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Transcript
Notes
on the
History of Elizabethan England
and Shakespeare Himself
King Henry
VIII
(Ruled England
1509-1547)
Known for
breaking with
Church + Many
Wives (6)
Catharine
Parr
Catherine of
Aragon
1509-1532
July 1543-1547
Catherine
Howard
Anne Boleyn
1532-May 19,
1536
King Henry and
His Wives
Jane Seymour
May 29, 1536-1537
July 28, 1540-1542
Anne Cleves
Jan. 6, 1540-July
12, 1540
Catherine of Aragon
(1509-1532)
• Marries Henry to keep
alliance with Spain
• Bears 7 children; only
Mary lives through
infancy
• Henry starts new
church, annuls
marriage, banishes
Catherine
Anne Boleyn
(1532-May 19, 1536)
• Gives birth to
daughter, Elizabeth,
1533
• Henry accuses her of
unfaithfulness
• Beheaded May 19,
1536
Jane Seymour
(May 29, 1536-1537)
• Gives birth to son,
Edward, 1537
• Dies from
complications in
childbirth
Anne of Cleves
(Jan. 6, 1540-July 12, 1540)
• Henry marries her for
political reasons -alliance with Cleves
(part of modern
Germany)
• Officially divorces her
July 12, 1540
Catherine Howard
(July 28, 1540-1542)
• Anne Boleyn’s 2nd
cousin
• Anne of Cleves’ maid
in waiting
• She has affairs
• Beheaded 1542
Catharine Parr
(1543-1547)
• Henry’s last wife
• Acts as Henry’s nurse
when he becomes sick
England After Henry
• When Henry dies, Edward
comes to the throne (he was 9!)
•Edward dies when he’s
16, and “Bloody Mary”
takes the throne
Queen Elizabeth I
(Ruled England 1558-1603)
• Mary (a Catholic) dies and Elizabeth
(a Protestant) comes to the throne in
1558
• Under Elizabeth, the arts flourished
and educational institutions were
established.
• England also became a military force
-Defeat of the Spanish Armada 1588
• Never married, so known as the
“Virgin Queen”
• Followed by King James (16031625)
Defeating the Spanish Armada
Life in Elizabethan England
Public Life
•Gossip: Those who are “in the
know” are popular.
•Crowds and public squares were
volatile --> anything could set
them off!
•No free discussion of rulers =
High treason! Spies everywhere
•Punishments:
•Upper class = beheading
•Lower class = drawing
and quartering
Life in Elizabethan England
Family Life
• Children and parents =
very formal
– Never disobey
– Children raised by nurses
• Women had no legal rights
LOVE
•Romantic Love was
ALWAYS discouraged -- a
good match was more
important
•HONOR = very important!
Defend family
– All their money and possessions
went to the husband
– Literacy Rate was Low
• (W-10% M-30%)
– Single wealthy women were
fought over
– Married at the age of 11 or 12
– Father had the right to choose
husbands for daughters -negotiated for power
• Marriage = crucial to a woman
– No legal rights without it
Heart of England = LONDON
Tower Of London
•Fort for protecting the
city from invasions
•Royal Palace
•Prison
London: Sanitation
Horrible!
• Streets were filthy
– No sewers or drains
– Gutters were in the middle of the
street
– Garbage & chamber pots emptied
in the streets --piled up until a rain
• Men walked in the middle of
street to protect the ladies
The Plague = incurable
• Overcrowding led to slums,
filth
• Plague carried by fleas on
rats -- not known then
• Thought to be God’s wrath
on wicked people
• Two outbreaks killed 1/4 of
the population in
Shakespeare’s time
• Life expectancy = 48 years
• Time to travel to “New
World” = 1-2 months
Theater’s Place in the World:
One Side
The Court
•Elizabeth and
James totally
supported theater
•Shakespeare’s
company, “The
King’s Men,”
were named for
King James
Theater’s Place in the World:
The Other Side
City Officials
• Time of
Puritanism =
Very
conservative
• Thought theater
was evil,
satanic, and
destroyed public
morals
Theater’s Place in the World
Therefore:
•Theater was not allowed in London proper, within the
official city limits
•Instead, all theaters were in Southwark, just across the
Thames, and outside city lines
Shakespeare’s Theater: The Globe
• Variety of tickets, from the pit
(groundlings) to the gallery
• Loud, obnoxious, intelligent crowds
• Performances lasted “at least two
hours,” and started around 2 PM (the
middle of the working day)
• Trumpet blew to signal the start
• Public - open to all, though could not be
advertised
• Showed type of play by color of the flag
• White = Comedy
• Red = History
• Black = Tragedy
A Tour of the Globe
William Shakespeare:
The Bard Himself
England-A Spiritually
Divided Country
•When Henry starts his
own church, that splits
the country into Catholic
and Protestant
•Shakespeare’s family
has Catholic roots, but
he supports the Queen
Shakespeare: Early Life
Vital Stats:
• Born April 23, 1564
• Dies April 23, 1616
• Early Life: Stratford on
Avon, England
• Marries Anne Hathaway
(said she saved his life)
• They have three kids:
– Susanna, Hamnet and
Judith
• He moves to London in
1590s
Stratford On Avon:
Shakespeare’s
Hometown
Shakespeare’s Grammar School
London: The Big City
Shakespeare in London
• Became a leading actor
and playwright by 1592
• In 1594, Romeo and Juliet
was first performed -- all
male actors!
• By 1595, he’s the hottest
playwright in London
• Writes 37 plays (2 per
year)
• Performed plays in
theaters, palaces, inns, and
homes of nobility
• 1610 -- returned to
Stratford
How Shakespeare Changed
Theatre
Before --
After --
•Performed by roaming
troupes for a meal or
bed.
• Professional
• Adds sets, lighting,
multiple stages, and
the box office.
• Theater is new, akin to
the start of TV
•Actors considered
vagrants
• Performed lewd plays
to religious ones.