Historical and Social Context

Queen Elizabeth
  1. Who was Queen of England during the time Shakespeare began to write?  Who ruled after her?
  2. Give the approximate dates of the Elizabethan period.
  3. Identify the social classes during Shakespeare's time.
  4. Describe the status of women.  How would a young woman respond to a request from her father?
  5. What is primogeniture?
  6. What was the Bubonic Plague and how did it affect society during Shakespeare's time?
  7. Describe these aspects of Elizabethan life:
    • food
    • socialization
    • city life, hygiene, crime
    • homes
    • clothing

Elizabethan Timeline
Elizabethan Houses
Elizabethan Period


Elizabethan Marriage Customs

Love and Marriage
  1. Where did marriages take place during the Middle Ages? 
  2. Why were marriage contracts arranged?
  3. Who performed the marriage ceremony?
  4. What was the common age for marriage?
  5. What is a betrothal?
  6. What was the goal of a Renaissance wedding?
  7. Describe the common wedding attire during this period.
  8. Describe what foods might be served at a wedding feast.

Bethrotal and Wedding
Love and Marriage
Feasts, Attire, and Customs

akespeare's Life

  1. When and where was Shakespeare born?
  2. Describe his upbringing and education.
  3. What were the four types of plays he wrote?
  4. Where were his plays performed and by whom?
  5. Besides writing plays, what other skills made Shakespeare a "jack of all trades?"
  6. When and where did Shakespeare die?
  7. Why do we still read his works today?  (Hint: think of theme)
  8. Find several famous quotations that originated in Shakespeare's works.  Mention the works  from which they come.

Shakespeare's Life
More on Shakespeare's Life

The Elizabethan Theater

Globe Theater
  1. Where were most theaters built? (in or out of the city)?  Why?  Why is the Globe Theater so famous?
  2. What time of day did performances take place?  How was the public notified about performances?
  3. Who played the female roles and why?
  4. What type of scenery and props were used?
  5. What were the costumes like?
  6. What other skills did actors need besides acting ability?
  7. What was the cost of standing room at the Globe?
  8. Who was Richard Burbage?
  9. Who were the King's Men or Chamberlain's Men?
  10. Identify:
    • Pit
    • Groundling
    • Heavens
    • Trap door
    • Tiring house

Language – The language Shakespeare uses seems very different from the language we use today. What developments had they made in language?
• Could everyone read?
• Was there a dictionary or collection of common vocabulary?
• What do we call what Shakespeare wrote in?
• What are the other major works of the time?

 Useful Tools:





*Please be advised that although these resources are helpful, you are welcome to find others that work best for your project needs.


Elizabethan Society: http://ise.uvic.ca/Library/SLT/society/societysubj.html



Elizabethan Society: http://www.kingsmenshakespeare.org/set/history.pdf



Elizabethan Era: http://elizabethan.org/compendium/index.html

Shakespeare’s Life: http://shakespeare.palomar.edu/timeline/timeline.htm



Shakespeare’s Life: http://ise.uvic.ca/Library/SLT/life/lifesubj.html



Shakespeare’s Life: http://www.online-literature.com/shakespeare

Globe Theater: http://virtual.clemson.edu/caah/Shakespr/VRGLOBE/VRGlobe.htm



Globe Theater: http://www.enotes.com/william-shakespeare/shakespeares-globe-theater



Globe Theater: http://www.bardweb.net/globe.html



Elizabethan Language: http://www.renfaire.com/Language/index.html



Elizabethan Language: http://ise.uvic.ca/Library/SLT/literature/languagesubj.html



Romeo & Juliet Quotes: http://www.online-literature.com/quotes/quotation_search.php?author=Shakespeare&from=Romeo+and+Juliet



Romeo & Juliet Overview: http://www.bellmore-merrick.k12.ny.us/romjul.html




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