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1. What was the name of the company Shakespeare belonged to ?

Lord Chamberlain's Men ( Later The King's Men )

2. How many companies were licensed to perform in London ? Only 2.

3. Why did Shakespeare's company build the Globe ?

Shakespeare's company only built the Globe because they could not use the special playhouse that their chief actor Richard Burbage's father had built for them in 1596, a roofed theatre inside the city, in Blackfriars.

James Burbage had a long history as a theatrical entrepreneur. In 1576 he built the first successful amphitheatre, known as The Theatre, in a London suburb. Twenty years later, when the lease on The Theatre's land was about to expire, he built the Blackfriars as its replacement. But the wealthy residents of Blackfriars got the government to block its use for plays, so his capital was locked up uselessly.

4. Who built the Globe ?

It was built by two brothers, Cuthbert and Richard Burbage, who inherited its predecessor, The Theatre, from their father, James.


5. Who did the Globe belong to ?

Half the shares in the new theatre were kept by the Burbages. The rest were assigned equally to Shakespeare and other members of the Chamberlain's Men (the company of players who acted there), of which Richard Burbage was principal actor and of which Shakespeare had been a leading member since late 1594.

It was the lack of money to pay for it that produced the new consortium. The Burbage sons' inheritance was tied up in the Blackfriars, so extra finance was needed. That was why Shakespeare and another four of his fellows were made co-owners of the new Globe.

5. What did Shakespeare's company use to build the Globe ?

The Theatre had closed, ostensibly for good, in 1597, and the owner of the land on which it stood threatened to pull the building down once the lease had expired. The Burbages and their associates anticipated the threat, however, and in late 1598 dismantled The Theatre and carried the materials to Bankside (a district of Southwark stretching for about half a mile west of London Bridge on the south bank of the River Thames).

Without The Theatre, the company had to rent a playhouse. Then at the end of 1598 they decided to build one for themselves. The shortage of cash made the consortium reluctant traditionalists, giving up the idea of an indoor theatre in the city and using the old Theatre's timbers and therefore the same basic auditorium shape for the new building. The old playhouse was one of their few remaining resources. They could not use it in situ because the lease had expired, so they dismantled it and took the timbers (illegally) to make the skeleton of their new amphitheatre. The Globe was a cut-price and fortuitous construction.

6. When the Globe was built , there were two other theatres in Southwark already. Which ones ? The Swan and The Rose

7. When was the Globe built ?It was probably completed by the autumn of 1599 .

8. How and when was it destroyed ?

In 1613, during a performance of Henry VIII, the thatch of the Globe was accidentally set alight by a cannon, set off to mark the King's entrance onstage in a scene at Cardinal Wolsey's palace. The entire theatre was destroyed within the hour.

9. When was it rebuilt ?

By June 1614 it had been rebuilt, this time with a tiled gallery roof and a circular shape.

10. When was it finally pulled down ? Why ?

It was pulled down in 1644, two years after the Puritans closed all theatres, to make way for tenement dwellings.

11. Explain how acting at the Globe was like.

Acting at the Globe was radically different from viewing modern Shakespeare on screen.

The plays were staged in the afternoons, using the light of day. Therefore, all references to weather or time of the day had to be given to the audience through the text.

The audience surrounded the stage on all sides. No scenery was used, except for occasional emblematic devices like a throne or a bed. It was almost impossible not to see the other half of the audience standing behind the players. Consequently much of the staging was metatheatrical, conceding the illusory nature of the game of playing, and making little pretense to stage realism .

12. Complete this chart :


THEATRE The Rose and the Fortune the Theatre and The Globe
PLAYWRITER Christopher Marlowe William Shakespeare
MAIN ACTOR Edward Alleyn Richard Burbage
MANAGER Philip Henslowe  The Burbages
PATRON Lord Charles Howard Lord Chamberlain



In groups of 3 or 4 , you will have to create your own poster on the Globe.

Follow the next steps :

1. Search for a map of Tudor London and locate it .


2. Explain the structure of the Globe, using your own words

The Globe reproduced the structure of the Theatre :

The original Theatre was designed in a mix of traditions. Its circular shape reflected not the Roman D but the gatherings of crowds in town marketplaces. Building a scaffold with three levels of galleries surrounding a circular yard copied the arrangement for audiences of existing bearbaiting and bullbaiting houses. The stage, a platform mounted in the yard, was the kind of thing that traveling companies set up in inn yards.

Audience access was either through two narrow passageways under the galleries into the standing room of the yard around the stage, or else up two external stair towers into the rear of the galleries. Five of the 20 bays of the galleries were cut off by the frons scenae or tiring-house wall, behind which the actors kept their store of props, costumes, and playbooks and prepared themselves for their performance. The stage was a five-foot-high platform protruding from the tiring house into the middle of the yard. Two posts upheld a cover or shadow over the stage which protected the players and their expensive costumes from rain. The audience standing in the yard had no cover, though when it rained they could pay more and take shelter in the lowest gallery.

The dimensions of the original Globe
(based on John Orrell's The Quest for Shakespeare's Globe)
Diameter: 100 ft surface to surface / 99 ft centre to centre
Yard: 70 ft between post centres / 69 ft surface to surface
Stage: 49 ft 6 inches across
Stage height: 5 feet.
Gallery Depth : 15 ft 6 inches overall / 15 ft 6 inches between post centres
Overall height : 36 ft. 6 in.
Overall heights from floor to floor : 15 ft. 6 in.,11 ft. 3 in. and 9 ft. 9 in. to the plates.
Balcony floor: 18 ft. 6 in. above the yard, 13 ft 6 in. above stage
Frons Scenae doors : 11 feet tall
Heavens ceiling height : 26 ft 9 inches (to the height of the upper gallery floor)

3. Draw it as you may imagine it.

(1)An Early 17th Century drawing of the Globe in the time of Shakespeare

(2)Globe Theatre, enlarged copy of a 1612 engraving

To help you do so, you can have a look at animated tour shown at the following website:


4. Present your work to your classmates. You can produce a website or create a Powerpoint document.


Look for information about the new Globe , rebuilt by Sam Wannamaker.

Then explain the similarities and differences with the old Globe.



Anna Aznar & Jordi Jordan In love with Shakespeare teachers students mapa back