Entertainment of the 16th and 17th Century: Elizabethan Theater

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Entertainment of the 16th and 17th Century: Elizabethan Theater

Elizabethan Theater was a main source of entertainment from about 1576 to the late 1640s. The most popular description for this time period’s style of acting is exaggerated, actors had to exaggerate their parts for the audience to become attached and interested. There are many different types of plays and arts that influenced the Elizabethan theater’s style. As for its popularity that was mostly due to the Queen who was a big fan, another contributing factor was the noble’s interest in the theater.

Elizabethan theater is also known as Shakespearean theater. Some of the most popular writers of this time were William Shakespeare and Christopher Marlowe. Elizabethan theater started with the wandering minstrels who moved from one castle to another entertaining everyone who lived in that castle and city. The actors of this era did not have a good reputation, many thought they were thieves. There were also no female performers allowed, instead they would use a young boy who hasn’t gone through puberty to play the women’s parts. There were usually only five men and one single little boy in each cast, and they had to do everything from making costumes, providing anything for the set and setting up their stage. All of the parts in a play were highly exaggerated. The stage setup was a little bit different than it would be in our day, the higher you sat in the stands the richer you were. The peasants were always found on the ground for the higher ranks to look down on. There were certain times, if someone paid the right amount, that richer people could sit on the stage only to show off their new clothing or something else in that nature. The audience was allowed to yell at the performers at any time during the play. Some members of the audience would even throw things such as food if they didn’t like how something was going in the play. In 1593 the Bubonic Plague struck causing all the...
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