Why the Globe Is Famous

Andrew Gurr

in The Oxford Handbook of Early Modern Theatre

Published in print October 2011 | ISBN: 9780199697861
Published online September 2012 | | DOI:

Series: Oxford Handbooks of Literature

 Why the Globe Is Famous

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  • Literary Studies (1500 to 1800)
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The Globe was William Shakespeare's workplace for the ten years when he wrote his greatest plays. From As You Like It in 1599, through Hamlet in 1600 and the other great tragedies, with the later Roman plays to Cymbeline and The Winter's Tale in 1609, it was the playhouse for which he designed all his plays up to The Tempest, the first and only play he wrote for the company's indoor theatre, the Blackfriars. As the workplace where his greatest plays were first staged, the Globe has come to stand as the frame inside which Shakespeare painted his greatest works. In reality, except for ten short years, it never deserved that unique status. From its foundation in 1594, the Shakespeare company which built the Globe regarded outdoor playhouses as their location only for summertime. They always preferred indoor places to play at through the winter. The social range in the audiences at the Globe ran from earls to beggars. This article traces the history of the Globe, including its design and construction, archaeology, and dimensions.

Keywords: Globe; William Shakespeare; plays; playhouses; Blackfriars; audiences; design and construction; archaeology; history

Article.  9364 words. 

Subjects: Literature ; Literary Studies (1500 to 1800) ; Literary Studies (Plays and Playwrights)

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