What is the historical importance of Shakespeare's Globe Theatre? How can the Globe Theatre relate to his play "Othello"?

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iambic5 eNotes educator| Certified Educator

The Globe Theater, as the place where a large number of Shakespeare’s plays premiered, is perhaps the most important theater in the history of English-language drama. Although it’s difficult to imagine now, there was in that theater many first-performance audiences who came to see a brand new play, called “Othello” maybe, or “King Lear”, and arrived at the theater having absolutely no idea what they were about to see and hear. The structure and arrangement of the stage and audience at the Globe has influenced the design of theaters and the approach to acting, directing, and designing Shakespeare (and even contemporary) productions for centuries. Details discovered when the original Globe was excavated and incorporated into the new Globe in London help to explain how the staging challenges may have been met: we know, for instance, that there was a rear space behind the stage’s back wall that Desdemona’s bed could have been revealed in and perhaps wheeled out from. The way the audience surrounds the action suggests that beautiful costumes were better visual storytellers than large set pieces; a stage filled with an elaborate set would potentially block the view of many spectators, and would make it difficult to present a different play every day, as we know from records that the Globe company did. It’s a hugely significant building in theater history and the rebuilt version in London is worth a visit.