Since there are hardly any documents from the 16th century suggesting the dimension of the theatre, it is difficult to say conclusively what exactly the theatre looked like. However, over the last couple of centuries, there has been extensive research on the shape and size of the theatre and we know something about it today. The Globe was an open-air amphitheatre around 30 metres in diameter in a polygon shape with twenty sides. Around 3,000 spectators could be accommodated in the theatre.

            The theatre had three storeys. Much like our modern movie theatres, the ticket charges differed according to where one preferred to sit. The commoners who could not afford to pay more than a penny had to stand on the ground at the base of the stage. This area was known as the ‘pit’. The people who paid a penny to watch the play were known as ‘groundlings’. Groundling, in fact, is the name of a kind of a small fish with a gaping mouth. All that the actor at the centre of the stage looking down to the ‘pit’ could see was the ocean of faces of men that looked like a swarm of open-mouthed groundlings!

            The theatre had a backstage area or tiring-house, which contained the dressing rooms, the prop room, the musician’s gallery and connecting passage-ways. There were an inner stage, a central balcony stage and a central music gallery within it. The shape and structure of the theatre determined some of the important features of Shakespeare’s plays too.

Picture Credit : Google