The globe theater Vincenzo Cassola 6th Period

The Globe Theater has amazing architecture, a diverse audience and seating, and an intriguing history.

The architecture of The Globe Theater

The Globe Theater has an unbelievable design. The author depicts the general information of The Globe Theater, “Globe Theatre 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” (Siedel). The Globe was made very popular quickly because of the Shakespeare performances that were inside. The author describes the Globe Theater, "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" (Anderson). This theater was made almost entirely of wood, which shows the authenticity of the performances. The Globe Theater had many parts of it that made it more realistic and fluent when performing, “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” (Anderson). Little things like the trap doors and high walls were able to captivate the audience greatly during the performance.

Audience at the Globe

The theater had seats in it for everyone to enjoy the performance. The author illustrates the audience inside the theater, “Unlike today, Elizabethan theater was a rowdy event, and the Globe's audiences were more like spectators at a sporting event than respectful and passive observers. Equally vocal and enthusiastic in their support and their criticism, audience members cheered their favorite actors and threw garbage at those they did not like” (Hager). The performances at the Globe were breath taking so many would envision the audience as respectful and well-mannered but, it was the complete opposite. Due to the over flood of people it was a “mad-house” inside the Globe, “"The crowds that went to Shakespeare plays at the Globe were about as well-dressed, attentive, and well-mannered as your typical audience at a Marilyn Manson concert. Most people ended up in "the yard," where there were no seats. Roughly 1,000 people could stand there, but lots more crammed in" (Cohen). The amount of people that were inside of the Globe Theater was strikingly over filled. This caused many people to act disorderly. The performances at the Globe were generally divided by how much money people had, “Woman had to be accompanied by men, no matter where they sat. Expensive seats held by the wealthy cost a 6-penny fee and included a cushion, a roof covering, and the best view of the actors. Prestigious seating was called the Lord's Room, and it allowed for seeing and being seen. One-penny "seats" were in the yard” (Cohen). The seating in the Globe Theater obviously ranged in how much you were willing to spend on them. The wealthier personnel sat in seats that had a great view of the actors and the overall play. On the other hand, the not as wealthy people had to enjoy the play from the yard or the "one-penny seats.” At the Globe Theater they offered lots of luxuries, “Refreshments available: hazelnuts, apples, and ale. There were no seats, but a penny (an entire day's wage for a typical grounding would get you a seat on the stairs leading to the galleries. Another penny would buy you a cushion. If it rained, you got wet” (Cohen). On the other hand, the majority of the people got wet by the rain. The wealthier personnel that attended the performances did not because their seats had a cover over them.

History of the Globe Theater

The Globe Theater is not only known for it’s spectacular performances, but for it’s intriguing history. The theater went through major issues, “In 1613, during a performance of Shakespeare's Henry VIII, a cannon shot during a staged battle ignited the thatched roof, and the Globe burned to the ground without serious casualties. Within a year the theater was rebuilt, this time with a tile roof, and it continued to host performances until 1642 when the Puritan government, strongly opposed to all forms of entertainment, shuttered every theater in London. The Globe was torn down two years later” (Hager). The Globe was built once more after the fire with an improved roof, but soon after it was functional the Puritans tore down the theater. The author illustrates the Puritans reason to close down the Globe, “Puritans closed the Globe (and other theatres in London) in 1642 because the theater was drawing a bigger crowd than the church. Convinced theater was immoral, the Puritans made it illegal, and the Globe was torn down in 1644.” The Puritans went to the extent of making theater immoral and illegal. This clearly drew many people away but, many people were still interested in the act. The first Globe Theater was the first for many to come, “Globe Theatre, London playhouse, built in 1598, where most of Shakespeare's plays were first presented. It burned in 1613, was rebuilt in 1614, and was destroyed by the Puritans in 1644. A working replica opened in 1997” (ESCO). The architecture of the Globe Theater has been remade multiple times in result of serious conflicts.

Additional Information on the Globe Theater through a video.


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