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A History Of The Globe Theatre

1711 words - 7 pages

Playwrights were at an all time high during this time. The Globe Theatre was built for Lord’s Chamberlains Men by Cuthbert Burbage (Mallibard). The Globe underwent a lot of hardships throughout its time as the prominent theatre in England. The Globe theatre was beautifully constructed, was a very prominent theatre in England during the time, and was the house for many of Shakespeare’s and Lord Chamberlain’s Men’s plays.
The Globe Theatre was constructed in 1599, out of timber taken from the Theatre. It stood next to the Rose, another theatre, on the south side of the Thames, and was the most elaborate and attractive theatre yet built. The Globe was designed and constructed for the Chamberlain's Men by Cuthbert Burbage, son of the Theatre's creator, James Burbage. The lease for the land on which the Globe stood was co-owned by Burbage and his brother Robert, and by a group of five actors: Will Kempe, Augustine Phillips, John Heminge, Thomas Pope, and William Shakespeare. Much of Shakespeare's wealth came from his holdings in the Globe (www.william-shakespeare.info). The open-air, polygonal amphitheater raised three stories high with a diameter of approximately 100 feet, holding a seating capacity of up to 3,000 spectators. The rectangular stage platform on which the plays were performed was nearly 43 feet wide and 28 feet deep. This staging area probably housed trap doors in its flooring and primitive rigging overhead for various stage effects (www.bardweb.net). At the base of the stage, there was an area called the pit, where for a penny, the "groundlings" would stand to watch the performance. Groundlings would eat hazelnuts during performances, and during the excavation of the Globe nutshells were found preserved in the dirt. Around the yard were three levels of stadium-style seats, which were more expensive than standing room. Large columns on either side of the stage supported a roof over the rear portion of the stage. The ceiling under this roof was called the "heavens," and may have been painted with clouds and the sky. A trap door in the heavens enabled performers to descend using some form of rope and harness. The back wall of the stage had two or three doors on the main level, with a curtained inner stage in the center and a balcony above it. The doors entered into the "tiring house," similar to a backstage area where the actors dressed and awaited their entrances. The balcony housed the musicians and could also be used for scenes requiring an upper space, such as the balcony scene in Romeo and Juliet (www.playshakespeare.com). The Globe was a very popular for all social levels. There was no reason not to go to the plays. Some went to enjoy the play and others, like the groundlings, went for entertainment and sometimes even threw vegetables and other food on stage.
The tiring house was a very important and extremely extravagant, especially for the time. The tiring room had a three-story section of the playhouse that...

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