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Life in Elizabethan Times

Life in the Elizabethan era was very different than it is today.

Medicine in the Elizabethan Era was mainly used with natural herbs instead of chemicals which we use today. Theatre then was the main source of entertainment because people didn’t have TV’s and movies like we have today. Also they ate different types of food. They would get fresh food and make it by hand instead of using a microwave.

During the Renaissance period using herbs was the most common cure for colds, diseases, and other sicknesses. One herbalist named John Hall was the most renowned 16th century physician –herbalist. He was born in about 1573 and died in 1635. He moved to Stratford and there he called himself a doctor and back then doctor meant “professional”. John married Shakespeare’s eldest daughter and lived directly next door to the dramatist. With Hall being Shakespeare’s son-in-law, Shakespeare used herbs and medicines in his plays such as in Romeo and Juliet. The Friar was herbalist and made a potion to give to Juliet to make her look dead which was all part of a plan to marry Romeo and Juliet.

The first proper theatre in the Renaissance period was known as The Theatre and was built at Shoreditch in 1576. The reason why theaters were created was because London authorities didn’t allow play to be held in the city so theatre’s opened up in Thames in Southwark. Before theaters were made plays were held in the courtyard of inns or in the houses of noble men. The problem with having plays in the noble houses was that they would have to make sure nothing political or controversial was in the play. If it was that noble would most likely get in trouble with the king. After theatre were built new types of areas opened up for plays called air houses. In London these included the Rose which was built in 1587 and the Hope which was built in 1613. The most famous was the Globe which was built in 1599 which was built by the company in which Shakespeare had a stake. The Globe was only used until 1613 because a cannon fire during a play caught the roof on fire and the Globe was burned to the ground. It was rediscovered in the 20th century and was reconstructed near the original location. Theater performances were held in the afternoon because there wasn’t any electricity of any type in that time so they had to have sunlight for everyone to see. Females were not allowed to perform in plays so young boys filled in the spots of the women.

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