Shakespeare and the Globe Theatre
Plays have always been a big attraction throughout the centuries. William Shakespeare is most commonly known as one of the best play writers of all time. Even without the modern technology that we have today, Shakespeare was able to deliver magnificent plays using the Globe Theatre. Though Shakespeare wrote many plays, he did not write an autobiography, and none of the letters he wrote could be found. Therefore little is actually known about Shakespeare’s life. What is known can only be found in historical records or from the marvelous plays that Shakespeare wrote.
William Shakespeare was born on April 23, 1564 in the small town of Stratford in England to Mary Arden and John Shakespeare. His father, an illiterate glove maker, was able to give William a fair education at a grammar school due to his status as an alderman. As a child in school, William was able to learn Latin and a little Greek. “Indications in his later writing suggest that as a kid Shakespeare enjoyed football, field sports and arguing with the referees” (Meet Bill para. 3). In 1582 at the age of 18, William married Anne Hathaway, who was eight years older than him and pregnant. They had their first child, Susanna, a few months after their wedding, and then later they had twins, Hamnet and Judith. Sadly Hamnet, William’s only son, died at age eleven in 1596, and as a result the Shakespeare name was lost forever. Some time between 1585 and 1592, Shakespeare left his family in Stratford to become an actor and playwright in London. “…William is believed to have left his family back home for some
twenty years whilst he pursued his craft” (Shakespeare Biography para. 14).
During this time Shakespeare became a famous playwright. But the theaters then were very different from the ones currently used by Broadway. The Globe Theatre, in which Shakespeare performed 37 or more of his plays, was outdoors and had three stages in it. The main stage, where most of the action took place, extended from one side of the theatre into the pit, where spectators could stand and watch the plays for just a little bit of money. This stage was about 45 feet wide and 25 feet deep, and could be viewed by the audience from three sides. Also, the stage had a trapdoor built into it that was used as a grave or a place where ghosts would seem to appear out of nowhere. The second stage was the inner stage. This stage was right behind the main stage, and was recessed into the theatre. It was equipped with a removable curtain in front of it and was used for things like Capulet’s tomb in Romeo and Juliet. Lastly, there was a balcony above the inner stage that was used for things like Juliet’s bedroom. With these stages, Shakespeare was able to present outstanding plays that could sustain the audience’s interest.
The costumes that the actors wore at the Globe Theatre were much more elaborate and complex than ones that are...