TheTheaters of William Shakespeare Nicole winsboro

Thesis: William Shakespeare had many details towards his plays. This can be seen by his theaters, his architecture , and his audience and actors.

Shakespeare’s Theaters:

Quote #1: "Globe Theater was an early open-air English theater in London. Most of the great English playwright William Shakespeare's plays were first presented at the Globe." (Seidel).

Commentary:The Globe was one of the first theaters to open up in Shakespeares' time. Many people visited when it first opened. It was a very popular place and people from all around went to watch plays. Shakespeare was very creative and intelligent. He showed his talents through his plays and and stories.

Quote #2:"But recently we have seen a reversal of this design. Now more and more theaters (especially university and regional theaters) are building thrust stages, or arena stages. In this kind of theater, the audience once again sits on three or even four sides of the stage,"(780).

Commentary:Theaters back then were quite large. They would be able to fit almost everyone in the city or village. They had three levels or stories. Theaters these days have their similarities and differences with those from the olden days.

Quote #3: "Theater buildings. By the late 1500’s, Elizabethan plays were being performed in two kinds of theater buildings—later called public and private theaters. Public theaters were larger than private ones and held at least 2,500 people. They were built around a courtyard that had no roof. Public theaters gave performances only during daylight hours because they had no artificial lights. Private theaters were smaller, roofed structures. They had candlelight for evening performances. Private theaters charged higher prices and were designed to attract a higher-class audience. The King’s Men only acquired an indoor theater, the Blackfriars, in 1608 and began to perform there in 1609,"(Lander).

Commentary:There were different theaters built for the certain ranks. The theater size depended on the amount of people and whether it is public or private.

Quote #4: Royal Shakespeare Company is an English theater organization dedicated to presenting the plays of William Shakespeare and other playwrights of his time, modern classical dramas, and new works. The company, also known as the RSC, performs at its own theater at Stratford-upon-Avon, England, Shakespeare's birthplace. The company also stages plays in London. It ranks among the leading theater ensembles in the world.

Commentary: Shakespeare had many organizations within his theater career. He was a very social and successful man in his lifetime. He attracted many people to come and enjoy his plays.

Quote #5:"We know that several years later, by 1592, Shakespeare had already become an actor and a playwright . By 1594, he was a charter memer of the theatrical company called the Lord Chamberlains Men, which was later to become the King's Men. (As the names of these acting companies indicate, theatrical groups depended on the support of a wealthy patron- the king's men were supported by King James himself.) Shakespeare worked with his company for the rest of his wring life. Year after year he provide it with plays, almost on demand. Shakespeare was the ultimate professional writer. He had a theater that needed plays, actors who need parts, and a family that needed to be fed."

Commentary: Shakespeare knew about many things in his career. He was involved in most of the theaters or soon to be theaters.

Architecture and Decor.:

Quote #6: In his play Henry V, Shakespeare called his theater a wooden O. It was a large, round (or polygonal) building, three stories high, with a large platform stage that projected from one end into a yard open to the sky. In the back wall of this stage was a curtained-off inner stage. Flanking the inner stage were two doors for entrances and exits. Above this inner stage was a small balcony or upper stage, which could be used to suggest Juliet's balcony or the high walls of a castle or the bridge of a ship. Trapdoors were placed in the floor of the main stage for the entrances and exits of ghosts and for descents into hell,"(779).

Commentary: The theaters had many parts and details. They also built props for the individual plays showing at different times. After every play they would switch the props depending on what was showing next

Quote #7:"We can see that this stage, with its few sets and many acting areas- fore stage, inner stage, and upper stage-made for a theater of great fluidity. That is, scene could follow scene with almost cinematic ease,"(779)

Commentary:There were many different kinds of stages when it came to plays in the Globe Theater. All these stages are useful for different shows during the day. They each had their own purpose

Quote #8:"It has been said that all you need for a theater is two planks and a passion. Since Shakespeare's time the planks (the stage) have undergone various changes. First the part of the stage that projected into the yard grew narrower, and the small curtained inner stage grew larger, until there developed what is called the proscenium stage. Here there is no outer stage; there is only the inner stage, and a larger curtain separates it from the audience. The effect is like looking inside a window or inside a picture frame. This is the stage most of us know today. It has been standard for well over a hundred years,"(779)

Commentary:When it comes to Shakespeare's theaters, they have many details to them. There are many different factors going towards decoration and architecture.

Actors, Costumes and Audiences:

Quote #9:"In one interesting aspect the theater in Shakespeare's day was very different from the theater we know today. Plays were originally performed by the all-male medieval trade guilds, so all women's parts were played by boys. It would be many years before women appeared onstage in the professional English theater. In Shakespeare's time day, Juliet would have been played by a trained boy actor,"(779).

Commentary: Back then women didn't really have a part in anything. It was mostly men doing the work and activities

Quote #10: "Shakespeare’s plays have attracted large audiences in big, sophisticated cities and in small, rural towns. His works have been performed on the frontiers of Australia and New Zealand. They were part of the cultural life of the American Colonies and provided entertainment in the mining camps of the Old West. Today, there are theaters in many nations dedicated to staging Shakespeare’s works,"(Lander).

Commentary: Many people from all around go out of their way to see Shakespeare's famous plays. All classes would come and gather around in on large theater.

Works Cited:

Anderson, Robert. Holt Literature and Language arts: Mastering the California Standards. 2003.

---. “Shakespeare and His Theater: A Perfect Match.” Holt Literature & Language Arts: Mastering the California Standards: Reading, Writing, Listening, Speaking, by G. Kylene Beers et al., Austin, Holt, Rinehart & Winston, 2003, pp. 778-80.

Lander, Jesse M. “Shakespeare, William.” World Book Advanced. World Book, 2016. Web. 8 Dec. 2016.

“Royal Shakespeare Company.” World Book Advanced. World Book, 2016. Web. 8 Dec. 2016.

Seidel, Michael. “Globe Theatre.” World Book Advanced. World Book, 2016. Web. 8 Dec. 2016.


Created with images by Peter Glyn - "Globe Theatre" • amanderson2 - "Globe Theater Stage London England" • KatieThebeau - "Shakespeare's Globe" • tpsdave - "theatre stage crowd" • Jonas B - "Globe bow taking"

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