It was the Elizabethan Period, a time of undeniable hardships. What would it have been like for a man to fulfill his dreams of the stage while battling the uncertainty of each arriving day? As an actor, what role would one play in their ordinary lives? What did one wear? This is the account of one man in his twenties, who had the Plague at his back door, the poverty at his front, and a stage, which yearned to be utilized. Here stood a man of five foot ten who saw a world built upon planks of aspiration that stretched beyond the normal bounds of common men. He was an actor by heart, a cobbler at trade, and playwright when inspired hands brought to life the internal voice of poet and realist. Although life was hard during the Elizabethan Period, the joy of being an actor in London, England, in the 1590s, fulfilled a much deeper calling. The greatest playwright who ever lived was William Shakespeare. He expressed his conception of the stage when saying:.
All the world is a stage.
And all the men and women merely players:.
They have their exists and their entrances;.
And one man in his time plays many parts,.
His acts being seven ages.
It was not common in 1590 to separate oneself from noble work to desire a much more entertaining lifestyle. An actor at heart yearned to perform, and did not pursue this career in search of fortune or social position. Actors in the Elizabethan Period were seen as vagabonds, thieves, and low class. But some saw them as charming, witty, and sophisticated enough to socialize with nobility (Chambers pg.119). The actor in which I write my research possessed all of these traits but came from a humble background. His father a shoe-smith, his mother a seamstress, he sought to change a destined path that lay before him. .
His name, which research brings to life, is Jonathan Anders. He entered the Kings School, in Canterbury, on a scholarship, and a scholarship to Oxford soon followed.