Man thinks, invents, loves, suffers, prays, admires with his brain and with his whole organism Every love, hate, fear, when it becomes habitual is capable of starting organic changes, even diseases. Man is indelibly marked by prolonged and intense mental effort. These statements apply to poeple in all ages. It is the behavior of Edwardian men, modern men: how do they differ and why -- Ask questions such as the following. All will not necessrily apply to the character you are studyng. Having answered the question, ask how thought, emotions and physical characteristics are determined and expressed.
The spirit of the period: was it optimistic? Adventurous? Defeated? Realistic? Innocent? Sophisticated? Same? Lusty? Puritanical? Etc. Etc.
The occupations of the time -- the sports and amusements -- illuninating scrolls? Puppet shows? Card games? Hunting?
The dress of the period and accessories -- effect on movement -- jewels? Headdresses? Fans? Swords? Handkerchiefs?
Music and dance of the period -- Romeo and Juliet should dance the Pavanne -- the freedom and grace of the movement are an accompaniement to the thoughts, to the words. The people of Chekhov must be able to waltz and to talk easily, “naturally”, as they dance.
Political views of the period: Revolutionary? Liberal? Conservative? Intrigues? How did they affect lives? Behavior.
Art, Literature: Important? Subsidiary? Conservative? Avante garde?
Religion: a dominant influence?
In brief, what are the dominant influences of the er. Did your character go with the current? Adjust? Fight? Lead? Follow? Accept? Reject? To what extent?
What were the resulting attitudes toward self? Society? -- we become what we do. If a social mask is worn long enough it hardens into a permanent cast of reality. Our character consists of the way we act and react when with other people. Discover how the times in which people lived determiined the masks they assumed, or did not assume.
Improv until the element of the worl in which these peple lived becomes real enough to evoke responses.
An Elizabethan bear-baiting.
A Victorian ball or tea, or counting house.
A house party of any era.
What subtexts evolved? What hehavior patterns expressed them?