William Shakespeare: The Globe Theater

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When we think of drama performances we usually think of a huge theatre with stage lights, costumes, and props. Although that is a logical image, this was not the case in Shakespeare’s time. The Globe Theatre was the place to go when people wanted to see a performance. With its history and popularity, it had been the beginning of the success in plays.

One of the most popular theatres in Shakespeare’s time was the incredible Globe Theater that lead to the success of plays, Shakespeare’s plays especially. Just before the Globe Theater was built, Shakespeare, along with other actors under the Lord Chamberlain’s Men, performed at the Theatre. The Theatre had been built by James Burbage but, a couple years later Burbage lost the lease for the area it was built on. Since the Theatre had various performers, a new theatre would be built to continue the actor’s performances. The people involved in the building were four actors from the Lord Chamberlain’s Men and Shakespeare. Normally it would be less than five people sharing the lease but, because the money for it was too out of reach for one person to afford it was decided to be shared among the five (“Shakespeare’s Theatre”, 6-12). By 1599, the Globe Theatre was completed as a round building with three floors of wooden benches and a capacity of 1,000 people in gallery seats and 2,000 people on the ground. Unfortunately, in the year 1613 the Globe Theatre burned down from a fire that started on the roof (“The Globe Theatre Burns Down”, 13-15). Regardless of this misfortune, the Globe Theatre remains as the start of the increase in plays.

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During the time in which the Globe theatre was still around, it had great popularity for multiple reasons, the main reason being Shakespeare. One of the reasons the theatre’s popularity increased is because of the lack of theatres in the area of London. This left the Globe Theatre to become the second most popular theatre (Gurr 19-21). Another reason behind this is that the theatre was around during the Renaissance. The Renaissance was a time where the arts, such as plays or literature, began to spread and thrive. During this time period, various people became recognized, including William Shakespeare (“Renaissance” 22-4). As a matter of fact, Shakespeare was the main reason the Globe Theatre became significantly popular. Shakespeare’s plays were enjoyed by numerous people, Queen Elizabeth included. His plays became incredibly popular thus making the theatre popular as well. Even today his plays are among the most well known plays in history. With all the factors provided, the Globe Theatre become incredibly acknowledged.

The Globe Theater gave drama a purpose in England during the Renaissance era. However, drama today is quite different. First, although the citizens in the Elizabethan era did not have movies, we do now. Movies are a type a drama that have a similar purpose as Elizabethan dramas, but just more advanced. One of the purposes of movies is to believe the world that is presented on the screen and immerse yourself into the characters and story. Directors and editors try to make it easier for us by adding special effects, props, sets, and makeup. While movies today try hard to sell their story plot to us, dramas in Elizabethan era only need words. Stage performances today are severely different today from props to stage lighting and more. Many go to see dramas to relief some stress and be relax.

Actors and actresses are held high in our modern society and that’s not surprising. On the news and on the internet we constantly see pictures of the actors/actresses walking down the red carpet or at the Oscars. Some shows even rate their outfits! One obvious reason why they are held so high in society is because people enjoy the projects that they acted in. Many people also love a certain actor due to the inspiration they radiate. Actors and actresses had to have worked hard to get where they are now and people look up to that, especially younger audiences.

Even though the Globe Theatre is part of the past, it remains the centre of theatre. It is still important because it had begun the spread of plays and their popularity. In reality, had it not been for Shakespeare’s plays or the Renaissance, the Globe Theatre may have not even been so popular in its time and today. Today it is quite different but its influence led to the movies, dramas, and films we have in today’s world. It even brought us the appreciation and popularity many actors have. Due to this, we still see the Globe Theatre as an important part of history.

Works Cited

  1. Mcarafano. ‘Shakespeare’s Theater.’ Folger Shakespeare Library. 17 Feb. 2015. 31 Mar. 2019.
  2. Gurr, Andrew. ‘Globe Theatre.’ Encyclopædia Britannica. 10 May 2017. Encyclopædia Britannica, inc. 31 Mar. 2019.
  3. ‘The Globe Theater burns down.’ History.com. 13 Nov. 2009. A&E Television Networks. 31 Mar. 2019.
  4. Editors, History.com. ‘Renaissance.’ History.com. 04 Apr. 2018. A&E Television Networks. 31 Mar. 2019.
  5. “Precursors to Elizabethan Drama.” ElizabethanDrama.org, .  


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