I may not be a lion, but I am a lion's cub, and I have a lion's heart

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Elizabethan Era (1558-1603): A Web Quest

"I may not be a lion, but I am a lion's cub, and I have a lion's heart"

Elizabeth I


To fully appreciate Shakespeare’s works, it is important to learn about his life and the time period in which his works were written. This assignment requires students to investigate life during the Elizabethan England (16th Century). The investigation will enable you understand the people, the places and the events during the Shakespearean era and, in effect, provide you with a deeper appreciation of the Shakespearean play, Romeo and Juliet. This assignment will also help you understand how society influences literature.
As you navigate through the websites provided below, the questions included under each heading will only serve as guides. You will need to determine other significant topics to share with your classmates. See the list below.


Each student has been already assigned to a group. Each group will investigate a specific topic and will do a presentation to teach the rest of the class about the topic researched (during the scheduled presentation time for their act). Be creative in your presentation format (handout, visual, multimedia, role play, etc)

General Information on Elizabethan Period:

  • Grolier Encyclopedia. http://go.grolier.com/.

  • Type Elizabethan Age in the search box.

  • Elizabethan Era. http://www.elizabethan-era.org.uk/

  • http://warrensburg.k12.mo.us/webquest/shakespeare/

  • Virtual Library: Elizabethan Period.


Queen Elizabethan I:

Question: When did Queen Elizabeth I come into power? How long was she in power? Who was her father? Who succeeded her? What was her reign like?

  • Shakespeare Resource Centre. http://www.bardweb.net/england.html

  • British History. http://www.bbc.co.uk/history/historic_figures/elizabeth_i_queen.shtml

  • Elizabeth I, queen of England. http://www.bartleby.com/65/el/Elizbet1Eng.html

  • Elizabeth I and the Elizabethan Period: a Brief Introduction.

  • http://www.springfield.k12.il.us/schools/springfield/eliz/introelizperiod.html

Political Climate:

Question: What was the Spanish Armada? How many ships were involved? What year did the battle take place? Why did the catholic church support this mission? What was the class system at the time?

  • The Spanish Armada. http://www.britainexpress.com/History/tudor/armada.htm

  • BBC History. http://www.bbc.co.uk/history/british/tudors/adams_armada_01.shtml

  • Catholic Encyclopedia: The Spanish Armada.




Question: Describe the religious climate during this time. What was the main religion at the time? What were some of the changes (reformation) that took place in religion at the time?

  • Religion. http://renaissance.duelingmodems.com/compendium/7.html

  • Internet Shakespeare Edition. http://ise.uvic.ca/Library/SLT/ideas/religionsubj.html

  • Queen Elizabeth and the Reformation.


  • Religion & Spirituality. http://www.erasofelegance.com/history/elizabethanreligion.html

Marriage & Love:

Question: Describe the marriage and courtship customs of this time period. What were some of the engagement customs? The wedding expectations? The laws?

  • Betrothal & Marriage http://www.elizabethan.org/compendium/9.htm

  • Love & Marriage http://www.elizabethan.org/compendium/10.html

  • Wedding Customs http://www.elizabethan.org/compendium/62.html

ACT 3:

Physical Existence

Question: Describe the daily life of a peasant? A noble? What were the sanitation/health conditions? What was the Bubonic Plague?

  • Elizabethan Life. http://www.britainexpress.com/History/Elizabethan_life.htm

  • Elizabethan Medicine and Illnesses. http://www.elizabethan-era.org.uk/elizabethan- medicine-and-illnesses.htm

Status of Women/Gender Roles:

Question: What was the status/role of women within this era? Married? Single? What jobs did women mostly do at the time?

  • Elizabethan women. http://www.elizabethi.org/us/women/

  • The role of women. http://www.william-shakespeare.info/elizabethan-women.htm


Question: What were the forms of entertainment during this era?

  • Life in the Elizabethan England. http://renaissance.duelingmodems.com/compendium/

Crimes and Punishment:

Question: What were the worst crimes? Punishments?

  • Crime/Punishment. http://www.eyewitnesstohistory.com/punishment.htm

  • Street fighting: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=dvoNQgy2yEQ

ACT 5:

Shakespeare’s Life:

  • Life General (see other links on the right): http://www.bardweb.net/man.html

  • Interesting Facts: http://www.nosweatshakespeare.com/resources/shakespeare-facts/

  • Language (also see ‘related articles’ on this page: http://www.shakespeare-online.com/biography/wordsinvented.html

Elizabethan Theatre:

  • The Globe Theatre. http://www.springfield.k12.il.us/schools/Springfield/eliz/Globe.html

  • Costumes/Sets in Shakespearean Theatre.


Jointly designed by Mrs. Odozor (Teacher-Librarian) and Ms. Kiss (English Teacher)March 2007

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