- Known as "The Wooden O"
- Could hold up to 3000 spectators
- Has 20 sides
- It is made of the same timber from the older theatre ("The Theatre")
- Globe Theatre burned down in 1613 during a production of Henry VII
- It was closed in 1642 by the puritans, like all theatres in London at the time
- Pulled down in 1644-1645
- Officially claimed done in 1644
- Re-opened in 1697
- The actual dimensions of the theatre are unknown
- Evidence suggests the theatre was a 3 story open-air Amphitheatre that was 10 feet in diameter
- The theatre had a brick foundation, despite being constructed out of pure wood
- The ceiling was referred to as "heaven" and the trap doors as "hell"
- The flag that was raised was held so high that most of London could see it.
- The flag colors were as follows:
+Black for tragedies
+White for comedies
+Red for history
-Built 1597 and 1599 in Southwark
-Built by carpenter Peter Smith
-The timber used was reused wood from “The Theater”
-The architectural style of The Globe was similar to the Coliseum in Rome
-3 stories of seating
-Held up to 3,000 spectators
- “The Pit” held people who paid a penny to stand and watch the performance
-Shakespeare owned 12.5% of The Global Theatre
-Color coded flags used to advertise plays
• Red=History play
• White=Comedy Play
• Black= Tragedy play
-A crest hung above the main entrance that read “Totus mundus agit histrionem” Latin for “The whole world is a playhouse.”
-Trumpet was used to alert people that the play was about to start
-Only men performed. Female roles were played by young boys.
The playhouse was officially opened in 1599 after a decision from The Lord Chamberlain's Men, which Shakespeare was a part of, to move elsewhere. It was built on Southwark, a rather poor district, and they charged 1 penny to watch a play. It was built with the best engineering standards of the time as a circular dome, much like a football stadium but smaller. In the main entrance, it was inscribed, in Latin, "The Whole world is a Playhouse," a base for Shakespeare's renowned work "All The World's a Stage."
Unfortunately, the playhouse was accidentally burnt to the ground amidst a performance of Henry VIII (1613) but was rebuilt again the following year. However, tragedy once again struck as Puritans thought playhouses were sinful and closed them all down.
Interestingly enough, in 1601, The Lord Chamberlain's Men were bribed to perform Richard II as an anti-monarchic message and would thus bring forth sympathy to those trying to kill Queen Elizabeth .
Although the original has been destroyed, a very similar one is at the same place, Southwark. It has been painstakingly recreated so it is very similar to the original, even the thatched roof.
Plays Performed at the Globe:
-Probably the first Shakespeare play to be performed at the Globe was Julius Caesar, in 1599.
-Some other Shakespeare plays first performed there are: As You Like It; Hamlet; Measure for Measure; Othello; King Lear; Macbeth and Antony and Cleopatra.
-Other playwrights wrote for the Globe, including Ben Jonson, Thomas Dekker and John Fletcher.
What happened to the first Globe?:
-On 29 June, 1631, at a performance of Shakespeare’s Henry VIII, some small cannons were fired. They didn’t use cannon balls, but they did use gunpowder held down by wadding.
-A piece of burning wadding set fire to the thatch. The theatre burned down in about an hour.
-By the next day two different songs had been printed about it. The company built a second Globe on the brick foundations of the first.
-It was the same size and shape, but was much more extravagantly decorated since the company could now afford it.
Times of Plays at the Globe Theatre:
-The times of plays at the Globe Theatre generally started at three o'clock.
-Red, White or Black flags flying form the Flag mast at the top of the Globe Theatre indicated whether the play to be performed was a history, comedy or a tragedy.
-Prior to the start of a play the crowds were entertained in the grounds outside the theatre at no cost.
-A short play which included song and dance were performed at the 'Green Shows'.
-The start of the afternoon plays were announced by a blast of trumpets.
The Globe Theater: Functions
• It was one of the major theater located in the district of Bankside in London.
• The principal playhouse of Lord Chamberlain’s Men
• Housed most of Shakespeare’s post-1599 plays
• Allowed the sophistication of stage props and effects such as fully working canons, smoke effects, and fireworks.
• The rapid pace of the theater led to the creation of cue scripting where the actors were given only their own lines leaving the have to figure out the scene as the play continued on.
• Only men were allowed to act in the performances since it was considered a job scandalous for a woman to partake in.
• The new Globe Theaters acts as a Shakespearian exhibition as well as a theater.
• It’s an international focus point for the study of Shakespeare’s in performance.
- It provides educational programs and material for students at all levels.