Elizabethan Theaters Christian Johnson Period 6

Exterior of The Globe Theatre
Layout of Elizabethan Theatre
Structure of The Globe Theater was like an "O"
During Plays the Stage was not decorated with the Setting

THESIS: The Elizabethan theaters were important during that era because of its structure and looks, the aspects that were needed in plays, and the atmosphere.


QUOTE #1: "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"(Lander).

COMMENTARY #1: Elizabethan theaters such as the private ones allowed even upper class citizens to gather around and indulge in works of literature. Theaters were part of people's daily lives and helped people socialize with others with the same common interest.

QUOTE #2: "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"(Lander).

COMMENTARY #2: This shows how that there were two types of theaters specified to each social class. In addition, this conveys how not just one social class participated in going to see plays at theaters. Theaters were important in that time because it was the citizens main entertainment.

QUOTE #3: “The Globe was round or polygonal on the outside and probably round on the inside. The theater may have held as many as 3,000 spectators. Its stage occupied the open-air space, with a pit in front for standing viewers. The stage was surrounded by several levels of seating”(Seidel).

COMMENTARY #3: The design of the theater allowed large amounts of poor spectators to join and to get a better understanding of English literature. Theaters were important because it also entertained a lot of Elizabethan people and was basically their only entertainment.

QUOTE #4: "The rest sat in the three galleries, so they were under cover if it rained. They paid more, at least two pence, and as much as six pence for the best seats"(Education Globe 3).

COMMENTARY #4: The structure of galleries made it possible for a substantial amount of people to come and participate. This displays how that even the wealthy took part in watching plays. Also, this conveys that during the Elizabethan Era theaters and plays were the main focal point of that time. All levels of the social class in London were involved with the works of literature.


QUOTE #5: ¨A whole forest scene was created in one play when a character announced, ¨Well, this is the Forest of Arden.¨ But costumes were often elaborate, and the stage might have been hung with colorful banners and trappings¨(Anderson 779).

COMMENTARY #5: This shows that the set of the theater during the play was very vague and the audience had to interpret the setting to really understand the play. Theaters were important and made people of the Elizabethan era experience true works of literature.

QUOTE: #6: "Sound effects had an important part in Elizabethan drama. Trumpet blasts and drum rolls were common. Sometimes unusual sounds were created, such as "the noise of a sea-fight" called for in Antony and Cleopatra. Music also played a vital role"(Lander).

COMMENTARY #6: The sound effects helped create the mood of the scene in the play. The trumpet blasts or drum rolls allowed the audience to take in emotions that were happening in the play. The effects helped each individual to understand what was happening in the play and added another element in watching a play.

QUOTE #7: "The London theater, in Shakespeare’s day, was composed of companies of men and boys (women were not allowed on the Renaissance English stage but were played by young men or boys) who performed in public playhouses roughly modeled on old innyards"(Branam).

COMMENTARY #7: The use of young boys shows how that during Elizabethan times theaters had to compensate since there were no women allowed. In addition, this reveals that even though women parts are played by boys it still entertained the audience which shows the importance of theaters during the Elizabethan era.


QUOTE #8: "The groundlings, those eight hundred or more people who stood shoulder to shoulder around the stage for the price of a penny, loved a good show"(Anderson 779).

COMMENTARY #8: Since there was a section for people to stand it allowed more people to join together and watch the play. So because of people standing together, there was a unique atmosphere which enabled everyone to focus on what was happening in the play. Without theaters people in the society would have no entertainment.

QUOTE #9: "Audiences enjoyed comic situations in which a boy played a girl character who disguised herself as a boy"(Lander).

COMMENTARY #9: This shows that the atmosphere in the theater was sometimes humorous because of what happens in the play. Also, this demonstrates how theaters were the main entertainment for citizens in the Elizabethan era. Theaters allowed individuals to take part in watching works of literature.

QUOTE #10: "The stage of a public theater was a large platform that projected into the pit. This arrangement allowed the audience to watch from the front and sides. The performers, nearly surrounded by spectators, thus had close contact with most of their audience"(Lander).

COMMENTARY #10: The result of the stage being surrounded by the audience was that it provided a close experience between the performers and the spectators. This created both the performer and spectator to have a connection within the play. Which made the spectator have a better understanding of the work of literature and had them entertained.


Anderson, Robert. “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.

Branam, Harold. “William Shakespeare.” Salem Press Biographical Encyclopedia (2016): Topic Overviews 6-12. Web. 8 Dec. 2016.

Education, Globe. Much Ado About Nothing, William Shakespeare. London: Hodder Education, 2012. eBook Collection (EBSCOhost). Web. 8 Dec. 2016.

Lander, Jesse M. “Shakespeare, William.” World Book Advanced. World Book, 2016. Web. 1 Dec. 2016.

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


Created with images by Ben Sutherland - "Queen Elizabeth I window in Worcester Cathedral" • marybettiniblank - "london globe theatre theater" • D-Stanley - "Shakespeare`s Globe Theatre" • _gee_ - "globe theatre" • ms.Tea - "globe theater"

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