The Playwrights of the Elizabethan Era

Essay by pitchybabe157Junior High, 9th grade April 2004

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The Elizabethan era was a great one for the theatre and performing arts. There were numerous playwrights who contributed a lot of great works. A lot of the wonderful plays that are performed today came from this Renaissance period. Also, lots of movies and television shows are based on plays from this time. Shakespeare and Jonson and Marlowe all contributed to the magnificent pieces from the 16th century.

William Shakespeare is definitely the most renowned writer from this time period with his works enduring 400 years. We still perform a lot of his works today, and many people throughout the United States enjoy watching those creations. He has written 38 plays, 154 sonnets, and 2 epic narrative poems. Most of the plays he wrote were performed at the Globe Theatre after the Lord Chamberlain's Men theatre was hit with a plague. There was one point in time when he was writing, acting, and a managing partner for the Lord Chamberlain's Men.

He is the most successful writer recorded, and it shows from all of his accomplishments.

Another famous writer of this time was Christopher Marlowe. None of Marlowe's plays are performed in today's theatre, but he wrote some amazing plays. His plays were filled with violence, brutality, passion and bloodshed. They tend to have heroic themes, usually about a great personality who is destroyed by his passion and ambition. Marlowe's plays were sensational and inspiring.

Ben Jonson was also another superb playwright of the Elizabethan era. His work is usually only spoken about today with reference to his teacher, William Shakespeare. He disliked his mentor, and often ridiculed his chronicle plays. Jonson's criticism of Shakespeare was based on literary methods, and not just on jealousy. Jonson seemed to always find trouble; he was imprisoned numerous times for his...