Elizabethan World Picture (By Task Force Group):
Task-Force group #2 did a great job on the presentation regarding the Elizabethan
World Picture. This topic involves broad-based knowledge in political,
social and cultural contexts of the time. However, the members in
the group succeeded in presenting their points in a very thorough and well-outlined
It is evident that the excellent choice of DWC textbook, Age of Shakespeare,
directly accounted for this TFG’s success in their presentation.
This textbook provided a basic yardstick to understand the world
view of the Elizabethan and Jacobean era. The textbook is very easy
to read, which extremely enhanced my understanding in this topic.
Tawny addressed one of the foremost Elizabethan concepts, the Great Chain of Being. This chain extends from God’s foot to small creatures, such as insect. This Theo-centric religious view can explain what human beings were considered in the Elizabethan era.
The concept of order is essential for understanding religious and philosophical beliefs of the Elizabethan world. People highly trusted on the value of order. The order of Cosmo consists of two components: macrocosm and microcosm. People of the time actually believed stars can affect on human. The structure of universe is very much alike, comparing to the inside of human; in other words, microcosm is a counterpart of macrocosm.
Aleah’s focus was to give us a clear image of Queen Elizabeth I.
I was very pleased to learn various facts that can illustrate what
this queen was like. The description included the following facts:
Elizabeth 1) spoke six languages, 2) kept her virginity to avoid
danger of childbirth, 3) liked pageant and singing, 4) was raised in both
aspects of Protestant and Catholic, and more. Especially, the last
one was significant because it explained one of the reasons why Elizabeth
took a middle ground policy in religious conflict. Elizabeth I was
not interested in religious sects, such as Reformers and Catholic. Her
middle ground policy illuminated chaos. The transparency of Elizabeth
executed Aleah’s presentation.
Elissa’s topic is related to the life among people in London at
the end of sixteen century. When she mentioned dowry and jointure
in the section of marriage, Professor Luciano offered a clarification.
The professor’s explanation did clarify the aspects of marriage
in the sixteenth and seventeenth century. Marriage custom was very
much like business contract, so there were a couple of significant money
transactions. Dowry is the money that designates the father of bride
who is expected to provide the man his daughter marries. Jointure
is the money provided by the husband to support his wife in the event that
he dies before her.
Professor Luciano’s explanation reminded me of what I learned through
watching a production, Taming of Shrew, at Oregon Shakespeare Festival
last year. In the play, Catherine’s father, Baptista, gave
dowry to Patriquio, and Patriquio offered jointure for Catherine.
Glenn talked about the international power balance of the time. England
was surrounded by powerful enemies, such as Spain, Ireland, France, and
more. They were always worried about being invaded, so they built
navy. Later on, this English fleet won the battle in Spanish Armada.
Glenn’s handwritten illustration was not only lovely but also
very effective in understanding the power balance in Europe of the time.
Finally, Sharon did her job. It was very unfortunate that the group ran out the time for her. She described what James I was like, but it was impossible for her to give us enough information in a couple of minutes. I wish I had the handout that tells about this king, so we could study individually. Her presentation was incomplete.
In all, the members in the TFG #2 set a good standard for this assignment. All topics they presented for us were well-researched in advance. The group members kept their fellow theatre students interested by using transparencies and handouts. I appreciated their efforts that made a great contribution for the DWC class.