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Elizabethan Era

Elizabethan Era

The English Elizabethan Era is one of the most fascinating periods in the History of England. The Elizabethan Era is named after the greatest Queens of England, Queen Elizabeth I. The Elizabethan Era is not only famous for the Virgin Queen, but also for the era itself. It is known for Great Explorers, such as Sir Francis Drake and Walter Raleigh. The Elizabethan Period was the age of the Renaissance, of new ideas and new thinking.

The introduction of the printing press during the Renaissance, one of the greatest tools in increasing knowledge and learning, was responsible for the interest in the different sciences and inventions and the supernatural! The new ideas and information increased knowledge about science, technology and astrology that led to a renewed interest in the supernatural including witches, witchcraft, and ghosts. There were some great authors during this period but William Shakespeare was the most eye popping.

William Shakespeare lived for 52 years as his biography confirms. He joined the London theatre scene – and history was born. He became part owner of the Globe theatre and wrote plays, poems and masques. A collection of his works did not appear until 1623. In just 23 years, between about 1590 and 1613, he is credited with writing 38 plays, Famous Shakespearean sonnets, and five other poems. He is the most widely read of all Authors and the popularity of the Life and Works of Shakespeare.

In English speaking countries, his books are second only to the Bible. It is therefore no surprise that Shakespeare’s biography, or bio, sparks so much interest. William Shakespeare lived in the Elizabethan era when the bubonic plague (sometimes referred to as the Black Death) occurred. He was known to have a terrible fear of the deadly disease and its consequence. This is hardly surprising as it touched so many areas of his life including his life as an actor at the Globe Theater.

There were high mortality rates amongst Elizabethan children and this was true of the brothers and sisters of Shakespeare some of whom were struck down by the Bubonic plague. In 1563, in London alone, over 20,000 people died of the disease. This particular epidemic claimed between a quarter and a third of the total Elizabethan London population. Statistics show that 1000 people died weekly in mid August, 1600 per week in September, and 1800 per week in October.

Elizabethan women from wealthy and noble families were sometimes allowed the privilege of an Education. The girls of Noble families were invariably taught by tutors at home and Elizabethan women were taught from the age of five, or even younger. Various languages were taught including Latin, Italian, Greek and French. Music and dancing skills were essential for Elizabethan women. Elizabethan women were not allowed to go to university but might be sent away to complete their education.