Greek and Roman the Private Research Paper
- Length: 13 pages
- Sources: 8
- Subject: Plays
- Type: Research Paper
- Paper: #48270470
Excerpt from Research Paper :
On the other hand, the scenery on the stage was nominal, often made up exclusively of decorated panels that were put on stage (Elizabethan Theater, n.d.).
Elizabethan theaters were often crude, unclean, and noisy, but always managed to draw people from all social classes. Shows were normally put on in the afternoons and lasted between two and three hours. Each part of the theater had a special price of entrance, with the lowest costs being in the pit lower than stage height where people stood up to view the play. The majority of show seats were prearranged in-the-round, which gave viewers the occasion to view both the play and the actions of the audience as well. Manners did not forbid the spectators from liberally communicating their aversion or approval for the achievement on stage (Elizabethan Theater, n.d.).
William Shakespeare and Elizabethan Theatre are often thought to go together. The Renaissance, which was particularly known for a huge revitalization in the art world, also added an ember to the world of theatre in the shape of the Elizabethan Theatre movement in England. During the Renaissance the church still had its doubts about secular theatre even while theatre began to flourish again. In England the reigning Monarch of the time, Queen Elizabeth had a huge influence on the theatre, which is why it was named Elizabethan Theatre. She loved theatre and went to many theatre presentations. The history of the theatre has been characterized by specific meetings that were representative of the theatre performances of the time. The Ancient Greek times, for example was recognized for the use of choruses, the constraint of performers to only three male actors on stage and the Amphitheater that was used for all assemblies. Theatre during the medieval period, mostly took place inside the church where a detailed moral lesson was more important than the presentation itself (Elizabethan theatre history, 2010).
While there were no limitations on the quantity of actors that could be used in a show, women were still not permitted to act. It was typically young boys that acted out the female roles. Presentations were detailed with colorful costumes and a lot of action taking place on stage. Sword fighting was very common in a lot of the performances. The Globe theatre was the place where the majority of Shakespeare's plays were presented. The Globe was recognized as a public theatre and could hold over 2000 people at a show. The Globe's stage was known as a thrust stage and the standing space around the stage was very cheap. Private theaters held less people, but seating was available to everyone. The private theaters in contrast to the public theaters were covered and performances didn't hinge on the weather. Torches were used to light the private theaters in order to allow for nighttime shows while at the public theaters all shows were in the afternoon. Elizabethan audiences were not known to be quiet observers. They showed if they were dissatisfied with a performance by yelling and throwing rotten fruit at the performers. The theatre was a good place for commerce and during shows fruit sellers, tobacconists and prostitutes were hard at work (Elizabethan theatre history, 2010).
When looking at a Shakespearean play, it can't' help be noticed that there is a lot of extensive descriptions and recurring language. It is thought that there was a particular reason for this. Performances were held during the day so it was unfeasible to designate time on stage and therefore had to be done by including it into the dialogue. Because of the noise and the fact that all the members of the audience weren't always able to see the stage, all the vital information had to come from the spoken word. Scenery wasn't often used and again had to be shown by way of the words. The Elizabethan Theatre shaped a key period in the history of theatre and Shakespeare's plays are still as well-liked today as they were back then (Elizabethan theatre history, 2010).
Shakespeare wrote his dramas in order to go with the skills of specific actors and the likes of the spectators. By the end of the 1500's, Elizabethan dramas were being presented in two different types of theater buildings. Public arenas were superior to personal ones and could hold up to 2,500 people per show. They were constructed in the region of a courtyard that had no cover. Public theaters gave shows only in daylight hours due to the fact that they had no access to lights. Private theaters were minor, covered buildings. They had candlelight in order to perform in the evening. Private theaters set higher admission costs and were intended to get richer people to go to theatre (Elizabethan Theatre and Language, n.d.).
Back in those days plays didn't require a lot of scenery. Normally, the setting was unidentified to the audience until the characters gave details about it with what they said. Additionally, the main stage had no curtain which allowed one scene follow another very quickly since there was no curtain to close and open and no scenery to change. This lack of scenery also permuted the action to continue to flow. Even though the stage didn't have a lot of scenery, a variety of props were utilized such as swords, thrones, rocks, banners, trees, tables, and beds. Just because there wasn't a lot of scenery the plays were not known to be dull or boring. Acting groups expended a lot of funds on bright costumes, in order to create visuals. Flashing blades and whirling banners were thought to insert color and enthusiasm. Sound effects played a significant part in Elizabethan performances. Trumpet and drum playing was regular. Occasionally even weird sounds were produced. Music was also thought to play a very important function (Elizabethan Theatre and Language, n.d.).
A normal acting company was made up of eight to twelve members, workers, and apprentices. The members were the group's principal actors. They purchased sets of clothes, rented places, paid charges, and divide the proceeds. The workers, also known as hirelings, took on small parts in the plays, performed the small parts, played music, worked as prompters, and took on a variety other odd tasks. The apprentices were boys who acted out the parts of women and children in the performances. The acting groups functioned beneath the backing of an associate of the royal family or of a significant nobleman (Elizabethan Theatre and Language, n.d.).
Shakespeare was thought to be the strangest of the Elizabethan playwrights. He didn't just write plays but also acted in them as well. This helped him write plays because he knew how to act in them. Shakespeare wrote the majority of his plays with a particular theater building in mind and for actors with who he had already acted with. Every major actor in the company was an expert in a certain types of roles. One would play the primary tragic performers, while an additional one would play the main comic characters and someone else would participate as old men. Shakespeare penned his plays to go with the talents of specific actors. Elizabethan acting companies had to have plays that contained roles for all the major actors. This is why they often contain funny bits even in the tragic plays. Elizabethan actors spoke their lines quicker than most modern actors do. They often had a very clear speaking style which they had developed from years of acting experience (Elizabethan Theatre and Language, n.d.).
The writing and putting on of Elizabethan dramas were inclined by a variety of theatrical traditions of that period. The main custom was the use of poetic discussion. Even though Shakespeare's plays often included prose and rhymed stanza, he mainly used an unrhymed, lyrical form of poetry known as iambic pentameter. Two widespread traditions that spectators came to expect were soliloquies and asides. A soliloquy occurs when a performer, who is by themselves on the stage, talks openly to the audience, or talks out loud to themselves. During an aside, an actor talks about things that the other performers onstage are not intended to hear. Spectators were also informed of and came to expect long wordy vocalizations. Many of these communications had very little to do with the drama. The tradition of boys playing women's roles was thought to have contributed to several of Shakespeare's best writings. The male actresses were well educated and well trained (Elizabethan Theatre and Language, n.d.).
Disguise played a vital part in Elizabethan drama. Audiences loved the funny parts in which a boy portrayed a girl character that masked themselves as a boy. The Elizabethans accepted the differences between social classes and between occupations. These differences were shown by the differentiations in clothes. Noblemen were instantly recognized by their clothing, as were doctors, lawyers, merchants and pages. Characters could effortlessly disguise…