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Elizabethan Era: The Golden Age Essay

1497 words - 6 pages

Elaborate gowns, lavish parties, palaces full of gold and silver- these are just a few thoughts that come to mind when one hears the term “Elizabethan Era”; however, there is more to this period than what meets the eye. The Elizabethan Era was a significant epoch in the United Kingdom’s history. Ranging from 1558 to 1603, this was during the reign of Queen Elizabeth I. The Elizabethan Era, also known as the Elizabethan Age or Elizabethan Period, is said to be the golden age of English history, with a quite diversified public life, a rise in the fine arts, and numerous advancements in many technological and scientific fields.
To begin with, the highlighted topic of almost all historic accounts of the Elizabethan Age was the lives of nobles, “painting the pretty picture”, but most people fail to realize that there is always another side to every story. Nobles and peasants lived very different lives, as one might expect. Historic records show that “The Elizabethan Period in England had a daily life based on social order: the monarch as the highest, the nobility as the second rank, the gentry as third, merchants as fourth, yeomanry as fifth, and laborers as sixth” (Elizabethan Era). Many aspects of daily life between the nobles and the lower classes varied. One such aspect was education. The children of nobility received high quality education from renowned scholars, while most other lower class children did not even know how to write their own name. The type of education differed among boys and girls of the nobility too. Boys generally learned Latin, English, sometimes Greek, arithmetic, and religious education. Girls were taught by their mother or another female figure on housekeeping matters, tending to children, how to be a good wife, etc. If allowed, some girls could learn the basics of English and math. Jobs were another aspect of life that varied among the nobility and lower class men. The nobility held the high government positions, while others help jobs such as farmers, blacksmiths, seamstresses, merchants, etc. Other common jobs include stationers (booksellers), mercers (clothe retailer), hatters, tailors, fletchers, bowyers, farriers, armorers, limners, apothecaries, barber surgeons (dentists) , staplers, men of business (accountants), stewards, nurses, wet nurses, and tutors. Factors such as food and drink were also quite diverse during the Elizabethan Era.
Food for the nobility included three complete, extravagant meals prepared by, most often, French cooks. Linda Alchin states, “It was important that Elizabethan Food prepared for the nobility, especially for feasts and banquets had a great visual effect” (Alchin). They feasted on many exotic dishes including peacocks. The regular meals of nobility consisted of many types of fish, lots of game meat, venison, various salads, and fruits. The lower classes had a staple diet of bread and maybe some type of side dish often fish. Stews were also popular among them. All of the examples...

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