The Globe Theatre bY nATHAN herrmann period 5

The Design of The Globe Theatre

The Globe theater was a old Elizabethan time theater that Shakespeare used to perform his plays. This essay will go over why the Globe Theater was made, the theater's effect on society and the design of the theater. “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”(Hager). This quote is basically just telling the dimensions of the globe theater. Knowing the dimensions of the theater is a good way to get an idea of the scale of the theater. "The stage was large, and extended into the middle of the yard, so there were people on three sides. We think it had three entrances in the back wall – a door on either side, and a larger one in the middle. There was a roof so the actors, and their expensive costumes, would always be in the dry. The underside of this roof, called the heavens, was painted with the signs of the zodiac. There was also an upper stage, which was sometimes used in plays, sometimes used by the musicians, and also had the most expensive seats in the theater. All the rest of the audience could see people who sat in the upper stage area" (Hodder). This quote showcases the technical things about the globe theater's stage and tells you about how everything was set up and the details about it. All the things mentioned by the quote help to put an image into the reader's mind really helping them to understand the theater's stage. ”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”. (Seidel) In this quote you are informed about how many viewers the theater can hold and what the theater was shaped like. The shape of the globe theater helped to add to it's performances because it allowed people to view from all angles as long as they remained in front of the stage.

Why The Globe Theatre was made

“The brothers Cuthbert and Richard Burbage constructed the theater in 1599 from the timbers of London's first playhouse, called The Theater” (Seidel). This just says when the theater was constructed and and how it was made using the materials of a previous playhouse. It's a nice bit of knowledge to know what the theater was made of and when it was made. ”Burbage was the father of the famous actor Richard Burbage, star of the Chamberlain’s Men. After a disagreement with the landlord, the company was forced to find new accommodations”(Lander). This quote shows that Shakespeare was forced to create a new theater (the globe theater) because he was kicked out after a argument between Burbage and the landlord of the theater. This event was crucial for Shakespeare because it made him create his own theater which led him on a road of success and wealth which could've possibly motivated him to do more and strive to put out more plays. "Richard Burbage and the Lord Chamberlain’s Men dismantled The Theater 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 Theater"(Lander). The old theater was torn down and a new one was built across the river. The new theater was an upgrade from the last because of the new features in the stage that were added and it had more accommodation room. "(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). Patrons supported acting groups to perform and king James decided to sponsor Shakespeare, because of this they called themselves the King's Men. The globe theater had funding from King James the first which is another reason the theater was was built, without King James's love for the arts then none of this would've happened.

The Globe Theatres effect on society

“Sam could not understand why there wasn’t a proper memorial to the world’s greatest playwright in the city where he had lived and worked. He started fundraising to build a new Globe Theater”(Hodder). Sam thought it wasn't right for Shakespeare not to have a proper memorial so he started a fundraising project to construct a new globe theater. I think it was a good idea to do this because it honors one of history's best playwrights and it gives people the chance to experience what it was like way back in Shakespeare's time. “The Globe held 3,000 people, and its audiences were composed of members from all social classes. Lords and ladies, whores and thieves, and barristers, professors, and students, and just about everyone in between attended plays at the Globe. Unlike today, Elizabethan theater was a rowdy event, and the Globe's audiences were more like spectators at a sporting event than respectful and passive observers. Equally vocal and enthusiastic in their support and their criticism, audience members cheered their favorite actors and threw garbage at those they did not like” (Hager). The globe theater had a very diverse crowd with each of its plays and it was a rowdy event rather than a quiet one. The globe brought a diverse group of people together from all different classes and backgrounds, this affected society because it caused different social classes to mix. “Here there is no outer stage; there is only 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 standard over a hundred years. But recently we have seen a reversal of this design. Now more and more theaters (especially university and regional theaters) are building "thrust" stages, or arena stages” (Anderson). Shakespeare's design of the globe theater contradicted the normal design of a stage which later on influenced other stages. The globe theater is original in a way that most theaters at the time weren't and because of that originality it continued as a valid way for the stage to be set up.

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.

Anderson, Robert. “’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. 778-80.

Education, Globe. Much Ado About Nothing, William Shakespeare. London: Hodder Education, 2012. eBook Collection (EBSCOhost). Web. 9 Dec. 2016.

Hager, Alan, ed. “Globe Theatre.” Encyclopedia of British Writers, 16th and 17th Centuries. New York: Facts On File, Inc., 2005. Bloom’s Literature, Facts On File, Inc.

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

Seidel, Michael. “Globe Theatre.” World Book Advanced. World Book, 2016. Web. 30 Nov. 2016.

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

Created By
Nathan Herrmann


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