When Elizabeth I ascended the throne in 1558, England entered a great era of cultural and economical innovation. Elizabeth was viewed as an intelligent female regent that England had never seen before, as she was a pioneer and a great lover of arts in which literature paved the way during her reign.
Six years after her coronation, a shrewd poet was born to change the definition of literature in England. This future poet was baptised with the name of William Shakespeare, to which he was fortunate enough to live in a remarkable period in the time of great political stability. As Elizabeth I bravely and wisely utilized her queenly power to obstruct the threatening fleets of the Spanish Armada in 1588.
The virgin queen did not only defend her country against conquerors, but rather encourage learning, as she herself was fond of plays and other theatrical entertainments. Here we find Shakespeare’s growing popularity with his infamous plays, which Elizabeth I took delight as well as her successor, James I. The virgin queen greatly influenced England when it comes to drama, arts and theatre as she devoted herself in nurturing the gifted Shakespeare.
The queen was indeed, too engrossed in the art of literature that she translated an entire work of Euripides, most likely one of his Greek tragedies, solely for her own entertainment alone. In addition to that, some evidence suggests that Shakespeare was strongly attracted to Elizabeth I, thus showing great admiration to her vision and payed his respects to her Court. One of the speculated evidence is in one of Shakespeare’s works, the world famous tale of “A Midsummer-Night’s Dream”, in which it was performed in front of the virgin queen’s special Court. The lines of the tale were suggesting a poetic compliment, to which it was assumed towards the queen.
In regards for her great love of plays, under her permission, many theatres were built during the golden era of her legacy and one of the earliest constructed place to go for stage plays was the Rose Theaetre, located at Bankside, London. The theatres were earning approximately 15,000 visits per week, considering the population of London back then. Aside from Shakespeare’s works, many other professional playwrights contributed in showcasing their works in the Rose Theatre. Some of them were the following: Christopher Marlowe, Francis Beaumont, John Fletcher, Thomas Middleton, Thomas Kyd and Ben Johnson.