Under such conditions, it wouldnt be difficult to agree with the mid-17th century writings of philosopher Thomas Hobbes, who observed that human life is naturally nasty, brutish and short. There would be compensations, however: the beauty and quiet of the countryside, the easy camaraderie of the inn, the vivacity of your fellow travelers.Perhaps, one mid-afternoon, you could even run into William Shakespeare himself.And one thing is certain: Despite your preconceptions, Shakespeares London is not simply English and not simply white.For you will inevitably meet people of different nationalities.Bathing, while not unknown, is infrequent, and the majority of those you meet will pay little attention to personal hygiene.With primitive sanitation and high population density, disease is common.
As a further precaution, a Papal dispensation was obtained, and Henry married Catherine in 1509.
Eric Rasmussen explains the complex process of getting married in Shakespeare’s England, and the way this worked for young Will himself.
He explores the tension, in Shakespeare’s plays, between the old order, in which fathers chose their daughters’ husbands, and the new order based on mutual love, but still plagued by the threat of infidelity.
Claudius was in effect marrying his sister when he married Gertrude.
To Elizabethans, this doctrine of incest was not obscure canon law.
Both Hamlet and the ghost condemn the relationship and marriage between Claudius and Gertrude as incestuous (1.2.157; 1.5.42).