Shakespeare's Theaters Hunter gonzales p.3

Thesis: The theaters were important because of the effects, different theaters, and the different types of workers.


Quote #1: "Unlike most modern dramas, Elizabethan plays did not depend on scenery to indicate the setting (place) of the action. Generally, the setting was unknown to the audience until the characters identified it with a few lines of dialogue" (Lander).

Commentary: The theatres could not have very much scenery because they did not have time to set it up between scenes. Instead, the way they set the scene, is the characters explained where they are in their dialogue.

Quote #2: "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: They used lots of sound during a play, including drum rolls and trumpet noises. Some sounds were used more commonly than others, and some plays had very unusual noises in them.

Quote #3: "Acting companies spent much money on colorful costumes, largely to produce visual splendor. Flashing swords and swirling banners also added color and excitement" (Lander).

Commentary: Visual effects played a huge role in Shakespeare's plays because it made them more interesting. They added color to costumes, banners, and shining to the swords, to make it more exciting as well.

Quote #4: "Visually, dances, balls, battles, duels and fights fill the space effectively. Costumes dress the stage, though the high baroque style of the stage decoration already fills in the space vividly" ("acting").

Commentary: There are many things that go into keeping the audience entertained. They add decorations, fights, dancing, and lots more to always have something to look at the whole time.

Different Theaters:

Quote #5: "Most of Shakespeare’s plays were written for the public theater. However, The Winter’s Tale, Cymbeline, and The Tempest all take advantage of the different kinds of staging made possible by the Blackfriars. For example, these later plays used the more sophisticated stage machinery to represent flight"(Lander).

Commentary: Most of the plays could be done in all theaters, but some of the more technical ones could only be done in private theaters. In the private theaters they can add more effects or machinery for things like "flying".

Quote #6: "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"(Anderson 778).

Commentary: The Globe Theater was very big so it could fit more people but they could still see no matter where they were because the theater was round. The downside to the public theaters was it had to be performed when it was sunny out because there was no roof.

Quote #7: "The Globe, which opened with a performance of Shakespeare's Henry V, could accommodate an audience of about three thousand people, and individuals from all walks of life attended plays there. The least expensive ticket allowed people to stand in the yard, at the base of the stage"("Shakespeare").

Commentary: The theater had many places for people to watch, so all people, rich and poor, could enjoy the plays. The cheaper tickets let people watch the play from the base of the stage, having to stand to watch.


Quote #8: "Acting companies consisted of only men and boys because women did not perform on the Elizabethan stage" (Lander).

Commentary: In Shakespeare's time, plays were only acted by men when on stage. Even the women's parts were played by men because the women were believed to not be skilled enough to act.

Quote #9: "The sharers were the company's leading actors as well as its stockholders. They had charge of the company's business activities. They bought plays and costumes, rented theaters, paid fees, and split the profits"(Lander).

Commentary: The sharers were the main actors in the plays and handled the money. They bought everything from costumes to renting theaters, then split the profits made from the play.

Quote #10: "The salaried workers, who were called hirelings, took minor roles in the plays, performed the music, served as prompters, and did various odd jobs"(Lander).

Commentary: The Hirelings did the extra jobs like serving as a prompter and performing music. Unlike the sharers, the hirelings got paid a flat rate no matter how well the play did.

Works Cited

“Acting On An Elizabethan Stage.” Shakespeare’s Theatre: A Dictionary Of His Stage Context (2004): 13­15. Literary Reference Center. Web. 7 Jan. 2017.

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.

---. “William Shakspear’s Life: A Genious From Stratford.” Holt Literature & Language Arts: Mastering the California Standards: Reading, Writing, Listening, Speaking, by G. Kylene Beers et al., Austin, Holt, Rinehart & Winston, 2003, pp. 776-77.

Lander, Jesse M. “Shakespeare, William.” World Book Advanced. World Book, 2016. Web. 2 Dec. 2016.

“Shakespeare, William.” Elizabethan World Reference Library, edited by Sonia G. Benson and Jennifer York Stock, vol. 2: Biographies, UXL, 2007, pp. 197-207. Gale Virtual Reference Library


Created with images by Kieran Lynam - "Shakespeare's Globe" • Biblioteca Rector Machado y Nuñez - ""Shakespeare"" • Ania Mendrek - "As You Like It @ Shakespeare's Globe"

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