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Shakespear

All the new technological advances we have today aid us in our lives. Imagine a time when nothing we take for granted today existed. Our lives would be more challenging and difficult. In Shakespeares England, during the 16th and 17th centuries, the lifestyle was very different from that of the 21st century. Superstitions, medicine, education, justice, and diet were all very different from what we have today. Because of the culture, science, and technology back then, life was very much more challenging than it is today.


The Elizabethan Age was not a safe and secure time to live. Crimes were committed randomly and criminals were punished severely. Thieves cut open purses and took money from them, hookers would use staffs with hooks attached to them to steal items from houses through windows, horse dealers and gamblers were dishonest, highwaymen stopped travelers and stole their possessions, and witches were blamed for everything. Misdemeanors like wandering the streets drunk or cheating a customer could land someone in the stocks or pillory while felonies such as murder, highway robbery, and burglary of more than one shilling resulted in hanging or beheading. On the bright side, nobles were never hung but were beheaded with an axe, a quick and easy way to die. Finally, debtors lived in prison until he has paid his debt; he was deprived of food, water, and clothing, so he had to get someone to bring him the necessities.

If I lived in the Shakespearean times, I would not be able to endure these conditions. Without police, there was an unorganized society full of crime. Many people must have slipped past the unwary eye of civil magistrates of a town as well as the judicial system. People could easily get away with a crime if done properly. The lack of a police force compromises the safety of Elizabethan citizens. On the other hand, the punishments if caught were unimaginably cruel and savage.

Being put into the stocks or pillory may have been reasonable and suitable back then, but nowadays it is considered cruel and unusual punishment. Today, we are innocent until proven guilty, but that was not the case back then. I feel that beheading or a hanging is too gruesome, we no longer do that in our society because it is forbidden by the law. People back then must have been exceedingly barbaric and uncivilized to want to see someone die through suffering. Even if he/she did the worst thing conceivable, he still deserves a peaceful death like we have today. Living back then would be challenging because the punishments were too severe and there were no laws stating that you are guilty until proven innocent. Rich people were favored of poor people by the judicial system and crime was way too common back then. I would miss the peace of mind, the security, and the judicial system we have today. It shouldnt matter whether you are poor or rich, a farmer or a noble; you should be prosecuted for a crime equally.

Back when Shakespeare lived, people didnt have such a variety of foods to eat like we have today. Preservation methods have dramatically improved because of science and technology. We could easily drive to a large supermarket and buy anything we desire. This availability of food was not existent during the Shakespeares time. The foods the people ate consisted mainly of fresh livestock and vegetables that they raised themselves including beef, mutton, pork, veal, chicken, geese, fish, cabbage, onions, turnips, potatoes, grain, cheese, and eggs. Sugar, spices, and fruits were extremely rare and luxurious for poor families, which further constricts the Shakespearean diet. Furthermore, because of the lack of food and the difficulty of preparation, adults had to be satisfied with only two meals per day: dinner around eleven oclock in the morning and supper about five oclock in the afternoon. They must have been starving!

The most challenging aspect if I lived in Shakespeares time would be coping with the completely different selection of foods back then. I couldnt possibly stand to eat anything from the customary meats chicken, beef, and pork. I would miss the classic American meal of pizza and subs with soda. I couldnt even dream about a life without precious ice creams and candies. It would be extremely hard to live without a refrigerator, microwave, or oven. Also, the people from Shakespeares England would not have been able to go to restaurants, for they werent available. Think about all of the steak, French fries, and hamburgers they were missing out on. I would guess those people would envy all of the scrumptious foods we have today.

Goodbye Shakespeare, and thank God I live today!

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