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ENGB33 Norton Introduction Notes.docx

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Department
English
Course
ENGB33
Professor
Majorie Rubright
Semester
Summer

Description
ENGB33 Norton Introduction Notes Shakespeare’s World  Life expectancy in early modern England was under 30 years old. Infant mortality rates were high; poor parishioners versus aristocrats  World without a concept of anti-sceptics, or understanding/treatment of venereal disease.  Shakespeare was born in 1564, and baptised on April 26 . He died on April 23 , 1616.  Theatres were closed because of the plague; restricting public assemblies may have slowed down the epidemic, but public policies like killing cats and dogs may have made the conditions worse because the bubonic plague was caused by fleas from black rats.  Food supply in England was scarce; the poor bore the burden through inflation, low wages and rent increases.  Diet was seriously deficient; lower classes being protein deficient and upper classes lacking in green vegetables and milk.  Population of England growing: 3.06 million in 1564 to 4.06 million in 1600.  10,000 people migrated to London from other parts of England, mainly because the wages were 50% higher.  Thomas More’s Utopia (1516) : “The sheep are eating the people”practice of enclosure: croplands farmed in common by rural communities were fenced by wealthy landowners that turned them into pasturage.  In1614 a foreigner named Father Orazio Busino, the chaplain of the Venetian embassy, visited the Fortune Playhouse. His visit was an ambiguous social situation because women of both middle and upper class could go to the theatre, wear masks and mingle freely with male spectators and other women of ill repute. Women were not allowed to attend plays in Venice.  Late 17 Century the English imported silks, satins, velvet, embroidery, gold and lacesatisfying the elites, and inspiring the middle class to dress elite.  Sumptuary laws were laws pertaining to the rank of aristocracy and their right to wear certain of the most post precious fabrics. A conservative attempt to protect the existing social order (“social mobility”).  East India Company, founded in 1600, brought pepper cloves, nutmeg, spices, textiles and sugar.  Cloves were stuffed up noses in hopes of preventing the plague.  Stage acting was not regarded as productive contribution to the nation’s wealth.  Patent system was created to encourage skilled foreigners to settle in England in order to make certain goods, which created monopolies. Shakespeare’s Writing Life (1590-1613)  Queen Elizabeth I died in 1600. Her entourage would follow her to the play. Queen Elizabeth was rumoured to have rotten teeth from her fondness of sugar, and she her makeup was made from lead.  King James I succeeds Queen Elizabeth I in 1603.  The Dutch Arch at the Royal Exchange: goldsmiths would create arches which were funded by merchants appealing to the King’s interest.  The Royal Exchange was where jugglers, orange women/men (prostitutes), and apple selling would happen. There was also bearbaiting which was gambling on dogs against a bear.  Before public playhouses were created, homes and taverns were used for playgoing.  The first public theatre was created in 1570, and it was called The Curtain. Different troupes of actors played at The Curtain because public play-going was a new thing.  The City Authorities thought that playhouses were dangerous, not only because of plague, but also because large crowds could not be controlled and riots might have occurred. There is also no central police force in London. The mayor has to answer to the Queen’s private council for t
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