The Globe Theater

Globe Theaters were a popular source of entertainment in the Elizabethan period. Play-goers
were thrilled by the excitement and unexpected in Shakespeare's plays that helped to ease the
stress of everyday life. Plays were performed at theaters across Europe, but probably the most
famous playhouse of the Elizabethan period was London's Globe Theater. The Globe Theater was
a building with a unique history that presented Shakespeare's plays to a variety of people until its
destruction and the closure of the theaters by the Puritans in the mid-sixteen hundreds.
James Burbage, a famous architect and actor of the time, built thefirst playhouse in 1576
named the Theatre that comes from the Greek word theatron meaning viewing place (Chrisp
9).The Theatre was located in Shoreditch about a mile north of London (Allison 19). The land on
which the Theatre stood was rented from a man named Giles Allen. James Burbage and Giles
Allen had agreed to a twenty one year lease on the land, but when the lease expired in April of
1597, the Burbage's faced major problems. Giles Allen wanted the Burbages to pay a vast amount
of money to renew the lease, but with the death of James Burbage in February of 1597, his sons
had to face the landlord'sdispute by themselves (Chrisp 10). Not wanting the Theatre to close
because of their lack of money, the Burbage brothers took matters into their own hands. They
outwitted the landlord taking the theater apart piece by piece and moving it across the Thames
River during the Christmas holiday of 1598. The area they had selected for the new theater was
called Bankside in the district of Southwark (Morley 28).Southwark was an entertainment center
complete with bear baiting arenas, archery ranges, taverns, and theaters (Allison 25).The
relocated theater was renamed the Globe Theater which meant "There is nothing in the whole
round world this theater c…


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