The Globe Theatre

Essay by ice_riderJunior High, 9th grade July 2004

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In the early 16th Century, groups of travelling actors would perform in the courtyard of inns. They set up a stage against one wall. Those who came to see the performance could view from the ground, and those who were staying at the inn could watch from their rooms - like a private box.

One of these theatres was Blackfriar's Theatre, owned by a man called James Burbage, who, in 1597 died. The theatre was left to two sons, Richard and Cuthbert Burbage. Unfortunately though, the landlord believed that the lease was over and that the Burbages could no longer use the land as their father was now dead. The Burbages purchased more land on Southbank, near the Rose theatre and in 1598 the Globe was planned and had been completed by 1599.

To finance The Globe, seven shareholders, or housekeepers, were put in place. Richard and Cuthbert owning 50% of the theatre between them, and William Shakespeare and four others holding other 50% evenly.

A housekeeper was entitled to their share of 50% of the profits. Soon, The Globe would be the most popular theatre in London.

The 3000 capacity Globe Theatre also known as the Shakespeare Globe Theatre was not only one of most famous playhouse's of all time, but also the playhouse where Shakespeare performed many of his greatest plays.

The Globe was home to Shakespeare's acting group, The Lord Chamberlain's Men, and Shakespeare wrote most of his plays for the Globe. He knew it well as a playwright actor, part owner. Shakespeare utilised the Globe's multiple stages for stunning dramatic effect.

Some of the Shakespearian plays performed at the Globe ranged from comedies to tragedies. These include Romeo and Juliet, famous for the use of the balconies, Hamlet, Julius Caesar, MacBeth, King Lear, Twelfth Night...