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Elizabethan England; The Bubonic Plague

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Holly Cussen

on 14 May 2013

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Transcript of Elizabethan England; The Bubonic Plague

The Bubonic Plague. By Holly Cussen Question : How did the Bubonic Plague affect Society? The Bubonic Plague was probably one of the deadliest diseases in history. It was feared by all and at the time, no one knew exactly how it spread or what caused it. The Plague first originated in October 1347 when Italian trading ships returned home from Asia. The ships docked in Sicily and many of the ship's crews were infected with the disease. Within a week, hundreds of people caught the disease. In 1351 the plague had spread throughout all of Europe and people were dying by the thousands. The first outbreak of the Bubonic
Plague in England was in 1348. Many doctors at the time did not have a great understanding of the human body and so no one could find a way to cure the plague. Some symptoms of the Bubonic Plague are
* Bleeding in the Lungs
* Black spots on your chest or armpits
* Muscular Pain
* High Fever
* Nausea
* Mental Disorientation

Victims of the plague usually died within 7 days of getting the disease When someone got infected with the plague the easiest way to stop the disease from spreading was to put them and their whole family in quarantine.The house that the victim lived in had to be in quarantine for at least 20 days When it came to healthcare only those who could afford it were treated. Usually poorer people could not afford the help of doctors or physicians so they had to use home remedies and fend for themselves. About 20 000 Londoners were killed in 1563.
Also 45-50% of the European population died during a 4 year period. Healthcare depended on your social class and whether you had the money for the medicine. Most homemade remedies were considered ineffective. Since physicians could charge high fees for their work. The poor could not afford medical attention and would have to use medicine given by churches. If you wanted to become a physician, you had to have lots of education. Many people could not pay for that much schooling so your family would need to be wealthy. As for education, a physician would have to have an education at one of the Universities or Colleges of Physicians. The Clothes of a physician were very peculiar. The whole body is completely covered from head to toe. Boots, masks and gloves were worn to prevent any infection spreading to the doctor from the patient.They wore long robes and bizarre masks that looked like beaks. In Conclusion, the Elizabethan era there was not a high standard of health so diseases were easily spread. Researchers in Medical Science have led us to believe that the real cause of the plague was getting bitten by infected fleas. Other than the main cause of the plague the lack of sanitation in London contributed to the spreading of the disease. So how does all of this relate to Shakespeare?
Shakespeare had a terrible fear of the plague. It affected many areas of his life including his time at the globe theater as it had to close down a lot because of the Plague. Also Shakespeare had many family members that were killed because of the Plague. So how did the plague affect society?
The Plague affected society because it killed many people. As a result many things like jobs, stores, trade, and work places were impacted. The town size decreased and production levels slowed down. The prices of food went up and people were put out of business. Because of this there was a strain on jobs. Basically it affected every part of life due to the decline in population. Lastly, Did You Know the Nursery Rhyme

Ring a -ring a -Roses
A pocketful of posies
'Tishoo, 'tishoo,
We all fall down!

was created because of the Plague! Works Cited

1. Ramos, Daniela. “THE BLACK DEATH DURING THE ELIZABETHAN ERA.”Prezi.com. N.p., 15 Oct. 2012. Web. 23 Apr. 2013.

2. Lynette, Rachel. Bubonic Plague. Detroit, MI: KidHaven, 2005. Print.

3. Patterson, Andy, and Bethany White. "Elizabethan Medicine." Elizabethan England. N.p., n.d. Web. 11 May 2013.

4. Lace, William W. “Chapter 6 Science, Medicine, and Superstition.” Elizabethan England. Farmington Hills, MI: Lucent, 2006. 75-76. Print.

6. Picard, Liza. “Chapter 6 Health, Illness and Medicine.” Elizabeth’s London: Everyday Life in Elizabethan London. London: Weidenfeld & Nicolson, 2003. 91-104. Print.

7. Cowie, Leonard W. "Chapter 1,2,3,4,." Plague and Fire. New York: Putnam, 1970. 11-43. Print.

8. Moote, A. Lloyd, and Dorothy C. Moote. The Great Plague: The Story of London’s Most Deadly Year. Baltimore: Johns Hopkins UP, 2004. Print.

9. “Elizabethan Medicine and Illnesses.” Elizabethan Medicine and Illnesses. N.p., n.d. Web. 07 Apr. 2013

10.Mahabal, Prasad. “Elizabethan England Medicines for Diseases and Ailments,tobacco,lily Root,arsenic,dried Toad.” Elizabethan England Medicines for Diseases and Ailments,tobacco,lily Root,arsenic,dried Toad. N.p., n.d. Web. 08 Apr. 2013.

11. “Bubonic Plague and Shakespeare.” Bubonic Plague and Shakespeare. N.p., n.d. Web. 23 Apr. 2013.

12 Bojwani, Jai. “The Bubonic Plague.” Prezi.com. N.p., 23 Jan. 2013. Web. 23 Apr. 2013.
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