Elizabethan Times Webquest



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Elizabethan Times Webquest
Directions: Imagine you are an historian assigned with the task of discovering if the "Good Old Days" really were better. Your role is to carefully research the Elizabethan Times. Pay close attention to how people lived, what they did for work and recreation, what they ate, and how they took care of themselves. You will also focus on one of the great names from the time period, William Shakespeare. As you collect information answer the questions on your notes and study guide to help focus your research. The notes and study guide will also be part of your review for the quiz at the end of the Webquest.

Let the Quest for Knowledge Begin!




1. How does a girl become the most powerful ruler in the world?
Click on this link and answer the following questions.

  1. Who becomes King of England in 1509?

  2. What happens in 1533?

  3. What are the events beginning with the death of her father, King Henry VIII,in 1547 that lead to Elizabeth I becoming the Queen of England?

  4. Do the math. How old is Elizabeth I when she becomes the Queen of England?

  5. Why is Queen Mary I called "Bloody Mary?" (look at the year 1555)

  6. When is the first "Black Death or Bubonic Plague?" What does Elizabeth do to protect her court during the plague?

  7. Name two writers born in 1564?

  8. What happens in 1603 to end the Elizabethan Times?


2. Why is this time period called Elizabethan Times?
Click on this link and answer the following questions.
9. List at least three major events that happened during the reign of Queen Elizabeth I?
Click on this link to answer the question.
10. What is the Renaissance?
11. Based on what you now know about Queen Elizabeth I and the Renaissance, explain why

this time period is known as Elizabethan Times.




3. Shakespeare’s Biography
Click on this link and answer the following questions.

12.When is Shakespeare born? When does he die?


How old is he when he dies?
13. What kind of education did Shakespeare have?
14. Who did Shakespeare marry and who were his children?

Give one interesting fact about Shakespeare's private life?


15. When does Shakespeare get to London and begin his work?
What evidence can you give that Shakespeare was successful?

4. Shakespeare the writer
Click on this link and read the BBC article about William Shakespeare as a writer.
16. What title did William Shakespeare win according to the article?
Click on this link and answer the questions about phrases.
17. List three phrases Shakespeare invented.
18. According to Shakespeare what does "sweets to the sweets" mean? What does it mean now?
Click on this link to find out more about Shakespeare as a writer.
19. How many words did Shakespeare invent?
20. Describe the differences and similarities between Elizabethan English and Modern English.
Click on this link and continue
21. In Romeo and Juliet, Juliet famously says, "Romeo, Romeo, wherefore art thou Romeo?"

What does "wherefore" mean?


22. What does "stay" mean?

5. About Theatre in Shakespeare's Time
Click on "Actors, Acting, & Audience" to answer for the next questions.

23. How many women actors did the company usually feature?


24. Was Shakespeare an actor? What was the term used to refer to actors?
25. How were the seating arrangements for the audience? How did one get a good seat?
26. What would the audience do if they did not like a performance?

6. Elizabethan Times
Click this link to explore life in Elizabethan England. Click on any three of the following links and write down at least two facts for each link about life in Elizabethan England. Choose from these: Clothing, Torture, Laws, Women, Children, Daily Life, Superstitions, Medicine.

7. Shakespearean Insults

Go to the Shakespearean Insult Kit and create your own insult. How you do it is to start with the word "Thou." Next, take a phrase/word from the first column to begin your insult, continue by adding something from the second column, and finish it up royally with something from the third column. Type your own personal Shakespearean insult in the table below. [Thou + choice from column 1 + choice from column 2 + choice from column 3 = your custom made insult].


Click on this link to be insulted "professionally."


8. About Marriage
Click on this link and answer the next questions.
Romeo & Juliet marry secretly because she is trying to escape the arranged marriage to Paris. Read this site about marriage in Elizabethan England and answer these questions.
27. What does betrothal mean?
28. Name three marriage and betrothal customs found on this page.
29. What color should the bride's dress be?
30. How is the intention to marry announced? What happens if it is not announced previous to the event?

31. Describe the wedding procession.

32. What is a dowry?

9. About Food
Click on this link and continue
33. How many meals do people generally eat each day? Click here.
34. Why would people in Shakespeare's day not know what a chocolate chip cookie is?
35. In Romeo and Juliet, Lord Capulet throws a huge party, feast and all. Imagine you are in charge

of that feast. Plan the menu using only food available in Europe during this time. Choose at least

two vegetables, two meats, and two fruits or nuts.
10. The Authorship Controversy

There are enough conspiracy theories out there regarding the works of Shakespeare (or attributed to Shakespeare, if you prefer) that entire careers have been built upon positing alternate candidates for the true authorship of the works. Whether or not the claim of Shakespeare is legitimate, the burden of proof would seem to lie on those who wish to discredit the Bard. On the other hand, it's only fair to give attention to this debate as it has been ongoing for quite some time and shows no signs of waning anytime soon.


Click here to read about the authorship controversy. Examine the arguments for each of the other candidates who, some believe, may have authored the plays. Now, what do you think? Summarize your ideas using supporting information for your research.

The Joust: A joust is a contest between two knights on horseback. This popular form of entertainment in Elizabethan Times would bring huge crowds together to see and be seen. Click on the joust to see if you have what it takes to be a champion. By the way, did you know that jousting is the official state sport of Maryland?




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