The Globe Theatre Alexander Robinson 6

The structure of the Globe Theatre

The Globe Theater is an amazing structure, with seating for many, which holds an interesting history.

The Globe Theatre has a unique structure. The theater was created by Shakespeare, "Globe Theatre was an early open-air English theater in London. Most of the great English playwright William Shakespeare's plays were first presented at the Globe"(Seidel). The Globe Theatre is the largest amphitheater in London. Shakespeare mentioned his theatre in his play, "In the play Henry V, Shakespeare called his theater a "wooden O." 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. In the back wall of this stage was a curtained-off inner stage"(Anderson). The Globe Theatre is a very large building , which has performed many shows. The theatre is full of secrets, "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 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"(Anderson). The theatre’s secret ways are used by actors to get in and out quicker.

The theater had seating for many people to enjoy the performances. The audience were disrespectful during the shows, "The crowds that went to Shakespeare plays at the Globe were about as well-dressed, attentive, and well-mannered as your typical audience at a Marilyn Manson concert. Most people ended up in "the yard," where there were no seats. Roughly 1,000 people could stand there, but lots more crammed in"(Cohen). The 1,000 people were very rude and wild during the performances. There were different seats for different prices, "Woman had to be accompanied by men, no matter where they sat. Expensive seats held by the wealthy cost a 6-penny fee and included a cushion, a roof covering, and the best view of the actors. Prestigious seating was called the Lord's Room, and it allowed for seeing and being seen. One-penny "seats" were in the yard." The richer got better seats and the poor got worse seating. The Yard is an area of seating for the audience, "refreshments available: hazelnuts, apples, and ale. There were no seats, but a penny (an entire day's wage for a typical grounding) would get you a seat on the stairs leading to the galleries. Another penny would buy you a cushion. If it rained, you got wet"(Cohen). At least the people in The Yard had the opportunity to purchase food and drink and enjoy the show. The audience weren’t always respectful, "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 people watching also, cheered the actors they like and were disrespectful to the actors they did not.

The Globe Theatre was a great place for shows, but it had a bad history. The theater was attacked more than once, “Globe Theatre, London playhouse, built in 1598, where most of Shakespeare's plays were first presented. It burned in 1613, was rebuilt in 1614, and was destroyed by the Puritans in 1644. A working replica opened in 1997”(EBSCO). Some people were against the theater, so they attacked it. The theater was opposed by many people, "Puritans closed the Globe (and other theatres in London) in 1642 because the theater was drawing a bigger crowd than the church. Convinced theater was immoral, the Puritans made it illegal, and the Globe was torn down in 1644"(Cohen). The Puritans thought the theater was getting too much attention. The building had to be rebuilt multiple times, "In 1613, during a performance of Shakespeare's Henry VIII, a cannon shot during a staged battle ignited the thatched roof, and the Globe burned to the ground without serious casualties. Within a year the theater was rebuilt, this time with a tile roof, and it continued to host performances until 1642 when the Puritan government, strongly opposed to all forms of entertainment, shuttered every theater in London. The Globe was torn down two years later." A cannon shot at it and then the Puritans shut it down, so builders keep having to rebuild the structure.

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.

Cohen, Russell. “Globe Theatre.” EBSCO HOST, Scholastic Inc., Accessed 6 Dec. 2016.

“Globe Theatre.” Bloom’s Literature, Encyclopedia of British Writers, 16th and 17th Centuries., 2005, Accessed 9 Dec. 2016.

Ru. “Globe Theatre.” EBSCO Host, Literary Cavalcade,

Seidel, Michael. “Globe Theatre.” World Book Advanced. World Book, 2016. Web. 17 Nov. 2016.


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