The 17th century in Europe was a very wild and turbulent place. This is reflected in the literature, visual and performing arts of the era. With the ascension of Charles II to the throne, many of the old ways of thinking were challenged and abandoned. Chief among these was the "restoration" of theater in public. Since Oliver Cromwell's time, theater was banned in England, unless in the context of the Catholic Church. With the restoration of the king, now even women were allowed to perform on stage- a huge change from previous generations....remember, even in Shakespeare's time, women's roles were played by men.
I hope you find this period in history as interesting as I do. I have always felt that the 1960s in America were very similar in that both were periods of great social upheaval.