Elizabethan Theatre

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Deep Ghose
7R
2007-2008

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|Contents |Page | | | | |Theatres: An Introduction |2 | |Theatres: Location |3 | |Theatres: Architecture |4 | |The Opening of the Globe Theatre |5 | |The Globe Theatre’s Mottos |6 | |The Globe Theatre’s Interior |7 | |The Globe Theatre’s Audience |10 | |Shakespeare | | |Bibliography | |

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When the great play-write William Shakespeare was first born, there were no theatres around.1 He was born in the year 15642, whereas the first ever purpose-built theatre, The Red Lion, was built in 15673. This booklet studies theatres, play-writes, actors and costumes. We will give you a brief introduction of theatres in the Elizabethan period to start you off. Theatres between 1500 and 1700 AD were very different from what they are like now. They were far less civilized and contained events that people would consider ridiculous and instantly illegalise nowadays. For instance, there was cock-fighting, bear-baiting and all sorts of other violent activities, although there were also some less violent things to see, other than acting; this included singing and acrobatics. All of this will be included later on the booklet. We will also describe and show layouts of some theatres, including mainly the famous Globe Theatre. We will describe how, with what and when all the major theatres were built, and why they were destroyed at some point. Finally, we will also show a map, depicting where all the major theatres were. So, we wish you a pleasant journey on the path to enlightenment about Shakespeare and the Elizabethan theatre.

1 Shakespeare’s Players (Wendy Greenhill – Pub.: Heinemann) – pp. 4 – Line 5 + ibid – pp. 8 – Line 1 2 Shakespeare’s Players (Wendy Greenhill – Pub.: Heinemann) – pp. 4 – Line 5 3 Shakespeare’s Players (Wendy Greenhill – Pub.: Heinemann) – pp. 8 – Line 1 [pic]

Here is a map, showing the location of every main theatre in Elizabethan London.

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The features of the architecture of the Globe Theatre included average elements of the Elizabethan era1:

▪ ‘The Black and White Half Timbered’ Style
▪ Vertical and diagonal timbers
▪ Galleries
▪ Pillared porches
▪ Thatched roofs

Architecture of the Globe Theatre1

James Burbage asked Dr. John Dee (1527-1608) to give him help on the design of the Globe Theatre. Dr. John Dee, revered for being a magician and alchemist, was extremely knowledgeable about architecture. Burbage relied on Dr. Dee’s advice to design the blueprints for the Globe Theatre.

The Practical Design1

The Globe...
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