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17th Centry Teater

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Essay title: 17th Centry Teater

The 17th Century gave life to an array of cultural and educational advances. This was known as the renaissance. Renaissance, a word meaning rebirth of knowledge and culture, is the ideal word to explain the occurrences of the time period of 1400-1700. In this range of time, subjects such as science, math, and literature made an amazing and strong comeback. These topics became immensely important to society and the culture of this time. In the 1600's, theater and drama became very popular in England, forcing the creation of new theater techniques ranging from the different play styles, to the very acting dramatics in which the actors employed in the plays.

This Renaissance in Europe began the relief that was needed by the people in the eastern world having experienced the Middle Ages (500-1500AD). The people of Europe needed to make changes to their culture because it was a dark and drab time to be alive. Things including the terrible Bubonic, or Black, Plague; which infected many people in Europe resulting in death; and a depressing atmosphere in England at the time necessitated a new type of culture. The last time that a society of people partook in social events such as a play was when the Greek and Roman Empires were still in existence. Many of the topics being studied by people during the Renaissance were studied through records that these no longer existent cultures had left behind. Now the people in Renaissance Europe could learn information from the knowledgeable people of many previous years. These mathematicians, artists, and scientists contributed much to the Europe of that time. The plays of that time are similar to that of the "Elizabethan Theater" because play writers in Europe adopted tactics used by their predecessors in the past empires of the world (Yancey 8). Also the basic design for the amphitheaters used to perform the plays was taken from the Romans. One of the better known amphitheaters was The Globe, which Shakespeare used personally (Yancey 28). Before the days of the Elizabethan Theater, guilds (companies that put plays on) generally preformed plays in Latin.

Elizabeth Tudor, the daughter of Henry VIII had become queen on January 15, 1558. She herself was a Renaissance woman. Her presence as the Queen England had sparked the rise of English culture and even the society itself. In the time she was the queen, theater had also grown to a size that was never seen before. It was the genius works of Christopher Marlowe, Ben Jonson, and William Shakespeare that personify what the plays of this era were about (Yancey 8). These three dared to go to places where drama and theater were never before. They reached out to the far depths of what was controversial at that time. Instead of writing plays that were centered around a religious theme, the traditional way to write a play, these new plays were about the lives of actual people and about real situations (Yancey 9). Also plays previous to the Elizabethan Era had more focus on morality and mystery. Although it may not seem controversial for people in the current world, this new approach to playwriting was an extreme source of controversy at the time. Also comedies and tragedies had become targets of interests in theater. Shakespeare popularized the idea of having themes of comedy and tragedy in plays at a time when most plays had used minimal comedic and tragic techniques as a focus for their plots and story lines (Yancey 8).

Attendance to the plays depended on the situations of the citizens of England. I there was a bad outbreak of the Bubonic Plague or If they could afford it. A majority of the people could generally afford to go to a few plays every so often so when the opportunity arose, they would seize it. It was a way for people to escape the horrible things going on around them: the plague, poverty, and any other hardships they may have encountered. Comedic actors of the time such as Richard Tarlton provided the common person with the laughs they were looking for.

When and where he was born is still a mystery, but his birthplace was most likely in western England in Candover (Yancey 61). Tarlton had neither a wealthy upbringing, nor a good education, but he knew what got the laughs. He had a passion for joking around without following anyone's direction. His acting technique was to act foolish or stupid. Also he would frequently interrupt plays already in progress. One person who extremely disliked and despised this habit of Tarlton's was William Shakespeare. Shakespeare would often attempt to give Tarlton large parts in his plays so he would not have time to impede on a play (Yancey 62). Tarlton was a personal favorite of the queen.

William Kempe was an extremely popular clown and the successor of Tarlton (Greenhill 20). He was much like Tarlton in many ways, from his comedic tactics, to his outlandish approach at making

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