From the beginning of her reign, Elizabeth was always a major patron of the stage, and drama flourished under her support. In the 1560s, the first blank verse tragedies appeared, ultimately giving rise to an art form that remains heavily studied today. In 1562, one of the earliest of these blank verse plays, Gorboduc, was performed for the Queen.Initially, a certain amount of class conflict arose over the production of plays, as the puritanical Elizabethan middle class tried to shut down the London theaters on the basis of their "immorality." Thus, under major pressure, the Mayor of London attempted to close all of the city's theaters in 1580. The Privy Council, citing Elizabeth's fondness for plays, prevented this measure from taking place, although they did allow the crowded theaters to be shut down in times of epidemics. Elizabeth, who liked to invite theater
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Elizabeth, blank verse tragedies, blank verse plays, Elizabethan middle class