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Elizabethan Theatres and the Bubonic Plague

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by Marlie Hillam on 18 October 2012

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Transcript of Elizabethan Theatres and the Bubonic Plague

By: Marlie H., Samantha L., Sean K., & Kentrell B. Elizabethan Theatres and the Bubonic Plague Let's look further into the Elizabethan Era. Elizabethan Theatres The Theatres There were three types of theatres:
Inn-yards
Amphitheatres
Playhouses
All of these theatres became very popular though the inn-yards became obsolete after the playhouses and ampitheatres grew into renown theatres.
The Audiences The audiences of these theatres varied greatly. Many commoners were able to go because of the low prices. The royals would also go but they had far better seats and they were able to see better performances at better venues.
Because of the many different audiences, there were many opinions of the performances. When an audience was not pleased with a performance they would throw anything they could get their hands on. If it was a serious issue, fights would break out.
One serious issue was women performing on the stage. Because of the limited rights a woman had, they were degraded if they were seen on the stage. The Bubonic Plague The Bubonic Plague or Black Plague was a terrifying disease throughout Europe. In 1563, the plague killed 20,000 in London alone. There were other major outbreaks throughout the years, each one killing thousands of people.
These outbreaks had major effects on every aspect of the Elizabethans' lives. If someone contracted the plague, they were sealed in their house. No one could get in and no one could get out.
No one was completely safe from the plague no matter where they were. The sewage system was so poor and with the people throwing their dirt and filth on the streets, the condition didn't get better. This eventually attracted rats and other pests that spread the disease. Even the Queen had to leave London and move to one of her other houses out in the countryside. The Professions The Plague and the Theatres Because of the plague and its outbreaks, the theatres were closed in 1593,1603 and in 1608. Amphitheatres The Elizabethan amphitheatres were built in the style of the Roman amphitheatres. James Burbage built the first in 1576 and named it "The Theatre."
The most famous amphitheatre was "The Globe." To perform in this theatre was an amazing opportunity.
Unfortunately, in 1613, the Globe was burned down due to a misfired canon during a performance of Henry VI. After it was rebuilt, the Puritans, who where against the theatres, issued an ordinance stopping all theatres productions. The Globe was later demolished. Inn-yards Inn-yards were the first type of theatre. Inn-yards consisted of an inn, where performers and other travelers could stay, and the yard. In the yard, platforms were constructed for the performance.

Inn-yards were very popular because of the inexpensive prices and the alcohol and food provided by the inn. The Bull Inn was one of the more famous inn-yards until parliament began regulating the plays. Playhouses In the winter, the profit from the amphitheatres dropped because of how cold it got. The plays were moved to the playhouses, where the performance took place inside, away from the cold.
Many playhouses were converted from inns into the playhouse. One playhouse, namely the Blackfriers Playhouse, was originally a monastery. Elizabethan theatres were very popular in the sixteenth and seventeenth centuries. They were viewed by a variety of people and were performed in a variety of places.
For a commoner to watch a performance, they'd only have to pay one penny and get to stand in front of the stage. And for a little more, the rich nobles could sit on chairs.
Plays were usually held in the afternoon because there was no need for lamps and fires to light the stage.
There were many different views on the performances and their content, so much that the government began to limit the plays. The plague that came in the later years also limited the theatres.

Watchmen watched the victim's house and made sure no one entered or left. They would send up food through the windows on a pulley so that no one get sick.
There were also cart laborers who would carry the dead bodies away to the plague pits. As the name states, the dead were put on carts. The cart laborers would often work in the nights to keep the dead away from the people. The Physicians The physicians wore dark robes with pointed hoods, leather gloves, boots and a mask that looked like a bird beak. Inside the beak was bergamot oil. The physicians were very expensive, therefore there weren't many people who used them. The Disease Symptoms of the disease included fevers, vomiting, muscular pains, internal bleeding, delirium and disorientation. If the infected person slept, death would overtake them. THE END
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