The Globe Theatre
Thesis- The Globe Theater has impacted our society by having a complex history, extraordinary architecture and having a remarkable influence from Shakespeare.
The History of the Globe Theatre
Quote 1 -"Most of the great English playwright William Shakespeare's plays were first presented at the Globe. 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. Shakespeare owned a modest percentage of the theater and its operations" (Seidel 1).
Commentary- William Shakespeare's plays were first debut at the Globe Theatre. Cuthbert and Richard Burbage built the theater in 1599. They created the theater with the old timber of the past play house, The Theatre. The play was located on the Bank side on the south side of the River Thames. Shakespeare got a good portion of the theaters proceedings. This quote relates to the history because it gives off how it all started, from crossing the river to building it with The Theatre's lumber (Smith). William Shakespeare created the theater in 1599, wanting to present his plays that were to come in the future. It is unbelievable that the new theater was created with the lumber of the theater that once existed.
Quote 2- "Shakespeare began his professional life in a theater such as that just described. His first known play was probably The Comedy of Errors (1590), a comedy (play based on humor) with a complex plot involving two sets of identical twins. This was followed by a romantic comedy, The Two Gentlemen of Verona (1591), that tells stories of a faithful girl who educates her fickle lover, a girl dressed as a boy, and happy marriages at the end. Love's Labour's Lost (1593), another romantic comedy, deals with the attempt of three young men to withdraw from the world and women for three years to study in their king's "little Academe." The men quickly abandon their plans, however, when a group of young ladies comes to lodge nearby. His first chronicle plays were Henry VI (1592) and Richard III (1594). These dramas dealt with the tumultuous events of English history between the death of King Henry V in 1422 and the accession of Henry VII in 1485. At the time they marked the most ambitious attempt in English theater to present epic drama (a play that portrays events over a long period of time). Shakespeare's first tragedy, Titus Andronicus (1593), reveals similar ambition. Though the modern reader or viewer may think the play is simply a chamber of horrors—the plot is full of mutilations and murders—Shakespeare succeeded in outdoing other English playwrights in the lurid tradition of the revenge play (drama in which the main character seeks revenge on someone who has wronged him). For twenty more years he continued to master and perfect all of these forms—comedy, history, and tragedy—as one of the most productive and brilliant playwrights in history" (Carnagie).
Commentary- Shakespeare performed these plays in the Globe Theatre. The sequence of plays are The Comedy of Errors (1950), The Two Gentlemen of Verona (1591), Love's Labour's Lost (1593), Henry VI (1592), Richard III (1594), Titus Andronicus (1593), and a lot more! He continued for twenty more years, created more pieces of artwork. This empathizes the Globe Theatre because it shows examples of some of the stunning plays that were performed on the very Globe Theatre's stage (Smith). Shakespeare had created a series of plays that are magnificent. He managed to get all of these plays performed at The Theatre and The Globe Theatre.
Quote 3- " In 1576 James Burbage (1531–1597), a former furniture maker, had built a theater at Shoreditch, northeast of the city. It was called the Theatre, perhaps because there were no others. There was plenty of dramatic activity at inn yards, churches, and mansions, but not in permanent theater buildings. Burbage and his colleagues built their theater outside the city to be free of authorities, who tended to be suspicious of theater activity as subversive (anti-government), ungodly, and unhealthy. Richard Burbage (c. 1567–1619), James's son, became Shakespeare's lifelong friend and the leading actor in his major tragedies, such as Richard III, Hamlet, and Othello. Some of Shakespeare's early plays may have been performed at the Theatre, though it is not known what acting company or companies he may have joined before 1594. That year his name appeared on a list of the Lord Chamberlain's Men, a company that performed chiefly at the Theatre in Shoreditch" (Carnagie).
Commentary- James made a theater in Shoreditch. The theater was called The Theatre. There was a lot of drama happening everywhere else, just not at the theater building. Burbage and his friends built the theater outside of the city to get away from all the authorities and much more. Richard Burbages son became good friends with Shakespeare. Shakespeare then performed his plays at The Theatre with his friend. Eventually he became part of Lord Chamberlain's Men, which was the company of the Theatre. This depicts the Globe Theatre's history because it lead to the needing of another theater. In which, then they will move and get to build the Globe Theatre. This will then lead to the beginning of the Globe Theatre and its history began before it was built because there needs to be a purpose for the building of another theater (Smith). Shakespeare may have a good experience at The Theatre, where he got to perform some of his first works. Eventually, The Theatre will be taken away to the other side of the river after being forced out by a landlord. From then they will build a beautiful theater named The Globe Theater. The audience will be able to just relax and enjoy the plays.
Quote 4- "The Globe was not the first theater of its kind. Rather, it marks a tradition at maturity: the frame of the first Elizabethan amphitheater refitted in line with twenty years of experience. The unique financial arrangement—players sharing ownership of the theater—gave the company creative control, brought much-needed stability, and focused the talent. Though built on the cheap and in a hurry, the Globe was made to order for the Lord Chamberlain’s Men, later to become the King’s Men , and was delivered into their hands. The Globe’s layout had no legacy until attempts at reconstruction began in the 1790’. Puritans closed the theaters in 1642, marking the effective end of the particular design and leaving its details in mystery, but for its life span the Globe proved vital. It could accommodate all social levels and up to three thousand people. It became London’s political forum, the place where controversial views could be argued in play. Under the afternoon sun, citizens shared common pleasures and anxieties and emerged perhaps a little more human. Although not their first choice of venue, the company nonetheless was won over by the theater’s success. The amphitheater’s human scale bred a new kind of drama. When the Globe burned to the ground in 1613, a victim of its cheap thatch, it was rebuilt more magnificently than before, and with a tiled roof" (Lander).
Commentary- The theater was not the first of its kind, it is a mark of maturity. The Globe did not begin building it again until 1790. Puritan's closed down the theater in 1642. The theater could accommodate all social levels and up to three thousand people. Citizens would relieve stress and tension and go see a play to relax. Even Though, the choice of venue isn't the greatest, they still manage to get through with the theater's success. The amphitheater made a new kind of drama. Then, the globed was burned down. This expresses a different way of thinking about the Globe Theatre. This shows the audience's feelings toward the theater, which were, amazing. The history of the Globe Theatre ended by a big burn, that affected most people because the Globe Theater was their getaway. This reports back to the Globe Theatre because this statement shows the feelings that audience experienced while in the theater. It shows the impact the theater has on them, as they explain that it is their getaway. That is what the theater is all about, to relax and have fun. It is used to get out of the real world for a bit (Smith). The Globe Theatre had a great impact on a lot of human beings. The theater was a place to be human and to have fun.
The Globe Theatres architecture
Quote 5- "The Theatre appears to have been octagonal (eight-sided) or otherwise many-sided in design, with a seating capacity for perhaps three thousand spectators. More prosperous audience members sat in wooden galleries, while the less well-to-do stood in the "yard" in front of a large rectangular stage. The stage measured about 43 by 27 feet (13 by 8 meters). This platform stood 5 feet (1.5 meters) or so above the floor of the yard. Backstage was a "tiring house" where the actors attired themselves and made their entrances and exits through two or three doors. A gallery above the doors in the tiring house wall may have accommodated well-to-do spectators at times but could also be used for acting scenes. The main stage had a least one trap door in it, and probably supported two pillars that held up a roof partly covering the stage. The roof could also represent "heavens" from which descents and ascents were made by means of machinery, such as ropes and pulleys" (Carnagie).
Commentary- The theater was octagonal and had a complex design. The wealthy got to sit in the wooden galleries on the sides of the Globe. The least wealthy had to stand in the "yard", which was the ground floor in front of the rectangular stage. The stage was forty- three by twenty-seven feet. The stage stood five feet above the floor. In the back of the theatre, there was a changing room called the "tiring house". In that room the actors could get ready for the next scene. There were entrances and exits through two or three doors. The main stage had one trap door that supported two pillars that held the roof that was partly covering the stage. The roof could have been represented as heavens. The descents and ascents were made of machinery, which were ropes and pulleys. This recites the history of the Globe Theatre because it shows how it was built and what was in the theatre is what makes the theater. The structure represents what the Globe Theatre was before the devastation (Smith).The Globe Theatre had many different aspects to it. It had special equipment needed to bring the stories to life. The structure was made in a certain way to succeed with the play's needs
Quote 6- ."...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. In the back wall of this stage was 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 high walls of the castle or the bridge of a ship. Trap Doors were placed in the floor of the main stage for the entrances and exits of ghosts and for descents into hell. The plays were performed in the afternoon. Since the stage was open to the sky, there was no need for the stage lighting. There were very small sets (scenery,furniture and so on). The stage was created in on play when the character announced, "Well this is the Forest of Arden." But the costumed were so often elaborate, and the stage might have been hung with colorful banner and trappings" (Anderson 778-779).
Commentary -The Globe Theatre was built to exempt the formation of plays. The theater was open to the sky, letting in the lighting for the play. The theater had its back wall, curtained off for the audience sight would not be in tact. On the ends of the theater, there were exit and entrance doors. There was a balcony above the stage to represent some of the features used in the play. Trapdoors were placed in order to represent different ways of exits used throughout the plays performed. The actors had to have skill because they wouldn't use a lot of furniture. Lastly, The costumes represented their character to the more than the requirement, therefore, the stage had to be dressed up as well. The stage tricks played a big role in the history of the globe theater because that is what brought the theater to life. The characters had to have certain representation of what was presented in the play. The Globe Theatre's tricks exemplify The Globe Theatre and its history because this is how the actors acted in the theater and this was also including some of the theaters architecture (Smith). The Globe theater had many knick knacks into creates a beautiful work of art. The actors would transport the audience to another world in which the play exists. The transportation wouldn't be possible without the tricks the structure of the stage and the actors that are used to portray the story.
Quote 7- "The Globe, which opened with a performance of Shakespeare's Henry V, could accommodate an audience of about three thousand people, and individuals from all walks of life attended plays there. The least expensive ticket allowed people to stand in the yard, at the base of the stage. These spectators, called "groundlings," were often uneducated or even illiterate, but they enjoyed Shakespeare's plays as much as the more educated theatergoers did. It was not uncommon for audiences to bring food and drink into the theater, and even throw food at the stage when they disliked a performance" (Benson).
Commentary- The Globe theatre could fit three thousand people. The people who bought the least expensive ticket were put on the first floor, right by the stage. The people on the ground floor were called "groundlings". If the "groundlings" did not like the performance, they would throw food at the actors. This would relate to the Globe Theatre because the audience had a lot to do with the Globe Theatre. The audience would give the theater some company and help bring more of the stories being portrayed in the theater, to life. The audience would always be part of The Globe Theatre's history because they were the people who helped the theater succeed and strive (Smith). The theater had a large space of area that could fit a lot of people who wanted to watch the play. The "groundlings" paid a very low price for their ticket and if they did not like something they saw, it would not go good with the actors.
Shakespeare and his influence on the Globe Theatre
Quote 8- "As was customary, Shakespeare’s company, the Lord Chamberlain’s Men, rented performance space. For most of the 1590’s, the Lord Chamberlain’s Men performed in a building called The Theatre. The English actor and theatrical manager James Burbage had built the structure on leased land. 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. Richard Burbage and the Lord Chamberlain’s Men dismantled The Theatre 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 Theatre. The Globe could accommodate 3,000 spectators. Shakespeare was one of six shareholders who signed the lease for the new site in 1599. He thus became part of the first group of actor-sharers to also be theater owners. Although this arrangement meant considerable financial risk, it also promised to be profitable if the new theater was a success. The Globe proved to be a wise investment, and it remained a home to Shakespeare’s acting company until the religious reformers known as Puritans closed the theaters in 1642, during the English Civil War" (Lander).
Commentary- When Shakespeare's career was booming, him and his men decided to rent a performance space so that they could perform his creative plays. In 1590, the Lord Chamberlain's Men performed their shows in The Theatre. After a disagreement with the landlord of that theater, they had to find another place to bring Shakespeare's plays to life. They destroyed their old theater and moved all the material to the other side of the river. They moved it to a new site named Southwark. They then created the new theater with the lumber of the last theater. The Globe Theatre can hold up to three-thousand people. Shakespeare was one of the shareholders of the building in 1599. He was at a financial risk but he was promised success coming his way. The theater was a great home to to Shakespeare's company but way destroyed by reformers in 1642 (Smith). Shakespeare had a big contribution to the Globe Theatre. He invested in it and also performed his most famous work in that building. He was part of the reason in which the theater was built in the first place. It is amazing how one person can change something so little. He managed to make an amazing theater in which people could see his extraordinary work come to life.
Quote 9-" By 1594, he was a charter member of the theatrical company called the Lord Chamberlain's Men, which was later to become the King's Men... Shakespeare worked with this company for the rest of his writing life. Year after year he provided it with plays, almost on demand. Shakespeare was the ultimate professional writer. He has a theater that needed plays, actors who needed parts, and a family that needed to be fed" (Anderson 777).
Commentary- In 1594, Shakespeare was a member of the theatrical company called the Lord Chamberlain's Men. Eventually, the name of the company will be changed to King's men. Shakespeare had worked with the company for the rest of his writing career. He was a overachieving professional writer. He had a theater to write scripts for, actors who needed to act and his family to feed. The company relates to the theater because the company owned the theater and so did Shakespeare. Shakespeare was counted on by everybody from the company to succeed (Smith). Shakespeare was really devoted to his company and writing. He had to write for his actors, family, and for his company. In which, they counted on him to strive.
Quote 10- "Born in the small but prosperous town of Stratford-upon-Avon in 1564, William Shakespeare was the son of glove maker John Shakespeare and his wife, Mary Arden. John Shakespeare, a farmer's son, had earned success in his trade and held various government positions in the town. Mary Shakespeare, of a slightly higher social class, was the daughter of a local landowner. William was the oldest of six children. He had three younger brothers and two younger sisters; one sister died in childhood.Few facts are available about Shakespeare's early life. It is most likely that he, like other Stratford children, attended the local grammar school, the King's New School. Here students learned Latin, logic, and rhetoric (the art of constructing formal arguments). It was a rigorous course of study that familiarized students with the works of ancient Roman writers such as Ovid (43 BCE–17CE) and Virgil (70–19 BCE).Though many of the most outstanding Elizabethan poets and playwrights studied at university, there is no record of Shakespeare having done so. In 1582, at age eighteen, he married a slightly older local woman, Anne Hathaway (c. 1556–1623). She gave birth to a daughter, Susanna, six months later. The couple had twins—a boy, Hamnet, and a girl, Judith—in 1585. Hamnet died at age eleven, but his sister survived. Judith had one daughter, Elizabeth, who was Shakespeare's last descendant; she died in 1670. Though Shakespeare lived most of his adult life in London, he maintained close ties to Stratford and returned to live there after retiring from writing plays (Anderson).
Commentary- Shakespeare was born in Stratford in 1564. He was the son of John Shakespeare and Mary Arden. Shakespeare's dad earned success in his trade and held a lot of government positions. William also had a little sister named Mary. William was the oldest and he had three younger brothers and two sisters. Although, one of the sister passed away. He attended grammar school where he learned Latin, logic and rhetoric. Shakespeare never studied in a university. He got married at eighteen to a woman named Anne Hathaway. He then received two daughters and one dead son. His children eventually had children of their own. Shakespeare then moved to London and then returned to Stratford to retire. This associates with the Globe Theatre because the man who made performances in the theater was Shakespeare. Shakespeare brought this theatre lots of joy and entertainment (Smith). Shakespeare had a very complicated life. He had to go through many tough times, but still commenced his career and brought a lot of enjoyment out of it.
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. 776-77.
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. 776-77.
Lander, Jesse M. “Shakespeare, William.” World Book Advanced. World Book, 2016. Web. 8 Dec. 2016
Seidel, Michael. “Globe Theatre.” World Book Advanced. World Book, 2016. Web. 8 Dec. 2016.
“Shakespeare, William.” Renaissance and Reformation Reference Library, edited by Julie L. Carnagie, et al., vol. 4: Vol. 2: Biographies, UXL, 2002, pp. 335-346. Gale Virtual Reference Library, go.galegroup.com/ps/i.do?p=GVRL&sw=w&u=tmulvusd&v=2.1&it=r&id=GALE%7CCX3426300095&asid=a08c35a1eafaf988c413ece2afc5db8e. Accessed 8 Dec. 2016.
“Shakespeare, William.” Elizabethan World Reference Library, edited by Sonia G. Benson and Jennifer York Stock, vol. 2: Biographies, UXL, 2007, pp. 197-207. Gale Virtual Reference Library, go.galegroup.com/ps/i.do?p=GVRL&sw=w&u=tmulvusd&v=2.1&it=r&id=GALE%7CCX2587000052&asid=f84b848efcbdec6df492f23db4e7b735. Accessed 8 Dec. 2016.