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Globe Theater Essay, Research Paper

The Globe Theatre

The Globe Theatre was a London Theatre, which was built in the year 1599. The English actor, Richard Burbage, in partnership with William Shakespeare, the renowned poet and playwright, built the theatre.

William Shakespeare was born in 1564. In 1588 he left the town of Wickshire, and went to London. Here in London he met the brothers Richard and Cuthbert Burbage. These men were also actors or players at the time. The land that was used for building the Globe Theatre upon was previously used for a playhouse called The Theatre. This theatre closed, and the idea to build the Globe in its place was now to become a reality.

In 1616, William Shakespeare dies having retired to Stratford-upon-Avon in 1613. When he died, he left a ring to Richard Burbage as a token of their friendship.

The reopened theatre stayed open for nearly thirty years before it was closed by the Puritans in 1642. All playhouses in London were closed down at the time. In 1644, the theatre was pulled down to build tenements, and its foundations were buried. Before all the theatres were closed, there were many places in London to see a play. The playhouses also located on Bankside were the Rose, the Hope, the Swan and many other amphitheaters.

The Globe Theatre was left undisturbed until 1949 when a man named Sam Wanamaker came to London to look for evidence of the Globe. Wanamaker was born in 1919 and died in 1993, in London. The only evidence he found of the Globe was a plaque on a brewery wall. In 1969 Wanamaker meets Theo Crosby, who later was the architect of the new Globe. A year later Wanamaker founded the Globe Playhouse Trust with the main goals of the rebuilding of the Globe. This Trust raised funds to support the construction of a new Globe Theatre. The Southwark Council offers the Globe Playhouse Trust a 1.2-acre site, beside the River Thames and across from St. Paul s Cathedral. This new site was only two hundred yards from the site that the original Globe stood upon.

In 1989, there was groundbreaking success in the exploration effort into the original Globe. In February, the remains of a theatre in the vicinity of the Globe, the Rose were discovered. This discovery led the way for the Globe s remains to be found in October of that year. Archaeologists dug up about five percent of the remains. Unfortunately, the other part of the theatre was not dug up because a nineteenth century building, Anchor Terrace, was built over the site. Radar exploration was the only way to find out more, and due to a large concrete slab below Anchor Terrace, this was very troublesome. The part that was uncovered did however help quite a lot into the reevaluation of what the building looked like. The building was thought to have twenty-four sides, while the new estimates are that it had twenty sides. Also, the diameter was thought to be only 80 feet, and now that updated estimate is 100 feet.

In the first months of 1992, the construction of the new Globe began. In March, the construction is started using very traditional materials and techniques for building to make the first two of the theatre s twenty sections. The workers concentrated very much on making the theatre look as much as possible like the original building. On June 17, 1992, HRH Prince Edward unveils the first two sections of the Globe.

The Globe s opening season from May 27th to September 21st 1997 includes Shakespeare s play Henry V. The other plays included Shakespeare s The Winter s Tale, Thomas Middleton’s comedy A Chaste Maid in Cheapside, and Beaumont and Fletcher s The Maid s Tragedy.

On the 12th of June, HM the Queen and HRH Prince Philip, patron of the Shakespeare Globe Trust, attend the celebration opening. From June to September of the following year, Shakespeare s As You Like It is very successful.

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