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Elizabethan Age

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1. Introduction

The Elizabethan Age

Queen Elizabeth 1, daughter of Henry VIII and Ana Boleyn, his second wife, was one of the three longest reigning queens in British history (she was the fifth monarch of the Tudor Dynasty).She was best known as "The Virgin Queen", because she never married. She provided internal stability, which led to a national identity and spirit of patriotism.

One of her first achievements as monarch was to establish the first Protestant church in England which did not depended on Rome. As a consequence, Protestantism became more important than Christianism.

Elizabeth reigned England from 1558 to 1603. This period was known as "The Golden Age" because England asserted itself as a major European power in politics, commerce and the arts.

During her reign, there were a lot of changes; for example, in it appeared the belief of superstitions like witches, eclipses, spilling salt and pepper, black cats, etc. Society was dominated by class structure, through "Sumptuary Laws" which were laws to put in order the habits of people in clothing, food, trade or business to maintain the hierarchical social structure. The law was enacted only to profit the oolen industries in England and was restricted to the lower classes of the society.


1. Literary characteristics in The Elizabethan Age

Although the influence of the Italian Renaissance was weak, the theatre took a very important place in the sixteenth century. In The Elizabethan Age there were many of the great works in English's literature which were characterized by notable youthful, freshness, vigor and an unlimited creative force; it was mainly dominated by the spirit of Romance and showed a luxurious style. It was also influenced by drama, which was shown in theatrical plays.

Sonnets, a 14 line lyric poems, was one of the poetic elements that gained a deep interest in this period, prose fiction played an important role for Elizabethan's literature too.

At that time the authors, were only men of almost every class. One of the most well known authors of the time was William Shakespeare, and some of his plays like Romeo and Juliet, and Hamlet, etc, are still very famous.


Short biography of William Shakespeare

William Shakespeare was born in 1564 in Stratford upon Avon, but the exact date of his birth is unknown. He was the son of John Shakespeare, who worked as a Glover and alderman, and Mary Arden. At 18 years old, Shakespeare got married with Anne Hathaway, who was 26 years old.

He was an English poet, player and playwright

.In Stanford there was a grammar school of good reputation. It was public, and it is supposed that William studied in there. He was innovative; he adapted the traditional style to his purpose. Firstly, he used a metrical pattern composed by lines of unrhymed or blank verse to compose his plays. His first plays were mostly written by the early 1590s and it's believed that the purpose of his plays was to interpret the results of the corrupt rulers of the Tudor Dynasty. He also wrote comedies during his early period like "A Midsummer Night's Dream". Later he wrote tragedy and a tragicomedy like The Tempest.It was not dark tragedies because at the end there was reconciliation and forgiveness. Some of the most known tragedy plays were Hamlet and King Lear.


2. Work



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