Site hosted by Build your free website today!

Men's clothing in this time period was very different than anything we would see today. Elizabethan males wore vest-like shirts called "jerkins". The sleeves were decorated and loose-fitting all the way to the wrists. Cropped pants were also loose and tights were worn beneath them. Their shoes were made of fine leather. Head gear would most likely be a tall hat with feathers and fine fabrics. Children's wardrobes were similar in style to their parents'.

One of the main developments of this culture was their unique style of dress. Women generally dressed to cover themselves completely. There was often a high collar on the dress which would extend all the way to the chin. Sleeves were puffy, tightening only around the elbows.

Leisure was a very important part of the lives of the Elizabethan people. Social activities mostly occurred on the holidays and after church on Sundays. During this time, significant advancements were made in music and drama. The viola, bagpipe and fiddle were favourite instruments at the time. Servants would play these instruments as a form of entertainment for guests. Elaborate dancing was enjoyed mostly as couples and always done according to social class. Drama was brought out during the Elizabethan era, including action, humour, violence and plays involving musical aspects. The first public theatre in London was built in 1576 and staged productions for every social class. The Elizabethan theatre crew consisted of only male actors. These actors often had to play women in the brilliant plays written by William Shakespeare and Christopher Marlowe. Sports also played a large role in leisure time such as chess, checkers and a variety of card games. Wrestling was an alternative for men if they found these other activities too passive. Outdoor games included golf, swimming, cricket and fishing.

Methods of punishment used in Elizabethan England were much more severe than the forms of discpline used in today's society. If someone was to be caught drunk in public they would be commanded to wear a large barrel. They were then forced to walk around the village while the townspeople pointed and laughed. The villagers at the time would appear twisted because of their keen interest in viewing such public displays of cruelty. For crimes such as robbery or rape you would find yourself being hung for the entire town to see. A cook who purposely poisoned his clientele would be boiled to dealth in a cauldron. This picture is a pillory. They were used to publicly humiliate anyone who broke the law. The concept was much like the barrel idea. Villagers could walk by the criminal and demoralize him both verbally and physically. The criminal was not able to defend himself as his arms were locked in place.

At this time, England was a Protestant country - it had broken away from the Catholic Church of Rome. This jump was part of the European movement called the Reformation, which began when people became suspicious that there was corruption in the Catholic church and this led to the founding of Protestant churches. Some protestant people felt the church in England hadn't gone far enough in its rejection of Catholicism. They felt they needed to "purify" the church of its remaining Catholic elements. Strict believers in the Protestant religion also had strict ideas of what was sinful: fine clothes, drinking and gambling.

Myths and magic were a huge part of the Elizabethan people’s beliefs. Fairies, magic spells, witches and prophecies were all a part their lives. They were often as important to people as the official religious beliefs taught by the Church. It was believed that these ideas could make people go insane and give them terrible nightmares. Diseases and disasters were often blamed on witches. Astrology was also of interest to the Elizabethan people.