Today we see advertisements all around us for movies and different forms of
entertainment trying to catch our attention. If we're interested, we can simply go the the nearest
movie theater and see the film that brought us there in the first place. However, a few hundred
years ago the word "theater" possessed a different meaning than it does in today's society. The
first famous theater on record is none other than the Globe Theater. This wasn't your everyday
movie theater. The entertainment that this was meant for was playwrites, and the occasional
gambling session. Before this theater was built, plays took place at inns, inn yards, college halls,
private houses, and a variety ...view middle of the document...
info). The Globe Theater
was finished in 1598 with new improvements and additions making it the most glorious theater
London had ever seen.
Learned from paintings and sketches with the Globe in the background, researchers
have concluded that the theater was basically a hexagonal, roofless ampitheater
(www.william-shakespeare.info). It was one of the first, even thought to be the trendsetter of
ampitheater architecture (www.shakespeare-online.com). According to Linda Archin in her
online article about the Globe on www.william-shakespeare.info, there aren't any sketches or
drawings of any sort that depict what the inside of the theater looked like. However, there was
a theater built later on, the Swan Theater, that is thought to have been extremely similar in
architecture. Therefore, researchers have been able to deduct what the inside of the Globe
might've looked like when it was at it's peak.
The Globe had an inner court of approximately 55 feet; this is where the stage resided.
The stage had two primary parts- the outer and inner stage. The outer stage was where the
magic happened, it was usually the main scene of each act took place. Stretching out into the
courtyard, the stage had a thatched roof and hangings, but no surrounding curtains so that
audience seated everywhere would have a decent view of the actors. There was also a trap
door in the stage. This small square led down to the cellar, otherwise known as "Hell". This was
usually used for purposes of ghosts. Casting an eerie feel, because the actor playing a ghost
would be covered in darkness besides light from small holes in the floor boards and theTiring-
house. The inner stage was used as a different setting for something that was happening at the
same time, different place as the main scene on the outer stage. It was placed between two
'wings' at the back of the outer stage, and was also the first floor of the tiring-house
The tiring-house was a section cut off from the public at the back of the stage. It was
composed of all three stories of the Globe, each floor holding its own purpose. The first was the
inner stage, as mentioned before. The second floor of the tiring-house held the central balcony,
used in plays such as Shakespeare's Romeo and Juliet. The third story was always closed off
to the public. It tripled as a place where the orchestra resided, dressing rooms, and storage
There was also a part of the theatrical part of the building called "The Heavens".
Basically, in the floor of the superstructure props were hung. There were small huts in The
Heavens that held cannons captive...