Globe Theater

  • Category: Theater
  • Words: 616
  • Grade: 97
Globe Theater

The Globe Theater changed the course of English Theater forever. The Globe broke rules of ownership, class standards, and promoted the greatest playwright ever, William Shakespeare. Throughout its history the Globe Theater has produced the best of Shakespeare and his amazing plays and when it was closed London never felt the same. The newly re-built Globe gives us one more chance to re-live Shakespeare's plays. Through examining the history and collapse of the Globe Theater we can see how it has come to its recent re-birth, and that it is here to stay. The Globe Theater was opened in London in 1599. James Burbage, half owner of the theater, built the Globe. The other half of the theater belonged to five men of Lord Chamberlain's Acting Company, including John Heminge, Augustine Phillips, Thomas Pope, Will Kempe, and Shakespeare himself. William Shakespeare was the most famous member and owner in the Company. During this time period, it was unusual for the actors to actually be owners of the theater at which they performed.
The Globe was a central feature of London life. It was the place of the first performances of Hamlet, Othello, King Lear, and Macbeth. The Globe Theater was a gathering place for all social classes. Normally it would be uncommon for the Queen or any other royalty to be in the presence of so many commoners, but at the Globe it was different. There were no social standards on admission, only on where you were able to sit.
The structure of the Globe was made out of timber and built in a round shape. The three-story theater had twenty wooden bays, oak pillars, a thatched roof, and a permanent stage. The Globe had an approximate diameter of a hundred feet, which allowed it to hold about three thousand spectators. In 1613, during a performance of Henry VIII the Globe was accidentally set on fire by a cannon fired, and burned down, luckily none of the thousands of audience members were hurt. John Orum explains it in his book the best. "Drum and trumpet, Chambers discharged', a "˜warlike voice' to announce the arrival of "˜a noble troop of strangers'. On the fatal day, however, the voice of the chambers, or cannon, accompanied a tongue of fire which accidentally caught the thatch. The wind rapidly fanned the flames all around the roof, and in an hour or two the house was in ruins. It burned down on June 29, 1613. Shortly after the fire, in 1614 the theater was rebuilt on its original spot , but this time the roof was tiled not thatched to prevent future fires.
In 1642 a new anti-theater regime was signed and from 1642 until 1660, the Puritans forbid theatrical performances in England. Because of this, the Globe was closed in 1642. Lord Chamberlain's Men obeyed the law, sold their wardrobe and stopped acting, but later on actors began putting on secret performances in other locations. In 1644, the Globe Theater was torn down, the site was leveled so that they could build tenements, and its foundations were buried. In 1949, Sam Wanamaker came to London to look for evidence of the Globe and he was disappointed that all he can find is a plaque on a brewery wall. Twenty years later, Sam Wanamaker met Theo Crosby. They later became the architects of the Globe project which rebuilt the Globe in 1996.
        As far as performances in the Globe go there was no light so all performances were done mid-day if weather permitted. The new Globe has lights and performances still take place all year at all different times.

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