Shakespeare Research Essay By Owen Muldbakken

Thesis: The Globe Theater’s effect on theatrical entertainment can be seen through history, design, and other existing theaters.

History

Quote #1: "After a disagreement with the landlord, the company was forced to find new accommodations. Richard Burbage and the Lord Chamberlain’s Men dismantled The Theatre and moved it across the River Thames to a new site in Southwark. There they used the old timbers to erect a new theater called the Globe Theatre. The Globe could accommodate 3,000 spectators" (Lander).

Commentary: This shows the original creation of the Globe Theater and how Shakespeare's success all started. It also gives the idea that it all begun by chance and the result of another person's failure. The quote gives knowledge of the historic beginning of Shakespeare accompanied by his iconic theater. The theater's location also proved important with many other locations to watch plays in London.

Quote #2: "Shakespeare’s plays were first intended to be played, not shut up in a book. In the Elizabethan theater, as in all theater, there was a constant tinkering with the text to suit the audience, the actors, the time and materials available. As Shakespeare rewrote and collaborated with others, notably John Fletcher for The Two Noble Kinsmen (1634) and Thomas Middleton for The Life of Timon of Athens (first printed 1623), and given the vagaries of Elizabethan spelling and printing, it is apparent to Taylor that no definitive text of Shakespeare’s work is possible, or desirable:" (Barnett).

Commentary: This quote shows the power of entertainment and how it is superior to that of just sitting and reading a book. Shakespeare had a focus on plays and devoted his time to them. He wanted everything to fit perfectly with each other into one seamless play. Books were just undesirable and a waste of time during this era.

Quote #3: "By 1594 he he was a charter member of the theatrical company called the Lord Chamberlain's Men , which was later to become the King's Men. ( As the names of these acting companies indicate, theatrical groups depended on the support of a wealthy patron - the King's Men were supported by King James himself)" (Anderson).

Commentary: The quote shows that plays were at such high acclaim that the wealthy and famous brought support to them. Shakespeare's company created the biggest productions in all of England with King James being their financial backer.

Design

Quote #4: "The Globe was 20-sided and nearly cylindrical, with a diameter of around 105 feet. A large rectangular stage in the center of its amphitheater measured 43 by 23 feet. Three overhanging tiered galleries seated the audience. The top gallery had a thatched roof, but the rest of the theater was open to the elements. The least expensive area in the theater surrounded the stage on three sides and was for standing room only. Here was where the "groundlings," as they were called, watched the plays"(Hager).

Commentary: Hager describes the dimensions of the theater showing just how much of an accomplishment it was for the time. It allowed people of all classes the chance to see what now history in today's world. The design of The Globe gave comfort to the audience and affordability to all.

Quote #5: "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. This is the stage most of us know today. It has been a standard for well over a hundred years"(Anderson).

Commentary: This shows the power of Shakespeare shaping what we all know of today as the modern theater. This trait of theaters was adopted by Shakespeare and carries over into the future of theatrical performances.

Quote #6: "Little is known about the Globe's design except what can be learned from maps and evidence from the plays presented there. The Globe was round or polygonal on the outside and probably round on the inside. 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. The Globe was shut down in 1642 and torn down in 1644. A reconstruction of the theater was completed 200 yards (183 meters) from the original site in 1996, and it officially opened in 1997"(Seidel).

Commentary: As a result of the theater burning down in 1613 information was lost for The Globe's dimensions. This quote shows facts found on the design of the old globe from maps and plays that had taken place. The quote shows the popularity of the theater as it was immediately rebuilt after being burned down. Along with known aspects about the theater giving important design features accompanying The Globe.

Other Theaters

Quote #7: "Shakespeare’s plays were first intended to be played, not shut up in a book. In the Elizabethan theater, as in all theater, there was a constant tinkering with the text to suit the audience, the actors, the time and materials available. As Shakespeare rewrote and collaborated with others, notably John Fletcher for The Two Noble Kinsmen (1634) and Thomas Middleton for The Life of Timon of Athens (first printed 1623), and given the vagaries of Elizabethan spelling and printing, it is apparent to Taylor that no definitive text of Shakespeare’s work is possible, or desirable:"(Barnett).

Commentary: This quote shows the power of entertainment and how it is superior to that of just sitting and reading a book. Shakespeare had a focus on plays and devoted his time to them. He wanted everything to fit perfectly with each other into one seamless play. Books were just undesirable and a waste of time during this era.

Quote #8: "The Elizabethan inn was a structure built around a courtyard that stood three or four stories high. The rooms built in these three or four story inns opened on to balconies or galleries, which could be reached by usage of outside stairways. There was an archway which led from the courtyard area to the street. In order for a play to be placed in a building such as this, it was really a simple process. The process included putting up a stage on trestles or barrels at the end of the courtyard furthest away from the building entrance and placing a man at the gate area of the building who served the purpose of collecting a penny from anyone who was interested in watching the play but watching it while standing up only. Anyone who wanted to see the play from the comforts of a seat in the galleries had to pay a shilling"(Taylor).

Commentary: Many playhouses across England were multi-functional serving as inns at on and off. The plays had a simple process of getting in with one man collecting money for anyone that wants to watch.There was a premium on comfort seating just like how there is at The Globe where the groundlings have to stand. The theaters seem to have common features with unique aspects setting them apart.

Quote #9: "The original Globe was an Elizabethan theatre which opened in Autumn 1599 in Southwark, on the south bank of the Thames, in an area now known as Bankside. It was one of several major theatres that were located in the area, the others being the Swan, the Rose and The Hope. The Globe was the principal playhouse of the Lord Chamberlain's Men (who would become the King's Men in 1603). Most of Shakespeare's post-1599 plays were staged at the Globe, including Julius Caesar, Macbeth, Othello, King Lear and Hamlet"(Playshakespeare.com).

Commentary: This quote shows the competition Shakespeare had with other theaters possibly taking his audience with them. This tells the loyalty of his audience and how his company was superior to others continuing their productions for decades. There were many theaters in the play business competing with Shakespeare in a small radius.

Quote #10: "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. The more intimate space also allowed the inclusion of more musical interludes, both during the plays and during intermissions. Although the Blackfriars had an important impact on these later plays, what follows will focus chiefly on the design and structure of public theaters"(Lander).

Commentary: This quote shows the advantages private theaters had while also being a smaller production. They could use more musical facets along with quality stage props hidden from the rainy England weather. Private theaters are closed off from the elements and allows them to use more expensive stage machinery that will not wear out as much as it would in an open theater.

Works Cited

Adkins, Michael L. “Elizabethan Theatre.” Elizabethan Theatre, faculty.tnstate.edu/smcurtis/Elizabethan%20Theater.htm. Accessed 10 Dec. 2016.

Alchin, L.K. “Elizabethan Theatre.” Elizabethan Era, 16 May 2012, www.elizabethan-era.org.uk/elizabethan-theatre.htm.

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, Rinehart & Winston, 2003.

Barnett, Dan. “Reinventing Shakespeare.” Salem Press. Salem Press, online.salempress.com/articleDetails.do?bookId=319&articleName=MLA1990_11470019000148&searchText=Globe%20theater%20Shakespeare&searchOperators=any&category=Literature. Accessed 9 Dec. 2016.

Hager, Alan. “Globe Theatre.” Bloom’s Literature. Bloom’s Literature, www.fofweb.com/activelink2.asp?ItemID=WE54&WID=103800&SID=5&iPin=EBWXVI196&SingleRecord=True. Accessed 9 Dec. 2016.

Lander, Jesse M. “Shakespeare, William.” World Book Advanced. World Book Advanced, www.worldbookonline.com/advanced/article?id=ar504520&st=the+globe+theater+history#tab=homepage. Accessed 9 Dec. 2016.

Playshakespeare.com. www.playshakespeare.com/study/elizabethan-theatres/2189-the-globe-theatre. Accessed 10 Dec. 2016.

Seidel, Michael. “Globe Theatre.” World Book Advanced. World Book, 2016. Web. 10 Dec. 2016.

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Created with images by Peter Glyn - "Globe Theatre" • JustABoy - "The Globe Theatre" • marybettiniblank - "globe london theatre" • ms.Tea - "untitled image"

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