The Globe Theater Jennifer Chaidez Period 3

Thesis: The globe theater contained three elements that helped make the impact it has on the world today the structure, its stage, and the acting companies.


Quote #1: "In 1599, Burbage's theater was torn down and its timbers were used by Shakespeare and his company to build the Globe Theater" (Anderson 778).

Commentary: William Shakespeare took advantage of a previously torn down theater to start building his own. This would be the start of something big for him in the future.

Quote #2: "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: Shakespeare's theater had a unique look. It was in the shape of a "wooden O" so the audience could be seated all around the stage. It also did not contain have a ceiling so there was no need for lighting.

Quote #3: "It will be an odd experience for those audiences, used to sitting in the dark, a long way from actors, distanced from the stage both physically and emotionally. The most expensive seats will be the Gentlemen's Boxes on either side of the stage, a hand's touch from the action. These seats were traditionally bought by people more so they could be seen than to watch the action, and they are still very up-front. There are other intriguing viewing points from the minstrel's gallery above the stage (where there is also a permanent harpsichord) and 30 "stander" positions up in the gods for anyone who enjoys the £5 groundling positions at the Globe -- though these will be a tenner due to their rarity" (Lawrence).

Commentary: The globe theater had many places to sit. Depending on people's viewing likings, they could be seated on the forestage, inner stage, and upper stage. All seats still gave a person the cinematic experience.

Quote #4: "It may have held as many as 3,000 spectators." (Globe)

Commentary: Shakespeare's theater was very big to hold that many people. Since the theater became very popular, it could mean that he could have more than 3,000 spectators a day.


Quote #5: "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: Due to the theater's structure, the audience was able to be close to actors. This helped make the plays more 'alive' which could have been why it attracted so many people.

Quote #6: "The bare stages of Shakespeare's day had little or no scenery except for objects required by the plot, like a throne, a grave, or a bed. Exits and entrances were in plain view of the audience, but they included some vertical options: actors could descend from the "heavens" above the stage or enter and exit from the "hell" below through a trapdoor. Characters described as talking from "above" might appear in galleries midway between the stage and the heavens." (Shakespeare's)

Commentary: The globe theater had very little scenery and objects to use which made it harder on actors to give their performances. Although this may have seemed like an obstacle, Shakespeare managed to deal with it and contributed his great plays.

Quote #7 : "A half roof projected over the upper stage and the back part of the main stage. Atop the roof was a hut that contained machinery to produce sound effects and various special effects, such as the lowering of an actor playing a god... The main stage had a large trapdoor. Actors playing the parts of ghosts and spirits could rise and disappear through the door. The trap door, when opened, could also serve as a grave" (Lander).

Commentary: The theater had two special entrances/exists that helped portray stories more. These helped actors with roles of gods and ghosts and spirits.This led to better plays of which we know of today.

Acting companies

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

Commentary: During this era, only men could participate in plays. For example in Romeo and Juliet, this would have been awkward for the actors to be passionate about each other.

Quote #9 : "Shakespeare wrote his plays to suit the talents of specific performers. He knew when he created a Hamlet, Othello, or King Lear that the character would be interpreted by Richard Burbage, the company’s leading tragic actor" (Lander).

Commentary: Shakespeare did not write his plays and find and actor, on the contrary, he wrote his plays to suit the actor. This shows that Shakespeare's plays are mostly to fit the performers.

Quote #10 : "The acting companies operated under the sponsorship either of a member of the royal family or of an important noble. Most sponsorships were in name only and did not include financial support. From 1594 to 1603, Shakespeare's company was sponsored, in turn, by the first and second Lord Hunsdon, a father and son" (Lander).

Commentary: During this time, acting companies had sponsors to help with the cost of everything. This is very similar to now because many places ask for sponsors to help with the costs of things. It seems fascinating that sponsorship isn't something new.

Quote #11: "Shakespeare worked with this company for the rest of his writing life. Year after year he provided it with plays, most on demand " (Anderson 777).

Commentary: Shakespeare always stayed with the same company, he never changed. This could mean that they were all used to each other, which could have meant why his plays were so good

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.

Anderson, Robert. “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.

Folger Shakespeare Library. “Shakespeare’s Theater.” Folger Shakespeare Library. N.p., 16 Feb. 2015. Web. 06 Dec. 2016.

“Globe Theatre.” World Book Discover. World Book, 2016. Web. 9 Dec. 2016.

Lander, Jesse M. “Shakespeare, William.” World Book Advanced. World Book, 2016. Web. 6 Dec. 2016.

Lawrence, Sandra. “Sam Wanamaker Playhouse Brings Jacobean Theater.” British Heritage 35.2 (2014): 58-61. History Reference Center. Web. 9 Dec. 2016.


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