The Globe Theatre By Max North

Thesis: The Globe Theater influenced the modern theater through his structure, performers, and in the plays that were performed there.

Quote #1: “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, Michael).

Commentary #1: The Globe Theatre provided a basis for the architecture of modern theatres. Many theatres today still use the format of several levels of seating as well as a cheaper pit area and it originated with the Globe.

Quote #2: "17th-century London theatre, octagonal and open to the sky, near Bankside, Southwark, where many of Shakespeare's plays were performed by Richard Burbage and his company” (Globe).

Commentary #2: The octagonal shape of the theatre is used to this today because of the way it echoes sound to make the actor’s voices sound louder for the audience.

Quote #3: “Or may we cram / Within this wooden O the very casques / That did affright the air at Agincourt” (Shakespeare, William).

Commentary #3: Shakespeare even makes a reference to the structure of the famous theatre within his play Henry V. The “wooden O” shape of the Globe is a way of allowing the audience to view the play from all angles. The shape is often used in modern times from ice skating rinks, concerts, and of course, theatres.

Quote #4: “In 1599, together with his brother Cuthbert, Burbage built the Globe Theatre. Burbage probably started his acting career in 1590 with the Lord Admiral's company. In 1593, he became a member of the Lord Chamberlain's company” (Burbage).

Commentary #4: Richard Burbage, the son of the original creator of the Globe, became a member of the Lord Chamberlain’s company. They were of course the actors who performed many of William Shakespeare’s plays in the Globe Theatre. The way they performed on the stage influenced how contemporary actors perform in present-day.

Quote #5: “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. (Lander, Jesse)”

Commentary #5: The Globe Theatre was originally called The Theatre before an issue with the landlord caused the company to have to tear the timbers down. That means that the Globe Theatre essentially created the word “theater” as we know it today. It was one of the first of its kind, and now there’s thousands of theaters all around the world.

Quote #6: “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” (Lander, Jesse).

Commentary #6: After Shakespeare’s role as one of the first actor-sharers to be theater owners is important because it influenced several other companies to do so as well during the time. This worked out well financially for actors, and it helped boost the popularity of theatre.

Quote #7: "The campaign to rebuild the theatre was begun by US film director Sam Wanamaker (1919-1993), who established the Globe Playhouse Trust site in 1949, just 183 m/200 yds from the first Globe site. A decades-long battle for funds followed, resolved finally by a British National Lottery grant" (Globe).

Commentary #7: The influence of the Globe Theatre is so widely appreciated that there was a large campaign to rebuild the old structure. It was rebuilt only a few hundred yards from the original place where the old Globe stood before the puritans burned it down in the 1600s.

Quote #8: “It's hard now to imagine a time when no one was convinced Shakespeare's Globe Theater would work. Actor Sam Wanamaker found it almost impossible to raise enough cash to build what the snootier members of the arts world thought would be a horrible Disney-esque pastiche and the tourist executives thought would be too highbrow to tempt the hordes. Both were wrong, of course, and the Globe is one of London's most respected theaters, attracting visitors and serious art lovers alike” (Lawrence, Sandra).

Commentary #8: After the campaign to rebuild the theater got off the ground and became open to the public once again many art lovers came to the theater to admire its influences. It’s audience participation encouragement, it’s tall detailed pillars, and the eight sided walls of the building are impressive for the time.

Quote #9: "The Globe Theater brought spectators of all classes together. The jokes and scenes could be enjoyed by anyone. Similarly, today's theater brings various social classes together" (Kurlak, John).

Commentary #9: The Globe could be enjoyed by anyone and everyone since the poorest of poor could afford the pit, and the rich would come to enjoy the play from the seats on higher levels. Prior to this, companies of actors would perform only for the rich within designated areas. The Globe Theater was open to everyone.

Quote #10: "The balcony above the stage was not the only balcony in the playhouse. As mentioned, the central balcony was flanked by two balconies for the wealthy to be seen in just as celebrities today pick boxes and seats at sports games were they are likely to be noticed by today’s media. Even vanity existed in the 1500’s" (Balcony).

Commentary #10: The idea of paid boxes only for the wealthy was established by the Globe. It's another way of bringing the classes together.

Works Cited

Anderson, Robert. “Shakespeare and His Theater.” Holt Literature & Language Arts: Mastering the California Standards: Reading, Writing, Listening, Speaking, by G. Kylene Beers et al., Austin, Holt, Rinehart & Winston, 2003.

“Burbage.” World Book Advanced. World Book, 2016. Web. 7 Dec. 2016.

Columbia Electronic Encyclopedia, 6Th Edition (2016). “Globe Theatre.” Columbia Electronic Encyclopedia, 6Th Edition (2016): 1. History Reference Center. Web. 18 Nov. 2016.

Ference, John Kurlak and Greg. “William Shakespeare and The Globe Theater.” William Shakespeare and The Globe Theater. N.p., n.d. Web. 08 Dec. 2016.

“Globe Theatre.” Hutchinson Encyclopedia Of Britain (2014): 5129. History Reference Center. Web. 30 Nov. 2016.

Lander, Jesse M. “Shakespeare, William.” World Book Advanced. World Book, 2016. Web. 7 Dec. 2016.

Lawrence, Sandra. “Sam Wanamaker Playhouse Brings Jacobean Theater.” British Heritage 35.2 (2014): 58-61. History Reference Center. Web. 6 Dec. 2016.

Seidel, Michael. “Henry V.” World Book Advanced. World Book, 2016. Web. 7 Dec. 2016.

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

“Shakespeare’s Globe Theatre.” Shakespeare’s Globe Theatre at Absolute Shakespeare, n.d. Web. 08 Dec. 2016.


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