Elizabethan Drama: Stagecraft and Society

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Elizabethan Drama: Stagecraft and Society

By | September 2013
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Elizabethan Drama: Stagecraft and Society Introduction Elizabethan drama refers to the plays produced while Queen Elizabeth reigned in England, from 1558 until 1603. It was during this time that the public began attending plays in large numbers. The opening of several good-sized playhouses was responsible for this increased patronage, the largest and most famous of which was the Globe theatre (1599), home to many of Shakespeare’s works. The most popular types of Elizabethan plays were histories of England’s rulers, but revenge dramas and bawdy comedies also drew significant crowds. Although Shakespeare was the most prolific and certainly the most famous of the Elizabethan dramatists, other popular playwrights of the period included Christopher Marlowe (Dr. Faustus) and Ben Johnson (The Alchemist). The importance was because at the peak of the Elizabethan theater there were hundreds of plays that could interest most of the people in England. The importance of the Elizabethan theater was that it showed that the country was stable. This was because when Queen Elizabeth took the crown, there was speculation of how strong England would grow and how stable it would be. Thus after establishing a strong foundation of political and economic stability, the people were significantly affected. This allowed the people to spread and increase importance in arts music and theatre.

Elizabethan Drama and Greek Drama

The drama of Shakespeare's time, the Elizabethan Age, shares some features with Greek drama. Like the Greek dramatists, Elizabethan playwrights wrote both comedies and tragedies, but the Elizabethans extended the possibilities of each genre. They wrote domestic tragedies, tragedies of character, the revenge tragedies; they contributed comedies of manners and comedies of humor to the earlier romantic and satiric comedies. In Greek and Elizabethan Theater, props were few, scenery was simple, and dialogue often indicated changes of locale and time. Elizabethan...

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