Date of Award
Professor Dennis Holt
The most outstanding era of dramatic development was the Elizabethan Age which took its name from Queen Elizabeth, the reigning monarch at the time. Her "Age" is one of heroic achievements in the history of the English-speaking peoples, and in literature, no other period has been more brilliant. Not only was Queen Elizabeth one of the most popular rulers England ever had, but her cities and streets provided excellent sources of literature for the English dramatists. This was especially true of London which was considered the heart of England by those in the theatres of that day.
When William Shakespeare was a boy, there was no such thing in all England as a theatre. Nobody had ever heard of a building especially set aside for the performance of plays. "Play-acting", the little there was of it, had always been done on wooden scaffolds in market places of in streets and yards as part of the celebration of the great festivals of the Christian year.
Ratcliff, LeElla, "Some Personalities and Conventions of the Elizabethan Theatre" (1971). Honors Theses. 467.