What has bear baiting got to do with shakespeare?
It is referenced in many of his plays, usually symbolic of a character's current situation. (For example, Macbeth's "They have tied me to a stake; I cannot fly, but bear-like I must fight the course.") The Bear Garden, also known as the Hope Theatre, was especially constructed so as to be used for both bearbaiting and theatre. For the most part, however, the theatres were not used for bearbaiting.