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a time associated with Queen Elizabeths reign (15581603)

is often considered to be the golden age in English history

the height of the English Renaissance the time of flowering as for English poetry, music and literature

the time during which Elizabethan theatre flourished

William Shakespeare and many others composed plays that broke

free of England's past style of theatre

It was an age of exploration and expansion abroad the Protestant reformation became more acceptable to the people It was also the end of the period when England was a separate realm

before its royal union with Scotland.

The Elizabethan Age is viewed so highly because of

the periods before and after. It was a brief period of internal peace between : - the English reformation (it was driven initially by the political necessities of Henry VIII he decided to remove the Church of England from the authority of Rome. In 1534 Henry VIII was established the Supreme head of the Church of England.; there were battles between Protestants and Catholics ) - the battles between the Parliament and the monarchy in the 17th century.


the Elizabethan era saw significant scientific progress in

astronomy, Substantial advancements were made in the fields of cartography and surveying /mapovn/. Much of this scientific and technological progress related to the practical skill of navigation. Noteworthy achievements in exploration Sir Francis Drake circumnavigated /obeplul/ the globe between 1577 and 1581, and Martin Frobisher explored the Arctic. The first English settlement of North America occurred in this erathe lost colony at Roanoke Island (established by Sir Walter Raleigh)

Theatre was the focal point /ohnisko/ of the age acting was a part of public life Theatre was also the most democratic cultural institution Actors and playwrights often had the patronage of noblemen The main topic of the plays were tensions and problems of the society

The Elizabethan Theatres started in the courtyards of Inns - they

were called Inn-yards (The Bull Inn, The Bell Savage and others)

When London authorities banned plays (1572) as a measure against the plague and all players were formally expelled from the city first permanent open-air theatres were constructed outside the jurisdiction of London

It was mainly the idea of James Burbage to construct the first

purpose-built theatre in 1576 it was simply called The Theatre.

However, other theatres followed and the popularity of drama

increased (The Globe, the Hope, the Rose, the Swan, the Curtain, the Fortune)


What were the open-air theatres like?

usually three stories high built around an open space at the centre Usually polygonal /mnohohelnkov/ The three levels of inward-facing galleries overlooked the

open center into which jutted /vybhalo/ the stage

The stage was surrounded on three sides by the standing

Usually built of timber vulnerable to fire Audience capacity: 1500 3000 people The cost was usually 1-2 pennies

Preformances in the afternoon

Indoor playhouses
However, profit dropped in the winter

as people would not come to the cold open arenas of these massive Elizabethan Theatres Playhouses were therefore used for many winter productions - they were indoor Elizabethan Theatres. The best known: The Blackfriars The Whitefriars The Cocpit They were smaller in size The capacity was up to 500 people



Shakespeares life
There are few facts known with certainty about William

Shakespeare's life and death The best-documented facts:

Shakespeare was baptized 26 April 1564 in Stratford-upon-

Avon, England

He married Anne Hathaway, with whom he had three

children (his son Hamnet died of black plague at the age of 11) He was an actor, playwright and theatre enterpriser /provozovatel/ in London, owned property in both Stratford and London

Shakespeare was part-owner of a playing company,

known as the Lord Chamberlains men like others of the period, the company took its name from its aristocratic sponsor, in this case the Lord Chamberlain.
The group became popular enough that after the death

of Elizabeth and the coronation of James I (1603), the new monarch adopted the company and it became known as the Kings men, after the death of their previous sponsor.
Shakespeare died on 23 April 1616 at the age of 52.

Shakespeares plays
Tragedies: Romeo and Juliet, Hamlet, Othello, King Lear, Macbeth

Historical plays: Richard II, Richard III, Henry IV, V, VI and VIII, King John,

Julius Caesar, Anthony and Cleopatra

Comedies: A midsummers Nights Dream, The Merchant of Venice,

Twelfth Night, As you like it, The Commedy of Errors, The Merry Wives of Windsor, Troilus and Cressida

Romances: Pericles, The Winters tale

Watch Shakespeare in love

The Merchant of Venice (part 1): s Romeo and Juliet (part 1): _M&feature=related

Other Playwrights
Christopher Marlowe Tamburlain the Great

The Tragical History of Doctor Faustus

Edward II Ben Johnson The Isle of Dogs Every Man in His Humour Every Man Out of His Humour

The era of miniature portraits and sonnets

In Elizabethan England there was a big fashion of miniature

portraits of ones beloved worn as jewels

They were placed inside an ornamented metal case and

worn as pendants (pvsky), hanging from chains or ribbons from the neck or the waist
They remained hidden in the cases not to be seen by

anyone else
The miniature-wearing fashion is parallel with the sonnet-

writing fashion
The sonnet was, like the miniature, a jewel they were not

intended to be published at first sonnets, like miniatures, belonged to intimacy

Shakespeares sonnets
Shakespeare wrote 154 sonnets mainly in the 1590s - during

the plague that closed theatres

The topic of most sonnets is love or a theme related to love
In the sonnets he often addresses a mysterious dark lady or

a young man
Some interprets claim that his sonnets to the young man are

expressions of homosexual love

However, there is no evidence in the record of Shakespeares


Sonnet 18
Shall I compare thee to a summers DAY? Thou art more lovely and more temperATE Rough winds do shake the darling buds of MAY And summers lease hath all too short a DATE Sometime too hot the eye of heaven SHINES And often is his gold complexion DIMMD And every fair from fair sometime deCLINES By chance or natures changing course unTRIMMD A B A B C D C D

But thy eternal summer shall not FADE

Nor lose possession of that fair thou OWEST Nor shall Death brag thou wanderst in his SHADE When in eternal lines to time thou GROWEST: So long as men can breathe or eyes can SEE So long lives this and this gives life to THEE


Elizabethan Theatre youtube:

CJbM (short version) M8&feature=related (extended version)

Websites devoted to W.Shakespeare: dshakespeare/themes_index.shtml