During Shakespeare’s time, the Globe was the leading theatre in all of England. The name ‘Globe’ derives not only from its circular shape, but also because the owners had a cosmic vision of the world. The motto of the theatre was ‘because all the world is a playground’. The theatre was destroyed by fire on 29 June 1613.

            Shakespeare’s historical play, Henry VIII, was being staged then. Theatrical cannons, which were set up as a surprise for the audience, exploded during the play. While the cannon ball was meant to harmlessly fly over the stage, nobody gave much attention to the smoke and fire it had ignited at the top of the theatre. The cannons misfired and set the entire theatre on fire. The wooden beams and thatch of the theatre caught fire immediately. Suddenly, people started running out of the building, leaving behind their cloaks. One or two people sustained minor injuries. Although no one was reported to have lost life, the conflagration marked the end of the leading theatre of England. The fire was so fierce that it consumed a house next to the theatre too.

            However, the theatre was rebuilt the very next year. It went on to perform for some more decades until it was closed down, along with many others, in 1642 by the Puritans. Puritans were the English Protestants who were rigorous practitioners of their faith and believed all kinds of celebrations and revelries were immoral. In 1644 or 1655, the theatre was pulled down and dismantled.

            Centuries later, the theatre was reconstructed in 1997. Today, it is known as Shakespeare’s Globe. The theatre performs plays regularly even today.

Picture Credit : Google