Podcast Episode 6

Welcome to Leadership on Stage and Screen Lecture Podcast, Episode Six.

Shakespeare’s England, Part II: The Tudors

If we want to be able to think about the context in which Shakespeare was writing, we have to first understand a little bit about what England was like. Not just about the plays and theatres, which we talked about last time, but about the people and the history…

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  1. Were all places in the world as rogue and chaotic as London? I feel like there was always some drama or someone to be murdered or someone who everyone hated yet was still the monarch of a nation? Was this just a sign of the times?

  2. I have a few questions concerning the law of primogeniture. Assuming this concept appears in his plays, does Shakespeare generally support or generally critique the law of primogeniture? Was it common to critique or to highlight the faults in this system of inheritance, especially after the Act of Succession in 1535?

  3. I have questions surronding the length of the war:

    Was the war continously going on for the 32 years and was there active fighting the entire time?

    How were wars fought back then regarding battles, fighting style and ethics?

  4. Did Shakespeare ever wade into religious commentary, or was it more of a backdrop in his plays? It seems like religion tends to be part of the setting, rather than part of the plot. Is this the case in most of his plays, or does he actually comment on it in other works?

  5. Was the law of primogeniture a contentious idea? Did people generally support it or did civil wars and fighting happen often? Did the lower classes care who was the king or queen?

  6. My question is about the constant drama surrounding this time period. To what extent was what was happening in Shakespeare’s time considered “normal”? Was it accepted for King Henry VIII to marry so many women in the span of a few years (I assume yes because he was king), and was it acceptable for other people in that time period?

    1. I know you noted how Mary made Catholicism the national religion, undoing all of Edwards religious policies. So when a new King or Queen comes to power, were they able to make any changes they pleased?

  7. Is there a reason that Henry VII names his first son Arthur? It seems like typically the tradition is to name the first son after the father, why did this change? It just seems a little convenient that the second son ends up on the throne, and has the name with historical weight.

  8. Do you think Shakespeare’s plays were more of a critique on England and its societal formation, or did the themes of his plays work more to emulate the ideals of the nation? Was Shakespeare at all known for breaking barriers or crossing lines?

  9. Sooooo…we know the throne and royalty loved to keep marriage within the family (or families in this case). If Henry Tutor had claims to the throne through Lancaster on both sides, and his wife Elizabeth (ties to York), does that mean they were related?

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