How did the Globe Theatre burn down?


Quick Answer

The Globe Theatre burned down as the result of a prop issue during a performance of Henry VII in 1613. During the performance, a cannon fired into a beam causing the beam to set fire. The fire then spread to the roof and engulfed the whole theater within one hour.

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Full Answer

The Globe Theatre was a round, wooden building that is famous for debuting several of Shakespeare's famous plays, such as "Hamlet" and "Macbeth." It contained room for 1,000 sit-down guests and 2,000 standing guests. Built by members of Shakespeare's own acting company, the Lord Chamberlain's Men, the theatre was constructed almost entirely from upcycled materials derived from another playhouse.

The Globe Theatre allowed anyone that could pay admission to come inside and watch the now infamous plays. The sign that hung above the door read, "Totus mundus agit histrionem,” which means "all the world's a stage." Although the plays at the Globe Theatre had dim lighting and used little props to visually accompany the story, the trap door at the bottom of the stage allowed the supernatural beings in the plays to appear to rise up out of nowhere and astonish the playgoers.

After the Globe Theatre burned down, the Lord Chamberlain's Men rebuilt it in another location. It remained in operation until 1642.

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