What does the Globe Playhouse have in common with a modern outdoor music/concert venue?

Expert Answers

An illustration of the letter 'A' in a speech bubbles

Just like the original Globe Theater, many modern venues today are open to the weather. The Globe also had name recognition that many outdoor venues do today. The Globe's had outstanding acoustics meaning that a stage whisper could be heard throughout the theater. Today's modern venues have great sound quality...

Unlock
This Answer Now

Start your 48-hour free trial to unlock this answer and thousands more. Enjoy eNotes ad-free and cancel anytime.

Start your 48-Hour Free Trial

Just like the original Globe Theater, many modern venues today are open to the weather. The Globe also had name recognition that many outdoor venues do today. The Globe's had outstanding acoustics meaning that a stage whisper could be heard throughout the theater. Today's modern venues have great sound quality even though they have electronics which were not present in Shakespeare's day.

Many outdoor venues use pyrotechnics to amplify the effect of shows. Gunpowder was also used in Shakespeare's day, most notably when some wadding set the thatched roof on fire, thus burning down the stage. The Globe also made use of various props, scenery, and wardrobe changes similarly to how outdoor venues use props and costumes in order to create good shows. Even in Shakespeare's day it was not enough to hear the words—one had to have a visual stimulation as well.

Finally, the Globe had preferred seating in a similar fashion to many outdoor events. The groundlings paid the least but they had standing room in front of the stage. Balcony seats at the Globe were the most expensive. Today the least expensive seats at concert venues are usually far away from the action. Many of Shakespeare's references were made for the groundlings similarly to how an entertainer will sometimes make a reference in a show that only locals will understand. Food was also sold at the Globe much like snacks are available to concert-goers today.

Approved by eNotes Editorial Team
An illustration of the letter 'A' in a speech bubbles

This is an interesting question to consider. Many outdoor venues share a number of characteristics with Elizabethan theaters such as the Globe. For instance, there is tiered seating based on price. The cheapest "seats" in the Globe were for the groundlings. This was standing room only admission directly in front of the stage. You could compare this to a "mosh-pit." Today, the cheapest tickets are still often for standing room only, although it may not necessarily be right upfront. The nicest seats have always and likely always will be the most comfortable. The Globe had covered balcony seats that cost more. Many outdoor venues today have similar pricier seating.

Both the Globe and modern venues have multiple points for ingress and egress. This is to prevent bottleneck situations where too many people are trying to get through the same door at the same time.

Just as in Shakespeare's day, concessions can be bought at venues. Directly outside the Globe there would be stalls selling food and drinks for the patrons. This created a carnival-like atmosphere that any attendee of a modern music festival would find familiar. Today, most music venues will also have a place, either inside or directly outside where food and drink are sold.

Acoustics is an important consideration for these types of structures. The raised stage and curved walls of the Globe helped the actors project their voices so that they could be heard all the way in the back of the theater. With modern sound-systems, this is less important today. However, many music venues are still designed with acoustic projection in mind.

Approved by eNotes Editorial Team
An illustration of the letter 'A' in a speech bubbles

One main feature that resembles modern venues is being partly open to the elements.

Like other venues of the late 16th-early 17th centuries, the Globe was an open-air playhouse. There were three levels of covered seating. At one end was the raised stage. The central area was the "yard." The audience paid different prices for seats or just stood in the yard. Only the expensive seats were in the covered area.

The original Globe burned to the ground in 1613. A new theater, also named the Globe, was built there and opened in 1614.

If you go to London today you can see Shakespeare's plays at the Globe. The contemporary Globe Theatre is a reconstruction of the first Globe Theatre in which Shakespeare and his company performed. The original site is covered by buildings and a road.

Approved by eNotes Editorial Team