Essay on Theater and Entertainment during the Elizabethan Period

Submitted By miraannddaxo
Words: 1382
Pages: 6

Elizabethan times in the 1600s were a progression for the world of the theater. A period named after Queen Elizabeth I of England, it is from this period that modern day society has its foundation for the entertainment industry. From the violence that was prevalent because of the Black Death, people turned to the theater for many reasons. Elizabethan theatre was popular for its time because Queen Elizabeth encouraged the arts, it was somewhere for every social class to go, and people could relate to the plays.
One of the reasons that Elizabethan theatre was so popular was that it was enjoyed by Queen Elizabeth herself. Elizabeth loved learning new things. She would read and study for hours at a time. She also had a lot of knowledge when it came to history. She could read books in Latin and French. When she grew older, she could translate classic works into English. She also enjoyed writing and reading poetry, and a few of her poems still exist today. Elizabeth was also into arts and literature. She loved watching plays and dramatic performances. “She hired her own company of actors called “The Queen’s Players” (Kinney). These performers would act for her and the people of the court. “The Elizabethan age is known for its literary and dramatic culture” (Bloom, 56). The Elizabethans loved to have a good time and they knew just how to have it. The rich and upper class would entertain each other at banquets with fancy music, food, wine, and lots of dancing. When the queen wasn’t busy, she would enjoy herself to those pleasures as well. “Queen Elizabeth encouraged music and dancing amongst all of her subjects. She was a patron of all the arts and encouraged the work of Elizabethan composers and musicians” (Alchin, L.K.) The art spread because of the queen. Her love for poetry, music, and drama helped make it fashionable for the wealthy members of the court to support the arts. “Theater in Elizabethan England was mainly divided into venues where the plays were performed; open air amphitheater, inn-yards, and play houses” (Bloom, 47). Inn-yard theaters were how Elizabethan theater emerged. “a possible root of the inn-yard theaters were so-called “strolling players” whose company moved from one village square or marketplace to another” (Bloom, 33). Elizabethan Entrepreneurs built theaters for very large audiences. The theater was an expanding industry at the time. Many theaters began to be built around the city of London. The excitement, the money, and the fame lured Elizabethan entrepreneurs and actors into working in the famous Elizabethan theatres. “Towards the end of her reign, England experienced a blossoming literary culture.
Edward Spencer and William Shakespeare were both supported by the queen and likely drew inspiration from their regal leader…” (Gilbert). This 40 year period was when the audiences went to theaters whenever they possible could. Whenever there was a play going on, people would flock to that theater, leaving others completely empty. In earlier times, people weren’t really interested in plays, but gradually, it because one of the most popular pass times. Long before we have the invention of the modern technologies we have today, such as, the TV, radios, internet, and video games, The Elizabethans had to come up with their own system of activities to keep themselves entertained. “They were expressive and eloquent, ostentatious and pleasure- loving, not industrious or hardworking, but bold and self-confident, markedly fearless of death, mercurial and inconsistent, loving change, above all, passionate” (Rowse, 353). In this time period, Elizabethans made their own music. For example, the workers would sing during their many hours of work. The people of the town would play instruments or sing after they had their meals. Popular instruments played were the recorder, the bagpipe, the flute, the viola and the fiddle. Elizabethans loved to hear music. Since there was no access to a recording studio in that era,