1950’s vs 1500’s

This week I learnt, part 2. You know the drill! Hello! 

After a few days of lessons about the 1950’s, and a few days of reading Macbeth, I found myself gaining an interest in the TV aspect of the 1950’s. While coming up with what to write for this blog, I began to see a solid link between the 1950’s television and the activities Elizabethans would do besides watching theatre like Macbeth in the 1500’s. You wouldn’t initially think the 1950’s and a Shakespeare play would have similarities, but my class and I have discovered… There is plenty! So how are the 50s and Macbeth (1500’s specifically for this post) connected?

My notes from this week!

Ah, the one thing that keeps us all sane…. Entertainment. Now a days this can be anything, YouTube, Netflix, Instagram, Tik Tok, the list goes on. But, even less than 100 years ago, it was dramatically different. And then even farther, the 1500’s… What would you watch or do if you had absolutely no form of electronic, or couldn’t even read a book? (A lot of people in the 1500’s didn’t know how to read.) We are so used to entertainment and the media we are fed by the world, that we don’t even think about it. For the Elizabethans, they really had to do the most to find entertainment. They would do normal things like sports (wrestling, archery, juggling) and then really odd things like visiting prisons, and watching bears battle dogs. But one of the most respected and popular things they did was watch theatre. 

Theatre was a big thing in this time period. It was something to do, and the closest thing they had to television. They would watch hour long plays, either standing in the pit or in the side stands, seen in this picture beside this text. An example of a play they would watch would be Macbeth, Romeo and Juliet, and all those classic Shakespeare plays we study to this day. I think the things people develop in times where entertainment is what gets you through the days, is very interesting. How do they come up with these things? How long does it take to become normal? We never think about these things as now in 2020, everything is normal, but back then new ideas were constant. 

In the 1950’s, television became really popular. The price of a TV went down and 3/4 of Americans ended up having one in their house!

They didn’t watch the type of shows we are used to know, they were very stereotypical scenarios of the time period. This was to reenforce the “normal” on the country to maintain a picture perfect country. Anyways, thats not the point I’m making today. The point I’m making is that once war was over, people had money, houses, and families, they could settle. They had the luxury of the chance to watch TV, and enjoy their free time. This was crazy as in the war it was the opposite. Television/entertainment became a large part of Americas culture as they had actually had the time and resources to enjoy life.

These graphics I created represent entertainment and the way it can evolve and form through the years, and a compare/contrast of the outcome of evolving.

This one here shows a 1950’s television family cast on stage in the 1500’s.

And this one shows a 1950’s family watching a scene of Shakespeare play on stage, on their television.

Entertainment is valuable, and humans are very attracted to it. You can see that throughout every year humans have been around. We will create things to distract us from life even if it is going to a prison and watching the prisoners be in prison… (*cough cough* elizabethans)


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