Globe Theater KAILEE MUNSHOWER P.5

The Man Behind the Globe

Shakespeare and his theater were a perfect match, and would not be the same without each other. "Sometimes playwrights influence the shape and form of a theater, but more often existing theaters seem to influence the shape and form of plays. It's important that we understand the Shakespeare's theater because it influenced how he wrote his plays. Shakespeare took the theater of his time, and he used it brilliantly"(Heims).

Shakespeare helped form and shape theater with his amazing talent.Shakespeare 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).Shakespeare was an English playwright, and partially owned the globe theater. He was an actor, playwright, and poet. What did Shakespeare have to do with the theater other than own it? He wrote majority of the plays in the theater,and even was an actor.

Plays are more than just plays when it comes to theaters, they can have a huge influence on the theater itself. For example, the Globe Theater had a big impact on Shakespeare's plays.Without the globe theater, would Shakespeare's plays be the same, and would they have been as successful?Shakespeare of course influenced the Theater, but he wrote many plays for it as well. "By 1598 Shakespeare had written some of his most famous works: Romeo and Juliet, The Comedy of Errors, A Midsummer Night's Dream, The Merchant of Venice, Two Gentlemen of Verona, and Love's Labour's Lost, as well as his historical plays Richard II, Richard III, Henry IV, and King John Around the turn of the century, Shakespeare wrote his romantic comedies: As You Like It, Twelfth Night, and Much Ado about Nothing, as well as Henry V, the last of his history plays in the Prince Hal series"(Heims). During the next ten years he wrote his great tragedies, Hamlet, Macbeth, Othello, King Lear, and Antony and Cleopatra.The globe theater was very successful, and many of Shakespeare's most famous plays were performed in this very theater, including Romeo and Juliet.

Inside the Theater

The Theater was spectacular inside and out. The architecture of the theater was very interesting. "Shakespeare called his theater a "wooden o" because it was a large, round building that was three stories high.In the back wall of this stage was a curtained-off inner stage. Flanking the inner stage were twp 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 high walls 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.We can see that this stage, with its few sets and many acting areas made for a theater of great fluidity"(Anderson). The theater had great architecture, and could fit over hundreds of people. Its architecture was very popular, and attracted many people. Its sets and interior design was created in a way so that any play performed in there could be adapted.When it states "We can see that this stage, with its few sets and many acting areas made for a theater of great fluidity," it shows that though the stage was simple, it would be created into something amazing with its actors, the set, and the play itself.

Inside the theater was a whole different world."The Globe Theater was open-air. If it rained, some of the audience got wet. There was no special lighting; so the plays were performed in the afternoon, in daylight. This meant that, unlike most modern theaters, the actors could see the audience, as well as the audience see the actors (and each other). It may have held as many as 3,000 people, with, perhaps, 1,000 standing in the yard"(Hodder Education).This theater was very unique in design, and very different from others.The theater was very successful, and could seat up to 3,000 people. "Surrounding the open yard, where original "groundlings" could stand through a performance for a penny, are three tiers of sheltered wooden seats. (Authentic wooden seats, by the way, so bring or rent a cushion.)"

The architecture and design of the Theater affected the plays. The many different features such as being an open-air stage could contribute to the play by setting a more romantic mood. "The night sky, a brave firmament suitable for romance, is painted on the underside of the stage's canopy. From stage doors left and right, all the world enters and departs: star-crossed Ophelia, mad Lear, the treacherous Richard III, the murderous Lady Macbeth, fluent Mark Antony, and, of course, Prospero"(Ronan).

How the Theater Came to Be

Coming up with the idea to build the Globe Theater was a very good idea, considering how popular it was in its time and even now. "Shakespeare was successful. He became a shareholder in his acting company, and a shareholder in the Globe – the new theater they built in 1599. His company was the best in the land, and the new king, James I, made them his company in 1603"(Anderson).Shakespeare had much success in his lifetime, and most of it was because of this theater. Aside from his company, Shakespeare was a playwright, poet, and actor. He had many plays written and published and became known as the first folio.Shakespeare was one of the most well-known people during the Elizabethan Era.Shakespeare's plays were one of the first few plays ever performed at the theater, which he later became one of the main playwrights for the theater.

Before becoming the well-known Globe Theater in London, England, it had been located many places."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"(Lander).

The globe being so simple, it was so unique at the same time. Many of the seats inside were very close together, and very close to the performance. They created an actor-audience relationship which made the theater so cool."But if some front seats were vacant, the space was still clearly intended for human occupancy and that has a very different psychological effect from the sterile decoration on the walls enclosing many of our modern performance spaces. In London's open-air playhouses this live space could not be hidden by the expedient of turning out the lights. In such an arrangement each playgoer responds not only to each moment in the play but also to the way other audience members are responding to that moment. They see an action, they respond, they see others respond, and they adjust their own response accordingly. To come to terms with this kind of space it is necessary to get beyond the traditional discussions of the actor-audience relationship and beyond the more recent discussions of how that binary relationship operates in vertically organized spaces.8 We need to examine the relationship that members of an audience have with each other"(Hildy).

Credits:

Created with images by ms.Tea - "globe theater" • WikiImages - "shakespeare poet writer" • D-Stanley - "Shakespeare`s Globe Theatre" • Andy Hay - "Globe Theatre"

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