Elizabethan Drama Essay

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In the following essay excerpt, Smith explores links between public punishment and drama in Elizabethan England.

The famous Triple Tree, the first permanent structure for public hangings, was erected at Tyburn in 1571 during the same decade which saw the construction of the first permanent structure for the performance of plays. At Tyburn seats were available for those who could pay and rooms could be hired in houses overlooking the scene; the majority of spectators stood in a semicircle around the event while hawkers sold fruits and pies and ballads and pamphlets detailing the various crimes committed by the man being hanged. Other kinds of peripheral entertainment also occurred simultaneously. In short, hangings functioned as spectacles not unlike tragedies staged in the public theatres. The organization of spectators in these two arenas and the official localization of these entertainments, despite their long and hitherto divergent histories, through the erection...

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This section contains 5,201 words
(approx. 14 pages at 400 words per page)
Buy the Elizabethan Drama Study Guide
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Literary Movements for Students
Elizabethan Drama from Literary Movements for Students. ©2005-2006 Thomson Gale, a part of the Thomson Corporation. All rights reserved.
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