If every playwright in Shakespeare's time aspired, as he did, to paint a portrait of an age in their works, his would have been the Mona Lisa, leaving the most lasting impression on generations to come and at the same time, one of the world's most baffling mysteries. Surely it is no coincidence that the world's most celebrated dramatist would've lived during the time when one of the world's most powerful rulers in history reigned. Or was it?
How much influence from the Elizabethan era was infused into Shakespeare's plays? Especially since it was a time of religious reformation and fluctuating political relations, in which England was very much in the thick of. The events and …show more content…
The Duke, incognito amongst the characters as a friar, "represents Christ in that he lives among his people as a 'savior in disguise'." And also, "two of the characters in the play, Claudio and Angelo, must seek reparation for their sins of immorality." Whether or not Shakespeare himself was a Protestant, Catholic, both, or an atheist, as some have suggested, the Reformation was a fitting background on which to build some his plays with more religious undertones on.
Unlike the conflicting views of the Reformation, a generally agreed-upon view of the universe adopted by the people of the Elizabethan era was the natural order of things. This, known as the Great Chain of Being (Bleck), dictated that everything in the universe had its place. Everything, from the elements to the angels, had a place in this hierarchy of life. The bottom was composed of the elements and plants and minerals. Animals came next for they had not only existence and growth, but passion as well.
Mankind is placed above the beasts for he had the power of reason. The soul of man and the angels' act as intercessors between the earthly, secular world and the realm of the divine. On the top of this hierarchy was God, who not only possessed the qualities that man had and the intuition of the angels, but more. Shakespeare incorporated this system