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Shakespeare's Almanack

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In my recently published book, “Shakespeare’s Qaballah”, (A Companion to Shakespeare Studies) I also mentioned that plays were usually commissioned for performance at court either to entertain some visiting foreign dignitary, to celebrate a state occasion/wedding or some military or diplomatic achievement. (See “The Elizabethan Festival Cycle”). Depending on their success and popularity they might then go on to be performed at one of the public theatres, usually in London such as the Globe, Curtain or Blackfriars. Plays were also commissioned for the annual Queen’s procession through the provinces where she was officially received by the leading aristocrat in any particular estate or county. The time and location for these events was also considered auspicious and appropriate to the event or occasion and intended to coincide with the Elizabethan calendar. In that particular essay I laid out briefly when certain plays were generally performed and how their narrative, theme or plot would resonate with say a particular festive occasion (eg: Epiphany-Twelfth Night, St. John the Baptist Day, midsummer). Because Elizabethan or Tudor calendars were still aligned to the Julian calendar the “English Year” began officially on the 24th March (St. Mark’s Eve), which was publically celebrated on April Fool’s Day (1st April), commemorating the arrival of Spring and the end of Winter.

The Seasonal Cycle of Plays, Pageants, Revels and Feasts can be accessed by clicking on the following link:


Elizabethan DramaFestival CycleEnglish FolkloreWilliam ShakespeareShakespeare Authorship QuestionMaster of the Revels

◄ The Shakespeare Myth or "Academic Bardolatory"

New Bearings in Poetry ►


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