Masque Establishment of playhouses[ edit ] The first permanent English theatre, the Red Lionopened in  but it was a short-lived failure. The first successful theatres, such as The Theatreopened in The establishment of large and profitable public theatres was an essential enabling factor in the success of English Renaissance drama. Once they were in operation, drama could become a fixed and permanent, rather than transitory, phenomenon.
Henry Holt and Company, This people, so appallingly credulous and ignorant, so brutal, childish, so mercurial compared with Englishmen of today, yet set the standard of national greatness. This absurdly decorated gallant could stab a rival in the back, or write a penitential lyric.
Each man presented strange, almost inexplicable, contrasts in character, as Bacon or Raleigh, or Elizabeth herself. The drama mingles its sentiment and fancy with horrors and bloodshed; and no wonder, for poetry was no occupation of the cloister.
Crime, meanness, and sexual depravity often appear in the closest juxtaposition with imaginative idealism, intellectual freedom, and moral grandeur. Like that of Greece or Spain, it developed with amazing rapidity. The great popularity of plays of all sorts led to the building of playhouses both public and private, to the organization of innumerable companies of players both amateur and professional, and to countless difficulties connected with the authorship and licensing of plays.
Companies of actors were kept at the big baronial estates of Lord Oxford, Lord Buckingham and others. Many strolling troupes went about the country playing wherever they could find welcome.
They gave their plays in pageants, in the open squares of the town, in the halls of noblemen and other gentry, or in the courtyards of inns. Regulation and licensing of plays.
The control of these various companies soon became a problem to the community. Some of the troupes, which had the impudence to call themselves "Servants" of this or that lord, were composed of low characters, little better than vagabonds, causing much trouble to worthy citizens.
The sovereign attempted to regulate matters by granting licenses to the aristocracy for the maintenance of troupes of players, who might at any time be required to show their credentials. For a time it was also a rule that these performers should appear only in the halls of their patrons; but this requirement, together with many other regulations, was constantly ignored.
The playwrights of both the Roman and the Protestant faith uses the stage as a sort of forum for the dissemination of their opinions; and it was natural that such practices should often result in quarrels and disturbances.
On the other hand, during this period the performance of the mysteries was urged, as being one of the means of teaching true religion. Elizabeth granted the first royal patent to the Servants of the Earl of Leicester in These "Servants" were James Burbage and four partners; and they were empowered to play "comedies, tragedies, interludes, stage-plays and other such-like" in London and in all other towns and boroughs in the realm of England; except that no representation could be given during the time for Common Prayer, or during a time of "great and common Plague in our said city of London.
In the meantime, respectable people and officers of the Church frequently made complaint of the growing number of play-actors and shows.
They said that the plays were often lewd and profane, that play-actors were mostly vagrant, irresponsible, and immoral people; that taverns and disreputable houses were always found in the neighborhood of the theaters, and that the theater itself was a public danger in the way of spreading disease.
These and other charges were constantly being renewed, and in a measure they were all justly founded. She regulated the abuses, but allowed the players to thrive.
One order for the year prohibited all theatrical performances within the city boundaries; but it was not strictly enforced.
The London Corporation generally stood against the players; but the favor of the queen and nobility, added to the popular taste, in the end proved too much for the Corporation.
Players were forbidden to establish themselves in the city, but could not be prevented from building their playhouses just across the river, outside the jurisdiction of the Corporation and yet within easy reach of the play-going public.
This compromise, however, did not end the criticism of the public. Regulations and restrictions were constantly being imposed or renewed; and, no doubt, as constantly broken.
In the end this intermittent hostility to the theater acted as a sort of beneficient censorship. The more unprincipled of the actors and playwrights were held in check by the fear of losing what privileges they had, while the men of ability and genius found no real hindrance to their activity.
Whatever the reason, the English stage was far purer and more wholesome than either the French or Italian stage in the corresponding era of development.
However much in practice the laws were evaded or broken, the drama maintained a comparatively manly and decent standard. There was no Calandra, no Aretino or Machiavelli of the Elizabethan stage. In six companies were granted permission by special order of the queen to perform plays.
The building of the playhouses outside the city had already begun in One of the popular catches of the day runs: List unto my ditty! This banishment was not a misfortune, but one of the causes of immediate growth.
There was room for as many theaters as the people desired; a healthy rivalry was possible. In Shoreditch were built the Theater and the Curtain.
At Blackfriars the Servants of Lord Leicester had their house, modeled roughly after the courtyard of an inn, and built of wood. Twenty years later it was rebuilt by a company which numbered Shakespeare among its members. In the meantime, the professional actor gained something in the public esteem, and occasionally became a recognized and solid member of society.Theatre: Theatre, in dramatic arts, an art concerned almost exclusively with live performances in which the action is precisely planned to create a coherent and significant sense of drama.
Though the word theatre is derived from the Greek theaomai, “to see,” the performance itself may appeal either to the. This bar-code number lets you verify that you're getting exactly the right version or edition of a book.
The digit and digit formats both work. General Introductions to the Renaissance Overview of the 16th Century - Norton Topics Online Renaissance - The Annenberg/CPB Project The Renaissance - Michael S. Seiferth History, Politics, and Law Renaissance Backgrounds: A Chronological Outline - Dr.
Harriette Andreadis Millennium Timeline: The 16th Century ( - ) - Greenwich Renaissance Humanism - The Annenberg/CPB . A central hub for information on all aspects of Tudor and Elizabethan fashion: latest research, free costume patterns, online books, original images of costume and reproductions, and much more.
Shakespeare's sonnet 18 complete with analysis and paraphrase into modern English. English Renaissance theatre—also known as Renaissance English theatre and Elizabethan theatre—refers to the theatre of England between and This is the style of the plays of William Shakespeare, Christopher Marlowe and Ben Jonson.