Nbb an128 K1 History of English Literature dp

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Professionalisation – actors, authors. Actors were independent groups or servants of wealthy nobleman who dealt exclusively with performances. The first permanent playhouses were opened at the time (1576: the Theatre; others: Curtain, Rose, Swan, Globe). The structure of playhouses derived from innyards – the stage was a large platform, composed of an outer stage and inner stage with an upper stage above the latter; it could symbolically represent any place. There were no actresses; only men were allowed to act, women were played by boys. There were public and private theatres – the former were open-air amphitheatres whereas the latter were indoor halls; there were elements of class distinction as well. There was a great demand for plays – staging 30-40 plays a year, altogether about 250 performances. The audience was standing, a large number of people were crammed together into a small place; there was little or no scenery, there were no scene divisions, the action was performed at a tremendous speed. The audience was mainly illiterate but had remarkable listening capacity. This was an altogether hostile environment – yet there is the supreme sophistication of Elizabethan drama; this is due mainly to the possibility of direct contact with the audience, manipulating the response of the audience by the combinations of the qualities of lyric poetry with narrative form
A new literary phenomenon appeared: the

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