Topics: Drama, Mystery play, English Renaissance theatre Pages: 3 (1066 words) Published: November 11, 2013
Drama before Shakespeare’s Time

Playwriting was somewhat different before Shakespeare wrote plays. Shakespeare’s plays are mostly about justice, love, jealousy, murder, mystery, and basically anything that involved in real life that anyone can relate. He basically wrote about any theme he felt necessary. But before he was born in England, most plays during one specific era were about only one or two specific themes. These plays were based on morality plays which were medieval plays based on biblical subjects. Themes of interludes had a huge influence on Shakespeare because secular drama formed hybrid-moralities. To add on, the old generation slowly faded away leaving Shakespeare the field all to himself. Next, great developments during the 70s and 80s (1500) lead to experimenting and combination of new elements that would be introduced into the theatre, later on, Shakespeare would adapt this structure into his own work.

Moralities are a development of miracle plays and together with this form the greater part of medieval drama. They have been defined as a play enforcing a moral truth/lesson by means of the speech and action of the characters which are personified abstractions—figures representing vice and virtues, qualities of the human mind, or abstract conceptions. In the Miracle Play the subject—matter is concerned with Bible narrative—a certain historical or traditional foundation underlies the plot, and the object was to teach and enforce truths of the Catholic faith. Village mumming plays are full of traditional dramatic drama. Originally mummers were bands of masked persons who during winter festivals in Europe paraded through the streets and entered houses to dance or play dice in silence. Thus the name has been connected with words such as mumble and mute and none—English words meaning “mask.” Mumming plays probably have links with primitive ceremonies marking important stages in the agricultural year. Elizabethan drama is drama during the reign...
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