Shakespeare was born during Elizabeth's reign and influenced the theatre of the time; going to plays was a popular pastime of Elizabeth's Era. Whilst Shakespeare is the most well known and prolific playwright of the era, there were numerous others, such as Christopher Marlowe. Theatre was an activity enjoyed by all. Theatres were arranged as such that both rich and poor could use them. The poor would be in the standing area, whilst the rich would enjoy the covered seats around.  Other forms of entertainment were dancing, chess, checkers, and tennis. You would also expect to see fools (street entertainers) on street corners practicing magic tricks and other general tomfoolery.  



Elizabeth was known to have been particularly fond of chess and dances. Nobles also often found enjoyment in hunting and horseback riding, another activity Elizabeth loved. All classes however delighted in the vicious entertainment of bear-baiting, where dogs were let loose on a bear as onlookers watched. People placed bets as to whether the dogs or the bear would be victorious.

Previous page     Next page