Quote #1: "In his play Henry V, Shakespeare called his theater a "wooden O". It was 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: The theater was nicknamed a "wooden O" in Shakespeare's play Henry V, because of its large circular shape. The building reached three stories high. The center was an open are and the stage came down towards the center. This allowed the groundlings to observe the actors from the sides of the stage as well as the front. These audience members often watched plays in the rain, but also more commonly watched the plays under a hot sun.
Quote #2: "Public theaters were larger than private ones and held at least 2,500 people. They were built around a courtyard that had no roof. Public theaters gave performances only during daylight hours because they had no artificial lights" (Lander).
Commentary: During the Elizabethan Era of the 1500s, there were public and private theaters. The Globe theater was considered a public theater. It held at least 2,500 people, which was more than what a private theater contained. The theater structure was circular and created a courtyard in the middle of the building. This area, which contained the stage and audience, did not have a roof. Shakespeare's plays were only performed in the broad daylight because otherwise there would not be light to see the actors on the stage. These two aspects of structure tie in with the Globe Theater as a whole because it shows the effects the building has on its actors and the audience. Since the Globe does not have a roof, the people of the theater must come out to watch during noon hours and the actors must perform during this time as well.
Quote #3: "The structure that enclosed the courtyard of a public theater was round, square, or many-sided. In most theaters, it probably consisted of three levels of galleries and stood about 32 feet (10 meters) high. The courtyard, called the pit, measured about 55 feet (17 meters) in diameter. The stage occupied one end of the pit" (Lander).
Commentary: Public theaters surrounded an open space in their center that was either round, square, or many-sided. This area was called the courtyard, or pit, and measured around 55 feet in diameter. On one side of the pit, the stage came out towards the center. The shape of the stage allowed the audience to stand on the front or sides of it. Theaters were usually three stories high. Each floor was called a gallery and reached 32 feet high. The measurements and layout of public theaters are both great factors towards why the Globe Theater was such a well-known theater to this time. Its unique shape and measurements held plenty of spectators, in which, led to a revolution of poor and wealthy audience members joining together to watch a play.
Quote #4: "Audience access was either through two narrow passageways under the galleries into the standing room of the yard around the stage or up two external stair towers into the rear of the galleries. Five of the 20 bays of the galleries were cut off by the frons scenae, or tiring-house wall, behind which the actors kept their store of props, costumes, and playbooks and prepared themselves for their performances" (Gurr).
Commentary: The spectators who came to watch Shakespeare's plays entered through two passageways under the galleries that led to the standing room of the yard around the stage. Those who were sitting on other levels went to the back end of the galleries and climbed up the external stair towers. Behind the walls of the galleries props, costumes, and playbooks from the actors were kept there. The areas where the audience sits plays a huge role in the Globe theater. Through these narrow passages, courtyard, and galleries, it is easily seen that many people, of the rich and poor, flooded the theater and united in one building as fans for Shakespeare's plays.
Quote #1: "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: The stage extends into the crowd of groundlings on the floor. These spectators stood on both side and in front of the actors during performances. The audience on the floor had close contact with all the actors in Shakespeare's plays. The actors and the poor spectators are much more familiar with each other than the actors are with the wealthy people sitting up on the other levels.
Quote #2: "Since the stage was open to the sky, there was no need for stage lighting, There were very few sets (scenery, furniture, and so on). The stage was "set" by the language"(Anderson 779).
Commentary: The theater did not need many details to its sets because of its sound effects, costumes of the actors, and the key points that Shakespeare wrote about the scenery. Scenes followed one another quickly because there was no curtain to close or open. The stage was not drastically covered in details to set sceneries because William Shakespeare's writing was so well worded that the audience could mentally illustrate what the scenic looked like in their minds.
Quote #3: "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 underside of the hut was sometimes called the heavens. Two pillars supported the structure. The underside of the heavens was richly painted, and the interior of the theater undoubtedly had a number of other decorative features" (Lander).
Commentary: Above the upper stage and the back area of the main stage there was a half roof. On top of that roof, there was a hut that held the machinery used to produce the sound effects and various special effects. Underneath this hut was also known as the heavens. The two pillars at this section were painted with great detail as if it was from heaven. The details, structures, and devices used on the stage were key factors that made Shakespeare's plays so marvelous. Without these elements, The Globe Theater would not have been as packed with people as it was.
Quote #4: "In the back wall of this stage was a curtained-off inner stage. Flanking the inner stage were two doors for entrances and exits. Above this inner stage was a small balcony or upper stage, which could be used to suggest Juliet's balcony or the highwalls of a castle or the bridge of a ship. Trapdoors were placed in the floor of the main stage for the entrances and exits of ghosts and for descents into hell" (Anderson 778).
Commentary: There was an area behind the stage where actors got dressed, called the tiring room. There was also two curtained doors where characters were introduced and revealed to the audience, called the discovery room. Above the stage was a small balcony that could be used for different scenarios depending on the play. Actors who played ghosts or rested in graves often entered different scenes of plays using trapdoors that were placed on the floor of the main stage. These elements and effects added a dramatic effect to Shakespeare's words during shows. These elements improved the shows that the audience came to see which in result brought more and more spectators after a certain amount of time.