The Globe Theater Lauren Pezina Period: 5

The Globe Theater was an inspiration to modern theater from its architecture, actors, audiences, and has lived in our memory today through its history.

The Globe Theater Video Tour



"... it developed the proscenium stage. There is no outer stage, there is only the inner stage, and a large curtain separates it from the audience" (Anderson 779).

Unlike before, where there was a back stage and an inner stage, the one the audience could see, there is only an inner stage. As a stage, the proscenium stage has an enormous arch outlining your viewpoint. The stage itself goes back, making up in depth rather than length and gives you the appearance as if you were to look inside from a window. It is surrounded by the audience on three sides.It has helped modern times because that has been the standard way to build a stage for more than a hundred years.

"... with it's few sets and many acting areas-forestage, inner stage, and upper stage-made for a theater with great fluidity" (Anderson 779).

With a stage like this, you could easily maneuver your way through each scene with no bumps in the road, or say stage in this case. The scenes were consistent and didn't ruin the flow of the play. It made for a perfect stage setup. That's why it has been the normal for stages today.

"Above this inner stage was a small balcony or upper stage... Trapdoors were placed in the floor of the main stage..." (Anderson 778-779).

The upper stage and trapdoors were essential to have in a theater and play back then and today as well. The upper stage would be used for a balcony, a high tower with a window, high walls for a castle, or even a bridge of a ship. Trapdoors were used for actors to make quick disappearances or appearances and entrances and exits for ghosts. These extra stage setups have been included in all of modern theater stages in modern times.


"The Globe held 3,000 people, and its audiences were composed of members from all social classes" (Hager).

People of all kind could come and see a play. For the Elizabethan Age, that was a big step. Most entertaining shows, activities, or hobbies were meant only for the upper class. People such as commoners, royalty, noble families, farmers, merchants, thieves, etc. This helped modern theater because now days everyone of all ages, jobs, wealth, and status can view a show like this one.

"...The "groundlings," the 500 spectators standing at the foot of the stage..." (Covington).

The groundlings were known as the people on the floor, right at stage level. It cost them only a penny to get it. Most groundlings were mostly lower class who couldn't afford much. Being a groundling also meant that they had no protection whatsoever from the weather. If it were to start raining during the performance, then they would have to sit through it. This has influenced modern theaters today because the groundlings are in an area called the pit. But instead of it being the cheapest seats, it's ironically the most expensive seats to get.

"...Elizabethan theater was a rowdy event..." (Hager).

In theater today plays are normally respectfully quite. When plays were put on in the Globe Theater during the Elizabethan age, it was quite the opposite. Back then, the audiences participated on what what was going on. The audiences booed at their least favorites, cheered at their favorites, and even threw stuff up onstage and on the actors. It was almost like a sporting event today. However, it is still very similar to concerts today, so the Globe Theater has influenced modern theater of all sorts.


"The brothers Cuthbert and Richard Burbage constructed the theater in 1599 from the timbers of London's first playhouse, called The Theatre. They erected the Globe in the area known as the Bank side on the south side of the River Thames in the suburb of Southwark" (Siedel).

Also known as the "Wooden O", the Burbage brothers used some of the exact planks from the Theater for the Globe Theater. The brothers original Theater was near a neighborhood. When a play was taking place, the neighbors could hear the rowdy audience. The residents in neighboring houses were annoyed and complained. The Theater had to be shut down. But that didn't stop the brothers from having a theater. Henceforth, they moved the Theater, renamed it as the Globe Theater, and it later became one of the more famous theaters today.

"By 1594, he was a charter member of the theatrical company called the Lord Chamberlain's Men..." (Anderson 777).

William Shakespeare was a charter member as well as a shareholder over the Globe Theater for the company Lord Chamberlain's Men. He was also an actor for them, but mostly he was known as their most famous and successful playwright. For the rest of his career he worked with this company and helped build it up to be successful and make it better for years to come. Since Shakespeare's works were mostly performed in the Globe Theater, The Globe Theater will be remembered and will go down in history.

"After an absence of nearly 400 years, Shakespeare's Globe theater rises again on the South Bank of the Thames River..." (Covington).

In England, they rebuilt the Globe Theater. Before it got rebuilt, there were bumps in the road that had mostly to do with money. Since England was low on funds, it almost didn't get rebuilt. It took a lot of fundraising, but quite a bit of the money came from the community and charities that supported the rebuilding of it. This means that people really care about the Globe Theater and still have it in their thoughts and memories today. Sure enough after the community’s help, the Globe was built for people over to come visit and reminiscence on what the Globe Theater was like.


"Women never appeared on the professional stage. Boys played women's roles, and some acting companies consisted entirely of boys" (Novick).

During the Elizabethan Age, it was normal for the men to play all parts. When they were portraying a lady, they had dressed up for the part using wigs, makeup, and even dresses. This eventually changed over time, but there are still traces of actors like this today. For example Tyler Perry dresses up as a woman for his movie series Madea. So actors for the Globe Theater have influenced in modern times.

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.

Covington, Richard. “The Rebirth Of Shakespeare’s Globe.” Smithsonian 28.8 (1997): 65. History Reference Center. Web. 4 Dec. 2016.

Hager, Alan, ed. “Globe Theatre.” Encyclopedia of British Writers, 16th and 17th Centuries.

Novick, Julius. “Drama.” World Book Advanced. World Book, 2016. Web. 5 Dec. 2016.

Seidel, Michael. “Globe Theatre.” World Book Advanced. World Book, 2016. Web. 18 Nov. 2016.


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