Thesis: Shakespeare was an English playwright whose plays influenced modern theater and performed his plays in different kinds of theaters that often adapted to fit in with it's customers and environment
Quote #1: “...was an English playwright, poet, and actor. Many people regard him as the world’s greatest dramatist and the finest poet England has ever produced.” (Lander)
Commentary #1: This quote shows that Shakespeare was a great writer who created many classic plays still viewed today, such as Romeo and Juliet.
Commentary #2: His contributions to theater are still seen throughout modern day theater today.
Quote #2: "His father, John, was a shopkeeper and a man of some importance...William attended grammar school, where he studied Latin grammar, Latin literature, and rhetoric. As far as we know, he had no further formal education." (Anderson).
Commentary #1: This quote gives the audience some further background on Shakespeare’s life.
Commentary #2: Even though he had minimal education, Shakespeare still went on to write some of the most iconic plays in history.
Quote #3: "Royal Shakespeare Company is an English theater organization dedicated to presenting the plays of William Shakespeare and other playwrights of his time, modern classical dramas, and new works" ("Shakespeare")
Commentary #1: This quote gives the audience an idea of what kind of legacy Shakespeare left behind.
Commentary #2: Though Shakespeare himself is gone, his legacy goes on strong through a theater organization called the Royal Shakespeare Company, who focus on presenting the plays of William Shakespeare as well as other plays from his time. His time may have been decades ago, but his influences on modern day theater can still be seen today.
The Globe Theater:
Quote #1: "The Globe was round or polygonal on the outside and probably round on the inside...Its stage occupied the open-air space, with a pit in front for standing viewers." (Seidel)
Commentary #1: The standing viewers in the pit in front were more often than not too poor to afford proper seating, which is why they stood shoulder to shoulder in the front. This is an example of how the stage adapted to its customers.
Commentary #2: The Globe shaped theater was just one of the types of theater that Shakespeare used to act his plays out in.
Quote #2: "...acting companies had played wherever they could rent space. Usually this would be in the courtyard of inns...It was natural, then, that the first theater built by Burbage should derive its shape and form from the inns." (Anderson)
Commentary #1: This is an example of how Shakespeare’s theaters adapted to their environment because in this case, the area in which they were able to rent affected the way the stage was built.
Commentary #2: The stage was built around the inn, in contrary to today's theaters, which are built and are planned beforehand.
Quote #3: "The plays were performed in the afternoon. Since the stage was open to the sky, there was no need for stage lighting" (Anderson)
Commentary #1: This is another example of how the Globe Theater adapted to its environment because since it was an open air theater, plays could only be performed during the daytime as the sun provided the stage with the light it needed.
Commentary #2: Influences of the Globe Theater can still be seen in some theaters today, showing how Shakespeare's work affected modern day theater.
The Elizabethan Theater:
Quote #1: "By the late 1500’s, Elizabethan plays were being performed in two kinds of theater buildings—later called public and private theaters." (Lander)
Commentary #1: The two Elizabethan theaters are more examples of the kinds of theaters that Shakespeare used to portray his plays
Commentary #2: The two theaters are also an example of how theaters had to adapt to their customers as well, since not everyone could afford to see plays in a more pricey private theater.
Quote #2: "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: This is another example of how theaters of their time had to adapt to their environment.
Commentary #2: Private theaters were probably smaller because the majority of people in the area in which these stages were were probably too poor to afford to see the plays in the private theater and had to see it in the public theater.
Quote #3: "Public theaters were larger than private ones and held at least 2,500 people...were built around a courtyard that had no roof." (Lander)
Commentary #1: Shakespeare believed that everybody should be able to enjoy the art of drama, which is why he created a theater for those who could not afford to see it in private theaters.
Commentary #2: Indoor and outside theaters that vary in sizes are still seen today, showing how Shakespeare's beliefs and ideas still affect modern theater to this day.
Quote #4: "Sometimes playwrights influence the shape and form of a theater, but more often existing theaters seem to influence the shape and form of plays." (Anderson)
Commentary #1: This shows that more often than not, the stage changes the way a play is portrayed.
Commentary #2: Two plays can have the same script, but if they are performed on different stages, they will visually differentiate.
Private Elizabethan theater
Hollywood Bowl; a modern day example of an open air theater
Painting of William Shakespeare
Anderson, Robert. “Shakespeare and His Theater: A Perfect Match.” Shakespeare and His Theater:A Perfect Match, pp. 778-80.
Anderson, Robert. “William Shakespeare’s Life: A Genius from Stratford.” William Shakespeare’s Life: A Genius from Stratford, pp. 776-77.
Lander, Jesse M. “Shakespeare, William.” World Book Advanced. World Book, 2016. Web. 18 Nov. 2016.
“Royal Shakespeare Company.” World Book Advanced. World Book Advanced. Accessed 7 Dec. 2016.
Seidel, Michael. “Globe Theatre.” World Book Advanced. World Book Advanced. Accessed 7 Dec. 2016.