29 Jun 2011

Globe Theater Burns Down

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click on image for interactive identification of parts of the stage

On today’s date in 1613, Shakespeare’s Globe Theater burned down as the unfortunate result of the discharge of a cannon during the performance of the play Henry VIII.

It was not very old, having been built in 1599 by Shakespeare’s acting company, known at the time as the Lord Chamberlain’s Men.

Shakespeare himself started out owning a single share amounting to 1/8th of the theater, but his percentage of ownership was diluted over time. He wound up owning only 7%.

The Globe was reconstructed in 1997, only 200 yards away from the location of the original theater, but new theories have grown up over the succeeding years, and there is a school of opinion that wishes the reconstruction to be torn down and rebuilt in accordance with the latest scholarship.


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