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Measure for Measure
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Elizabethan Marriage Customs

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message 1: by Brinn (new)

Brinn (Brinnb) | 2 comments Do any of you know something about marriage customs during/leading up to the Elizabethan Era? I recently read Measure for Measure, and would really like to do some more research on this.

I think the Puritan Manifesto may have impacted marriage laws during Shakespeare's day, and perhaps condemned traditional "common consent" marriages (like his own?) in an effort to promote the more formal process of easier-to-track Church-sanctioned marriages.

Understanding this seems key to interpreting "Measure for Measure," which appears to function as a place of convergence between traditional, informal customs and formalized, newly-enforced (in Shakespeare's day), religious ceremonies.

Any thoughts on this topic, or possible research suggestions?


message 2: by Martin (last edited Nov 10, 2012 10:18AM) (new)

Martin | 1116 comments I don't know how easily you can get hold of it, Brinn, but I can recommend Chapter 4, "Puritanism and Fashion, 1570-1640" from this book:

Conrad Russell, The Crisis of Parliaments, English History 1509-1660, Oxford University Press 1971.

"Fashion" here means not clothes, but all social beliefs and customs, including marriage.


message 3: by Brinn (last edited Nov 09, 2012 04:02PM) (new)

Brinn (Brinnb) | 2 comments My local library has it! Thanks for the tip!


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