Theatre of the English Renaissance
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The audience in the theatre determines how actors perform various plays. The plays should be pleasant to the audience and be relevant to their daily activities. People from different social classes have different experiences and opinions regarding various matters. Therefore, it is critical to the performers of the plays in the theatres to understand the audience of the play so as not to seem as insensitive to the opinions of the audience. Having different social classes in a play poses several problems as people in different social classes have differing opinions on different matters.
People of all classes attended plays in the Elizabethan Theatre. People of highest social levels – such as knights or elected representatives – attended paid more admission fees and got the most comfortable and finest seats in the galleries. People from the middle class paid relatively smaller attendance fee but did not get the most comfortable seats in the galleries. The lower class, which consisted of peasant farmers, paid the least amount of admission fee and got the least comfortable seats in the theatre.
People in these locations reacted to plays differently. The peasants usually supported peasant characters and would cheer when the peasant characters triumphed over the wealthier characters. On the other hand, audiences from high social classes cheered characters that were of higher class. This was due to the differing opinions between the wealthy and the peasants. Audiences from different social classes necessitated plays in the Elizabethan Theatre to be sensitive to the needs of people in all social classes. The humor in the plays had to be sensitive to the social class of the audience, as people in the different social classes have different sense of humor. However, most plays were only sensitive to the opinions of people in the upper social classes. The actors used expensive costumes that portrayed people of high social classes.