Shakespeare lived from 1564 to 1616, during the reigns of Elizabeth I and James I. In popular imagination, this was an era bursting into the modern age, full of scientific and geographic discoveries, military victories, and literary masterpieces. But for the people who lived it, this was a time of extreme uncertainty, wracked with religious conflict and poverty and threatened by enemies internal and external. There were profound changes in society and culture that are reflected in Shakespeare’s plays. In this course, we will explore the government, religion, society, culture, and daily life of England (and to some extent Scotland) during this time, from the perspective of ordinary people as well as royalty and the aristocracy. Please note that this is a history course that should appeal to those with a general interest in the period as well as to lovers of Shakespeare. • Lecture + Q&A.