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THE DECLINE OF THE THEATRES UP TO THEIR CLOSING IN 1642

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THE DECLINE OF THE THEATRES UP TO THEIR CLOSING IN 1642


THE GREAT AGE OF THE THEATRES STARTED WITH THE ELIZABETHAN THEATRES AND CHRISTOPHER MARLOWE AND IT FINISHED WITH THE CLOSING OF THE THEATRES IN 1642, UNDER THE PURITAN PRESSURE AND IN A PERIOD OF RELIGIOUS AND POLITICAL CONTROVERSY.

IN THIS THEATRE THE IMPORTATION AND THE TRANSLATION OF FOREIGN PLAYS WAS IMPORTANT, AND ALSO THE GREAT POPULARITY OF SENECA'S PLAYS , AND THE HUMANISTIC INFLUENCE THAT CONTRIBUTED TO SOME IMPORTANT INNOVATIONS.

IN THIS PERIOD THE FIRST PUBLIC PLAYHOUSE WAS BUILT BY JAMES BURBAGE WHEN IN 1574 PUBLIC PERFORMANCES WERE BANNED BY THE CITY GOVERNMENT BECASUSE PLAYS WERE CONSIDERED IMMORAL BY THE PURITANS.

THEATRES WERE VERY POPULAR AND ALL PEOPLE OF LONDON WENT FOR SEEING THE SPECTACLES. THERE WERE THREE TYPES OF THEATRES:

PUBLIC OUTDOOR THEATRES: THEY WERE BY FAR THE MOST POPULAR AND THEY ATTRACTED A VERY MIXED AUDIENCE.

PRIVATE INDOOR THEATRES: THEY WERE INDOOR AND MAINLY ATTENDED BY NOBLEMEN AND BURGESSES. IN THESE THEATRES MORE REFINED PLAYS WERE PERFORMED.

PLAYS PERFORMED AT COURT OR AT NOBLEMEN'S HOUSE.

WHEN QUEEN ELIZABETH DIED THE THRONE WENT TO JAMES I, WHO PATRONIZED THEATRES BUT MEANWHILE A GAP OPENED BETWEEN PEOPLE AND COURT. THEATRES BECAME LESS AND LESS CROWDED AND THE COMPANIES OF ACTORS DEPENDED ON THE COURT AND THEY PREFERRED PRIVATE THEATRES TO THE PUBLIC ONES. THE PLAYWRIGHT WROTE MORE AND MORE COMPLEX  TRAGEDIES, FULL OF BLOODY SCENES AND HORRORS. AS REGARDING THE COMEDY THERE IS A NEW FASHION CALLED MASQUE. IT TOOK TWO IMPORTANT INNOVATIONS: WOMEN ON STAGE AND THE USE OF PROSPECTIVE.

THE MAJOR PLAYWRIGHTS OF THIS PERIOD WERE WILLIAM SHAKESPEARE AND BEN JOHNSON.

THEN THE CIVIL WAR THE PURITANS DECIDED TO CLOSE THE THEATRES FOR THEIR SUPPOSED IMMORALITY.









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