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Shakespeare and His Theater

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William Shakespeare wrote his plays to make the best use of the theaters of ... Most theater stages today are proscenium stages, which have an inner stage and a ... – PowerPoint PPT presentation

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Title: Shakespeare and His Theater


1
Shakespeare and His Theater
Feature Menu
Shakespeare and His Theater Early Elizabethan
Theaters The First Permanent Theater The
Globe The Globes Stage A Performance at the
Globe The Modern Stage The Movies and Theater
2
Shakespeare and His Theater
William Shakespeare wrote his plays to make the
best use of the theaters of his time. He relied
on language to
  • set the scenes
  • move the play fluidly from one scene to another
  • entertain audience members from different
    backgroundsfrom commoners to wealthy merchants
    to royalty

End of Section
3
Early Elizabethan Theaters
Before permanent theaters were built, touring
acting companies performed
  • in the courtyards of inns or wherever they could
    rent space
  • on temporary platform stages
  • to an audience who stood around the stage or sat
    in balconies surrounding the courtyard

End of Section
4
The First Permanent Theater
The first permanent theater in England was
  • built by James Burbage in 1576
  • located outside the city walls of London
  • called The Theater
  • torn down in 1599. Its timbers were used by
    Shakespeare and his company to build the Globe

End of Section
5
The Globe
Shakespeare wrote most of his plays for the Globe
Theater. The Globe Theater was
  • a round (or polygonal) three-story building
  • called the wooden O in Henry V

End of Section
6
The Globes Stage
The Globes main stage was a platform stage that
  • projected into a yard open to the sky
  • had trapdoors in the floor

main stage
7
The Globes Stage
The Globes inner stage was
  • curtained off
  • flanked by two doors for entrances and exits

inner stage
8
The Globes Stage
The balcony or upper stage could be used as
  • Juliets balcony
  • the high walls of a castle
  • the bridge of a ship

upper stage
End of Section
9
A Performance at the Globe
  • Plays were performed in the afternoon.
  • No stage lighting was used.
  • Very few setsscenery, furniture, etc.were used.
    Scenes were set by the playwrights language.

. . . Look, love, what envious streaksDo lace
the severing clouds in yonder east.Nights
candles are burnt out, and jocund dayStands
tiptoe on the misty mountaintops. from The
Tragedy of Romeo and Juliet by William Shakespeare
10
A Performance at the Globe
  • Plays were performed by all-male medieval trade
    guilds. Female roles were played by boys.
  • Actors often wore elaborate costumes.

End of Section
11
The Modern Stage
Theater stages have undergone many changes since
Shakespeares time.
  • Most theater stages today are proscenium stages,
    which have an inner stage and a large curtain
    that separates it from the audience.

12
The Modern Stage
  • Also common in universities and regional theaters
    is the arena or thrust stage, which is
    surrounded by audience members on three or four
    sides.

End of Section
13
The Movies and Theater
  • Movies are a medium of images. Movie-goers
    generally want to see action, vivid scenery, and
    movement on screen.
  • Plays are a medium of words. Play-goers generally
    want to watch the subtle development of conflicts
    among a small group of people in one setting.

End of Section
14
The End
15
The Globe
16
The Globes Stage
Trapdoors could be used for
  • entrances and exits for ghosts
  • descents into hell
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