The Globe Theatre was located in the Southwark district of London, which was the location at which the Bard's most famous stage works were first produced. The Globe Theatre was built during Shakespeare's early period stage in 1599. It was one of four major theatres in the area, along with the Swan, the Rose, and the Hope. The Globe was the principal playhouse of the Lord Chamberlain's Men, later on the Kings Men in 1603. Most of Shakespeare's post-1599 plays were originally staged at the Globe, including Julius Caesar, Macbeth, Othello, King Lear and Hamlet.
The structure of the Globe Theatre was very unique and different. The theatre had a total capacity of between 2,000 and 3,000 spectators. Since there was no lighting, all performances at the Globe were conducted, weather permitting, during the day usually between 2 P.M. and 5 P.M. The Globe and all of its stage was mostly open air, so therefore the actors were required to shout their lines, stress their accent, and to keep exaggerated theatrical motions. There were also no curtains and no stagehands to speak of other than the actors themselves. In its place, changes of scene were completely in the speeches and narrative situations that Shakespeare wrote into the text of the plays. The stage of the Globe was a level platform about 43 feet in width, 27 or 28 feet deep that was raised about five feet off the ground. The stage was fitted with a number of mechanisms trap doors in its floor for instance, and different sections that were imaginatively created by Shakespeare in his stage directions. In 1613, the original Globe Theatre burned to the ground when a cannon shot during a performance of Henry VIII burst into flames the roof of the gallery. The company completed a new Globe on the foundations of its forerunner before Shakespeare's death. It continued operating until 1642, when the Puritans closed it down Puritans razed the building two years later in 1644 to build public housing upon the location. The...
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