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Shakespeare and the theater


Shakespeare and the theater A historical account of The Globe and The Blackfriar s Theater – PowerPoint PPT presentation

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Title: Shakespeare and the theater

Shakespeare and the theater
  • A historical account of The Globe and The
    Blackfriars Theater

The Globe
  • Shakespeare's company erected the Globe Theatre
    in 1598 in London's Bankside district. It was one
    of four major theatres in the area.
  • The open-air, octagonal amphitheater rose three
    stories high with a diameter of approximately 100
    feet, holding a seating capacity of up to 3,000

The Globes Destruction
  • In 1613, the original Globe Theatre burned to the
    ground when a cannon shot during a performance of
    Henry VIII ignited the thatched roof of the
  • The company completed a new Globe on the
    foundations of its predecessor before
    Shakespeare's death. It continued operating until
    1642, when the Puritans closed it down.
  • The Globe would remain a ghost for the next 352

The Globes Purpose
  • The Globe theatre allowed stage productions to
    become quite sophisticated with the use of
    massive props such as fully working canons. 
  • Special effects at the Globe were also a
    spectacular addition at the theater allowing for
    smoke effects, the firing of a real canon,
    fireworks and spectacular 'flying' entrances from
    the rigging in the 'heavens'.
  • The stage floor had trap-doors allowing for
    additional surprising incidents.
  • Music was another addition to the Globe
    productions. It was no wonder that the Globe
    Theater and this form of Elizabethan
    entertainment was so popular.

The Performances
  • In just two weeks Elizabethan theaters could
    often present eleven performances of ten
    different plays.
  • The Shakespearean Actors generally only got their
    lines as the play was in progress. Parts were
    often allocated on the  day of the performance.
    Many times the actors didn't even get their own
    lines. They did "cue acting ", which meant that
    there was a person backstage who whispered the
    lines to the actor just before he was going to
    say them.

The Audience
  • The Elizabethan general public (the Commoners)
    referred to as groundlings would pay 1 penny to
    stand in the 'Pit' of the Globe Theater. The
    gentry would pay to sit in the galleries often
    using cushions for comfort! Rich nobles could
    watch the play from a chair set on the side of
    the Globe stage itself.
  • Theatre performances were held in the afternoon,
    because, of course, there was no artificial
    lighting. Men and women attended plays, but often
    the prosperous women would wear a mask to
    disguise their identity.

Politics on Stage
  • Plays could be used to encourage criticism of the
    state and freedom of thought in terms of both
    religion and politics.
  • Plays often led to heated debates in the theaters
    and arguments erupted. The subject matter of the
    plays would often be vulgar and bawdy. The
    theatres didnt just show plays. Some also served
    as a bear pit, brothel and gambling house. Crime
    increased at the theaters, and, following the
    performances, the crowds were noisy and unruly. 

The end of an era
  • In 1642, under the force of the Puritans, the
    English Parliament issued an ordinance
    suppressing all stage plays in the theatres.
  • In 1644 the Globe Theatre was demolished by the

The Blackfriars Theater
  • This was the originally planned home of the Lord
    Chamberlains Men acting company. Despite, owning
    the building, however, their lease on the land
    expired, and the owner refused to negotiate a new
    contract. Therefore, they built the Globe. In
    1609, Lord Chamberlains Men won a lawsuit
    against their former leaseholder and the right to
    act in The Blackfriars Theater once more.

InterestingShakespeares Tombstone
  • Good Friend, for Jesus sake forbear
  • To dig the dust enclosed here
  • Blessed be the man that spares these stones,
  • And curst be he that moves my bones.