The Globe Theatre

A panoramic view of the interior of the reconstructed Globe

The Globe Theatre, of which Shakespeare was part owner, burned to the ground on this date in 1613.

Frye in “The Stage is All the World” considers the theatre as an analogy of the cosmos.

The theatre as a metaphor for the universe was extremely common in Shakespeare’s day, and one reason was that the universe was assumed to have been intelligently designed by its Creator, and intelligent meant having some relation to human life. . . Similarly, the stars are not just up there: they have been put there to influence the character of living things. . . In so designed a cosmos all facts and all ideas are linked together, potentially in the human mind, actually in God’s. The image of a totally participating theatre begins to take shape. All facts and principles have their assigned and ticketed places, and step forward on the stage when needed. Courses in the training of memory were taught in which you constructed a theatre-shaped encyclopedia in your mind, and remembered something by pulling it out of its numbered place in your auditorium. The scholar who did most work on these memory theatres, the late Dame Frances Yates, was convinced that the design of the Globe was influenced by them. (CW 28, 448)

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