Prof. G. Steinberg
In addition to sonnets and Spenser's epic Faerie Queene, one of the kinds of writing that Elizabeth's court was most renowned for was drama.
Elizabethan drama is not intended to be particularly realistic (as you'll quickly discover when you begin reading Dr. Faustus, which is about a man who makes a pact with the devil and gets all kinds of magical powers). The idea wasn't to portray people in realistic situations with realistic dialogue. Nobody in real life engages in soliloquies in perfect iambic pentameter.
The idea was to capture the characters' emotions and thoughts in a form that was as beautiful and artistic as possible.
Think back to the medieval Mystery Plays that we read (Noah and The Second Shepherds' Play). In those medieval plays, characters had long speeches that were specifically designed to make one point or another (e.g., the shepherds complained about the weather and taxes). But there was no attempt really to polish and refine the speeches so that they were a thing of beauty -- artistic, witty, graceful, elegant, sophisticated. That just wasn't a goal for the medieval playwrights.
But it is an important goal for the Elizabethan playwrights. They tended to write as beautifully as they could when they got to the most important moments (dramatically) or to the most important ideas (thematically) in their plays.
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