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Music in Shapespeare’s Palys

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Music in Shakespeare's Plays

Elizabethans, during the time of the notorious William Shakespeare (1564-1616), were extremely sensitive to beauty and grace and had an undying enthusiasm for music and poetry. Music was a vital part of Elizabethan society; it was thought that a man who could not read music or understand it was poorly educated. The common entertainment and amusement was centered on music, song, and dance, people of all classes enjoyed the splendor of the music at this time. Since music was so popular and so widely understood, it is little wonder that most Elizabethan plays, including Shakespeare's plays, have music in them.

Shakespeare uses music in his plays for several reasons, all of which are extremely significant. The first is evident in which music was so popular during this time that it influenced the performed plays. Shakespeare had a mixed audience who enjoyed and attended his plays. Music, which was understood practically universally allowed everyone to understand his plays and relate to them more easily. If people did not understand the language or the plot, the music could make it easier for them to follow along.

Secondly, on the stage music played a very important role. Music contributed to the atmosphere and set the mood in many of Shakespeare's plays. There was a special musicians' gallery above the stage, the music sometimes was played on the stage, and there were occasions when it was played under the stage to achieve an eerie effect. During comedy plays gentle songs would be played with the lute and during tragedies and histories the sounds

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