Paleness of skin in males indicated that they did not spend much time in the saddle. At Elizabeth's court, while there were courtiers, it still was not considered a noble profession for an elite male. There are numerous references about this peppered throughout Shakespeare's plays. In the plays, references to men who are pale of skin are generally derogatory.Time in the saddle and the consequent burnishing of the skin were signs of a life spent serving the queen, frequently in some military capacity.
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