Shakespeare and His Theater Jadyn Johnson Period 3

Thesis: Shakespeare's Globe Theater was important because it was built creatively, the plays it held were selective, and it was the first of its time.

Origins:

Quote #1: "He was a charter member of the theatrical company called the Lord Chamberlain's Men, which was later to become the King's Men...year after year he provided it with plays, almost on demand. Shakespeare was the ultimate professional writer" (Anderson 2).

Commentary: Shakespeare was a part of one of the most successful playwrite groups of the time and was one of the best in that group. Also, he must have been very creative if he wrote plays annually.

Quote #2: "Shakespeare's career was quite successful. He earned a comfortable income from his plays and from his share in the profits of the theater company" (Benson).

Commentary: Shakespeare earned a lot of money from his plays and theater. This once again demonstrates Shakespeare success and shows that he was well respected. Also, he was worth the price of admission if he made such a profit.

Quote #3: " They erected the Globe in the area known as the Bank side on the south side of the River Thames in the suburb of Southwark" (Seidel).

Commentary: Shakespeare's theater, the Globe Theater, also referred to as 'The Wooden O,' was built on the south bank of the River Thames in the suburbs. Building a theater on the banks of a river wasn't probably the best idea for maintaining the structure, however it still stands today. It provided an ideal spot for people to watch a play right along a river.

Quote #4: “Shakespeare owned a modest percentage of the theater and its operations" (Seidel).

Commentary: Shakespeare and his colleagues wanted to move the old theater across the river. They used the timbers from the old theater for his new theater across the river, which ended up helping with their revenue.

Quote #5: "In 1599, Burbage's theater was torn down and its timbers were used by Shakespeare and his company to build the Globe Theater...In his play Henry V, Shakespeare called his theater a 'Wooden O" (Anderson).

Commentary: Shakespeare created a theater that was different in its time which fit Shakespeare because his plays were different. Also, though he was part of a larger group that was popular, the theater is known as his so he was obviously well respected.

Quote #6:" 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. In 1613, the Globe burned down. It was rebuilt on the same foundation and reopened in 1614" (Seidel).

Commentary: This shows that a large number of people wanted to and could watch Shakepeare's plays, which is amazing for an early year theater. Also, the fact that they were able to rebuild the arena in just a year after it was burned means they were rich enough to pay for it.

Audiences/Plays:

Quote #7: "To the Globe Theatre came a cross section of London society, ranging from apprentices skipping work to members of the nobility passing the time. But most of the Globe’s audience consisted of prosperous citizens, such as merchants, craft workers, and their wives, and members of the upper class. The theaters of London were an attraction, and visitors to the city were often part of the audience" (Lander).

Commentary: This demonstrates that most of Shakespeare's plays were for the refined people in society. The plays were probably too expensive for those who didn't have enough money. If the lower class did attend one of Shakespeare's plays, it was probably infrequently and considered a treat.

Quote #8: "It was written and performed in 1599, possibly the first Shakespeare play staged at the Globe Theater, owned by Shakespeare and his acting company" (Seidel).

Commentary: Shakespeare obviously wanted to have the first play performed in his theater to be one of his own works. He was definitely a prestigious man, and a successful one at that.

Effect on today:

Quote #9: "Here there is no outer stage; there is only the inner stage, and a large curtain separates it from the audience. The effect is like looking inside a window or inside a picture frame" (Anderson 779).

Commentary:This shows that though Shakespeare was respected this is one of the areas that the modern world has felt could be improved upon. However, Shakespeare's theater may be better than the current format because it made you feel as if you were part of the play.

Quote #10: "His works have been translated into a remarkable number of languages, and his plays are performed throughout the world. His plays have been a vital part of the theater in the Western world since they were written about 400 years ago" (Lander).

Commentary: This shows that Shakespeare's work continues to be respected. The fact that actors still aspire to the leading roles of his plays is a true testament to his value to the arts.

Works Cited

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 Shakespeare’s Life: A Genius 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. 7 Dec. 2016.

Seidel, Michael. “Globe Theatre.” World Book Advanced. World Book, 2016. Web. 30 Nov. 2016.

Seidel, Michael. “Henry V.” World Book Advanced. World Book, 2016. Web. 7 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, go.galegroup.com/ps/i.do?p=GVRL&sw=w&u=tmulvusd&v=2.1&id=GALE%7CCX2587000052&it=r&asid=f84b848efcbdec6df492f23db4e7b735. Accessed 7 Dec. 2016.

Credits:

Created with images by EllenSeptember - "The rebuilt Globe Theater" • tonynetone - "William Shakespeare" • marybettiniblank - "globe london theatre" • Daniel Voyager - "SL Globe Theatre"

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