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The Globe Theatre

Updated on June 17, 2014

History, diagrams & informational links

Built in 1599 by William Shakespeare's theatre company in London, the open-air Globe Theatre seated 3,000 and was three stories high. Made of wood, it burned to the ground in 1613 when a cannon shot during a performance of Shakespeare's Henry VIII set the gallery's thatched roof ablaze. A rebuilt Globe operated from 1614 to 1642, when Puritans (led by Oliver Cromwell) closed it as part of a "morality" campaign--along with many (if not all) other London theatres.

The Bard was one of six original owners of the venue, and as others were added to the roster, his share reportedly slid to only about 7% over time.

(pictured: Department 56 Globe Theatre replica)

A modern reconstruction of the Globe opened in 1997, about 750 feet from the original site. It offers wonderful live productions--Shakespeare, of course--for modern audiences. Tours and other educational programs are on tap, too.

Visualize the venue - With diagrams and illustrations...

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My son had to create a Globe Theater diagram for a school project and had a surprisingly hard time finding inspiration online. Ultimately he created this labeled drawing with bits & pieces of info he gathered. Came out pretty nice!

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Unfortunately no labeling on this one, but it gives a sense of the in-the-round presentation audiences enjoyed.

illustration via thepowderedgemdiaries.blogspot.com

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Check out the key for an explanation of different parts of the building, from the multipurpose "Heavens" ceiling above the stage to the entrance where collectors put a penny (bargain, eh?) from each visitor into a collection box -- hence the term "box office."

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A brief educational clip ... - from the Kennedy Center

Lively audiences would snack on nuts and compete for attention with the actors onstage, explains a Shakespeare expert in this clip on the Globe Theatre. Several fun details like this are packed into just a couple minutes of video.

Globe Theatre history

These books brings it to life!

DK Readers: Welcome to the Globe: The Story of Shakespeare's Theatre (Level 4: Proficient Readers)
DK Readers: Welcome to the Globe: The Story of Shakespeare's Theatre (Level 4: Proficient Readers)

Created for kids but handy for all ages, Welcome to the Globe tells the story of the Globe Theatre through firsthand narrative by several characters --poor and wealthy theatregoers, an actor, an apple seller & a pickpocket -- who would have been there in 1602. Fact-filled sidebars deliver the educational goods.

 
William Shakespeare & the Globe (Trophy Picture Books (Paperback))
William Shakespeare & the Globe (Trophy Picture Books (Paperback))

Gifted illustrator (and writer) Aliki structures this lively book as a play, exploring Shakespeare's Globe "act by act."

 
Shakespeare's Globe: An Interactive Pop-up Theatre
Shakespeare's Globe: An Interactive Pop-up Theatre

Delight a fan of this Bard by gifting this 3D pop-up theatre, complete with 20 little punch-out characters and script booklets for two, to enact famous scenes. Lots of factual info too.

 

Way into the Globe? Check out this cool theatre replica.

Have you toured the modern Globe Theatre reconstruction? Do you love Shakespeare? How's your day going? ;)

Have you visited?

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    • profile image

      eszet-lenke-71 

      4 years ago

      Szeretem a csokit!

    • aesta1 profile image

      Mary Norton 

      5 years ago from Ontario, Canada

      I have yet to see it.

    • verymary profile imageAUTHOR

      Mary 

      5 years ago from Chicago area

      @anonymous: Under the third drawing, there's a link that says "click here for the key" -- check that out for lots of info on why the theatre was designed the way it was. As far as Shakespeare being boring, my only tips would be to try to get the Folger paperback editions of whatever play(s) you're reading, as they do a good job summarizing each scene and explaining all the language -- and then try to get audio (CD) versions of the play you're reading from your library. It really helps to hear the lines as you read them. Good luck :)

    • profile image

      anonymous 

      5 years ago

      i find shakespeare very boring also why does the globe look weird. asdwell coz dis is 4 my english homework n im kindastuck so yh if u could help.

    • Fcuk Hub profile image

      Fcuk Hub 

      5 years ago

      I have been there. Interesting piece of history.

    • Fcuk Hub profile image

      Fcuk Hub 

      5 years ago

      I have been there. Interesting piece of history.

    • profile image

      Aunt-Mollie 

      5 years ago

      I think this is the oldest theatre in continuous use. I read every one of Shakespeare's plays in college. He was a genius!

    • goldenrulecomics profile image

      goldenrulecomics 

      5 years ago from New Jersey

      Saw one play there and toured the place several times.

    • Adventuretravels profile image

      Giovanna 

      5 years ago from UK

      I have been to the Globe many times and seen some wonderful performances. I've also been on a tour and have taken school children there on school trips. But then I do live in London. My wife used to be a drama teacher so she has performed on stage there. And of course we were amazed when they started building it. Thnaks for this very interesting lens.

    • profile image

      anonymous 

      5 years ago

      @KimGiancaterino: I love miss marpel!!!

    • profile image

      anonymous 

      5 years ago

      @anonymous: Hehe podge

    • profile image

      RinchenChodron 

      6 years ago

      No I haven't since I live in the US - but now I would lie to see it. My day is going fine. I'm neutral on Shakespeare.

    • profile image

      anonymous 

      5 years ago

      @anonymous: I would to as well I love theatre and shakespear!!!

    • profile image

      anonymous 

      5 years ago

      @anonymous: Wow lucky I really want to go to the globe it sounds amazing!!

    • captainj88 profile image

      Leah J. Hileman 

      6 years ago from East Berlin, PA, USA

      Have never been but I enjoy Shakespeare and learning about his life and times.

    • profile image

      MarcellaCarlton 

      6 years ago

      Fun Lens! I've never visited, but must put it on my bucket list.

    • profile image

      sheezie77 

      6 years ago

      Nice lens thumbs up!

    • verymary profile imageAUTHOR

      Mary 

      6 years ago from Chicago area

      @anonymous: wow -- now I REALLY want to visit the Globe! what fantastic experiences you had

    • profile image

      anonymous 

      6 years ago

      I have toured the modern Globe Theatre and attended a performance as a groundling. It was a wonderful experience, I was a student at LAMDA (London Academy of Music and Dramatic Arts) at the time. I also had the opportunity to attend Shakespearean performances in Stratford at the Swan and to participate in master classes with the RSC. It was a dream of a lifetime. To walk down the isle of the church were Shakespeare was baptized, married and now lies buried was unimaginable.

    • magictricksdotcom profile image

      magictricksdotcom 

      6 years ago

      Never been to this theatre. Enjoyed seeing the inside views. Great lens!

    • CoeGurl profile image

      CoeGurl 

      6 years ago from USA

      Your son's diagram of the Globe Theatre is charming.

    • LiteraryMind profile image

      Ellen Gregory 

      6 years ago from Connecticut, USA

      I have never had the opportunity to visit the Globe Theatre, but I do enjoy (some) Shakespeare. Nice lens

    • terrym2442 profile image

      terrym2442 

      6 years ago

      I never knew all this. Thanks for the great info!

    • profile image

      Anna2of5 

      6 years ago

      I've been to Bath in England, I may have been to Stratford upon Avon in England too. It would have been a day trip while i was over there in 1990. I like the cheekyness of Shakespeare, once you get past the hard parts of the dialogue, there's oftentimes little pockets of humor to ease the load for the spectator or perhaps it was more fun for him to write it that way. Have you seen A Midsummer Night's Dream with Kevin Kline as Bottom? If not I recommend it. He does a good job and it's a plush cast. I don't recall the rating though. I saw the play in London while there studying theatre for a semester- the play featured punks as elves full on with chains studded neckwear, and wings (I think) very fun! A good version of Hamlet is the one with Mel Gibson (before his struggles with alcohol...) The blocking and the sets make it make sense. Italian costumers, and director did a good job, Its nice to look at. Which helps. I used exerpts from that movie to illuminate the play for my co-op drama class. The boys wanted action and adventure, and hadn't quite belived that Shakespeare could deliver. It worked! :)

      I'm exhausted but only a few more weeks left till the end of this school year. :)

      Thanks for asking.

      Sincerely, Anna2of5

    • profile image

      anonymous 

      6 years ago

      helped tremendously thanks(:

    • profile image

      anonymous 

      6 years ago

      Yes its very nice i guess

    • LeslieMirror profile image

      LeslieMirror 

      6 years ago

      I want to see it so much. Globe theater is some kind of magical place for me

    • profile image

      anonymous 

      6 years ago

      very useful diagrams used for school project - thanks

    • dahlia369 profile image

      dahlia369 

      6 years ago

      No, I've never been there - until this virtual visit via your lens. Thank you for sharing the images of that majestic building - and its history!

    • profile image

      anonymous 

      6 years ago

      used it for a school project tnx

    • profile image

      anonymous 

      6 years ago

      I would love to go for a School Drama trip, it would be so cool to see what it would be like in Shakespeares time!

    • profile image

      anonymous 

      6 years ago

      I would love to see the modern Globe. How neat it would be to see a Shakespeare play performed there!

    • profile image

      myamya 

      6 years ago

      No, but i hope i will. Btw, very nice lens! thumbs up

    • profile image

      anonymous 

      6 years ago

      no

    • tvyps profile image

      Teri Villars 

      6 years ago from Phoenix, Arizona

      I have never been there but would love to see it someday, along with all the other stuff in the UK. Blessed by a Squid Angel

    • Rangoon House profile image

      AJ 

      6 years ago from Australia

      Where would we all be without the Globe?

    • profile image

      anonymous 

      6 years ago

      nope. Im workin on it. i like actin it out though. luv drama. and my days going fine thxz!

    • profile image

      anonymous 

      6 years ago

      nope. Im workin on it. i like actin it out though. luv drama. and my days going fine thxz!

    • sudokunut profile image

      Mark Falco 

      6 years ago from Reno, Nevada

      I've peeked through the outside a few times but haven't made it inside yet. I plan on actually taking the tour next time I'm in London.

    • profile image

      jimmyworldstar 

      6 years ago

      It'd be great if the Globe Theatre lasted as long as its original incarnation. I like Shakespeare's plays when they're performed but I don't read any of them.

    • profile image

      nikyweber 

      6 years ago

      Very nice lens! squidlike!

    • verymary profile imageAUTHOR

      Mary 

      6 years ago from Chicago area

      @greenmind: that is too funny!

    • greenmind profile image

      GreenMind Guides 

      6 years ago from USA

      I've been here! Also one of my students once referred to Shakespeare as "The Bird of Avon." Good stuff.

    • kathysart profile image

      kathysart 

      6 years ago

      Lovely lens and tribute. Angel blessed!

    • profile image

      anonymous 

      6 years ago

      this doesn't tell u a lot of things i need to use for work about shakespeares globe theater

    • profile image

      anonymous 

      6 years ago

      alright

    • profile image

      vitralyoz 

      6 years ago

      i like this lense

    • RhondaAlbom profile image

      Rhonda Albom 

      6 years ago from New Zealand

      Someday, hopefully I will visit the Globe theatre. Great lens. Love the addition of your son's drawing. Blessed.

    • profile image

      NevermoreShirts 

      7 years ago

      Definitely on my bucket list of places I want to visit. Great lens.

    • copernicusfilms1 profile image

      Michael Craig - Copernicus Films 

      7 years ago from Moscow

      Good to find information here about this theatre. Like the diagrams especially

    • KimGiancaterino profile image

      KimGiancaterino 

      7 years ago

      I love theatres with trap doors. We recently watched a B&W Miss Marple mystery that took place in a big theatre like this. Very nice ... I love the drawings!

    • cdevries profile image

      cdevries 

      7 years ago

      I love the cut-away diagrams especially.

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