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mwestwood eNotes educator| Certified Educator

[Please note that educators at eNotes do not compose essays or speeches. We are glad to offer suggestions and help as we can, however.]

The first Globe Theatre was built in 1599 with proportions that were similar to those of another theatre, the Fortune, although the Globe was polygonal and looked circular, whereas the other was rectangular. (If it is permitted, you may wish to make a PowerPoint presentation and include an image of this theater to accompany your speech. There are many pictures on the internet, and visuals are always interesting to audiences. Measurements could be given, too.)

Here are some other points you can use to compose your speech:

  • Resembling the open courtyard of an inn of the time, the Globe was said to be enormous, possibly able to accommodate over three thousand; as many as eight hundred people may have composed the groundlings in the uncovered yard, with two thousand or more in the three layers of covered galleries.
  • The stage was a large platform without a curtain or stage setting. In the center of this platform was a recess or inner stage, which was usually concealed by a curtain. This inner stage was used for other settings, such as tombs or graveyards, or Friar Laurence's cell in Romeo and Juliet, for example. Above this recess was a balcony which was used for any elevated scene such as Hamlet's encounter with the ghost of his father or the balcony/garden scene in Romeo and Juliet.
  • Since there was no curtain, the actors made their entrances and exits in full view of the audience. In addition, there was no scenery or artificial lighting, so plays were held in the afternoons. Atmosphere was evoked through descriptive language.
  • While it was a disadvantage sometimes not to have scenery, on the other hand, the action of the play could flow more quickly. This worked well for the actors because the audiences demanded this quick action.¬†

Also, as you speak about the Globe Theatre, you could interject examples from Shakespeare's plays like the ones mentioned from Romeo and Juliet so that audiences (if people are familiar with any of the plays, of course) could better imagine what the theater was like.

See the link below as eNotes has an excellent summary on the Globe Theatre.

Read the study guide:
Shakespeare's Globe Theatre

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