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Masques and Masquerades of the Elizabethan Era

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by

Ross Ackerman

on 12 February 2015

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Transcript of Masques and Masquerades of the Elizabethan Era

Masques and Masquerades of the Elizabethan Era
What is a masque?
A masque was a form of entertainment for Elizabethan Court members.
They consisted of actors dressed in colorful masques.
Performed songs, dances, and speeches.
Torchbearers kept the excitement alive.
When Queen Elizabeth Took the Throne
Masques had turned into elaborately staged pageants.
They usually had a mythological or allegorical theme.
At these kinds of masques, participants performed dances and immediately joined their audience to dance and to socialize before going back on to the stage performing more songs and verses
This was the time a Masque became a Masquerade.
Also many of these masquerades honored the Queen Elizabeth and the glorious events throughout her reign.
Extravagant Tradtions of Masquerades
Held in vast ballrooms
Covered with lights as they would go late into the night.
Number one rule: You must be in a mask or disguise.
These masquerades encouraged meeting new people.
Typical greeting to ensure one didn't know the other
"I know you." and "Do you know me?"
Masquerade goers drank heavily, danced to music, and ate lavish food.
Mysterious Purposes of Masquerades
At a masquerade, all of societies rules could be broken.
Many of the participants felt comfort behind the mast and could get away breaking the rules.
Women's costumes were racy.
At some times, showing her entire body
Dresses with lower tops, and semi-transparent fabric were used.
Men's costumes were airy and comfortable
Unconstricting cloaks.
A masquerade was one of the only occasions where women could go unattended.
Was a masquerade really just a break from the society's strict rules and that's the reason for their popularity?
Conclusion
Throughout the years in the Elizabethan Era they have developed and changed.
They still kept true to the purpose of entertainment
Provided socity a clear representation of culture and change.
Masquerades served as a night of opprouity to live on the wild side.
By Ross Ackerman
Works Cited
Alchin, Linda. "Elizabethan Masques." Elizabethan Masques. N.p., n.d. Web. 25 Jan. 2015.
Hees, Amy, Ismat Mangla, Steve Porentas, and Libby Reece. "The World Upside-down: Eighteenth Century Masquerades."
Umich.edu. University of Michigan, n.d. Web. 28 Jan. 2015.Peach, Samantha, Ltd. "Masked Ball History." Masquerade Ball History| Venetian. N.p., n.d. Web. 28 Jan. 2015.
Ross, Laura, Frank Ross, and George Haddad. Foreword. Mask-making with Pantomime and Stories from American History.
New York: Lothrop, Lee & Shepard, 1975. 9-10. Print.Wagner, J. A. ""M"" Historical Dictionary of the Elizabethan World: Britain, Ireland, Europe, and America. Phoenix, AZ: Oryx, 1999. 197-98. Print.
Photos: http://www.elizabethanenglandlife.com/elizabethan-masques.html
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