What does "Shakespeare's World" mean? 

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analiesev | High School Teacher | (Level 2) Assistant Educator

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The phrase "Shakespeare's World" refers to the world as Shakespeare would have experienced it. This includes a variety of social, cultural, political, and economic factors.

If one is asked to describe Shakespeare's world, then one should first of all focus on the setting in which he lived: 1564-1616 in England. Then consider the following influences:

  • What were the major current events of this period?
  • Which monarch(s) ruled during his lifespan, and how did they influence the lives of people in Shakespeare's time?
  • What types of technology were available, and how did people in this period use technology?
  • Were there any far-spread crises happening such as war, disease, famine, and so forth, and did these have a direct impact on people of England?
  • Which religion(s) had the most influence on Shakespeare or his fellow Englishmen?
  • What was the typical amount of education, if any, that people were able to obtain? How much education did Shakespeare himself probably have?
  • What social customs for things such as courtship, marriage, parenting, employment, and death existed at the time?

If you can describe answers to all or most of these questions, then you will have a good understanding of "Shakespeare's world" and how it may have influenced his writing and even been reflected by his writing.

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