The Legacy of Elizabethan Theater Analytical Essay by scribbler

The Legacy of Elizabethan Theater
A look at how the Elizabethan era changed the style and form of theater in England.
# 153238 | 1,954 words | 5 sources | MLA | 2013 | US
Published on May 08, 2013 in Drama and Theater (English) , History (Victorian Era)

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The paper looks at how theater has evolved over the centuries with a focus on one of the most influential eras, the Elizabethan era. The paper explores the changes in scene and costume practices, in players, in the structure of the playhouse, and in the execution of the drama, and shows how the Elizabethan theater ushered in a new way of experiencing theater that was more realistic and rewarding. The paper also notes the impact of Shakespeare's plays on the drama and theater scene.

From the Paper:

"The style of the Elizabethan theater changed the production of plays, beginning with adult companies acting in various venues, including houses, court halls, or inn-yards. James Burbage constructed one of the first permanent theaters in 1576. Called The Theatre, this playhouse was near London but "beyond the jurisdiction of the city authorities who were generally hostile to dramatic spectacles" (Abrams 431). This building was one of the first built primarily for theatrical performances. As other theaters were constructed, they began to take the shape of an oval and the center yard would not have a roof. The next theater Burbage built was the Globe Theater, one of the most popular theaters that ever served England. Public theaters, such as the Globe, held professional acting companies until approximately 1610. Playhouse like the Globe housed anywhere from 1500 to 3000 seats I the audience. By this year, playhouses were circular and even octagonal. Sylvan Barnet writes that the Chorus in Shakespeare's Henry V calls the theater a "'wooden O'" (Barnet 765) but they did not have to be that way. The Fortune Theater was square with a rectangle stage. While a theater could be any shape, the round shape proved to be the most popular at this time."

Sample of Sources Used:

  • Barnet, Sylvan, et al. "A Note on the Elizabethan Theater." An Introduction to Literature. 8th Ed. Boston: Little, Brown and Company. 1985. Print.
  • Cohen, Robert. Theatre. Mountain View: Mayfield Publishing Company. 1997. Print.
  • Harrison, G. B. Introducing Shakespeare. New York: Penguin Books. 1983. Print.
  • Larque, Thomas. "Elizabethan Theatre." Shakespearean Online. Web. March 13, 2011.
  • Wilson, Edwin and Goldfarb, Alvin. Theater: The Lively Art. New York: McGraw-Hill. 1991. Print.

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