The Author And His Times

William Shakespeare lived in a time of great change and excitement
in England- a time of geographical discovery, international trade,
learning, and creativity. It was also a time of international
tension and internal uprisings that came close to civil war.
Under Elizabeth I (reigned 1558-1603) and James I (reigned
1603-1625), London was a center of government, learning, and trade,
and Shakespeare's audience came from all three worlds. His plays had
to please royalty and powerful nobles, educated lawyers and
scholars, as well as merchants, workers, and apprentices, many of whom

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to do this. The stories he
told were familiar ones, from popular storybooks or from English and
Roman history. Sometimes they were adapted, as Hamlet was, from
earlier plays that had begun to seem old-fashioned. Part of
Shakespeare's success came from the fact that he had a knack for
making these old tales come to life.
When you read Hamlet, or any other Shakespearean play, the first
thing to remember is that the words are poetry. Shakespeare's audience
had no movies, television, radio, or recorded music. What brought
entertainment into their lives was live music, and they liked to
hear words treated as a kind of music. They enjoyed plays with
quick, lively dialogue and jingling wordplay, with strongly rhythmic
lines and neatly rhymed couplets, which made it easier for them to
remember favorite ...

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something in a bowl. A housewife in an Elizabethan play would not even
have been a woman, since it was considered immoral for women to appear
onstage. An older woman, like Hamlet's mother Gertrude, would be
played by a male character actor who specialized in matronly roles,
and a young woman like Hamlet's girlfriend Ophelia would be played
by a teenage boy who was an apprentice with the company. When his
voice changed, he would be given adult male roles. Of course, the
apprentices played not only women, but also pages, servants,
messengers, and the like. It was usual for everyone in the company, ...

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The Author And His Times. (2008, November 27). Retrieved January 23, 2021, from
"The Author And His Times.", 27 Nov. 2008. Web. 23 Jan. 2021. <>
"The Author And His Times." November 27, 2008. Accessed January 23, 2021.
"The Author And His Times." November 27, 2008. Accessed January 23, 2021.
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Added: 11/27/2008 03:18:35 PM
Category: English
Type: Premium Paper
Words: 2199
Pages: 8

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