There is no evidence to support this claim, but it is clear that Italy was his primary land of the imagination. Unlike other countries — such as France, Austria or Denmark — in which he set particular plays, his representations of Italy are diverse and usually precise.
Different cities in Italy are chosen for different plays and given distinct qualities and associations. It was the destination of many Elizabethan travellers and the subject of many travel writings. Any serious traveller would have been to Venice.
If Shakespeare did not know Italian, many of his educated contemporaries did. It is likely that he encountered educated Italians in London — he might well have known leading humanist scholar John Florio, an Italian who was tutor to his patron, the Earl of Southampton.
Usage terms Public Domain. Italy had a special hold on poets. The very forms of Elizabethan verse and the terminology of its patterns stanzasestina often came from Italy.
The sonnet from the Italian sonetto was introduced to English in the s in explicit imitation of Italian models, and especially of the Italian poet Petrarch. The line sonnet form is originally Italian, but many English poets like Shakespeare adapted the rhyme scheme.
Shakespeare expected his audience to get the joke and to know that Italians were specialists in the poetic language of love. Shakespeare may or may not have been able to read Italian, but he was able to use Italian sources for many of his plays because they had often been translated. The source for Othello is a novella by the 16th-century Italian writer Giraldi Cinthiowhich Shakespeare might have read in a French version.
Indeed, Italy is often present even in those plays that do not have Italian settings. Shipwrecked on the mysterious isle they set to conspiring, as Italian courtiers always do on the Jacobean stage. Sometimes the preconceptions about Italian culture that Shakespeare exploits are rather general. For instance, Elizabethan audiences are likely to have known little about Sicily, the setting for Much Ado about Nothingwhich takes place in Messina.
Yet it matters that the drama takes place in Italy. The play exploits masks and revelsand conjures up an Italian location where festivities permit the concealment of identity.
The masked ball in Act 2 allows for flirtation and comic mistaking of identity, yet, in a darker vein, disguise also allows Don John to trick Claudio into thinking that Hero is unfaithful to him.With its fantastical tales and riddlesit became one of the most popular works of English-language fiction.
It was notably illustrated by British artist John Tenniel. The story centres on Alice, a young girl who falls asleep in a meadow and dreams that she follows the White Rabbit down a rabbit hole. She has many wondrous, often bizarre adventures with thoroughly illogical and very strange creatures, often changing size unexpectedly she grows as tall as a house and shrinks to 3 inches [7 cm].
She encounters the hookah-smoking Caterpillar, the Duchess with a baby that becomes a pigand the Cheshire Catand she attends a strange endless tea party with the Mad Hatter and the March Hare. She plays a game of croquet with an unmanageable flamingo for a croquet mallet and uncooperative hedgehogs for croquet balls while the Queen calls for the execution of almost everyone present.
However, when the Queen demands that Alice be beheaded, Alice realizes that the characters are only a pack of cards, and she then awakens from her dream. The story was originally told by Carroll to Lorina, Alice, and Edith Liddell the daughters of Henry George Liddelldean of Christ Church, Oxfordwhere the author had studied and held a fellowship on a picnic in July A visitor to the Liddell home saw the storybook and thought it should be published, so Carroll revised and expanded it.
It inspired numerous films, theatrical performances, and ballets as well as countless works of scholarly analysis. Alice's Adventures in Wonderland. Article Media. Info Print Cite. Submit Feedback. Thank you for your feedback. She has a B. She previously worked on the Britannica Book of the Year and was a member See Article History.
Learn More in these related Britannica articles:. His poem The Hunting of the Snark is nonsense literature of the highest order. It was produced by Walt Disney. History at your fingertips. Sign up here to see what happened On This Dayevery day in your inbox!
Email address. By signing up, you agree to our Privacy Notice. Be on the lookout for your Britannica newsletter to get trusted stories delivered right to your inbox. More About.Without the Christian church of the Middle Ages, Sigmund Freud of the 19th century would have been out of work.
The Church had opinions and laws about every aspect of sex. Adultery and fornication in some cases were sins punishable by death, but for a time the Church actually condoned prostitution, admitting that it was a necessary evil. And in the early part of the Middle Ages, priests were actually allowed to marry and have children. Descriptions of sex acts were often described in great detail that sounded as if they were written with some enjoyment.
One wonders whether if these early theologians were just a little titillated by the subject as they wrote their long polemics on sexuality. Courtly love is associated with the Knight who falls in love with the married woman — or at least the idea of the pure woman. He admires her from afar, goes to war for her, and sacrifices his life.
Troubadours, medieval singers who went from town to town, singing love songs, often represented this idea of courtly love, with an undercurrent of sexuality. An example is a Spanish song about a young woman visiting a nearby stream:. Her adoring boyfriend meets her there: a mountain stag makes the waters stir. For anyone serious about Christian morality, sex was not an option. He discovered that his three daughters were having intimate relations with some of his knights and had the men publicly disemboweled.
His daughters were then sent to monasteries and one of them was possibly murdered. In reality, there was a more lenient attitude, especially in rural populations where sexual dalliances were routine. If marriage was out of the question, punishments could involve years of penance. The Church even dictated how you were supposed to have sex. The woman on top position, or entering her from the rear sex a tergo were not favored because they interfered with the natural order of male-female roles.
Anal and oral sex were sins because they could only be practiced for pleasure, not procreation, which for the purists was the only purpose of sex. Albertus Magnus named five sexual positions and ranked them from most acceptable to least acceptable: 1 missionary, 2 side-by-side, 3 sitting, 4 standing and 5 a tergo.
In certain situations, however, such as extreme obesitythese other positions could be not only acceptable but even practical. Thomas Aquinas expanded the definition of sodomy to include all acts other than vaginal intercourse.
He also named lesbianism a sin. The church began to prosecute sexual sinners in the 12th and 13th centuries. Sodomy was punishable by death, which could involve mutilation, burning at the stake, hanging, and, in the case of priests caught in the act, being hung in a suspended cage until they starved to death.
There is, however, evidence of highly placed figures that were homosexuals. King Richard I the Lionheart of England was thought to be homosexual; it is rumoured that he met his wife Berenegaria while in a sexual relationship with her brother, the future King Sancho VII of Navarre. They were stuffed with sawdust or cloth and held closed by string ties, buttons, or other methods.
The crotch was often extremely large or gave the idea of an erect penis. The word, codpiece, comes from the Middle English word, cod, which means scrotum.
Another symbol of virility in fashion was a style of shoe called the poulaine. Codpieces and poulaines are frequently seen in the paintings of the Dutch artist, Pieter Breugel. If you have done this, you shall do penance for five years on legitimate holy days. A rabble of pricks who were welcomed before, Now finding the porter denied them the door, Maliciously waited his coming below And inhumanly fell on Signor Dildo ….
In the Middle Ages, virginity would have been an ideal to aspire to, but it was rarely achieved by commoners and nobles alike. Chastity has almost the same meaning as virginity.She accomplished all of these things and along the way, behaved in a manner that wouldn't go over well today. Samantha had a habit of being incredibly superficial, callous, and remorseless in her pursuit of her goals. In fact, she was downright mean. Jeff Fenton had all the qualities Samantha liked in a man.
He aggressively chatted her up at a bar, bought her a drink, informed her he had a successful hedge fund, and invited her on a luxurious ski trip all in under five minutes. Dumping him over something he had no control over was insensitive. When Samantha dated popular and successful record producer Chivon, she adopted certain characteristics that made her look crass and oblivious.
She started wearing African-inspired prints, speaking Ebonics, and treating his sister derisively. When Samantha can't sleep one night, it's due to a trio of rowdy trans sex workers getting off work for at around 4AM.
After a few verbal altercations with them, Samantha throws a bucket of water on one of their heads. The entire episode surrounding the ordeal was problematic regarding the treatment and references to the trans community, but Samantha's slurs and overall behavior were particularly offensive. When Samantha started dating Jamesshe thought he was perfect. He was charming, good-looking, and had a successful job as a lawyer.
Unfortunately, one thing mattered above all else: his penis size. Discussing the matter with her girlfriends and her therapist, Samantha penis-shamed him mercilessly.
Today, the comicality of penis-shaming is under scrutiny, and is seen as a form of body-shaming, making Samantha's remarks even more distasteful. After several verbal fights with her assistant, she realized she was turned on by his cutthroat personality. When Carrie started dating a local politician, Samantha had this to say about politics in general,"I don't believe in the Republican party or the Democratic party.
In the current highly politicized climate, it's uncertain whether or not Samantha would have been given that sort of line.
It might be considered too flippant, even for her.The Elizabethan era is the epoch in the Tudor period of the history of England during the reign of Queen Elizabeth I — Historians often depict it as the golden age in English history.
The symbol of Britannia a female personification of Great Britain was first used inand often thereafter, to mark the Elizabethan age as a renaissance that inspired national pride through classical ideals, international expansion, and naval triumph over Spain. The historian John Guy argues that "England was economically healthier, more expansive, and more optimistic under the Tudors " than at any time in a thousand years.
This "golden age"  represented the apogee of the English Renaissance and saw the flowering of poetry, music and literature. The era is most famous for theatreas William Shakespeare and many others composed plays that broke free of England's past style of theatre. It was an age of exploration and expansion abroad, while back at home, the Protestant Reformation became more acceptable to the people, most certainly after the Spanish Armada was repelled.
It was also the end of the period when England was a separate realm before its royal union with Scotland. The Elizabethan age contrasts sharply with the previous and following reigns. It was a brief period of internal peace between the English Reformation and the religious battles between Protestants and Catholics and then the political battles between parliament and the monarchy that engulfed the remainder of the seventeenth century.
England was also well-off compared to the other nations of Europe.
The Italian Renaissance had come to an end under the weight of Spanish domination of the peninsula. France was embroiled in its own religious battles that were temporarily settled in by a policy of tolerating Protestantism with the Edict of Nantes.
In part because of this, but also because the English had been expelled from their last outposts on the continent by Spain's terciosthe centuries-long conflict between France and England was largely suspended for most of Elizabeth's reign.
The one great rival was Spain, with whom England clashed both in Europe and the Americas in skirmishes that exploded into the Anglo-Spanish War of — An attempt by Philip II of Spain to invade England with the Spanish Armada in was famously defeated, but in turn England launched an equally unsuccessful expedition to Spain with the Drake—Norris Expedition of The war carried on until the signing of the Treaty of London the year following Elizabeth's death.
England during this period had a centralised, well-organised, and effective government, largely a result of the reforms of Henry VII and Henry VIIIas well as Elizabeth's harsh punishments for any dissenters. Economically, the country began to benefit greatly from the new era of trans-Atlantic trade and persistent theft of Spanish treasure.
The term Elizabethan era was already well-established in English and British historical consciousness, long before the accession of the current Queen Elizabeth IIand it remains solely applied to the time of the earlier Queen of this name. The Victorian era and the early 20th century idealised the Elizabethan era. In popular culture, the image of those adventurous Elizabethan seafarers was embodied in the films of Errol Flynn.
In response and reaction to this hyperbole, modern historians and biographers have tended to take a more dispassionate view of the Tudor period.
5 Characteristics of Elizabethan Drama
Elizabethan England was not particularly successful in a military sense during the period, but it avoided major defeats and built up a powerful navy. On balance, it can be said that Elizabeth provided the country with a long period of general if not total peace and generally increased prosperity due in large part to stealing from Spanish treasure ships, raiding settlements with low defenses, and selling African slaves.
Having inherited a virtually bankrupt state from previous reigns, her frugal policies restored fiscal responsibility. With taxes lower than other European countries of the period, the economy expanded; though the wealth was distributed with wild unevenness, there was clearly more wealth to go around at the end of Elizabeth's reign than at the beginning. The Elizabethan Age was also an age of plots and conspiracies, frequently political in nature, and often involving the highest levels of Elizabethan society.
That would be a prelude to the religious recovery of England for Catholicism. Inthe Ridolfi plot was thwarted. Inthe Throckmorton Plot was discovered, after Francis Throckmorton confessed his involvement in a plot to overthrow the Queen and restore the Catholic Church in England.
Another major conspiracy was the Babington Plot — the event which most directly led to Mary's execution, the discovery of which involved a double agentGilbert Giffordacting under the direction of Francis Walsinghamthe Queen's highly effective spy master.The reign of Queen Elizabeth I ushered in an era of well being, new discoveries and artistic pursuits in England.
The theatre as Elizabethan Drama as entertainment flourished and became popular in. Its popularity matched that of 5th Century Greece. The Elizabethan Age is often extended till when the theatres were closed under the Puritanical revival.
In the Elizabethan Times, Drama became the national passion with a wide variety of people from merchants to peasants vied for a place in the social order and stability in the Elizabethan. The new Elizabethan introduced a hero who was not ascertained of his fate and was full of doubts and passions that catapulted drama as the favourite pass time for many.
How to Use Profanity And Other Raw Talk In Your Fiction
This age is also known for experimentation leading to new discoveries which provided rich content for drama, poetry and prose. Use of theology, geography and science provided a new dimension to the literature of the time.
However, with the crowing of James, I content became a tool for the glorification of absolute royal power. The drama of the time became an exercise for propaganda glorifying the King and the monarchy. The development of the proscenium stage was attributed to this age only.
There was an emphasis on visual with the designer gaining importance in this age. There were political considerations as well as uncontrolled large crowds encouraged immoral behaviour with the coming of Puritan age theatre was resigned to private homes and public houses until its revival by Charles II in Renaissance Period influenced many properties of the theatre like actors were attached to companies that performed throughout the country.
They enjoyed aristocratic patronage and survived the lean winter moths easily on such appreciation. The performances were held in open like the public courtyards, inns etc with lavish entrances behind them and windows.
Spaces were craftily used to create the scenes of heaven and hell etc. Specifically constructed theatres were still not available. There were scare props so costumes became lavish with loud and extravagant appearances.
Costumes used by actors like red wig, long hooked nose gave a sense of comic chrome to the vindictive and greedy nature of man. There were many features of Elizabethan theatre that were violative of the ghost-like sanctity of godliness with Transvestism being quite popular men dressed up as women on stage, a Biblical sin.
There were also satirical plays for the likes of Ben Jonson etc who preferred the substance over show. The tragedy became the most popular genre and was replete with violence, horror and gore.
Several devices were used to instil a level of awe and intrigue in the drama. Asides or private conversations and soliloquy are used to engage with the audience and became quite popular. Use of Blank Verse without the iambic pentameter was also used profusely in Elizabethan plays. It was usually restricted to the characters of noble origins and aristocracy. Rhymed couplets or couple verses of poetry are used to signal the end of a part or act. Use of abuses and insults is also extensive in the Elizabethan drama with verbal duelling, a strong suit of Shakespearean plays.
Have you read these? Add English Summary to home Add!Given the fact that the book was about men at war, the word occurred a lot. Click here to order now. These days, the f-word has lost some of its shock value, and most people—though by no means all—are not deeply offended by it.
7 Steamy AF 'GoT' Fan Fictions That Have The Plot Lines You *Really* Need
Still, authors often debate the role of racy talk in contemporary literature. Although it is often used to denote any objectionable word, profanity literally means words that are considered profane—that is, words proscribed by religious doctrine.
Proscribed generally means forbidden by written order. To swear literally means to take an oath, or to proclaim an oath. Obscene means something disgusting or morally abhorrent, often connoting sex. The f-word is considered the most objectionable of these. Vulgarism is a great word that covers a lot of bases.
Excretory acts and their results fall under this rubric as well. Authors are divided about spicy talk, which is not surprising because readers are divided about it. Some readers are turned off by even a single curse word, whereas nobody will buy your book simply because you use raw language.
So the safest path is to use zero raw language, right? Well, writing is a journey, and journeys involve risks. As you write, look for a balance involving what you feel comfortable writing, what suits the characters and story you are creating, and what might please or displease your hoped-for readers.
Humans get angry. They crave precise expression. Most of us have experienced a moment when a good old rule-breaking bad word just feels sublime rolling off the tongue, and so it is for fictional characters.
Be true and honest to the voices of those characters. Moreover, if you want to write realistically about certain milieus, such as wharves, mines and battlefields, well-written raw talk can make your characters seem lifelike and more authentic.
That way, you preserve the element of the unexpected, which can be a pressure-reliever for both character and reader. Aside from conveying anger or frustration, raw talk can also be humorous, in that it reveals how a character truly feels about something. For instance:. That, in itself, is a good individualizer. You have to make it sound real. Read about them, experiment, read their words aloud. Just as with dialect and accents, using raw talk wisely serves to keep the reader grounded in your imaginary world, while avoiding the potential fatigue of overdoing it.
Consider your characters and employ common sense. He wrote the mother of all literary cuss-outs cuss is simply a variant of curse in King Learbut interestingly there is no profanity or obscenity as we know it, merely terrifically imaginative vulgarisms, delivered with passion. But even without that, we can luxuriate in the rant.Top 10 Creepy Secrets About the Royal Family
May you be condemned to an eternity of weak coffee, warm gin and a driveway paved with roofing nails. But whether you decide to write common curses and vulgarisms into your work or not, your characters do need a verbal pressure valve.
Just have fun with the process and remember that a fug by any other name might sound remarkably original. Contributing editor Elizabeth Sims elizabethsims.
In this post, Don Vaughan reveals literary world records. Ever wonder which author sold the most books? Or which book has been translated the most times?
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