Theatre In Elizabethan England Essay

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Theatre In Elizabethan England

Before the reign of Elizabeth I, temporary companies of players were attached to the households of leading noblemen, and performed seasonally at various locations. This was the foundation for the professional actors that performed on the Elizabethan stage.

Despite the support received from the Queen and the Privy council, the London government were rather hostile towards the theatre. For example, it was believed that overcrowded theatre spaces may lead to the spread of disease, and many Puritan leaders considered actors to be of a questionable character. However, Queen Elizabeth offered protections that allowed the theatre to survive, and established rules for the construction of theatres, prohibiting the building of theatres inside London city limits, to ease the Puritans concerns.

Theatre was central to Elizabethan life. The common people of this time were usually less educated or illiterate, and so the theatre provided a form of entertainment
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Inn Yards had a capacity of up to 500 people, and were very popular as they provided drinks and lodgings. There was a small fee charged to the audience as they entered a inn-yard, and they would also need to pay an additional fee to go up to a balcony level. Playhouses also had a capacity of up to 500 people provided indoor venues for plays, and were smaller than inn-years and were roofed, meaning that they were also suitable for evening and winter productions. However, the fee for admittance was more expensive, meaning that they were usually only exclusive for the rich. Amphitheatres (such as the Globe Theatre) had a larger capacity of up to 3000 people, and were built in a similar style to Roman Amphitheatres. The standing open area seats cost 1 penny (about 10% of the worker's daily wage), the bleacher rows cost about two pennies and only he rich could afford the most luxurious

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