Elizabethan Drama

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Critically exaniine the role of the Renaissance in the growth of the Elizabethan Drama?

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Although scholars believe that the English Renaissance occurred during 16th/17th C England at a time when awareness of classicism grew, experimentalism with art developed, and humanism flowered, the process actually began while Elizabeth I was on the throne and she had brought a temporary peace to a period of religious persecutions and wars.This Renaissance rested mostly on music, the arts and literature. Elizabethan drama blossomed and some of our most esteemed playwrights  wrote and acted out their theatrical productions..So Elizabethan drama is that which was written while she was on the throne and it drew inspiration from traditions such as the morality plays of  medieval times. Marlowe, Shakespeare, and some say,Bacon, all flourished, and theatrical companies became popular so that  drama was firmly set  in the appetites of English audiences - a tradition that is still popular today, although now we have modern interpretations of older plays as well as original versions. Back then of course,the building of big new playhouses was responsible for the increased patronage, the largest and most famous being the Globe  (1599), which was the base for many of Shakespeare’s plays. Popular Elizabethan plays included histories of England’s rulers, but just like today, revenge dramas, love stories and risque comedies were also well attended. Although very famous and well-known to us now, Shakespeare was not the only popular Elizabethan dramatist, Others were Ben Johnson and Christopher Marlowe. Elizabethan drama heralded a new renaissance in which writers and artists began to flirt with the idea of commenting on the doings of their ‘betters.’

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