In modern times, a couple usually does not plan to get married less than a week after meeting. Yet

1800 WordsApr 23, 20198 Pages
In modern times, a couple usually does not plan to get married less than a week after meeting. Yet in the small Italian town of Messina in William Shakespeare’s Much Ado About Nothing, the young Claudio and Hero plan to get married as soon as possible. That is, until Claudio is fed false information that Hero is not a virgin and slanders her at the altar. During the Elizabethan era when this play was written, most female roles and women in general were treated without respect as Hero was and were only prized on their physical characteristics. Much Ado About Nothing was an important play in the Elizabethan era because it dealt with social class boundaries and the roles of women. Although the Elizabethan Era influenced theater greatly,…show more content…
Elizabethan women were being taught that they were practically property of men. They could be forced into arranged marriages in order to create bonds between families and were taught to be dependent on their male relatives (Alchin). Social class and one’s status in society could also coincide with how they were treated on an everyday basis (Alchin). With these many events that would change the world forever came changes in the theater that would change it forever, too. James Burbage, a prominent Elizabethan actor, built the first Elizabethan playhouse and called it the Theatre (Yancey 25). The Theatre, built in 1576, would go on to set a precedent in the design of all playhouses of the era (Senn). The building was probably round or octagonal and had no ceiling so as to let in natural light since no efficient artificial lighting had been invented at this point in time (Yancey 25). Because of the need for natural light during plays, most performances took place during the afternoon (Yancey 29). On the inside of the Theatre, the stage extended to be a raised rectangle that took up about half of the ground floor (Yancey 30). Above it was a balcony on which acting could occur, such as the balcony scene from Shakespeare’s Romeo and Juliet (Yancey 31). Finally, past the back end of the stage was a concealed room called the Tiring House that served as storage for props and a dressing room for any actors during a performance (Senn).

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