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The Globe Theatre And William Shakespeare Plays

851 words - 4 pages

Background: The apparent shape and even the precise location of the original Globe Theatre have continually been subjects of controversy. While Adams’ view of this debate stands that it doesn’t realistically matter to the artistry of Shakespeare’s plays whether it was a few yards north or south of Maid Lane; he does remark, “it is important to the study of Shakespeare and his contemporary dramatists to understand the design of an Elizabethan playhouse and stage and the extent to which that state was equipped…all helping to enlarge and sustain the scope and force of dramatic illusion…”(Adams, v). Within his work, The Globe Playhouse: Its Design and Equipment, the author takes the approach ...view middle of the document...

Two doors on either side of the tiring-house allowed the actors entrance onto the stage. Some of the examples also within Chapter 6 which require the use of the first level of the tiring house were Miranda and Ferdinand playing chess as a backdrop to the main scene in The Tempest (V,i); or a scene that should take place in a small, confining space, such as the Capulet's Tomb in Romeo and Juliet (V,iii). For scenes such as these, the actors would have pulled back the curtains on the outer stage to expose the tiring-house as the inner stage (Adams 175-176).
Thesis: It has been disputed that the elusive “hints” provided by the stage directions of Shakespeare’s plays and contemporary references are often vulnerable to many interpretations. Within his piece, Adams presents a coherent picture including every feature of the design of the Globe contrary to the piece-meal descriptions that are often found in other sources. Adams research and recreation offers a practicable notion that when the Lord Chamberlain’s Men built the Globe in 1599, they assimilated in its design every device that past experience had suggested was theatrically useful. He also exhibits how these devices would lend themselves to effective staging of Elizabethan plays.

Strengths: Adams’ duteous examination of each aspect of the design of the original Globe Theatre is highly workable and built within the limitations imposed upon the Elizabethan carpenter. It gives a detailed representation of what the ideal public theatre of Shakespeare’s time might have been. In the...

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