elizabethan times


The first recorded fireworks in England were at the wedding of King Henry VII and Elizabeth of York in 1486. They gained popularity during the reign of Henry VIII and by Elizabethan times (1558-1603) there was a fireworks master. Queen Elizabeth I created this post so that someone would be in charge of organising firework displays for great occasions. James II even knighted his fireworks master after a particularly excellent show of fireworks at his coronation. (x)


As a green witch, this is the information I’ve put together about basil to go in my book of shadows. I’ve done the hard work so you don’t have to ~ enjoy and feel free to use!

Common name: Basil

Latin name: Ocimum basilicum [pronounced ochy-moom bassil-ih-coom]

Ocimum is the Greek word for fragrant.

Basilicum has a double meaning: it could come from the Greek word ‘basilium’ which means king - in the sense that the smell of basil is fit for a king. However, it could also be derived from the Latin word ‘basilisicum’ which translates as ‘Basilisk’ - a creature that is known to cause madness and death.

Other names: Albahaca, American Dittany, Our Herb, St Joseph’s Wort and Witches Herb.

Gender: Masculine

Planet correspondence: Mars

Element: Fire

Links to other religions: 

Basil known a ‘holy basil’ or Tulsi (Ocimum tenuiflorum) is very sacred in Hinduism. Its leaves are mandatory in the ritualistic worship of the god Vishnu. Basil is a Hindu symbol of love fidelity, eternal life, purification and protection. 


For hundreds of years, basil has been associated with creepy crawlies such as snakes and lice - but especially scorpions. In the 1500s, doctors thought that smelling basil would conjure ‘scorpions of the mind.’ This meant that they thought scorpions would grow inside the brain!

This theory can be traced to an English physician who ‘observed’ while he was in Italy that is you placed a basil leaf under a stone in a moist place, then within 2 days a scorpion would be produced. There’s also another story of an English physician who had a patient with a scorpion infestation in his brain - though to be caused by frequently smelling basil!

In the Tudor times, pots of basil were given as parting gifts - use basil in your travelling and safe journey spells. 

in Elizabethan times, sweet basil was used as snuff to clear the brain, and ease colds and headaches. 

The ancient Romans used basil to curse their enemies. they would curse them as they planted the seeds, and to ensure good growth they believed that mistreating the plants and praying to the gods that it wouldn’t grow would actually help it grow faster. They associated basil with poverty, hate and misfortune. 

It’s also common folklore that witches drank basil juice before flying on their brooms!

Main beliefs about basil: 

- Carrying a leaf in your pocket or wallet can attract wealth, and if you’re a shop owner place it above the till or door to ensure the money comes rolling in.

- If a basil plant is given to a member of the opposite sex (these were the days before basic human rights and equality huh), they will fall deeply in love with the giver and be forever faithful.

-  In some countries it’s seen as something ‘real men’ don’t eat because it’s associated with the teas used to relieve menstrual cramps.

- It can both ward against and attract insanity. The beliefs vary from place to place, but this myth stems from the fact that ‘basil’ may be derived from the Latin for ‘Basilisk,’ a creature known to drive people insane. 

- After an argument, drinking basil tea can help you calm down and put you in the right frame of mind to peacefully settle the dispute. After a family falling out, cooking meals heavily laced with basil (this one’s for all you kitchen witches) can help reconcile emotions and bring harmony once again.

Modern uses and symbolism: 

Steadies the mind, happiness, love, peace, wealth, protects against insanity

Medical Properties:

Basil contains cinnamanic acid which enhances circulation, stabilises blood sugar and improves breathing. It’s rich in vitamin A, C and K. It also has copper, calcium, iron, magnesium and omega-3 fats in it.

Natural cures and remedies:

- For colds, chew a few basil leaves twice a day until you’re cured

- To soothe coughs, add 8 basil leaves and 5 cloves to a cup of boiling water and drink. For a sore throat due to coughing, boil water with basil leaves and gargle with it. 

- To eliminate stress, chew 10 basil leaves twice a day

- To combat acne, try making basil juice and applying it to the area once a day

- For stomach, pains swallow 1tsp of basil juice mixed with 1tsp of ginger juice

- For insect bites and stings, rub basil leaves on the wound

- Chew some basil leaves to get rid of mouth infections and ulcers

- Basil can also be rubbed on the skin to repel mosquitoes


Let me talk to you about Romeo x Juliet

This is one of the most underrated anime series I’ve ever seen. It doesn’t matter if you like anime, or if you like Romeo and Juliet for that matter. It’s just a damn good show and I’m about to tell you why.

Now, I’m just gonna get this out the way—it’s not at all faithful to the play. It takes a tragedy about two families whose feud costs them their children’s lives and turns it into an epic fantasy about star-crossed lovers caught up in a rebellion against an evil tyrant.

In this version, the Capulets are the rulers of Neo-Verona until Lord Montague stages a blood coup and seizes the throne. Fourteen years later he’s still searching for Juliet, the last surviving member of House Capulet, who’s being groomed to lead a rebellion against him by the Capulet retainers. Think Game of Thrones meets Anastasia.

In any other case, this would instantly suck out all the nuance and make it a boring, cliché good vs. evil affair. But somehow it only *adds* new dimensions to the story.

The change in the Capulet-Montague dynamic creates so much more conflict in the romance. Juliet feels immense pressure to avenge a family she was too young to remember, while grappling with the guilt of loving the son of their murderer, and Romeo has to come to terms with the fact his own father’s a monster who killed an innocent girl’s entire family. Their love isn’t just forbidden because their families don’t know how to let go of petty grudges, but because they should be trying to kill each other on sight.

And all of this is sandwiched between the politics and adventure of the Capulet rebellion and the rising tension in Neo-Verona under Montague’s oppressive rule, with a whole cast of other colourful, well-developed characters.

And while the plot takes a lot of liberties with the source material, it still remains true to the spirit of Shakespeare’s works.

Girls cross-dressing, leading to hilarious homo-erotic interactions with their love interests? Check.

Juliet disguises herself as a boy whilst in public to avoid being found by Montague. You’d swear Romeo was bisexual with how much sexual tension there is between him and “Oden.” Oh, and there are points where “he” is asked to dress as a girl, making this character a girl who dresses as a boy who dresses as a girl, giving it the same meta-humor Shakespeare’s comedies had in Elizabethan times.

Disguises? Check.

On top of having to pretend she’s a boy, Juliet also acts as the masked vigilante “The Red Whirlwind” whenever she sees justice needing served. Romeo has some pretty sweet chemistry with him too. So she’s a girl pretending to be a boy who pretends to be a man, and sometimes dresses as girl while pretending to be a boy. Got it.

Dramatic irony? Check.

This show probably loves taking advantage of what the audience already knows more than Good Ole’ Willie did. Sure, show us Juliet learning she’s the Capulet heir hours after meeting Romeo and then cut straight to his blissfully unaware ass reminiscing about her. It’s not like I have a heart or anything.

Characters having a mental breakdown due to guilt over atrocious acts? Check.

But I’m not spoiling that one.

Shakespeare himself being a character? Check.

“Willy” is wonderfully fourth-wall breaking, quoting his most famous lines and complaining about how no one appreciates his plays, while still managing to be relevant to the plot. I’m sure the real William would have approved.

Iambic pentameter? Check. The English dub uses Shakespearian verse whenever it can, even having certain characters speak only in rhyme.

Even names from other Shakespeare plays get recycled for nameless and original characters, including Portia (Romeo’s mother), Leontes (Prince Montague), Hermione (Romeo’s betrothed), and Ophelia (Resident Living Tree Nun).

Yes, this anime has a tree nun. I told you, it’s a fantasy.

And if that’s not enough to convince you, let me put it this way: this is the one version of Romeo and Juliet where you don’t already know how it’s gonna end. Come on, that’s pretty exciting.

Why you need to see Bill the Film

-It’s by the guys who did Horrible Histories, known as the Idiot Pie. If you like HH you’ll love this

-it’s like Shakespeare smashed with Monty Python and you will be laughing your guts out

-There a SO MANY references to Shakespeare, some are really sneaky

-Like Horrible Histories it shows how really gross the Elizabethan time was it’s great

-It also gets (kinda a spoiler?) surprisingly dark


-“Hello, I’m a man in a play. Hello, I’m a woman in a play.”

-Shakespeare writing a musical

-Like HH and Yonderland it’s super colorful and heartfelt

-Between the six from the Idiot Pie, they play about 40 characters

-Plan J

Seriously if you like history and shakespeare or just plain funny movies you have to see it it’s a delight

anonymous asked:

So if there is literally no evidence that Shakespeare wrote all these works... then are we just looking for an idol? As much as I hate the elites, I wonder. Like Earl of Oxfords usage of the supposed words that Shakespeare later created. I love the idea of someone poor who became a legend. But I think the question is, how plausible would that be during that period? Just like now the American dream isn't as attainable as it was a decade ago. What were times like? Just curious about this now...

There is evidence that Shakespeare wrote his own works. Lots of it. What there isn’t evidence of is anyone else writing his works. There’s just a lot of loose conjecture and fanciful speculation.

Also, let’s be clear about a few things: The anti-Stratfordians like to argue that because Shakespeare was poor and not particularly well-educated, he couldn’t possibly have become the world’s greatest playwright. But this isn’t even a true statement—William Shakespeare’s father was an alderman of one of fifteen or so of the largest towns outside of London at the time. He was by no means a nobody. Yes, Shakespeare only got the equivalent of a grade school education, but a grade school education in Elizabethan times would have given him more Greek and Latin than a Classics scholar with a PhD would have today, just to give you an idea what that actually means. He was by no means uneducated. One of his younger brothers became an actor and he was an actor himself, who wrote specific parts for people in the company he worked with. It would have been hilariously difficult for him to carry off this charade if he was actually a whole different person, especially a person of a such a high social class that he couldn’t be caught dead working in the theatre. Frankly, the whole idea that Shakespeare wasn’t Shakespeare is an academic farce. 

I won’t get into any more of it here. If you’re interested, I’d recommend you check out Bill Bryson’s Shakespeare: The World as Stage or James Shapiro’s Contested Will. 

forshesajollygoodfellow  asked:

Since you asked for questions: I was wondering if you have any Shakespeare book recs.? As in books about Shakes. himself, historical background to the plays, play analysis, etc. ( I read Shakespeare's Restless World by Neil MacGregor recently and it was lovely, would def recommend if you haven't already checked it out.)

Oooh….what a great question (so sorry it took me literally forever to answer it, I was saving it in my drafts to work on, but then I forgot about it…whoops…)

Big problem with bios on Shakespeare is that tbh there isn’t much historical info to go on, and it gets repetitive fast. So bios are either filled with a lot of questionable ‘facts’ that are really assumptions, or basically a history book of Tudor England. Here’s a few books I’d recommend that do have some of these problems, but I think are the best nonfiction work on Shakespeare’s life and plays:

Shakespeare’s Life

-The podcast of Shakespeare’s Restless World, which I like even more that the book (I loved it too)
-1599: A Year in the Life of William Shakespeare (Shapiro, love this one)
-Shakespeare & Co. (Wells, this is okay but wouldn’t have made the list if it didn’t talk as extensively as it does about other Elizabethan playwrights)
-Time Traveler’s Guide to Elizabethan England (Mortimer, seems silly but it’s really fantastic overview of everyday Elizabethan life Shakes might have lived)

Plays/History of Plays:

-Shakespearean Tragedy (Bradley, fantastic-covers the tragedies)
-Shakespeare’s Kings (Norwich, history of the histories)
-The Genius of Shakespeare (Bate, interesting book? I read it for class. A bit laudatory but a good read. idk to sort it here or above)

Play analysis really depends on what you’re interested in tbh so idk if I can rec you much there. JSTOR, Academia.edu, and your uni’s library-if you’re in college-are your best friends. But mostly @jstor lbr.

Happy reading!!

From Guildhall Library, an Elizabethan pancake recipe from Thomas Dawson’s The Good Huswife’s Jewell, 1585. 

Maaaaaany people don’t know this, but back before Elizabethan times, people used to sing an old ditty in celebration of pancakes. It went like this:

It’s pancake day, yes it’s pancake day. It’s p-p-p-p-p-p-p-pancake-day.

Meanwhile, on the other side of Guildhall Library, a totally legit pancake race.

As you sit there watching a performance of a Shakespeare, Johnson, or Marlowe play, the crowd will fade into the background. Instead, you will be struck by the diction. There are words and phrases that you will not find funny, but which will make the crowd roar with laughter. Your familiarity with the meanings of Shakespeare’s words will rise and fall as you see and hear the actors’ deliveries and notice the audience’s reaction. That is the strange music of being so familiar with something that is not of your own time. What you are listening to in that auditorium is the genuine voice, something of which you have heard only distant echoes. Not every actor is perfect in his delivery; Shakespeare himself makes that quite clear in his Hamlet. But what you are hearing is the voice of the men for whom Shakespeare wrote his greatest speeches. Modern thespians will follow the rhythms or the meanings of these words, but even the most brilliant will not always be able to follow both rhythm and meaning at once. If they follow the pattern of the verse, they risk confusing the audience, who are less familiar with the sense of the words. If they pause to emphasize the meanings, they lose the rhythm of the verse. Here, on the Elizabethan stage, you have a harmony of performance and understanding that will never again quite be matched in respect of any of these great writers.
—  The Time Traveller’s Guide to Elizabethan England – Ian Mortimer

Is anyone getting serious Season 1 vibes from this whole Roanoke thing? Obviously there’s the fact that Billie Dean Howard told Violet in 1x11 the story of the colony that this season is related to, and Violet tried to get rid of Chad by shouting ‘Croatoan’, which was left carved on a tree after the colony went missing in the Elizabethan times. Then there’s the fact that it’s called just ‘American Horror Story’ again and there aren’t too many different storylines. That’s not really a connection, but it makes it seem more like season 1. Also, there were those two characters dressed like nurses and also the pig man, which reminds me of season 1 a lot. Just a theory.

Plans have been unveiled to recreate a Shakespearean Merseyside theatre
It was in Prescot, a small hilltop town near Liverpool, that scholars believe William Shakespeare may have debuted several of his most famous plays. Now plans are afoot to recreate a period theatre in Merseyside to celebrate its often neglected place in the history of the Bard. In Elizabethan times, the Prescot Playhouse was the only purpose-built indoor theatre outside of London. Built in the 1590s but destroyed in the early 17th century, the exact appearance of this original Shakespearean theatre remains unknown because no plans have survived.

“It was in Prescot, a small hilltop town near Liverpool, that scholars believe William Shakespeare may have debuted several of his most famous plays. Now plans are afoot to recreate a period theatre in Merseyside to celebrate its often neglected place in the history of the Bard.”

“In Elizabethan times, the Prescot Playhouse was the only purpose-built indoor theatre outside of London. …Richard III and Love’s Labour’s Lost both have tributes to the Stanley family, and may have been first performed at the Prescot Playhouse or nearby Knowsley Hall.”

BUT, “the exact appearance of this original Shakespearean theatre remains unknown because no plans have survived…the designs of Inigo Jones’s Whitehall theatre the Cockpit-in-Court, dating back to 1629, will be replicated instead.”