Shakespeare And His Theater


Compared to the technical theaters of today, the London public theaters
in the time of Queen Elizabeth I seem to be terribly limited. The plays had to
be performed during daylight hours only and the stage scenery had to be kept
very simple with just a table, a chair, a throne, and maybe a tree to symbolize
a forest. Many say that these limitations were in a sense advantages. What the
theater today can show for us realistically, with massive scenery and electric
lighting, Elizabethan playgoers had to imagine. This made the playwright have
to write in a vivid language so the audience could understand the play. Not
having a lighting technician to work the control panels, Shakespeare had ...

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effects such as gunpowder explosions andthe
beating of a pan to simulate thunder.
The stage itself was also remarkably versatile. Behind it were doors
for exits and entrances and a curtained booth or alcove useful for actors to
hide inside. Above the stage was a higher acting area which symbolized a porch
or balcony. This was useful in the story of Romeo and Juliet, when Romeo stood
below Juliet and told her how he loved her. In the stage floor was a trap door
which was said to lead to "hell" or a cellar, this was especially useful for
ghosts or devils who had to appear and disappear throughout the play. The stage
itself was shaped in a rectangular platform that projected into a yard that was
enclosed by three story galleries.
The building was round or octagonal in shape but Shakespeare called it a
"wooden O." The audience sat in these galleries or else they could stand in the
yard in front the stage. A roof and awning protected the stage and the high-
priced gallery ...

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PAPER DETAILS
Added: 5/4/2006 12:33:58 AM
Category: Arts
Type: Premium Paper
Words: 562
Pages: 3

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