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Entertainment in the Elizabethan Era

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Dylan Shore

on 26 September 2012

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Transcript of Entertainment in the Elizabethan Era

Entertainment In the Elizabethan Era Entertainment in the Elizabethan Era was very important to all of the people that lived during that time. The life expectancy of people during the Elizabethan Era was short due to the outbreaks of the bubonic plague and the high mortality rate. The entertainment was more popular when there was a celebratory event going on. The rich population of this era would have feasts, jousts, and banquets which would often happen every night. The poorer population would be entertained by acting troupes, trained animals, and tournaments. Dancing and music would be present in both lower and higher class festivals and other activities. Gambling and other sports were also a very important part of the entertainment during the Elizabethan Era. There are many different types of entertainment during the Elizabethan Era. The most common and sought after parts to the entertainment area are


- Feasts
- Banquets
- Fairs
- Plays & Mystery plays
- Festivals
- Dancing
- Jousts
- Games/Sports
- Animal sports
- Hunting
- And Hawking Feasts In the Elizabethan Era were most common during a banquet or during a fair. The feasts varied greatly from the upper class to the lower class. The feasts in the upper class had the newest foods and dishes brought in from other countries. The lower class people would go to the festivals and feasts with the same layout, only it would not have been as fancy with all of the new foods. The most elaborate of the feasts are at the royal banquets held by the queen or other royal figures. All of these feasts consist of a large dining table full of food and decorations. The actual feast would consist of the five courses with food ranging from stuffed chicken to pie. Plays were the most popular of all the entertainment in Elizabethan time. These plays would be held in one of three places. During the summer months they would be held at inn yards or Amphitheaters. These are open air theaters that cannot be using during the winter. Playhouses are used if there is bad weather or if it is winter. The most popular of the plays were done by Shakespeare in the Globe amphitheater. They also had a play done by Arnoul and Simon Greban. It 61,908 lines of speech. It took 40 days in total to perform. Also held in theaters were mystery plays. Mystery plays often were about biblical subjects made by Latin churchmen. They would have trap doors, mechanical devices and pulley systems to give them the appearance of flying or disappearing . Festivals of this time were most often celebrating events in the church like Easter and Christmas. They would consist of dancing and singing and many other games found at banquets and fairs. Dancing was also a very important area of entertainment because it is present at mostly any type of entertainment. These dances would also vary greatly from upper to lower class Elizabethan people. The upper class dances had new dances and music discovered by people as they traveled around Europe. These people would have different types of dancing each time they gathered. They have the Gaillard which is a quick step dance that they would use often. Each time the upper class people would gather together a dance would take place. Each month they would have a different style of dancing to match the occasion. Dances that happen among the lower class people did not get to enjoy the new types of music and dancing, instead they would dance in the ways that were used in the past by theaters and actors. But still for each dance they had different types of music to accompany each one. Jousts and Tournaments that were held in the Elizabethan Time were enjoyed by all types of people. The royalty, the nobles, and the lower and upper class people all got to watch or participate. Elizabethan tournaments were often a group of armored combat that will have only one winner throughout each game in the tournament. The most common of the games were jousts. The jousts consisted of two knights on horses. They each had a jousting lance pointed toward each other. They would ride towards each other and the knight that gets knocked off of his horse loses. These tournaments would be held wherever the person who is funding the tournament chooses. They would last several days. Most often they would be held in the the fields by the sponsors castle. Games played by the citizens of the Elizabethan era are played by both the upper and lower class. The games are grouped into
three categories. Dice games, card games, and board games.
Card games were played by the people who like to
gamble, and leave it to a game of chance. Dice
games were played by the people who like
strategy games. Board games were also
played by people that like strategy.
a popular card game was one and
thirty. It is like today's blackjack. Animal Sports were common games that were held among the lower and upper class. The most famous animal game of all is the Bear Baiting. Bear baiting is when you chain a wild bear to a steak by one hind leg or chain it by the neck. Then you would get dogs to surround the bear to make it angry. Then you would let the dogs attack the bear. After that you would either take a spear or a sword and try to kill the bear. Bear baiting would bring in massive amounts of money and wagers for what might happen. The most popular bear baiting arena is called the bear garden. This was located in Paris Garden at Southwark. The bear garden could hold up to 1000 people. The arena was lined with thick concrete walls to protect the spectators.
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