Ancient Greek Roman And Elizabethan Theatres Essay

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Ancient Greek Roman And Elizabethan Theatres Essay, Research Paper Of the many types of entertainment and past times we have today, theatre is still one of the most loved. For this we have to thank the very earliest forms of ancient Greek and Roman theatre. These ancient time plays were staged often in honor of a god and have paved the way for theatre as we know today. A particular aspect that has had a remarkable effect on the way theatre has evolved is the architecture of ancient theatres. The architecture of ancient Greek and Roman theatres have had a remarkable effect on future theatre designs including the architecture of the great Elizabethan theatres. The Elizabethan time period in England was ever so popular and well accepted that specialised theatres were having to

be built to cope with the large audiences. Before this plays were being held in grape cellars and old farm houses, and so were not able to provide a large enough venue or provide the larger than life atmosphere play houses needed. By the time Elizabethan theatre was in the British mainstream the plays were being held in two types of theatre, the public and private. The public Elizabethan theatres were much larger than the private ones and were the preferred theatre of Shakespeare and other great playwrites to stage a production. The first such theatre was built by James Burbage in 1576 and was called simply the theatre. Soon after other public theatres were built, including Shakespeare?s own The Globe which was built in 1599. They could appear round, square or many sided and

where built surrounding a central courtyard. Performances were only during daylight because there was no artificial lighting, even though many plays had night scenes. In most theatres it consisted of three levels of viewing galleries and stood about 10 metres high. As well as being viewer platforms the part of the upper two galleries that went behind the stage were used as a balcony to give the play vertical action as well as horizontal. The courtyard, called the pit, measured about 17 metres in diameter. Those wishing to watch the show from the pit could do so for a minimal amount of money. People viewing a play in the pit surrounded the stage from three sides, thus giving the audience a sense of being right in the action. For those that were willing to pay a bit more there were

the galleries with seats. But although these galleries provided a seat to sit on they also stank of urine and sweat since there were no toilets and people those days didn?t bath much. These rather large theatres could hold as much as 5600 people and were generally the choice of theatre for poorer people, but built around an attractive courtyard with an open roof these theatres were far from something shabby intended for lower class citizens. Proof that the public theatre was not a cheap alternative for poorer people is the fact that Shakespeare and other well known play writers wrote almost all their plays specifically for the public theatres and often despised performing a play in the smaller rich persons private theatre. The Private Elizabethan theatres charged higher admission

prices and were designed to attract upper class citizens. Although these theatres were often owned by royalty and attracted rather rich people to view plays they quickly went out of fashion and eventually ceased to excist because Shakespeare wrote all his plays for public theatres. Because of the unpopularity of these theatres not much is known about their architecture except that they were small, had little equipment or basic machinery to assist behind the scenes work and had artificial lighting in the form of petrol lanterns. In typical Ancient Greek tradition, where grander and bigger was better the architecture of ancient Greek theatres truly were traditional, in that they were huge and grand. During the time that drama competitions were beginning to take place in ancient