Type: Review
Pages: 2 | Words: 351
Reading Time: 2 Minutes

First, what I found surprising about the description that was made is that theater was very rudimentary (as compared to the way it is today). It was equally surprising to find that there was no set decoration, or that women were not allowed to participate in theater at all. For some reason, it is hard to believe that art was something that only men could truly partake in.

Second of all, upon reading about Shakespeare himself, it was surprising to find that he did not really start as a playwright, but like an actor instead. It had been previously known that Shakespeare was known for his inclination towards acting in his own plays, but it was surprising to find that he was an actor prior to becoming a writer. As well, it was surprising to find that he had also been a theater entrepreneur, meaning that he was able to reconcile his love for art with his professional ambitions.

Having read about the production and stage conventions that were managed during Shakespeare’s time in Elizabethan theaters, it was particularly interesting to find that stage productions were quite rapid (both in terms of organization and actual development). There was no stage production, at least not in terms of set decoration. Actors would simply come in and out of the stage, thus indicating that there had been a transition between scenes. It was also striking to find that audiences actually had direct interactions with the actors (through the continued usage of the aside and soliloquy conventions). Given that no females could participate in theater, adolescent males had to take on the role, and so overly expressive gestures had to be made. Also, despite there being no set decorations, actors did wear elaborate costumes.

All things considered, it is quite likely that I would enjoy being an actor in Elizabethan England. During that time, plays were more about actual performances and not about impressive sets and sound/visual effects. Back then, actors really had to perfect their craft. As well, during that time there was closeness between actors and audiences; this is something that I find most enriching.

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