Tag Archives: Thomas Kyd

Elizabethan Entertainment by Maria and Casey

In our English class this term we have been studying Romeo and Juliet by William Shakespeare. We have been researching entertainment in the days when Shakespeare was alive.

When the Elizabethan people had finished their jobs (some were blacksmiths and carpenters) they liked to relax and enjoy some entertainment. Entertainment from those days is very different to what it is now. Here are some of the entertainments that people enjoyed back in the Elizabethan era.

Hunting was one of the most popular sports in the Elizabethan era. Force hunting was one of the most famous types of hunting. This sport was mainly for rich, young and active men. The men would go into the forest and hunt for wild boars. Not all men could take part in this event because they would need a licence. All the forests at the time were owned by the royal family and they didn’t want just anybody in the forests so they demanded everybody in their forests had a licence. The laws were very strict about this and if you were found without a licence you could be blinded or even hanged.

A 17th century engraving on bear-baiting [Public domain]

A 17th century engraving on bear-baiting [Public domain]

Another form of entertainment enjoyed in the Elizabethan times were blood sports. Blood sports were also really popular and were played by many people.Bull-baiting, bear-baiting, cock-fighting and dog fighting were all types of blood sports. These sports were so popular that nearly every town had its own bull and bear-baiting ring and even Queen Elizabeth loved to watch these sports. People in Elizabethan times didn’t think these sports were violent and  didn’t think about the animals used in the sports and how they were getting hurt or even killed.


Another common thing in Elizabethan times were plays. As well as Shakespeare there were many other famous playwrights in the Elizabethan times. Christopher Marlow who was born in 1564 and died in 1593 and Thomas Kyd who was born in 1558 and died in 1594 were both famous playwights from the City of London. Thomas Kyd has become even more famous because many people suspect that he may have written Hamlet and that Shakepeare stole it from him. Plays were first performed in Inn-yards but as they grew more popular people began to build lots more theatres  and more and more plays were written and performed. Thomas Kyd’s most famous play was The Spanish Tradegy and Christopher Marlow’s most famous play was Edward II.

Christmas was a very important time for people in the Elizabethan times. It was the time for people to eat, drink and relax. In 1588 Queen Elizabeth ordered everyone to at least have a goose to eat on Christmas Day. Many rich people would have an amazing feast at Christmas. Christmas ran from the 24th December to the 6th January. The final day was called Twelfth Night and was the last time the people could celebrate before returning to normal life.

These were some of the things that we found interesting about entertainment in the Elizabethan era. Some of the things Shakespeare himself would have enjoyed. Entertainment then was very different from what it is now, but these were the things that people liked to do for fun.


Elizabethan era, http://www.elizabethan-era.org.uk/elizabethan-entertainment.htm Accessed 20/10/ 2016