Globe Theatre Jane Ha Period 6

Thesis :

During the Elizabethan era, the globe theatre was the most famous theater where most of the Shakespeare's works were performed, home of many famous actors back then and its unique structure.



"Women were not permitted to act on stage until long after the Elizabethan Era, so female parts were played by boys or men dressed as women," (Elizabethan 166)


Back then, women weren't an actual figure, because of that, most of the female parts were played by boys. Because of that, transforming to a woman is a must, they used makeup and wig to make it more "normal looking". Unlike today, everyone represents equality but back then, women were not even on the social class.

Actors as shareholders


"Richard Burbage was one of the most famous actors of all the time, many scholars believe that he was the first Romeo, we know that he went on to play Hamlet, Othello and King Lear", (Elizabethan Theatre 6:15)


Richard Burbage played an important role in most of the plays, for example, in the Romeo and Juliet play, he was believed to be the first Romeo. Also, Richard was also one of the shareholders of the theatre. In fact, Richard was the one who started this theatre, he was the one who built it. Despite that, Richard wasn't famous for building the theatre or being the shareholder, but he was for his acting skills.

The theatre got burnt down


"The Globe Theater burned to the ground in 1613 when, during a performance of Shakespeare's Henry VIII , a blazing wad of tow that had been shot from a cannon ignited the thatched roof," (Wyatt paragraph 6)


Back then, cannon was a commonly used weapon. Due to the fire from the production of Richard III on June 29, 1613, one of the cannon ball hit the roof of the theatre and ignited the roof. During that amazing fourteen years, many plays were performed, it's where Shakespeare's legacy remains. The burnt down of the theatre was a tragic event for actors and audiences.

How do actors store "costumes"


" The acting companies traveled from town to town carrying their stage scenery and costumes in wagons," (Elizabethan 166)


Since acting companies were formed by a group of a couple of people, traveling around to find a play that they could perform was a must. During the traveling, they can't really afford to buy new costume every time that they perform so storing the costumes in the wagon was not a new thing. After finding a place to perform, their costumes will be stored in the backstage, but in this case, the costumes would be stored behind the audience balcony.



"It wasn't accustomed at this time for an actor to dressing anything other than contemporary English clothing. Romeo and Juliet, for example, would dress like 16th century English upper-class teenager." (Sherry 4:42)


Back to Shakespeare time, costume technically never exist, most of them dressing in contemporary English clothing, nothing is quite special here. Not just that, the famous play Romeo and Juliet, the actors in there also dressed as the 16th-century teenager. Due to the time period, there wasn't anything else that they could do. It was likely to be the first time that acting was being known so costume and clothing weren't necessary. However, the play still goes on smoothly, so the costume wasn't an important piece, the actors was. It's the part that made this theatre more well-known than others.



" The playhouse was constructed in 1599 on the Bankside of the Thames River, just outside the London city limits."

Commentary: The location of this theatre is specifically on the Bankside so it can be excluded from the city Limits. This is actually very smart since back then, there was many of the unspeakable rules and laws that people have to follow, but by placing the theatre outside the city just make the it not being include in with those rules and laws.



" Open-aired, almost circular, it witnessed performances of at the very least 17 of the greatest of Shakespeare's plays. These range from As You Like It, Julius Caesar , and Hamlet to The Winter's Tale ," (Baker subsection The Early Theatrical Years).


Globe Theatre was the place where most of Shakespeare's works being performed. From the famous Julius Caesar to Hamlet and much more. Not just Shakespeare's works were performed here, there were others too.

Prepped before performances.


"The stage was set' by the language. A whole forest scene was created in one play when a character announced, 'Well, this is the Forest of Arden'" (Anderson 779).


Back then, there were not as much of the tools and money to make the stage as realistic as modern day stages. Back then, being able to rent the theatre is already the hard point, it sort of like first come first serve. Since it happens every quickly, time to get the equipment ready usually doesn't exist. However, the theatre stills make its way to work and strike out as one of the most famous theatre ever.

One of the famous play that was performed in the theatre, Romeo and Juliet


"Above this inner stage was a small balcony or upper stage, which could be used to suggest Juliet's balcony," (Anderson 779)


Romeo and Juliet was the most famous love play and still is now. This famous play was also being performed at this very theatre, well, most of Shakespeare's plays are anyway. At the globe theatre, one of the most famous play were performed, which suggest those aren't the only.



"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)


This specifically theater sort of have a structure that looks like Colosseum without all those open windows and a huge opening space of the entrance. Since the structure is like that, and back then, there weren't any studio lights so it opens straight to the sky so the sunlight would be the main light. For the audience, especially the upper-class men, they would be sitting on the balcony to look down to the play. Behind the balcony, that' where the props and costumes are being stored. Now day, we have back stage, technologies and equipment to make the scenes more realistic but it was a complete opposite during the Elizabethan era. So this unique structure has helped a lot during those time with all the disadvantages.

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.

Benson, Sonia G., editor. “Elizabethan Drama.” Gale Virtual Reference Library,|CX2587000020&docType=GALE.

“Elizabethan Theatre.” YouTube, uploaded by Joyce Sherrey, 4 Jan. 2014,

“Globe Theatre.” Bloom’s Literature, Quinn, Edward. “Globe Theatre.” A Dictionary of Literary and Thematic Terms, Second Edition. New York: Facts On File, Inc., 2006. Bloom’s Literature

Lander, Jesse M. “Shakespeare, William.” World Book Advanced. World Book, 2016. Web. 17 Nov. 2016. First article

“William Shakespeare.” Columbia Electronic Encyclopedia, 6Th Edition (2016): 1-4. History Reference Center. Web. 18 Nov. 2016.

Wyatt, James. “Globe Theatre.” Bloom’s Literature, 2006, Cook, James Wyatt. “Globe Theatre.” Encyclopedia of Renaissance Literature. New York: Facts On File, Inc., 2006. Bloom’s Literature


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