Shakespeare's england on word

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Shakespeare's england on word

  1. 1. WHAT WAS SHAKESPEARE’S ENGLAND LIKE?<br />GENERAL INFO I<br />http://www.elizabethan-era.org.uk/elizabethan-life.htm<br />England was the world leading commercial and naval power in the West, with Queen Elizabeth I ruling who was loved by her people and never married<br />Act of Supremacy 1534 – England no longer answered to the Pope in Rome. <br />The Spanish Armada was defeated in 1588 and the Church of England became established. <br />Sir Francis Drake became a celebrated sea captain, and others, colonists were sent out to sea to the east to search for profit.<br />All of the European wars brought in refugees and exposing the English people to different cultures.<br />During this Elizabethan era, the population of London increased dramatically by 400% and there were around 200,000 people present in the city by the time that Shakespeare came to live there. <br />The height of the English Renaissance, saw flowering of English poetry, music and literature, and Elizabethan theatre flourished as did new ideas in science and technology.<br />Plays were composed that broke free of England’s past style of theatre.<br />Age of exploration and expansion abroad, and at home the Spanish reformation became more acceptable to people. <br />Before England’s union with Scotland.<br />A time of internal peace in between the English reformation, and the Protestant/Catholic battles, and the monarchy/parliament battles.<br />WOMEN I<br />Women were subservient and were dependent on male relatives to support them. They were used to forge alliances with other powerful families through arranged marriage. <br />They were tutored at home from the age of five, no school, not allowed in Unis, or to be heirs to father’s titles (except the monarchy). <br />They couldn’t be doctors or lawyers, didn’t have the vote and couldn’t enter politics. No women in the Navy or Army, no women acting in theatres.<br />‘Women in her greatest perfection was made to serve and obey men’ – John Knox, Scottish Protestant leader<br />Disobedience was seen as a crime, according to the bible, and punishment was the whipping stool. Elizabethan girls beaten into submission e.g. Lady Jane Grey.<br />Music and dancing essential skills, then languages: latin, italian, greek, french.<br />As young as seven years old girls would be sent away from their home to live with another noble family. Elizabethan women would be taught a range of subjects and skills. Manners and etiquette were of prime importance, including how to curtsey. Music, dancing , riding and archery were also taught. These young girls were expected to act as servants to the Ladies of the castle - their duties would be to look after clothes and the assist ladies with dressing and coiffure. Some housewifely duties such as preserving fruits and household management would be also be learnt. High ranking young women would take on the role of ladies-in-waiting to the Queen.<br />Single Elizabethan women were sometimes looked upon with suspicion. It was often the single women who were thought to be witches by their neighbours. All Elizabethan women would be expected to marry, and would be dependant on her male relatives throughout her life.<br />Elizabethan women were expected to bring a dowry to the marriage. Large families were the norm as the mortality rate for children and babies was so high. Many Elizabethan woman made arrangement for the care of their children in case they themselves died during childbirth.<br />The appearance of a noble Elizabethan woman was important.  An Elizabethan woman aged quickly during this era. Constant child bearing and pregnancies took its toll on a woman's body. The Elizabethan diet lacked Vitamin C resulting in bad teeth and bleeding gums. A Medieval woman might even dye her hair yellow with a mixture of saffron, cumin seed, celandine and oil!<br />Face make-up was applied to acquire a pale look. A pale complexion was so desirable that Elizabethan women were bled to achieve the desired look. Face paint made from plant roots and leaves was also applied. The white make-up was lead based and therefore poisonous - Elizabethan women who applied this make-up were often ill and if it was used in sufficient quantities it would result in death. <br />The dress and clothing of Elizabethan women was a series of different layers. Uncomfortable corsets were worn to create the desired look dictated by fashion. The color and materials that were worn were not just a matter of choice. The type of clothing worn by Elizabethan women was dictated by the Sumptuary Laws! <br />DAILY LIFE<br />Elizabethan Daily life - EducationGrammar schools were available to the Middle classes. The development of printing produced more books and cheap pamphlets which were in the reach of most Englishmen. Between 1550 and 1570 many of England's famous schools and colleges were founded.<br />Elizabethan Daily life - Career OpportunitiesThe Medieval Feudal system had broken down. Outbreaks of the plague had reduced the population - even peasants were paid for their labour. The wool trade provided opportunities for Englishmen. There were opportunities for young Englishmen to become apprentices and learn a trade which would bring them a good standard of living. A Wealthy Merchant class was emerging in England. Elizabethan Daily life provided many opportunities which had been denied to previous generations<br />Elizabethan Daily life - LeisureThe Elizabethan era saw the introduction of the Theatre. A cheap form of entertainment for the Lower Classes. A means to influence the masses ( which was therefore tightly regulated). The history of England was played out in the vivid historical plays by playwrights such as William Shakespeare. <br />Elizabethan Daily life - the New WorldExplorations across vast oceans into the New World. New lands to be claimed increasing the wealth of England. New foods were introduced such as the tomato and the turkey! New spices!  <br />Elizabethan Daily life - the Movement from Country life to Town lifeChanges in agriculture during the Elizabethan period led to people leaving the countryside and their village life to search for employment in the towns. The wool trade became increasingly popular during the Elizabethan age, which meant that land which had been farmed by peasants was now dedicated to rearing sheep and a process known as land enclosure meant that the traditional open field system ended in favour of creating larger and more profitable farming units which required fewer people to work on them. Village life was changing and the movement towards town life started during the Elizabethan era. <br />VILLAGE LIFE<br />Elizabethan Life - Elizabethan Village LifeElizabethan Village Life was extremely insular as their village provided the majority of requirements to be self-sufficient. There was no reason for the average person to ever travel further than half a day's walk to the local small town which perhaps boasted a weekly market. Money was is short supply so the people would barter products to obtain supplies which were not readily available in the village.<br />At the centre of the village was the Village Green which was used for leisure activities.<br />The noble families also tended to stay static. Lands, titles and property were handed down from generation to generation and the same families would remain in the same homes for many generations.<br />Rural England had its own social hierarchy: The Lord of the Manor, The Gentry - gentlemen owners of local land, Yeoman - English freemen who took on various roles of responsibility - jury service, church wardens etc Free holders of land, Tenants, Skilled Labourers, and Landless Labourers (unskilled). Other work such as milkmaids, servants and millers were usually beholden to the Lord of the Manor.<br />MEDICINES AND ILLNESSES<br />Elizabethan Life - Elizabethan Medicine and IllnessesElizabethan Medicine was extremely basic in an era when terrible illnesses such as the Bubonic Plague (Black Death ) were killing nearly one third of the population. The Physicians strange clothes and mask probably saved his life and prevented him contracting the illnesses and diseases of his patients such as the plague and typhoid. <br />The underlying cause of many of the Elizabethan illnesses was the lack of sanitation, especially in large towns or cities such as London. There were open sewers in the streets which were also filled with garbage. This was occasionally removed and waste was dumped into the nearest river such as the Thames. <br />Diseases were easily spread in this unsanitary environment where fleas, lice and rats all flourished. There was no running water, this was obtained from water pumps ( a main cause of the spread of typhoid ). <br />Elizabethan IllnessesElizabethan illnesses were similar to the illnesses of the Modern age - but before causes had been identified and cures identified. In addition to this there were outbreaks of terrible diseases such as the Bubonic Plague and Typhoid. <br />Broken bones, wounds, abscesses and fractures were treated in unsanitary environments making the condition even worse. The only cure for toothache was having the tooth pulled - without anaesthetics! <br />Amputations were performed by surgeons - the stump was cauterised with pitch. Poor living conditions and poor diet led to many illnesses suffered by both the wealthy and the poor. Anaemia was common as was rheumatism, arthritis, tuberculosis and dysentery ( known as the flux ).<br />Child bearing and possible childbed fever was dangerous - many Elizabethan woman made arrangement for the care of their children in case they themselves died during childbirth. <br />The white make-up applied by the Upper Class women was lead based and therefore poisonous - Elizabethan women who applied this make-up were often ill and if it was used in sufficient quantities it would result in death. The Upper classes also suffered from gout. Influenza was common, referred to as the 'sweating sickness'. Sexually Transmitted diseases, such as Syphilis, were also prevalent.<br />Elizabethan MedicineVery basic. Letting blood was conducted by cupping or leeches. The Medicine used to treat various illnesses were as follows:<br />Bubonic Plague (the Black Death): Bubonic Plague was treated by lancing the buboes and applying a warm poultice of butter, onion and garlic. Various other remedies were tried including tobacco, arsenic, lily root and dried toad! <br />Head Pains: treated with sweet-smelling herbs such as rose, lavender, sage, and bay.<br />Stomach Pains and Sickness: treated with wormwood, mint, and balm.<br />Lung ProblemsLung problems given the medical treatment of liquorice and comfrey.<br />Wounds: Vinegar was widely used as a cleansing agent as it was believed that it would kill disease.<br />Elizabethan Church Marriage and Wedding Information<br />Age of consent was 21 years old. Younger with parental consent was 14 for girls and 12 for boys.<br />The Elizabethan Wedding custom dictated that the couple's intention to marry had to be announced in the church three times on three consecutive Sundays or Holy days. This allowed time for any objections to be raised or pre-contracts to be discovered. Any marriage not published beforehand was considered clandestine and illegal.<br />Elizabethan Marriage and Wedding ContractsShould a couple need to marry in haste an alternative, faster, route to legalising a marriage required a Marriage Bond which acted as a contract, security and proof to a Bishop that the issue of a Marriage Licence was lawful. The Marriage Bond was accompanied with a sworn statement that there were no pre-contract. The issue of a Marriage Bond would require only one reading of the Banns - thus saving a couple of weeks. Such a Marriage Bond was required by Anne Hathaway and William Shakespeare - Anne was 26 years old and pregnant. William Shakespeare was only 18 and under the age of consent. Elizabethan wedding customs and contracts would have required that his father would have had to agree to the marriage.<br />WEDDINGS<br />Wedding Customs<br />The colour of the wedding clothes were varied - the tradition of wearing white came much later. A bridal procession would move from the family's house to the church. This was a particularly festive event and the procession would be accompanied by musicians.<br />Wedding Feast: exotic dishes, such a peacock, had to be made. The Elizabethans were keen on presenting dishes as attractively as possible - in the case of the peacock its colorful feathers would adorn the dish. Bread and sweetmeats would also be prepared. Sweet and Spicy foods were extremely popular and many of the dishes would be highly flavored. The staple drink of the Elizabethans was ale (water was unclean) but wine was also available and would have been ordered for the wedding feast.<br />Elizabethan Life after MarriageLarge families were the norm as the mortality rate for children and babies was so high. Many Elizabethan woman made arrangement for the care of their children in case they themselves died during childbirth. <br />ENTERTAINMENT<br />Elizabethan EntertainmentElizabethan Entertainment was extremely important to people who lived in the Elizabethan era. The lives of Elizabethans were hard, the mortality rate was high due to frequent outbreaks of the Bubonic Plague and life expectation was low. Elizabethan entertainment was popular whenever there was something to celebrate! A betrothal, wedding, victories and festivals. Court entertainment was regular, often a nightly occurrence combined with feasts, jousts and banquets often accompanied by music and dancing. But the poor people enjoyed entertainment from acting troupes, tournaments, dancing, trained animals, mummers (dancers), mystery plays, jugglers and strolling players. Tournaments, Games, Sports, Gaming and Gambling also played an important part in Elizabethan entertainment. <br />Types of Elizabethan EntertainmentThere were many different types of Elizabethan Entertainment many of which are detailed as follows:<br />Feasts - A large, elaborately prepared meal, usually for many persons and often accompanied by court entertainment. Often celebrated religious festivals<br />Banquets - A ceremonial dinner honouring a particular guest<br />Fairs - The Annual Summer Fair was often a bawdy affair<br />Plays - Starting as plays enacted in town squares followed by the actors using the courtyards of taverns or inns ( referred to as Inn-yards ) followed by the first theatres ( great open air amphitheatres built in the same style as the Roman Coliseum ) and then the introduction of indoor theatres called Playhouses<br />Mystery Plays - Re-enacting stories from the Bible<br />Festivals - Celebrating Church festivals<br />Dancing - Elizabethan dances enjoyed by the Upper Classes, Royalty and Nobility included the Cinque-pace, Galliard, Pavane, Roundel, Tordion and the Volta<br />Jousts / Tournaments - A series of tilting matches between knights<br />Games and Sports - Sports and games which included archery, bowling, cards, dice, hammer-throwing, quarter-staff contests, quoits, skittles and wrestling<br />Animal Sports - Including Bear and Bull baiting. Dog and Cock fighting<br />Hunting - Sport followed by the nobility often using dogs<br />Hawking - Sport followed by the nobility with hawks<br />Elizabethan EntertainersThe Names and Types of Elizabethan Entertainment were as follows:<br />Jesters - A fool or buffoon at Elizabethan courts<br />Mummers - A masked or costumed merrymaker or dancer especially at a festival<br />Minstrels - Travelling musician who sang of legends (declined in the Elizabethan era)<br />Troubadours - Travelling musician who sang of courtly love (declined in the Elizabethan era)<br />Acting Troupes - Travelling actors<br />Jugglers - Also used tricks, deception, or fraud<br />FAMILY LIFE<br />FAMILY LIFE: No careers for women, no schools for girls and so most of them were illiterate. Men were expected to support the family, made the decisions and were also expected to improve the positions of all members of the family through influence and patronage from wealthier people and families than their own.<br />Elizabethan Family Life for ChildrenChildren were subservient to the adults in the family. They were raised to respect and obey their parents. Infant mortality was high during the Elizabethan era so the children of the family were cherished. They were given toys to play with - dolls, toy soldiers, hobby horses and the like. Wealthy children were taught good manners and would be punished, boys and girls, for any forms of bad behaviour.<br />Elizabethan Family Life - the HomeThe homes of the Elizabethan family were clearly dictated by wealth. The daily hours of Elizabethan families were dictated by daylight - very much early to bed and early to rise. The architecture and building of New Elizabethan homes were built in the distinct half-timbered, black and white styles. The interiors had separate rooms and levels. The flooring was still strewn with rushes in many houses. There were wooden floors but slate or marble floors were only for the very wealthy families. There was no running water (water was obtained from water pumps, this practice caused outbreaks of Typhoid), their heat was produced by fires and their lighting produced from rush lights, candles or torches. The thatched roofs made a good home for rats and mice (the Bubonic Plague was carried by fleas and transmitted normally by rodents). Elizabethan family life was brought comfort by their homes - but also death.<br />Elizabethan Family Life - ReligionThe Religion of the Elizabethans was of huge importance to family life. The religion of the land was decreed by the reigning monarch. Mary Tudor ( Bloody Mary) was a staunch Catholic and so her people were expected to follow her religion - harsh penalties were inflicted on those who did not follow the Catholic religion in the reign of Mary. When Mary died and her sister Elizabeth succeeded to the throne the religion of England changed to the Protestant faith! The 1559 Act of Uniformity laws were passed in which attendance at church became compulsory and non-attendance was punishable by fine or imprisonment.  <br />Elizabethan Family Life - EducationIt was only deemed necessary for boys to attend schools or Universities. Girls were not allowed in such places of education. Only the most wealthy families allowed their daughters to be taught at home. The Protestant Anglican Church and its teachings were an important part of the school curriculum.<br />Elizabethan Family Life - Marriage and Betrothal customsElizabethan Betrothal and Marriage customs were an important feature of Elizabethan family life. Elizabethan women were expected to marry to increase the wealth and position of the family and then to produce children - preferably male heirs. Elizabethan women were expected to bring a dowry to the marriage. A dowry was an amount of money, goods, and property that the bride would bring to the marriage.<br />Elizabethan Family Life - Health, Fitness, Illness and MedicinesThe Elizabethan era was literally plagued by the Black Death, also known as the Bubonic plague. The Elizabethans had no idea what caused the spread of the plague ( it was carried by fleas and transmitted normally by rodents). The underlying cause of many of the Elizabethan illnesses was the lack of sanitation, especially in large towns or cities such as London. There were open sewers in the streets which were also filled with garbage. There was no running water. This was obtained from water pumps which helped to spread typhoid. Elizabethan doctors were Physicians, Surgeons, Barbers and Apothecaries. The best doctors were too expensive to employ, many would not attend cases of Typhoid or the plague. Home made potions and cures were often the only medicines available. It was the duty of an Elizabethan housewife to ensure that such medicinal recipes were available to her family. Elizabethan Food - fruit, root vegetables and many dairy products were viewed as unseemly to wealthy families. The family health of poorer families was sometimes better than wealthy families! There were no labour saving devices such as those enjoyed today so the fitness levels and strength of Elizabethan men and women were quite high.<br />Elizabethan Family Life - ClothingElizabethan women and men were not allowed to wear whatever they liked! It did not matter how wealthy they were - the color, fabric and material of their clothes were dictated by their rank, status or position and this was enforced by English Law!  English Sumptuary Laws were well known by all of the English people. The penalties for violating Sumptuary Laws could be harsh - fines, the loss of property, title and even life! It was a distinct probability that Elizabethan family life saw examples of the women to pushing their men into higher positions to enable them to wear higher class clothes!<br />Elizabethan Family Life - FoodA large amount of Elizabethan cooking was conducted over an open flame. Useful cooking utensils for this method of cooking Elizabethan food were pots, pans, kettles, skillets and cauldrons. Just as today, the smells and sounds of the kitchen played a large part in Elizabethan family life!<br />

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