What were some types of entertainment in the Tudor period?

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pohnpei397 eNotes educator| Certified Educator

There were a number of different kinds of entertainment available to people in Tudor England.  Some of these would have been available to people of all classes while others were generally restricted to one class or another.

Perhaps the most famous kind of Tudor entertainment for modern people was the theater.  William Shakespeare, of course, lived in Tudor times.  During the Tudor era, there were also other famous playwrights such as Christopher Marlowe.  Performances were open to both the rich and the poor.

Another form of entertainment popular among all classes was music and dance.   There were a variety of instruments that could be played.  Some music was performed by people for their own recreation while other music was performed by professionals who would be hired.

Among the upper classes in Tudor times, jousting was a popular spectator sport.  Another popular sport among the elites was a form of tennis.  Henry VIII is said to have been an excellent tennis player.  Upper class men also enjoyed hunting for things like deer.

For the lower classes, there were a variety of less genteel sports.  They would participate in very rough forms of football.  They would wrestle.  These were sports that required very little equipment and so were good for poorer people.   

A final form of entertainment that is worth mentioning is blood sports.  In Tudor times, these typically involved animals.  A particularly popular “sport” was bear baiting in which a bear fought against a pack of dogs.   Cock fighting was also popular.  Both of these were opportunities for gambling as well.

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