Shakespeare's Sonnets Questions and Answers
by William Shakespeare

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What are the common elements of Elizabethan tragedy versus Shakespearean tragedy?

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Thanh Munoz eNotes educator | Certified Educator

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Although this question is under the subject of Shakespeare's sonnets, the question itself seems to focus exclusively on drama. However, I will try to include an analysis of the sonnets also, insofar as they relate to the plays of Shakespeare and his contemporaries.

First, though Shakespeare himself was part of the Elizabethan period, some of his plays, such as Macbeth, The Tempest, and Henry VIII, were written after Elizabeth's death, when James I was on the throne. Your question, insofar as it relates to drama, can thus be divided into two parts. First, during the actual Elizabethan period, what similarities and differences could be seen between Shakespeare's plays and those of his contemporaries in London theater? Second, what common elements and differences exist between Elizabethan plays, by others or by Shakespeare himself, and the plays written after 1603 during James's reign (the Jacobean period)?

The answer to the first question, as metrical form goes, is that Shakespeare, like his...

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