The people in the Elizabethan Era lived very different lives to what we do today. The Elizabethan people believed that the queen was God’s representation here on Earth. Their social order ranked the monarch as the highest, followed by the nobility, the gentry, merchants and labourers. The government was relatively stable, centralised, well-organized and efficient. The Elizabethan people had high regard for family in a community. They believed that families were role models for the community.
Elizabethan people had a deep respect for the hierarchy. Most people had steady jobs which paid well. People were mostly able to provide for their families, due to the good economy. Due to the good economy, the gap between the rich and the poor was closed slightly. There were many medical problems with sickness and diseases. This was due to low sanitary measures. Their medical assistance was based on superstition, and rarely worked. The Black Death also occurred during this time, causing many deaths.
Common recreation in the era involved team or blood sports, and other activities such as bear baiting and jousting for amusement. For the wealthier people, hurting became their favourite past time. Going to the theatre to watch shows was also a common leisure activity. Many festivals were held throughout the year, most highlighting a different event in the nation’s history. Most people, regardless of class, knew about these festivals from attending church. Meals in the Elizabethan Era were elaborate and larger, breakfast was a light snack, and dinner was the main meal.
However, dinner was held at 11am, and lasted for three hours. A small supper was held at 6pm. In Elizabethan society, women did not decide who they would marry. It was generally decided for them by their father, and they would follow, because it was the way of life as a woman during the Elizabethan period. Most people got married after the age of 21, which was the age of consent according to religion. The main religion at the time was the Protestant faith. All Elizabethans were expected to attend church every Sunday.
The role of a woman was mainly to be a housewife and mothers. Women were regarded as the weaker sex. It was believed that women needed someone to look after them. If they were married, their husband was expected to look after them. Women were not allowed to take a profession, but were encouraged to write works of literature. Acting was also not permitted. Men in the Elizabethan era were expected to support the family from a whole variety of occupations. Men were the money makers in the household.
They were the only people permitted to work for money. It was necessary for men to obtain an education and go to school. Men had a lot of power over females. People were expected to wear clothes according to their rank, status or position in society. The failure to follow this rule would have bad consequences, the worst being death. This era also marked exploration, expansion and advancement of science and technology. The first coach was built, and replaced the carts along the streets.
Definitions: Tragedy: A drama or literary work where the main character suffers extreme sorrow, especially as a consequence or a moral weakness, or inability to cope with unfavourable circumstances Comedy: A dramatic work that is light hearted and often humorous. It usually contains a happy resolution. Tragi-Comedy: A Tragicomedy is a kind of drama that displays both the elements of tragedy and comedy. It can also refer to a serious play with either a happy ending or enough jokes to lighten the mood.