The Puritans were a Protestant religious
faction and the term came into general usage at the end of
the reign of Bloody Mary and the start of the Elizabethan
era. A broad definition of puritans is 'those who wanted to
completely change the Church of England, with its Roman
Catholic type of structure and traditions, for another
reformed and plain church model'. This strict religious view
spread to encompass many social activities within England
moving to a stricter code of conduct which deplored any kind
of finery or flippant behaviours. The Puritans deplored the
Why the Puritans were against
the Globe Theatre
The Globe theatre and its
plays were a new idea, a
new form of entertainment for Londoners. The Globe theatre attracted huge
crowds - up to 3000 people. The theatres were also used for bear
baiting, gambling and for immoral purpose. It appealed to young people and many
apprentices were said to have been lured to the theatres instead of
working. The crowds attracted thieves, gamblers, pick-pockets, beggars,
prostitutes and all kinds of rogues. Many Londoners were strict
Protestants - Puritans in fact, who abhorred the theatres and many of
the people they attracted.
Objections by the Puritans to the theatres escalated and were supported
by other Londoners.
Respectable citizens were concerned about the rise in crime
and the bawdy nature of some of the plays, fighting, drinking not to
mention the risk of so many people and the spread of the Bubonic Plague!
The Puritans and the demolition
of the Globe Theatre
The end of the Globe Theatre was in sight. In 1642, under the force of the Puritans, the
English Parliament issued an ordinance suppressing all stage plays in
the theatres. The Puritans, lead by Oliver Cromwell, who had been elected
to Parliament came into total conflict with the Royalists lead by King
Charles I and the English Civil war broke out. In 1644 the Globe Theatre
was demolished by the Puritans.
In 1647 Even stricter rules were passed
regarding stage plays and theatres. This culminated in 1648 when all
theatres and playhouses were ordered to be pulled down. All actors were to be seized
and whipped, and anyone caught attending a play to be fined five
shillings. In 1649 the Civil War finally lead to the terrible execution
of King Charles I . In 1653 Oliver Cromwell becomes Lord Protector of
England. In 1658 Cromwell died and the power of the Puritans started to
decline. In 1660 King Charles II was restored to the throne of England.
With the Restoration of the English monarchy and , and the demise in the
power of the Puritans in 1660 the theatres finally open again. But the
Globe Theatre was never re-built - until 1997.
Globe Theatre Puritans
Interesting Facts and information
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