The Globe Theater
“The whole world is a stage,” was the motto of the Globe Theater. The Globe Theater was a great architectural feat. Built and rebuilt three times, it lied near the Thames River in London. The Globe Theater had a great history. It is also very unique in its way, and most importantly, it was where Shakespeare had his plays performed. The Globe was important to the history of architecture, plays, and civilization. At first, the Theater had a past unlike any other buildings in the world.
The first and original Globe Theater was built in 1599 to accommodate the famous Shakespearian plays. Its timber was used from The Theatre, a theater built in Shoreditch. But after 14 years, during a celebration of the arrival of King Henry IIX, a canon malfunctioned and hit the Globe Theater, igniting it and wrecking the beautiful building. The building wasn't fireproof, and its wooden frame didn't stand a chance against fire. It was rebuilt in 1614, this time with tiles instead of a flammable roof. After a while, it got closed down by the Puritans. After a long time, the Globe was finally rebuilt by Her Majesty The Queen, and in August, 1997, the doors opened. This new Globe Theater was almost an exact duplicate, as not much information on the original Globe existed anymore. The Globe shared the Elizabethan architectural style with the previous versions of the Globe.
The original Globe was presumably an 18- or 20-sided amphitheater with a crown-like roof and 3 floors of seating galleries. The Globe, from one side to the other, measured around 100 feet, and could contain 3000 spectators. In the middle of the Globe, peasants could pay a penny to stand there, because the couldn't afford to be in the seats. The galleries cost 2 pence, and the Lord's Room cost at least 5 pence. There, the rich people could show off even though the view from there wasn't as great as from the front. The stage was a rectangular platform which was 5 feet high. There was a floor trap and a heavens trap, and there was also a balcony in which either musicians would perform or actors would perform for some scenes. When the new Globe was built by McCurdy & Co. Ltd with the design of Pentagram in 1997, the theater was made to be as much of a replica as possible. Although it was the same, the theater only housed 1300 people instead of 3000 due to health and safety regulations. Luckily more people could see Shakespeare's plays when he performed them.
When Shakespeare performed there, the actors had to do their own stunts, such as jumping, falling, and so on. They also had to wield different weapons like they've used them all life. They had to yell so people would hear them, and it wouldn't be that easy with so many people there. For effects such as blood, the actors would fill up vessels like pigs' bladders with liquid or real blood, and during the right time, empty or pop them out. For audio effects, there would usually be a group of musicians on the balcony performing for the play. The costumes Shakespeare used were actually modern, so at the time they weren't unusual.
There is not a large amount of information about the Globe theater, Shakespeare, and the era in which they lived in. Although some primary sources got wiped out due to age, there are others as well. The Globe was really important to the history of architecture, plays, and civilization. In fact, during the time of Shakespeare, plays were the best form of entertainment and everyone would attend them. The Globe was one of the most famous theaters. In conclusion, the Globe theater was a very important building that shaped the history of the performances of plays.
Shakespeare's Globe Theatre. 28 June, 2000. Lyn Holman. 30 Oct 2007. <http://web.archive.org/web/20010801160230/www.rdg.ac.uk/globe/>
Center for Globe Research. 21 January 2005. University of Maryland. 31 Oct 2007. <http://www.sgc.umd.edu/>
www.OnlineShakespeare.com. 31 Oct 2007. <http://www.onlineshakespeare.com/>
Globe Theatre. 3 Nov, 2007. Wikipedia. 3 Nov, 2007. <http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Globe_Theatre>
2003. 3 Nov, 2007. <http://www.cummingsstudyguides.net/xGlobe.html>
© 2007 Oleg Vaskevich. All Rights Reserved.