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Theatre in the Age of Shakespeare

William Shakespeare’s plays have the outstanding status of being in the midst of the greatest in English language and literature. Historians have often regarded the fact that the fame of Shakespeare basically rests on his understanding of his human nature. Shakespearean theatre (Elizabethan theatre) plays a vital role in Western culture and literature. Shakespeare’s plays have utilized maximum possibilities of Elizabethan Theatre.

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Glob theatre is considered as the one and only Elizabethan theatre which produced most of the Shakespearean plays. Shakespearean theatres were prepared in to three layers and around an open space at the middle. It has a hexagonal structure with wide inner court. Analyzing history one can find that people from all social backgrounds presented the Elizabethan theatre. Shakespeare’s dramatic craftsmanship satisfies the high-class people as well as the slaves. Shakespearean theatres were decorated in an open way to the public eye. The stage has mainly two parts: the outer stage which is prepared in a rectangular form with a projecting shape.

Shakespeare creates great scenes of soliloquy’s which reveals the inner conflicts of the character perfectly. The outer stage is prescribed for these kinds of scenes. The second one is the inner stage which is used to perform the actors who were in a scene but never directly joined the play. Banquet scene in Macbeth and temptation scene in Othello are succeeding to give great aesthetic pleasure for the audience. Shakespearean plays like The Tempest, Macbeth, and Hamlet permit the viewer to watch supernatural events and characters. Instead of the two stages they have a large cellar named hell arranged in Shakespearean Theatre.

The ghost of King Hamlet in Hamlet attracts millions through its magnificent performance at the underground stage. The three layers of the theatre contain dressing rooms, prop room, musician’s gallery and linking passage ways. The curtains hide the dramatic elements from the audience. One can find that Shakespearean plays call for a scene within a scene, such as the combination scene between Miranda and Ferdinand playing chess in the play The Tempest and the conversation between Nerissa and Portia about the caskets.

The online article entitled Elizabethan Theatre comments that; “Behind the stage there is a curtained “discovery space” – a small room behind a curtain – which allows characters to be suddenly revealed by opening the curtain (as Ferdinand and Miranda are suddenly revealed in Shakespeare’s The Tempest, playing chess)” (Larque).

Modern stages constitute various visual feasts such as lightings, artificial settings, actors with different costumes and perfect sound systems. Shakespearean plays consists all these things through languages. The stages were raised from the floor and the roofless yard informant of the stage prepared for groundlings. Instead of electric lights and stage settings a stagehand set off fireworks makes omens, comets and other supernatural elements. In Elizabethan time male people play the role of females on plays and operas.

The presence of a back draped background helps the audience to understand the fact that the play is a tragedy. Knocking sounds creates the mood of horror and storm. Speeches and narrative situations in both tragedies and comedies unambiguously illustrate the changing of scenes. These were written in to the text by the dramatist and the audience can grasp the changes through various speech forms. Elizabethan audience includes Kings, queens, Dukes, Lords, merchants, peasants and slaves with extreme aesthetic pleasure.

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Works Cited

Larque, Thomas. A Lecture on Elizabethan Theatre. Shakespeare and His Critics. 2001. Web.

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StudyCorgi. (2021, December 16). Theatre in the Age of Shakespeare.

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"Theatre in the Age of Shakespeare." StudyCorgi, 16 Dec. 2021,

1. StudyCorgi. "Theatre in the Age of Shakespeare." December 16, 2021.


StudyCorgi. "Theatre in the Age of Shakespeare." December 16, 2021.


StudyCorgi. 2021. "Theatre in the Age of Shakespeare." December 16, 2021.


StudyCorgi. (2021) 'Theatre in the Age of Shakespeare'. 16 December.

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