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The Globe Theatre - With A Free Essay Review



Theatres became very popular at the start of the Elizabethan era. The most well known theatre is the Old Globe Theatre. The Globe came to be a successful and enjoyable business, not only for the owners, but for the viewers; it was a thriving company until its end in 1642.

In the 16th century, plays started to evolve. These developments lead to the construction of a variety of theatres. Before theatres came to be, plays were performed on traveling stages. The man who first thought of creating a permanent theatre was James Burbage (Hodges 54). As playhouses started to become well-liked more structures began to be built. One of the most famous of the theatres was the Old Globe Theatre. The Globe Theatre was built by Peter Smith and his employees in 1597-1598. The theatre could hold thousands of people, all of which were from diverse backgrounds. It was not just used for plays, but for gambling and other events as well (“The Old Globe”). Many people enjoyed going to the theatre in this time period because it was a popular and common gathering place among the people and villages. This playhouse held most of William Shakespeare’s plays. The theatre lasted sixteen years, and was eventually burnt down in 1613, but later rebuilt (Adams).

The Old Globe Theatre was located in the suburb of Southwark in London, England. The structure of the building was a round or polygonal shape on both the exterior and interior. It was a massive building that could hold up to three thousand spectators (Wertheim 234). When a new play came to the theatre it was bustling with people. Markets were set up for selling merchandise and refreshments (“The Old Globe”). Having these markets created a profit to the business of the theatre. Not only would people pay for those things at the market, but to see the plays as well. The audiences would have to pay one penny or more depending on where they wanted to be seated. Wealthier people sat up top, while the commoners would sit on the bottom, or even stand. There was no discrimination when it came to who went and saw the plays. Segregation did take place between the affluent and the lower class but it was not uncommon. The profit of the theatre would be shared between members of the Globe, one of them being William Shakespeare. Each person would receive ten percent of the earnings (“The Old Globe”). The theatre business was a popular and demanding industry during the Elizabethan time period.

During the Elizabethan era there were not many ways to advertise and promote the plays being held in the theatres, or more commonly known as, playhouses. To announce that plays were going on in the Globe, flags were raised on a tower above the theatre. Color coding was also used to identify what type of play was in performance such as tragedy, comedy, or historical (“Old Globe”). Color coding was an excellent way to inform the people of the genre of the show that would play. The Globe theatre had large audiences at every show because no one was restricted from entering. An example of this would be that the general public or commoners could pay to watch the play just as well as the more wealthy nobles (Hodges 72). This was an intelligent way to create more revenue. The affluent viewers of the plays would often pay more to sit in the galleries, while the commoners would stand in the pit of the Globe Theatre (“Old Globe”). The variation of the classes of the audience led to a huge success of the Globe theatre and a large popular following (“Shakespeare’s Globe”).

Devastation struck the Globe during a performance of Henry VIII in 1613 when a cannon fired as part of the show, and eventually burned down the entire building (“Shakespeare’s Globe”). The destruction of the theatre left the public discouraged. The playhouse was rebuilt just one year later on the same groundwork and promptly reopened (Wertheim 234). The quickness of the reconstruction was convenient, not only for the owners of the theatre, but the people that were to attend. A strict new way of life, enforced by the Puritans, “a Protestant religious faction…” had a great impact on the theatres later in the 1600’s. This was upsetting for the people of London. The Globe would eventually fall to the Puritans due to the immoral practices involved with the theatres, and supporters of strict Protestants. What many people predicted occurred in 1642. The suppression of the playhouses was ordered by the English Parliament. The Globe would later be destroyed by the Puritans (“Old Globe”). This would become the end of an era of playhouses.

The Globe Theatre made a huge impact on the lives of London residents. The theatres in London provided entertainment, as well as many other activities for the public. The Globe will remain a significant part of England’s history of theatre.

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ESSAY REVIEW

You end with the claim that The Globe will remain a significant part of England's history of theatre. That's an argument. Your essay is full of factual claims, but the argument is usually that part of the essay that clarifies the relevance of factual claims, the part that makes them worth reading, and justifies both the attention that you give to the facts that you include as well your omission of the facts you choose to ignore. Facts on their own are relatively insignificant without some kind of a narrative that explains their importance.

Your essay has roughly the following organizational structure:

1. Background (Theatres in general in England)

2. Interesting facts about the Globe and its operation.

3. Specific facts about advertising plays, and some more facts about operation of the business.

4. The fire.

5. The Puritans.

6. Argument.

Aside from the introductory nature of your first remarks, and the conclusive nature of the last part of your penultimate paragraph (it's conclusive because it deals with the closing of theatres), the above organization seems desultory. If your only aim here is to communicate a few bits of information, you can consider your job done, and focus on improving the structure of paragraphs (the penultimate paragraph, for example, should be divided into one paragraph dealing with the fire and a separate paragraph dealing with the closing of the theatres), and removing repetition (you tell us twice about the socio-economically diverse character of the Globe’s patrons). But a good essay does more than communicate information. It also communicates a way of processing that information. Usually, as I say, it does this by giving the essay an argumentative purpose, which we do by making an arguable claim (as opposed to a factual one) and demonstrating the truth of that argument by elaborating reasons supported by evidence (factual claims).

A good way to go about doing this would be to ask a question (e.g., "In what way was the The Globe a significant part of the history of theatre in England?") and to make your essay an answer to that question. You may think your essay already does this implicitly. I would suggest that you do it explicitly. If you do, you might want to do a little bit of research into either the impact of the existence of the Globe on the development of professional writing (which I suggest because you seem interested in the Globe as a business phenomenon) or the political impact of the Globe (which of course would be a much greater challenge!)

Best, EJ.
Submitted by: BaileyO
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