A painting of William Shakespeare
What theaters did Shakespeare use and who was he?
William Shakespeare was an English poet and thought to be one of the best dramatists of all time. He used many theaters throughout his reign. This research paper includes not only facts on the Globe theater, but also discusses the Elizabethan Theater, and Shakespeare himself.
Top View of the Globe Theater. It's shape and open air roof can be observed.
The Globe Theater:
"The Globe was round or polygonal on the outside and probably round on the inside" (Seidal 1).
The Globe Theater would not be the same if it was not round. Same goes for the inside. Making the theater round is not only good for the all around view, but also for the sound. The sound would bounce off the walls and therefore make it a better hearing experience.
"....acting companies had played wherever they could rent space. Usually this would be in the courtyard of inns...It was natural, then, that the first theater built by Burbage should derive its shape and form from the inns" (Anderson 778).
If acting companies played wherever they could rent space, one would think the actors would have had to been good. Also, I believe it is neat the Globe was built and based off the form of the old inns which used to exist at the time and today.
"The plays were performed in the afternoon. Since the stage was open to the sky, there was no need for stage lighting" (Anderson 778).
This makes a lot of sense and is very resourceful. They could use artificial light when you have the sun, the ultimate natural light source. It makes a person wonder if they ever had plays at night, and what did they use as a light source. Candles maybe. it seems many candles would have to be used if plays were every held at night. It could make a larger fire hazard though.
“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" (Seidal 1).
If the Globe Theater was one of the early theaters, there could have been other theaters used as well. It makes one think if other theaters were also open air.
"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" (Seidal 1).
Back to the fire hazards again. Candles could be a big problem, and it is a factor which could cause the fire at the Globe Theater. The damage must have been very bad because it took so long for the theater to be reconstructed.
"Its stage occupied the open-air space, with a pit in front for standing viewers. The stage was surrounded by several levels of seating" (Seidal 1).
An open-air space can be a benefit and a bothersome thing. The natural light for afternoon plays is economical and provided possibly better lighting. However, it could be a annoying thing because maybe toward the night or fall time it would be a lot colder in the theater since it was exposed.
"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" (Seidal 1).
How much exactly did Shakespeare own of the theater. There must be a long, deep backstory behind the construction and development of the theater. However all is well, if it was not for them, the world would not have this great, historical sight.
The Elizabethan Theater:
"By the late 1500's, Elizabethan plays were being performed in two kinds of theater building--later called public and private theaters" (Landler 1).
There were most likely two different kinds of theaters because maybe the aristocrats who used the private theaters did not want to be mixed with the everyday person. And of course the considered "commoners" would attended public plays which were also probably cheaper.
"Public theaters were larger than private ones and held at least 2,500 people...were built around a courtyard that had no roof" (Landler 1).
Public theater were probably built without a roof because it had to accommodate a lot more people and had to ventilate due to body heat. Private theaters were most likely more spacious and only had maybe small windows for fresh air to come through
"Private theaters were similar, roofed structures. They had candlelight for evening performances. Private theaters charged higher prices and were designed to attract a higher-class audience" (Landler 1).
My point from earlier. Public theaters were meant for the everyday person while private theaters were meant for the wealthy. The private theaters even got candle light for evening showings.
"...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" (Landler 1).
Shakespeare is rightly called the world’s best dramatist. He is such a favored author and I have never met one person who does not know his name. He has definitely made an impact on the world and I would not be writing this without him.
"Royal Shakespeare Company is an English theater organization dedicated to presenting the plays of William Shakespeare and other playwrights of his time, modern classical dramas, and new works" (Royal Shakespeare Company 1).
This quote makes me wonder how was the Royal Shakespeare Company created. It was obviously not made by Shakespeare himself. There must have been other playwrights in his time along with different genres such as classical dramas.
"His father, John, was a shopkeeper and a man of some importance...William attended grammar school, where he studied Latin grammar, Latin literature, and rhetoric. As far as we know, he had no further formal education" (Royal Shakespeare Company 1).
To me at least, it seems hard to believe Shakespeare had no other form of education, then again I do not know how long he was in school. I also wonder, to the town, how much Shakespeare's father was actually important.
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." William
Shakespeare's Life: A Genius from Stratford, pp. 776-77.
Landler, Jesse M. "William Shakespeare." World Book Advanced. World Book
Accessed 8 Dec. 2016.
"Royal Shakespeare Company." World Book Advanced. World Book Advanced. Accessed
6 Dec. 2016.
Seidel, Micheal. "Globe Theater." World Book Advanced. World Book Advanced.
Accessed 8 Dec. 2016.