised the interlude
to the distinct dramatic form known as a comedy.
Apart from that, the artistic period plays a vital to the English drama .it is a
different from the eelier plays like miracles and Mysteries because if represent
human life as it is .In EnglishLiterature,“Ralph Royster Doyster, and the first
Englishcomedy, which was written by Nicholas Udall in 1550. The first wholly
comedy is full of fun& course humour, and is wonderfully true to the life it
represents. To raise the growth of Drama, first tragedy can also be found,”
Gorduc“which was written in collaboration by Thomas Sackville and Thomas
Norton. It was written in 1561, but performed on the stage the year of 1562.Due
to classical Influence, the growth of English Drama can be observed. This
influence started to develop from the Mystery and Miracle play.
5. Elizabethan Tragedy
The development of Tragedy in the Elizabethan Age was one of the most preferable
choices of the people. The form of Tragedy that Shakespeare developed from the
experiments of men like Marlowe and Kyd was really a new and distinct type. Such
classical restrictions as the unities of place and time, and the complete separation of comedy
and tragedyThe greatest master of Tragedy was Shakespeare, and in Tragedy he reached
his greatest height. “Hamlet,” “King Lear,” and “Macbeth” and “Hamlet” was perhaps
most popular at the time of its production, and also John Webster. “The Duchess of Malfi”
is a favourable example of his ability to inspire terror and pity.so this Way tragedy play a
great role in the Age of Elizabethan.
6. Elizabethan Comedy:
In the field of comedy, Shakespeare’s“As You Like It” and “Twelfth Night,” not only
display with great skill many sides of human nature, but with indescribable lightness and
grace introduce us to charming creations, speaking lines rich in poetry and sparkling.“The
Alchemist,” representing the work of Ben Jonson, belongs to a type which Shakespeare
hardly touched the Realistic Comedy.Beaumont and Fletcher belongs to the same type of
romantic drama as “The Tempest”—the type of play which belongs to Comedy by virtue of
its happy ending, but contains incidents and passages in an all but tragic tone.so we may
says that Comedy also play a batter role in this Age.
7. Themes
a. Anti-Semitism
Hatred of Jews prevailed in Elizabethan society and is reflected in plays of the period.
Two examples of anti-Semitic plays are Christopher Marlowe's The Jew of Malta and
William Shakespeare's The Merchant of Venice. In Marlowe's play, Barabas, the Jew of
Malta, is a cruel, egotistic, and greedy
Man. In Elizabethan times, he was played in a confrontational and somewhat comic
manner, with the actor wearing a red wig and a long hooked nose. Shylock, the Jewish
merchant in The Merchant of Venice, is also presented as a greedy, vindictive man.
Shakespeare tempers his character, however, with a bit more humanity than is found in
Barabas. Elizabethan anti-Semitism was fueled in 1594 when Queen Elizabeth's Jewish
doctor was executed on the charge of trying to poison her.
b. Disguise
Disguise is a device that is used frequently by characters in Elizabethan plays. It is a
way in which characters gain information that would be otherwise withheld from them.
For example, in Shakespeare's As You Like It, Rosalind discovers that her true love,
Orlando, is indeed in love with her while she is disguised as a boy. Some critics also
believe that disguising female characters in male garb allowed men and boys who were
playing these roles to spend part of the play in costumes that were more comfortable and
familiar.
c. Humours
Elizabethan psychology was based on the theory of four bodily humours—blood,
phlegm, black bile, and yellow bile. Proper physical and mental health supposedly
depended upon a proper balance among these fluids. A particular emotion or mood was
associated with each, and it was believed that if a person had too much of one humour
in his body, that particular emotion would be emphasized. With the production of Ben
Jonson's Every Man in His Humour, a new species of comedy devoted solely to the
interplay of these elements was created, known as the "comedy of humours." The
humours were prevalent forces in the tragedies as well. Hamlet is described as the
"melancholy Dane," thus implying that he has too much black bile, which would make
him tend to be depressed.
d. Revenge
Revenge is one of the most prevalent themes in Elizabethan drama. In the plays, it is
often motivated by the visitation of a ghost who delivers the story of his murder to the
character who must now become the avenger. Such is the case in Thomas Kyd's The
Spanish Tragedy, as the Ghost of Don Andrea recounts his death, calls for revenge, and
then sits onstage to watch his enemies meet their fate. Revenge is also the motivator in
Hamlet, as the Prince of Denmark vows to avenge his father's murder. In her article
"Common Plots in Elizabethan Drama," Madeleine Doran reflects upon why the subject
of revenge was so popular:
Why the motive of revenge should enjoy such popularity from the early days of
Elizabethan down to Caroline times naturally provokes speculation. That it had deeply
sympathetic affinities with the conditions of actual life we must suppose. Yet its very
endurance, even after it had lost its vitality, as the commonest counter-motive in tragedy,
suggests something besides imitative Realism. Its persistence may have been to some
extent owing to its great usefulness for play construction in furnishing so practicable a
method of counteraction.
e. The Supernatural
In Elizabethan times, people were very superstitious, and many people believed in
the supernatural. Queen Elizabeth I had a personal astrologer whom she would consult
regularly, and, as Diane Yancey notes, "Almost every village had an old woman who
could be persuaded to cast a spell to protect cattle from illness or keep one's lover faithful
and true." Given this context, it is not surprising that supernatural elements are found in
many Elizabethan plays. Fairies, ghosts, and witches often figure prominently in the
action. Ghosts are very important in revenge tragedies and are often used as a catalyst
for the action. Several Elizabethan plays contain a ghost who recounts his own murder,
thus beginning a cycle of revenge. Such is the case in Shakespeare's Hamlet and in Kyd's
The Spanish Tragedy. Sprites and fairies were also popular characters of the time.
Shakespeare's A Midsummer Night's Dream is populated with fantastical creatures.
8. STYLE
a. Asides
Asides are brief comments spoken privately to another character or directly to the
audience. They are not heard or noticed by the rest of the characters onstage. Typically,
the character turns toward the audience and delivers the aside from behind his hand, thus
hiding it from the rest of the players. This technique is used often by Elizabethan
dramatists as a device to let the audience in on the character's thoughts.
b. Blank Verse
Blank verse is unrhymed iambic pentameter, the primary form used by Elizabethan
playwrights, although prose and many other forms of poetry are also found throughout
their plays. Serious characters of high stature and nobility often speak in blank verse,
especially when discussing important issues, while comic and lower class characters are
less likely to do so.
c. Iambic Pentameter
Iambic pentameter is the rhythm used in Elizabethan blank verse. Each line has five
two-syllable units, or "feet," with the second syllable of each unit receiving the heaviest
stress. Iambic pentameter is relatively close to spoken English. For example, "She
WENT to SEE a PLAY a-BOUT a KING" is a line of iambic pentameter.
d. Insults
Name-calling was an art form during the Elizabethan Age, and this is reflected in the
plays from that period. Characters often engage in "verbal dueling," hurling creative
slurs at one another, hoping to get the upper hand or have the last word by delivering the
best insult. Shakespeare was a master at creating these insults. Insults such as, "You
ungrateful fox!" "You overweening slave!" and "Thou art a boil! A plague-sore!" are
sprinkled liberally throughout his plays. He was not the only playwright to use this
technique, however. The art of creating insults permeated Elizabethan plays.
e. Wordplay
Elizabethans were fond of wordplay, and they especially appreciated puns, which
employ different words that sound alike or the same word, which has several definitions
or functions in a sentence. One of the most skilled in the use of puns and wordplay was
Shakespeare. One famous example occurs in Romeo and Juliet. As Mercutio lies dying
from a sword wound, he says to his friend, Romeo, "Ask for me tomorrow and you shall
find me a grave man."
e. Rhymed Couplets
Rhymed couplets are two lines of poetry that rhyme as in "Well, I will in, and do the
best I can; to match my daughter to this gentleman" from Thomas Dekker's The
Shoemaker's Holiday. Rhymed couplets often signal the end of a scene or act.
f. Scenery and Settings
Most Elizabethan plays were performed on a bare stage with no scenery and no sets.
Therefore, to let the audience know where and when the action was taking place,
playwrights would begin scenes with lines that establish place and time. For example,
the opening line of Act IV, Scene I of The Shoemaker's Holiday lets the audience know
right away where they are: "Yonder's the shop, and there my fair love sits." Sometimes
settings were conveyed by the use of placards that would be hung onstage immediately
prior to the scene. These would tell the audience in what town or village the action was
taking place.
g. Soliloquy
A soliloquy is a speech that reveals a character's thoughts, rather like thinking aloud.
The soliloquy tells the audience what is going on in a character's mind. The most famous
soliloquy in all of drama is the "To be or not to be" speech from Shakespeare's play
Hamlet. In it, Hamlet ponders whether to kill himself and considers the consequences of
living or dying. The soliloquy is sometimes confused with monologue. In both speeches,
only one person speaks. In soliloquy the character reveals his inner thoughts to the
audience; no one in the play hears the speech. In a monologue, one character speaks all
the words but he may be overheard by other characters in the play.
h. Violence
In most Elizabethan plays, the violent acts occur offstage. These acts are then
reported onstage by one character to other characters, and thus the audience learns of
action that does not need to be enacted directly. This convention allowed Elizabethan
dramatists to include huge battles as part of the "action" of their plays without the
theaters having to hire hundreds of actors to perform the plays. Also, horrific acts of
brutality that are difficult to execute onstage are often more effective when described
than when actually shown. Members of the audience must use their imaginations to
visualize the carnage, often creating a scene in their minds, much worse than ever could
be created on the stage. The Elizabethan dramatists borrowed this tradition from Greek
tragedy. The tradition changed, however, with the development of the "blood tragedy"
(also known as "revenge tragedy"). In these plays, acts of violence are performed
onstage, in full view of the audience. Thomas Kyd's The Spanish Tragedy is one of the
best-known plays of this genre. Webster's tragedies, The White Devil and The Duchess
of Malfi, were also noted in their time for graphic violence, which required staging in a
controlled environment.
9. University wits:
University wits were the name given to a group of Elizabeth or Elizabethan playwrights.
They were a group of oxford and Cambridge university scholars. Who came to London to
try their luck as the professional play Wrights. Immediately before Shakespeare it was the
earliest stage of the development of Drama as a popular. The University wits were a group
of seven people. The University wits called pre cursor who have made the way for
Shakespeare.
The pre-Shakespearean University Dramatists are known as the university wits. These
University men were usually actors as well as Dramatists. This group contributed to
establish the Elizabethan theatre. They popularized the form of Drama.

John Lyly was the leader of university wits but Christopher Marlowe was more famous
because of his tragedies.
Their Plays had several features:
There was a fondness or heroic themes, such as the lives of great persons like Mohammad
and Tamburlaine. Heroic themes needed heroic treatment variety, splendid descriptions,
long speeches; Violent, incidents and emotions. Their style was also heroic. The chief aim
was to achieve stormy and high sounding lines and powerful speeches. This kind of example
can be found in the play of Christopher Marlowe.
The themes were usually tragic. They preferred tragedy a pure tragedy not mixture with
humour. Some of themes also like Lyly wrote Romantic Comedies.
a. John Lily (1554-1606)
He was the leader of university Wits and chosen themes from classical literature. He
became famous for his comedy like,
o Sappho and Phao
o Woman in the Moone
o Alexander and Campaspe
o Endimion
b. Thomas Kyd (1558-1594)
He was a Dramatis and educated at London. Who wrote a famous tragedy which was
known as Spanish Tragedy. It is believed that he wrote a play Hamlet. By profession he
was a scrivener. He was first English dramatist who wrote dramatically. His importance
in the group of university wits is next only to Marlowe. His remarkable plays are such as
o Spenish tragedy
o Jeronimo
o Aplology for actor
o The tragedy of solyman and person
.
c. Christopher Marlowe (1564-1593)

He was an English playwright, poet and translator of the Elizabethan era. Marlowe
was the foremost Elizabethan tragedian of his day.
He greatly influenced William Shakespeare, who was born in the same year as
Marlowe and who rose to become the pre-eminent Elizabethan playwright after
Marlowe’s mysterious early death.
Marlowe’s plays are known for the use of blank verse and their overreaching
protagonists.
A warrant was issued for Marlowe’s arrest on 18 May 1593. No reason was given for
it, though it was thought to be connected to allegations of blasphemy—a manuscript
believed to have been written by Marlowe was said to contain “vile heretical conceipts.”
On 20 May he was brought to the court to attend upon the Privy Council for questioning.
There is no record of their having met that day, however, and he was commanded to
attend upon them each day thereafter until “licensed to the contrary.” Ten days later, he
was stabbed to death by Ingram Frizer. Whether the stabbing was connected to his arrest
has never been resolved.
Christopher Marlowe was more famous as well as most outstanding figure among
university wits. Marlowe was the model for Shakespeare. About Marlowe one critic said
“Had there been no Marlowe there would have been no Shakespeare “.
Shakespeare learnt from Marlowe for two major techniques...
1) Theory of Tragedy
2) Blank Verse
The blank verse is a category of poetry based in a unrhymed and a definite, usually of
iambic pentameter ( five sets of unstressed and stressed iambs).
Blank verse is poetry written in regular metrical but unrhymed lines. Blank verse is
mostly written in iambic pentameter. Blank verse is also known as unrhymed iambic
pentameter. This type of verse contains a consistent meter with 10 syllables in each line.
The unstressed syllables are followed by stressed ones; therefore, it contains five stressed
syllables.
Christopher Marlowe was the first English writer to use it and it was referred to as his
"mighty line". He is responsible for popularizing it and why Shakespeare decided to use
it as well.
Blank verse is said to be one of the most common and influential forms in English
poetry. Many of the English poems have been written in this style. Henry Howard, Earl
of Surrey, is considered as the first poet to use blank verse in English literature. This form
was used by many prominent writers such as John Milton, William Shakespeare,
Christopher Marlowe, John Donne and John Keats. Given below are some examples of
blank verse.
His Plays are like a:
o Dr. Faustus (or The Tragicall History of the Life and Death of Doctor
Faustus), based on the German Faustbuch, was the first dramatised version of the Faust
legend of a scholar’s dealing with the devil. While versions of “The Devil’s Pact” can be
traced back to the 4th century, Marlowe deviates significantly by having his hero unable
to “burn his books” or repent to a merciful God in order to have his contract annulled at
the end of the play. Marlowe’s protagonist is instead carried off by demons, and in the
1616 quarto his mangled corpse is found by several scholars. Doctor Faustus is a textual
problem for scholars as two versions of the play exist: the 1604 quarto, also known as
the A text, and the 1616 quarto or B text. Both were published after Marlowe’s death
o King Edward
o Tamerlane
o The Jew of Malta (first published as The Famous Tragedy of the Rich Jew of
Malta), about a Maltese Jew’s barbarous revenge against the city authorities, has a
prologue delivered by a character representing Machiavelli. It was probably written in
1589 or 1590, and was first performed in 1592. It was a success, and remained popular
for the next fifty years.
o The Massacre at parish is a short and luridly written work, the only surviving
text of which was probably a reconstruction from memory of the original performance
text, portraying the events of the Saint Bartholomew’s Day Massacre in 1572, which
English Protestants invoked as the blackest example of Catholic treachery. It features the
silent “English Agent”, whom subsequent tradition has identified with Marlowe himself
and his connections to the secret service. The Massacre at Paris is considered his most
dangerous play, as agitators in London seized on its theme to advocate the murders of
refugees from the low countries and, indeed, it warns Elizabeth I of this possibility in its
last scene.
 Dido Queen of cartage

d. William Shakespeare (1564-1616)


William Shakespeare was one of the greatest Dramatists of The English Literature and
prominent figure in the Elizabethan Age. He was born in Stratford-upon-Avon on 23th
of April, 1564. The family was not rich yet. They rented a house and some land. There
were eight children in the family: four girls ad four boys three of them died young. In
1582, Shakespeare was married to Anne Hathway. After that he started to write Dramas,
which can be categorized in four different periods.
 The First Period
In first period, His comedies belong to the first period of his creative work. The
plays are full of light, wit and optimism. Even in "Romeo and Juliet”, the tragedy
that was written during this period, the author didn’t stress the note of grief. All
the plays are written in the bright manner of the Renaissance. His plays are,
o 1590 - King Henry VI
o 1591 - Henry VI
o 1592 - The Comedy of Errors
o 1594 - The Two Gentlemen of Verona
 The Second Period
The second period which is a period of rapid growth and development. It this
period we may observe artistic work. In this period, we can see the better plots and
a marked increase in knowledge of human nature in a play. His plays are,
o 1595 - Romeo and Juliet
o 1595 - A Midsummer Night's Dream
o 1596 - Merchant of Venice
o 1599 - Julius Caesar
o 1599 - As You Like it
 The Third Period
Shakespeare's tragedies belong to the Third period of his work. During that time
the author reaches his full maturity. He becomes a great dramatist of the
Renaissance, his main ideology is humanism, and he presents the great human
problems in his plays. The writer vividly reveals human relations, shows his
characters.
The plays of the third period are:
o 1601 - Hamlet
o 1602 - All`s Well That Ends Well
o 1604 - Othello
o 1605 - King Lear
o 1606 - Macbeth
o 1606 - Antony and Cleopatra
o 1607 - Timor of Athens
 The Fourth Period
Shakespeare's allegorical plays belong to the fourth period at his literary work.
A period of restored Serenity, of calm after storm, which marked the last year of
the poet’s literary work like,
o 1609 - Cymbeline
o 1610 - The Winter's Таle
o 1611 - The Tempest
o 1612 - King Henry VIII
o Henry VIII (unfinished)
e. Ben Jonson (1572-1637)
Ben Jonson was an early playwright of Elizabethan Age, poet and actor whose
popularity rivalled that of Shakespeare or Marlowe. His father died shortly before his
birth, and his mother remarried a bricklayer. Luckily for the clever young boy, an
unidentified friend paid for Jonson to attend Westminster School. For twenty five years,
ha was the literary dictator. He was influenced more by French writers. His plays are,
o The Alchemist
o Sejanus His Fall
o Every Man out of His Humour
o Every Man in His Humour
o The Poetaster
o Volpone
o Bartholomew Fair
o The Staple of News
o The Silent Woman
Ben Jonson’s ‘Every Man in His Humour’ is a first comedy is a key to all his drams.
The words “Humour” in his are stood for some characteristic whim or quality of society.
Every Man in His Humour, its special aim was to ridicule the humour of the city.
The three best known of Jonson’s comedies are Volpone, the Alchemist and The
Silent Woman. Volponeis a keep and merciless analysis of a man governed by an
overwhelming lone of money for its own sake.
10. The importance of Elizabethan’s time
Elizabethan Age or Age of Shakespeare was a unique period not only in the history of
England but also the world. This period witnessed a greater advancement in science, arts,
life, of people. According to William J. Long this period is from 1550 to 1620 was the
duration of the Elizabethan Age. The period of Queen Elizabethan’s reign England is rightly
called ‘The Golden Period’ in the history of England as also in the history of English
Literature.
The Elizabethan Age witnessed a stable and encouraging governance of Queen Elizabeth.
Politically the nation was stable, civil wars were over, and Queen Elizabeth seemed one of
the best rulers of English nation. People were living a better life. In literary terms this period
is concerned as the period ‘Renaissances’. That means rebirth or Revival of Greek and
Italian culture, learning, literature, art, painting etc. People had tremendous joy and thrilling.
It was the period of awakening for knowledge and advancement.
It was also an Age of new discovery and exploration of new lands through adventures
voyages across uncharted seas and oceans. The Queen Elizabeth was encouraging
adventures and honouring sailors in her court. It was also an Age of intense patriotism, when
people took a keen interest in England’s past, pride in England’s greatness. People were
Royal to their queen. The Elizabethan Age was one of the most productive Ages for
literature. Great dramatists highly artistic poets, philosophers like Bacon made this Age
extremely fruitful for literary creation. On the other hand welcomed and responded literary
of art.
11. Role of Elizabethan Theatre in Development of Drama
The Elizabethan Theatre was a booming business. People loved the Theatre. The
Elizabethan plays and theatres were as popular as the movies and cinemas of the early 20th
century. In the Elizabethan the theatre was the focal point of the age. The Elizabethan theatre
was the voice and choice of the people. Plays were being performed as earlier it was no
anything to get entertainment. In the days of Elizabeth there were two theatres such as The
Red Lion and The Theatre in which most of the plays were performed.so it was it can be
said that theatre has played an instrumental role to raise the position of Elizabethan drama.
12. To Sum Up
A few words more on the base of my reading, I must unfold that The Elizabethan Drama
was popular due to some giant dramatists like Shakespeare, Jonson, Lily, Marlowe. And
also Elizabethan theatre has played very significant role in developing the drama. Therefore,
Elizabethan Age can be considered as a golden period because of such height of drama as it
was on the pick.
CONCLUSION
 The themes in the Elizabethan era were varied. By looking into the plays of William
Shakespeare, we can see what interested these people. Shakespeare is the best
example because he covered so many areas of human interest.
In his history plays, Shakespeare explored power and what makes a good ruler. By
delving into his own recent history, he could explore these ideas. The question of
how to be a good ruler has been asked by countless generations. Shakespeare shows
us the good, the bad, and the ugly.
What does it mean to be a human being was the subject of his tragedies? He explored
love and jealousy, duty and revenge, power politics, and many other ideas. So, it
would appear that the things that concern us today also concerned the people in the
Elizabethan period.
 The university wits was a group of Elisabeth playwrights , they were the earliest
stage of the development of Drama as a popular, founded a new form of drama and
also they established the Elisabeth theatre. Among the main representatives we can
find to Thomas Lyly( who was the leader of the university), Thomas Kyd the first to
write grammatically, and Christopher Marlowe who was the most famous of those
ages because of his tragedies and wrote various tragedies using the blank verse, he
was the model for William Shakespeare
 The Elizabethan Age was not only important in England but also worldwide, so that
period was called the golden period in the history of England and the literature and
many dramatic artists made that time very productive with their growths. And, also
the theatre has played an instrumental role to raise the position of Elizabethan drama.

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So long as men can breathe, or eyes can see,
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So long lives this, and this gives life to thee