1. Shakespeare is known as one of the greatest writers in English history. What is his WRITING best known for? Shakespeare’s writing was best known for the romance and love tragedy plays that he produced. He wrote 32 plays but amongst all this he also wrote sonnets, writing 152 of them. He is renowned as the best play right of the English Language and his plays are still studied in schools around the world.
2. Shakespeare wrote during the Elizabethan period of English history. What were the main features (or hallmarks) of this period in history, and what were the commonly held beliefs? The age of Shakespeare was a great time in English history. The reign of Queen Elizabeth I (1558-1603) saw England emerge as the leading naval and commercial power of the Western world. England consolidated its position with the defeat of the Spanish Armada in 1588, and Elizabeth firmly established the Church of England begun by her father, King Henry VIII.
Sir Francis Drake circumnavigated the world and became the most celebrated English sea captain of his generation. Sir Humphrey Gilbert and Sir Walter Raleigh sent colonists eastward in search of profit. European wars brought an influx of continental refugees into England, exposing the Englishman to new cultures. In trade, might, and art, England established an envious preeminence.
At this time, London was the heart of England, reflecting all the vibrant qualities of the Elizabethan Age. This atmosphere made London a leading center of culture as well as commerce. Its dramatists and poets were among the leading literary artists of the day. In this heady environment, Shakespeare lived and wrote.
London in the 16th century underwent a transformation. Its population grew 400% during the 1500s, swelling to nearly 200,000 people in the city proper and outlying region by the time an immigrant from Stratford came to town. A rising merchant middle class carved out a productive livelihood, and the economy boomed.
In the 1580s, the...