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Elizabethan England Webquest
Transcript of Elizabethan England Webquest
Historical and Social Context
2. The dates of Elizabethan England.
Intellectual and Religious Life
The Elizabethan Theater
Elizabethan Marriage Customs
1. Where did marriages take place during the Middle Ages?
Always took place in a local church, as it was always a religious affair.
1. Who was Queen of England during the time Shakespeare began to write? Who ruled after her?
a. Queen Elizabeth I
b. King James II
3. Identify the social classes during Shakespeare's time.
The Monarchy: This is the royal family.
The Nobility: the smallest and most recognized social class. They made up 55 families, they were rich and powerful.
The Gentry: also a small class made up 5% of the population. Knights, Squires, Gentlemen, and Gentlewomen made up this social class.
The Yeomanry: middle class, neither rich nor poor. Craftsmen, farmers, and tradesmen made up this class.
The Laborers: didn’t have enough money to support their family, also included the ones with illnesses, disabilities, or soldiers who could not fight due to wounds.
4. Describe the status of women. How would a young woman respond to a request from her father?
Women had little say in who they could marry, men were superior to women. Women were to be housewives. A young woman would obey her father at all times. They were restricted; they had to do everything their father told them to do.
5. What is primogeniture?
Tradition in which the eldest son would inherit the whole estate/property, basically everything.
Women were not allowed to inherit anything.
6. What was the Bubonic Plague and how did it affect society during Shakespeare's time?
The disease was transmitted by fleas that lived on rodents and animals, especially rats. There was no sewer lining and lot of people died because there was not much help that could be given. Bubonic plague symptoms were swelling of the body, vomiting, bleeding in the lungs, etc.
Many things changed society--businesses had to close down. Even the theater closed for a year.
Rhymes were created to warn those about the symptoms, such as: "Ring around the Rosie"
Describe these aspects of Elizabethan life:
Elizabethan food: much sweeter than today’s food. One snack would be a marzipan/marchpan which was almond paste that was sweetened, colored, and made into shapes. The law said that there were not to eat meat on Fridays and Saturdays. Sugar was more expensive than honey. Supper was served at 6 in the evening and dinner around 11 or 12 in the afternoon.
Elizabethan socialization: Leisure time was limited. Time away from work was for church on Sundays.
Elizabethan city life, hygiene, crime: The streets were narrow, cobbled, and slippery and the houses were crammed together. There was no drainage. The hygiene in the Elizabethan period was very bad. Bathing was not quite as simple during the Elizabethan times as it is now. The lower class citizens (which were most of the Elizabethan era people) would maybe only take a bath a few times a year. For the upper class, they were able to bathe roughly once every couple of weeks. Some crimes were witchcraft, treason, murder, etc. Some punishments were hanging, whipping, branding, etc.
Elizabethan homes: There were several types of homes such as royal works (kings and queens), great houses (doctors and business men), smaller country homes (merchants and craftsmen), and farmhouses (farmers and their families). Royal works had lots of halls, chapels, great rooms, parlors, and windows. Great houses were similar to royal works just smaller, they contain many rooms, parlors, and dining areas. Country homes were usually two stories with a kitchen, family room, and several bedrooms. Farmhouses had different structures as to the other kinds of homes.
Elizabethan clothing: A women or a man that wore silk, velvet, or satin would immediately be recognized as a member of nobility or upper class. The lower class would usually were clothes made wool, linen, and sheepskin. Elizabethans were not allowed to wear whatever they wanted. They had to wear clothes that matched their status or position; it was enforced by English law.
1. Describe the four elements thought to compose the universe.
Describe the four humours and their relationship to personality.
Fire=Choler (yellow bile) hot and dry
Air=Blood hot and moist
Water=Phlegm cold and moist
Earth=Melancholy (black bile) cold and dry
3. What were the relationships between the humours and illnesses.
When the humours are in balance, the person is healthy, but if they get out of balance illness comes.
If someone was Sanguine they would eat warm foods. If someone was Phlegmatic, they would eat cold foods.
4. What type of medicine was administered and by whom was it dispensed during this time period?
Herbal medicine; Tabacco, lily root, arsenic, sage, bay, lavender, mint, and leeches to get blood.
They were dispensed mostly by physicians (apothecaries).
5. Describe the religious climate during this time.
The climate of religion is very tense during this time because of the following:
The Pope called the Queen a heretic and anyone who dared to kill her would be absolved of his/her crime.
Therefore, the Queen forbid Catholics to perform any religious ceremonies; however, it was not illegal to be Catholic, just illegal to practice Catholicism, such as having Mass.
Everyone is required to attend a church service once a month. The service is referred to as the Prayer Service, or the Prayer Book Service, and sometimes as Common Prayer, Holy Eucharist, or the Lord's Supper.
If you did not attend, there was a fine.
6. What was considered to be the center of the universe at this time? Who controlled it?
Earth was the center of the Universe
The planets or "spheres" controlled the rotation of the earth.
7. Describe the hierarchy of beings or "chain of beings" believed in by Shakespeare and his contemporaries.
Highest to lowest:God, Angels, Kings, Nobles, Merchants, Peasants, Slaves, Land animals, Plants, Minerals then Devil.
2. Why were marriage contracts arranged?
Marriage contracts were arranged so that both families would benefit financially, so the couple could get the dowry, and to guarantee the welfare.
3. Who performed the marriage ceremony?
Conducted by a minister.
4. What was the common age for marriage?
Legal ages: For girls it was 12 and for boys it was 14, the actual common age was 21
The actual age of consent was 21, so most men would not marry until this age.
5. What is a betrothal?
A betrothal is when two people join hands. The man gives the woman a ring that is to be worn on her right hand, and at the wedding it switches to the left. Neutral promise to marry.
In today's society, it is the engagement.
6. What was the goal of a Renaissance wedding?
The goal of these weddings was to have children, carry on the family name, social status, wealth, and reputation.
7. Describe the common wedding attire during this period.
The wedding dress didn't have to be white. She had to wear her best gown. Flowers would be worn on their heads and on their clothes.
8. Describe what foods might be served at a wedding feast.
Quail, goose, roasted boar, fish, roasted peacock, fresh fruits, oysters.
1. Where were most theaters built (inside or outside the city)? Why? Why is the Globe Theater so famous?
Most theatres were built outside of the city because some of the things they did were viewed immoral in the eyes of the church so they needed to avoid laws of the city.
It was famous because all of William Shakespeare’s plays were preformed there.
2. What time of day did performance take place? How was the public notified about performances?
In the afternoon
They were notified by a flag flying atop of the theater.
3. Who played the female roles and why?
Men played the female roles because women were not allowed to because it was "wrong."
4. What type of scenery and props were used?
Small portable objects were used as props so they actors could carry them. Shakespeare’s plays were performed with no scenery.
5. What were the costumes like?
The costumes would portray the character’s nationality, the color was important for the mood.
Go through on board.