Where were Shakespeare's plays performed?

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The Globe Theater in London is the most famous site of Shakespeare's productions. Working class peasants paid a week's salary to buy a seat in the theater. The "groundlings" paid less to stand in front of the stage for the show. They had precarious seating as they could be pelted...

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The Globe Theater in London is the most famous site of Shakespeare's productions. Working class peasants paid a week's salary to buy a seat in the theater. The "groundlings" paid less to stand in front of the stage for the show. They had precarious seating as they could be pelted with food from the seats above. The theater was really small with the audience very much a part of the play. These productions were repeated over many months time and the audiences got to know the actors' lines as well as the stage actors saying them. They would harass the actors and yell the correct lines to them if they flubbed and groundlings were known to jump onto the stage and show an actor how to weld a sword if they thought it was being done wrong. Many of Shakespeare's plays were also performed at small fairs or playhouses around England. Usually only one original script was submitted by Shakespeare to the production staff who penned in entrances and exits and other directions and used it to give the actors their lines. Sometimes, the actors left the productions in London, or simply viewed the play over many months time and memorized the lines and then put together their own touring group. Unfortunately, the lines were not always verbatim to the original lines that Shakespeare had written.

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While Shakespeare's plays are typically connected to The Globe theatre, he also had other plays performed at Blackfriars, another site. It remains unknown which plays were intended for which venue, though there remains some speculation regarding the intent of each.

The Globe is better known as the location for the performance of many of Shakespeare's plays (Hamlet, As You Like it, etc.), and it has been reconstructed in its original location, on London's South Bank. 

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Shakespeare worked mainly at two theatres during his writing lifetime, the Globe (now reconstructed on London's South Bank in its original site) and the Blackfriars.

The Globe was built first (and was actually made from the timbers of a previous theatre, "The Theatre" which Shakespeare and some other colleagues moved) and it saw the premieres of several of Shakespeare's best known plays, including "As You Like It", "Hamlet", and "Henry V" (which famously makes reference to the Globe as a "wooden O").

The Blackfriars theatre, on a different site, was built later on, and was, unlike the Globe, an indoor theatre. Critics are in some disagreement about which of Shakespeare's plays were written for the Blackfriars and which for the Globe, though generally, "All's Well That Ends Well" and "Measure for Measure" are usually thought of as Blackfriars plays.

One thing that is certain, though, is that Shakespeare didn't switch from the Globe to write only for the Blackfriars: it was during a performance of his play "Henry VIII" in 1613 that a cannon misfired, setting fire to the thatched straw roof of the Globe, and burning it to the ground.

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Shakespeare's plays were performed in various places, but the best known works had their most significant performances at the Globe Theatre in the Southwark district of London. The link below has tons of information on Shakespeare's Globe Theatre.

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