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London and Elizabethan Theater

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1 London and Elizabethan Theater

2 Drama terms Tragedy: A drama which recounts an important series of events in the life of a person of significance: events resulting in unhappy catastrophe; the whole is treated with great dignity and seriousness. Aristotle’s purpose of tragedy: To arouse emotions of pity and fear and thus to produce in the audience a catharsis of these emotions.

3 Drama terms Catharsis: (Aristotle calls it “proper purgation”) Spectator’s emotional conflicts are temporarily resolved and his inner agitations stilled by opportunity to expend fear and pity on a tragic hero.

4 Drama terms Foil: contrast; anything (a character, for example) that serves by contrast to set another character off, i.e. a villian figure making the hero look better by comparison. Tragic irony: That form of dramatic irony in which a character in a tragedy uses words which mean one thing to him and another to those better acquainted with his real situation, especially when he is about to become a victim of Fate.

5 Drama terms Paradox: Stylistic device used for dramatic impact (“fair is foul, and foul is fair”); a statement which while seemingly contradictory or absurd may actually be well-founded or true. Parody: A composition burlesquing or imitating another, usually serious, piece of work. Designed to ridicule in nonsensical fashion one or to criticize, by brilliant treatment, an original piece of work.

6 Drama terms soliloquy: A speech of character in a play delivered while the speaker is alone and calculated to inform the audience or reader of what is passing in the character’s mind. “If it were done.” “Is this a dagger.”

7 Elizabethan theater No theaters in the early 16th century
Groups of actors got together and performed in innyards; traveled around in London or throughout the countryside The government discovered that illegal activities were going on within the crowds In the mid-1500’s, the government decided that inns and actors needed licenses

8 Elizabethan theater Began building theaters across the River Thames (outside of London) to escape taxes The area was known for the “seedy” practices of bear/bull baiting, prostitution, etc. 1576: The first theater built called (aptly) “The Theater Richard Burbage headed the Earl of Leicester’s men

9 Elizabethan theater 1599: The Globe theater
“The Bear Garden”: bear and bull-baiting By 1591 the theaters were closed every Thursday by law to strengthen the popularity of bull and bear-baiting Master of the Revels: fellow in charge of the theaters; the Queen or government officials could close the theaters for any purpose The theaters were closed during the plague

10 Bull Baiting Bull baiting was a contest in which trained bulldogs attacked tethered bulls. The bull, with a rope tied around the root of his horns, would be fastened to a stake with an iron ring in it, situated in the center of the ring. The rope was about 15 feet long, so that the animal was confined to a space of 30 feet diameter. The owners of the dogs stood around this circle, each holding their dog by its ears, and when the sport began, one of the dogs would loosed. The bull was baited for about an hour. Bull-Baiting and Bear-Baiting was extremely similar, except that Bull-Baiting was more common in England due to the scarcity and cost of bears.

11 Bear Baiting Bull baiting was a contest in which the bear was chained to a stake by one hind leg or by the neck and worried by dogs. The whipping of a blinded bear was another variation of bear-baiting. Queen Elizabeth attended a famous baiting which was described by an Elizabethan chronicler called Robert Laneham as follows: "... it was a sport very pleasant to see, to see the bear, with his pink eyes, tearing after his enemies approach; the nimbleness and wait of the dog to take his advantage and the force and experience of the bear again to avoid his assaults: if he were bitten in one place how he would pinch in another to get free; that if he were taken once, then by what shift with biting, with clawing, with roaring, with tossing and tumbling he would work and wind himself from them; and when he was loose to shake his ears twice or thrice with the blood and the slaver hanging about his physiognomy."

12 Inside the theater Balcony or roof used for seating, musicians, or “indoor” scenes Common folks or “groundlings” stood around the stage and interacted with the cast; had no shelter from weather or use of restroom facilities Theater only 86 feet long, but would fit up to 2,300 people

13 Elizabethan theater Theater companies had little scenery or special effects Words were vital to visualize the setting Actors were interactive with the audience

14 Credits
bull baiting bull baiting 2 bear baiting The swan

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