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Lecture: The Globe TheaterAuthor: QQ-464094252: Narrator: Listen to part of a lecture in a theater history class. Professor: One interesting aspect of studying Shakespeare and the recent theater is what we don't know about the theater where most of Shakespeare's famous plays were performed, the Globe Theater. We do know that the Globe was first built in 1599 and then it had to be rebuilt after a fire in 1613. And it was finally torn down sometime after 1643. But beyond that history, scholars want to know about the physical aspects of the building because that could help us understand the plays even better. So, what did the Globe look like? Well, picture a building shaped kind of like a stadium, where nowadays we might go to an athletic event or a big outdoor concert. It was like a stadium but smaller, about 30 meters across. Inside this open-air theater was a stage in one end and a big central yard with standing room for spectators and surrounding that central yard was seating for those who could pay a little more, seating like we have in the stadium today. And we know the stage with a roof over it, so if it was raining the actors would stay dry but the spectators standing in the yard would just get wet. Now, as for the exact shape of the Globe Theater, for a long time people just assumed that it was round. It was after all, called The Globe. But what is that really based on? One bit of evidence that it was more or less round, and made of wood comes from the prologue of the play Henry V, where we hear the theater described as "this wooden o" comparing the theater to the letter O makes it sound as if the building must be round. But what other evidence do we have? Well, the biggest piece of evidence is a map, drawn by an artist named Wenceselas Hollar. On Hollar's map you can see all of the theaters in London and this map depicts the Globe Theater as perfectly round. People take this map pretty seriously because it's considered the most reliable map of London from that time. I will explain why in a minute. On the other hand, there are reasons to think that the Globe wasn't actually round. For one, we know that it was made of wood and it's almost impossible to build a perfectly circular building out of wood. Heavy pieces of wood aren't easy to bend form a circle. So some scholars think that the Globe had straight sides. See it. See, we have another map of London that showed the Globe with eight distinct sides. This map gives the panoramic view of London and was printed in 1616. We also have a book, published months later, a book on English theater history that includes a drawing of the Globe showing it as an eight-sided building. But what do we make of this evidence? Well, the book that showed the Globe as having eight sides was written in 1790, about 150 years after the Globe was gone. So, how much can we trust it? I don't think the author has been there personally to see the Globe. And the map that showed it as an eight-sided building contradicts Hollar's map, even though other details from Hollar's maps are considered accurate. Scholars, what they do is they compare maps to landmarks and buildings that still exist today. You can do that in cities like London, where you still have buildings that were around in the early 1600s. And from most details, Hollar's maps have proved to be much more accurate than the others.