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The Structure and History of The Globe.

Key Words -Globe Theatre -James Burbage -The Pit -The Galleries -The Boxes -Blackfriars -The Theatre

William Shakespeare was born April 23, 1564 in Stratford upon Avon. From seven to about 14, he attended Stratford Grammar School (http://www.stratford-uponavon.co.uk/soawshst.htm). At the age of 18 he married Anne Hathaway who he had three children with, Susanna and twins Judith and Hamnet. He later fled to London and became an actor, playwright, and part owner in the Blackfriars and later the Globe Theatres. Shakespeare was in The Lord Chamberlains Men along with James Burbage, a very famous actor of the time period. William Shakespeare went back to Stratford upon Avon where we spent the rest of his life and died April 23, 1616.

History
The Globe theatre was modeled after the Blackfriar theatre and The Theatre. The owner of the The Theatre, Richard Burbage, had created the first ever permanent theatre in 1576, thus the name. In 1596, the Theatres lease was about to expire and Richard Burbage built another theatre, the Blackfriar theatre, in a most expensive area to hopefully pull in more revenue. (http://www.shakespeareonline.com/theatre/blackfriars.html) This enabled the acting guild Lord Chamberlains Men to settle down instead of being nomads. Blackfriar was shut down in 1597 because the nearby residents did not want it used for plays. Richard Burbage died in 1597 as well. When the Blackfriars theatre lease expired in 1597, William Shakespeare created one of his own when Chamberlains Men had to move. Lord Chamberlains Men were as follows: William Shakespeare, James Burbage, Richard Burbage (dead at this point), G Byran, John Hemminges, Augustine Phillips, Thomas Pope, and Will Sly. They lacked money, so they came up with dividing the theatre into shares. Since Cuthbert (James brother) and James pitched in the most, they each got 25% of the theatre. The rest of the men had to pitch in the remaining fifty. Will Sly backed away from the deal, making twelve and a half percent still available. The Globe still opened in 1599 in Bankside near Southwark, a place close to Thames. They used the Globe in summer, due to its open

roof, and the Blackfriar in the winter due to its closed roof (http://school.eb.com/levels/high/article/37049). The Globe was considered far more practical due to its larger size, which could hold 3,000 people rather than the Blackfriarss much smaller 700 capacity. In 1613, the Globe burnt to the ground. During a performance, a canon was set off, which set the highly flammable theatre a blaze (http://www.history.com/this-day-in-history/the-globe-theater-burns-down). Despite the Blackfriar bringing in more profit, the company decided to rebuild the Globe, even better than last time. In 1644, the Globe was closed down when the Puritans ordered all theatres closed down. Like fo realsies dis time. (http://school.eb.com/levels/high/article/37049)

Structure of the Globe


The structure of The Globe is, to this day, not certain. However, there is an available sketch of the Elizabethan Swan Theater which is said to be of the most relevant to structure of The Globe. This prestigious theater was built from not only oak wood, but stolen plywood boards as well. One of the many men who were believed to have built the globe, was Cuthbert Burbage. Cuthbert used the thieved wood to assemble the magnificent theater in a circular shape which formed around the centered stage. (http://absoluteshakespeare.com/trivia/globe/globe.htm) The building of the theater was not very intricate due to its building period of only six months. On the other hand, the dimensions and details of the theater were fairly complex. Much like our modern day football arenas, the seating areas all formed around the point of action in the structure. The Globe consisted of four main parts which included the pit, the galleries. the boxes, and the stage. The seating areas all ranged in heights as well as class. The pit was the lowest level height, as well as class. It was just below stage level, and was the cheapest area to watch the play. Being that it was the middle seating area, the gallery was where the middle class would go to enjoy a play. The boxes were reserved for only the upper class to occupy. This area of seating was one of the highest points in the theater. Like all the other areas it looked down onto the stage. The stage was the center of the Globe and was designed to be the focal point of the entire theater. (http://www.william-shakespeare.info/william-shakespeare-globetheatre-structure.htm)

Works Cited

"Blackfriars Theatre: Shakespeare's Winter Home." Blackfriars Theatre: Shakespeare's Winter Home. N.p., n.d. Web. 04 Nov. 2013. "Britannica School." Britannica School. N.p., n.d. Web. 04 Nov. 2013. "Old GlobeTheatre Structure." Old Globe Theatre Structure. N.p., n.d. Web. 04 Nov. 2013. The Globe Theater Burns down." History.com. A&E Television Networks, n.d. Web. 04 Nov. 2013. "Shakespeare's Globe Theatre." Shakespeare's Globe Theatre at AbsoluteShakespeare.com. N.p., n.d. Web. 04 Nov. 2013. "Stratford-upon-Avon for Accommodation, Touring, Dining, Walking..." Stratford-uponAvon for Accommodation, Touring, Dining, Walking... N.p., n.d. Web. 04 Nov. 2013.