Let’s say that within your country there were only two separate groups of people. The basis was on how much money you made and you were segregated for it. How do you think you would feel? It would probably not be very good. Generally, though, this is how society worked during the Elizabethan period.
You were either considered upper class or lower class. This was primarily decided by where you lived and how much money made. Perhaps much like today, it would depend greatly on your education level and the things you wore also.
The fortunate part is that the gap between upper class and lower class was starting to dissipate slightly. Still, the rich were getting rich, but the poor seemed to be doing quite well too. Generally this was caused by the state of the economy in which England had for the vast majority of Queen Elizabeth I’s reign as Queen of England.
The trade industry was blooming and most people had good steady jobs which paid well. People were able to provide for their families and this was something that the country had suffered for through many monarchs prior to Queen Elizabeth I.
I believe it was the economy that also helped introduced some level of equality, if that is what you could call it. With the huge renaissance among the literature and theatre in England, both upper class and lower class citizens alike were able to attend. This is probably something that did not occur much in previous years. Generally they were segregated heavily and probably not even around each other very much.
Elizabethan Era Social Classes
In the Elizabethan Social places like the theatres there was still special seating for the upper class which was usually dependent on the price that they paid. Generally the lower class would pay less (which is fair) and have standing room only. The sad part is that this was referred to as the “stinkard pit”.
This was clearly a derogatory reference to the lower class citizens that were forced into that area. Overall, however, Elizabethan Society seemed to improve and make good progress towards equaling out the system between two separate classes.
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