What were current events when it premiered (when did it premiere?)? Who were important figures in government, the arts, business? What was happening with religion, education, family structures, understandings of identity, and political structures? What other sorts of artistic events or movements where starting, ending, or under way?
Start with these background sources to establish factual evidence for a play and its historical period.
When searching Primo for books about context, try these search terms:
everyday life, use social life and customs, e.g. England Social life and customs 16th century
first productions and staging, use stage history, e.g., Jonson stage history
history of the period, use country and century, e.g., Spain 17th century;
broad overview of country or city's history, use country and civilization, e.g,. Spain Civilization 1516-1700
works about the theatre, use theater and country, e.g., Theater England History
critical works, use criticism, e.g., Shakespeare AND criticism; English drama Early modern and Elizabethan, 1500-1600 history and criticism
views of the author, use author and political and social views or author and religion, e.g., Calderon de la Barca AND political AND social views; Marlowe AND religion
Note: When searching by subject, use the ER spelling of theater.
Start with these databases to find articles relating to the historical and social context of the play.