Context Research on Shakespeare

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Context: Shakespeare’s England
In groups, choose one aspect of 17th Century England to research (each group should have a different topic). Your task is to create a brief, yet informative PowerPoint that explains your chosen aspect of 17th Century England (about 3 minutes). You should (in dot point form): - Provide an overview to educate your classmates.

- Explain how this affected people and life in general during this time. - Try to make some connections to ‘King Lear’.
- Ask if there are any questions about your topic.
As your classmates present their findings, you should make brief notes to gain an understanding of each topic.

Topics: 17th Century England
1. When Shakespeare wrote ‘King Lear’, British society was experiencing a shift from Medieval times to the Renaissance. What was the Renaissance? 2. When Shakespeare wrote ‘King Lear’, there was also a transition from feudalism to capitalism taking place. a) What is feudalism?

b) What is capitalism?
3. ‘King Lear’ was set in a remote period of British history. It is supposedly set in a pre-Christian time, however both Pagan and Christian ideas, attitudes, values and references are evident in the play. a) What is Paganism?

b) What is Christianity?
4. James I took over the throne in 1603 when Queen Elizabeth I passed, just before Shakespeare wrote ‘King Lear’. Who was James I? 5. Shakespeare lived during the Jacobean and Elizabethan eras, and wrote ‘King Lear’ at the cusp of these two time periods. a) What was the Elizabethan era?

b) What was the Jacobean era?
5a) What was the Elizabethan era?
Elizabethan influences on William Shakespeare’s writings
Chain of Being
* Chain of Being during the Elizabethan era: Mankind is placed above the beasts for he had the power of reason. 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 into his play – characters either fall in...
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