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Created with Fabric.js 1.4.5 THE CHAIN OF BEING GODANGELS/DEMONS CHURCH - PRIESTS - NOBLES KING & QUEEN ANIMALS - PLANTS - MINERALS - SOIL MEN - WOMEN - SLAVES The Earth was the centre of the universe and the stars moved around it in fixed routes. In heaven God ruled over the archangels and angels. On Earth there was order everywhere. society reflected this order with fixed classes from the highest to the lowest - kings, churchmen, nobles, merchants and peasannts. The animals had their own degrees too, the lion being the "King". Plant life and minerals also reflected this order. Among the trees, the most superior was the oak, among flowers, it was the rose. Among minerals, gold was the most superior. It is seen through all species/grades of life, there is always an appointed ruler or superior figure. Shakespeare's time is seen as a period of dynamic changein both political and social affairs. William Shakespeare used a political and philosophical framework to suggest that everything in the world had its position fixed byGod. The Elizabethans called this divine social hierarchy ' The Great Chain of Being'. The Elizabethan Era was seen as a highly religious time, with the dominant belief that God controlled all of human existence. The Great Chain of Being was established by God, and solely adheres to order within society. It was believed that order is the only wayto have a functional society and bring about any human progress. The highly religious movement of the time meant God was positioned at the highest point of the heirarchy, closely followed by the King or Queen who were seen as a direct link from God. God was positioned at the highest point of the social hierarchy, and was believed to be in control of all matter within the universe. The King/Queen seen and treated as Gods among men, their actions were seen as an act from God; thus, violation of these actions were seen as a rebellion against society and against God. Throughout this time period the religious movement dominated society. The church was higher than any man apart from the King, and would be seen as a connection to God. The church was a means of speaking to the public, whether it be through the King or through the priests to spread the word of God. Men were seen as more superior than women and where generally given jobs throughout the town in order to provide for society. Women would primarily stay at home and cook, clean and work around the house (women were never allowed on stage). Slaves were always given menial manual tasks to perform around the house and on farms, usually the jobs that were least liked by their owners. Animals were always considered below humans within society. Plants were below animals, and minerals/ soil below them.
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