Elizabethan Times Overview


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Overview of Religion, Medicine, and Superstition during the Elizabethan Times. A project done to help the comprehension of Shakespearean times.

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Elizabethan Times Overview

  1. 1. Elizabethan Times Religion, Medicine, and Superstition By: Amanda, Cathy, Melody, Ramsha, Teela
  2. 2. Introduction <ul><li>Queen Elizabeth I ruled from the late 1500s to the early 1600s, it was know as the Elizabethan times </li></ul><ul><li>William Shakespeare was born around the same era </li></ul><ul><li>People were very religious and not very scientific </li></ul>
  3. 3. Religion General Information <ul><li>Main religion was Christianity </li></ul><ul><li>Two major branches are Protestantism and Catholicism </li></ul><ul><li>Rivalries against each other </li></ul><ul><li>Queen Elizabeth I created religious policy to blend both of them together </li></ul><ul><li>The Act of Uniformity (1559) made attendance at church compulsory </li></ul>
  4. 4. Religion Protestants <ul><li>Some protestants became puritans to purify England of Catholicism </li></ul><ul><li>Protestants disliked queen Elizabeth due to the religious policy (Elizabethan settlement) </li></ul><ul><li>Protestants separated from Catholicism in the 16th century </li></ul><ul><li>Queen Elizabeth was protestant </li></ul>
  5. 5. Medicine Treatments for Diseases <ul><li>During the Elizabethan times which Shakespeare lived in, medical practices were bound with superstition </li></ul><ul><li>Treatments for illness are based on astrology, numerology, herb medicine, and the four humours </li></ul><ul><li>Most medicine did more harm than good, and the patient often died from treatments </li></ul>
  6. 6. Medicine The Four Humours <ul><li>The doctors believed that a person’s health and personality was defined by the four humours: </li></ul><ul><li>Sanguine- blood: happy, generous, optimistic, irresponsible </li></ul><ul><li>Choleric-yellow bile: violent, short-tempered, ambitious </li></ul><ul><li>Phlegmatic- phlegm: sluggish, pallid, cowardly </li></ul><ul><li>Melancholic- black bile: introspective, sentimental </li></ul>
  7. 7. Medicine Common Illnesses <ul><li>Fleas and lice were a problem, for they did not know any adequate treatments </li></ul><ul><li>Plague is a big concern during the Elizabethan times because there were no treatments for it </li></ul><ul><li>People sometimes died due to blood loss from dental treatments </li></ul>
  8. 8. Medicine Causes and Cures <ul><li>The cause for most diseases was lack of sanitation and disinfections </li></ul><ul><li>Lots of breeding grounds for bacteria and bacteria carriers (rats, mosquitoes) </li></ul><ul><li>Cures were not available because the churches did not allow dissection of the human body until the mid 16th century </li></ul>
  9. 9. Superstition <ul><li>Many daily activities were associated with superstition </li></ul><ul><li>Ex: when a person sneezes, one has to say “bless you” in order to ward off demons </li></ul><ul><li>The four humours should be balanced in a person to stay healthful </li></ul><ul><li>They believed in balancing the good and evil </li></ul>
  10. 10. Superstition <ul><li>Elizabethans believed in sympathetic magic to ward off diseases and evil </li></ul><ul><li>The laws of nature had to be equalized in order for good luck </li></ul><ul><li>The Romans, Saxons, Danes, and Celts contributed to the superstitious beliefs during the Elizabethan times </li></ul>
  11. 11. Superstition Miscellaneous Beliefs <ul><li>Good Luck </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Breathed on by a cow </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Spit in a fire </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Touch a man about to be hanged </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Iron, silver, fire, salt, and running water </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Bad Luck </li></ul><ul><ul><li>“ Widdershins” (stir a pot counter-clockwise) </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Cats (black or otherwise) </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Leaving a door open behind you </li></ul></ul>
  12. 12. Bibliography <ul><li>Anderson, Linda. &quot;Elizabeth Religion.&quot; Shakespeare's world choose your path . 05 Nov. 2005 <www.english.vt.edu/~Swenson/Shakespeare/backgrounds/background.intro/s.background.intro5.html>. </li></ul><ul><li>Andrews, John F. William Shakespeare His world his work, his influence . Toronto: Collier MacMillian, 1985. </li></ul><ul><li>CP library . 1 Sept 2004. Crocus Plains Regional Secondary School. 05 Nov. 2005 <www.brandsonsd.mb.ca/crocus/library/>. </li></ul><ul><li>Foss, Richard. &quot;Superstitions of the Elizabethan Era.&quot; St. Ives Historical Society . 1992. 05 Nov. 2005 <www.saintives.com/essays/superstitions.htm>. </li></ul><ul><li>Kazlev, Alan M. &quot;The Four Humours.&quot; Transformation, Evolution, Metamorphosis . 3 July 2004. 05 Nov. 2005 <www.kheper.net/topics/typology/four_humours.html>. </li></ul><ul><li>Ramsey, Lia. &quot;Medical Beliefs and practices.&quot; Elizabethan England . 3 Nov. 2005. 05 Nov. 2005 <www.springfield.k12.il.us/schools/springfield/eilz>. </li></ul>