Think of a movie you saw recently in a theater. Look at the differences between Shakespeare's theater and modern movies. consider the following elements:
- the structure of the theater
- the audience
- scenery and costumes
- style of dialogue
The Canterbury Tales
The Divine Comedy: Inferno
A Streetcar Named Desire
Never Let Me Go
Think of a movie you saw recently in a theater. Look at the differences between Shakespeare's theater and modern movies. consider the following elements:
The difference between Shakespearean Theater and modern movies of today is colossal. Not only was Shakespearean drama deeply thought out and more intellectually represented, but it was also based on other literature or history that had actually happened at some point in time. It is true that todays movies take a lot of direction, planning, and talent, and yes, some of them are based on true stories and the reality of history, but most of the movies that are out now a days are negative energy. It's silly that people spend money to go see mediocre movies or movies that don't even require the audience to really think. The theaters we watch movies in are square rooms, with straight rows of seats. They aren't round or shaped like amphitheaters. Yes there are some dome theaters but mostly they are just regular everyday theaters that we find down the street. The audience is much different. Anyone can go watch a movie, but usually during Shakespeare's plays it was the elite and royalty that would watch along with a few others who actually lived for the theater arts. The scenery is much more accurate in movies than in Shakespeare plays. Shakespeare plays didn't even have much scenery. They probably didn't have any scenery at all, due to not having curtains, and the stage being in the center of the theater. In movies, though, the scenery is very easy to relate to because it's just like the every day environment that we live in, and if it isn't it is very realistic. Costumes, of course, are also a major difference. In shakespearean plays, costumes are very dramatic and overdone, while in modern movies they are just like any other piece of clothing that people wear on a daily basis. The difference of costumes can also be due to the difference in culture and time period. Lastly, the dialogue of Shakespeare plays was evidently much more proper and was completely appropriate for audiences to hear. Movies these days can have appropriate language but mostly, directors chose to make vulgar and inappropriate slang terms as their main choice of dialogue. Also, in Shakespeare plays, the characters have a chance to speak alone, by themselves, aside to the audience directly, or about their own feelings and emotions. In modern movies, characters either just have dialogue or monologue. They don't specify things such as soliloquy or aside.
There many differences between Shakespeare's theater and the movies we are exposed to today. To begin with structure, the theater is very much different than the theaters we normally attend. The play theater had an open arena design and structure. This means that if by any chance it rained, the actors would also get wet. The theater also had an octagonal structure with a stage in the middle. In contrast to this structure, the theaters we are custom to are in a closed roof with many rooms. Each room plays a different movie, so viewers have a variety of choices in which movie they want to watch. The theaters we watch our movies have a first come-first serve seating with straight rows of seats. Back in the days, people in the upper class and those of royalty attended Shakespeare's plays. The movies we watch these days have accurate scenery, it being very clear to the viewer. During Shakespeare's plays, it was hard to comprehend the scenery because the theater would be lacking curtains and the stage being in the middle. Costumes would obviously be different. Actors during modern movies usually dress up in the latest fashion. In Shakespearean plays, female actors would wear long dresses and male actors would dress in uniform type outfits as it was usual during that time period. Finally, the dialogue of the both. Modern movies' script includes slang terms and huge amount of profanity. During Shakespeare's plays, the dialogue would be more proper and elegant and very appropriate for the viewer's ears. The plays are also notable for their use of soliloquies, in which a character would make a speech to him or herself so the audience can understand the character's inner emotions and conflict. It would be very surprising if this occurred during modern movies.
There is an immense difference between Shakespearean theaters and modern movies. To begin with the time plays a huge role in the creation of the plays and theaters. In Shakespeare's time there was royalty and peasants that attended theaters. However today anyone can visit a theater and watch a movie they please. This leads us to the next factor which is the structure of the theater. Since there is royalty in Shakespeare's era, the theater was constructed in a way so that the royal citizens would sit on top and peasants in the mud on the bottom. The theater was also built in a circular formations, compared to today's theaters that are built in rectangular forms. In Shakespearean plays the actors act live on stage while the audience watch them perform. However, in the modern world the actors act in the world making earth their stage and the camera the eye for the people. When the movie is shot it is edited and brought to modern theaters to be shown on projectors. Also, in old times plays were usually drawn from real experiences or historical facts. Each play that Shakespeare had written has become a piece of gold in literature. However, in modern times not all movies are great. We often have invaluable movies that have no sense and we also have movies that win awards for their outstanding performances. Also, the costumes in the old times were usually over exaggerated, but today the costumes are almost like regular day to day cloths. Not only was the dialogue different , but the types of terms they used were different as well. For example, in Shakespearean plays it was usually spoken in Old English and each word had a meaning or symbol. However, in today's dialogue we have New English that is just generally spoken and has no meaning. In addition the directors of the production incorporate profanity and rude language in the movies. During Shakespearean plays profanity was never used.
The differences between Shakespearean theatre and modern day movies are monstrous. Starting with the structure of the theatre, back in the day theatres were very different. They were open arenas, with no roof, so bad weather conditions affected the actors and audience; basically the entire production was affected. The stage was in the middle of the arena, and the seats were completely vertical, and divided due to class. The lowest class would stand in front of the stage in the dirt, and the higher class you were, the higher you were on the vertical seats against the wall. Nowadays the stage is not in the middle, it is just a big screen in front of everyone with rows going up. Today movies are open to everyone. Nothing is divided due to class; anyone can sit wherever they want. Back in the day the queen would always attend the plays. Attending theatre was a very classy and important. Now it is just a common source of entertainment for everyone. The stage was also set up to be very simple. However, the characters would dress very interestingly. The clothing back then was very different, including men in tights, and women in dresses and corsets that they could barely breathe in. There were no women in the plays, so the men would act as women. Today, men, women, children all have role’s in movies. The clothing is very modern and simple everyday clothing, unless the genre of the movie is something different, like a western movie. They’re shot in everyday environments, such as offices and homes. In my opinion today you can get a better sense of what the story is about because of the location of the movies being shot. Shakespearean dialogue is very complex compared to modern day English. If someone is to read a play by Shakespeare, they will not be able to understand majority of the words. Also everything was more appropriate and proper back then. Characters also could have expressed their feelings to the audience alone, today known as soliloquy. However, today the dialogues do not need to be proper. Also, you will never see the character standing alone expressing their feelings. In my opinion, back then the audience was able to understand and actually feel what the characters felt, better than today's audience.
The movies today and Shakespeare’s plays are similar in the sense that both are directed towards the entertainment of the audience. However, where they take place, to whom they are displayed to, the way they are presented, and the dialogue are completely different. First of all, Shakespeare’s plays took place in the Old Globe which was a large theatre Shakespeare commissioned for his plays. In the theatre was a stage where the actors performed, in front of it was ground, and above that were three rows of seats. However, today’s theatres are dark and enclosed rooms. There is a large screen, in front of which are numerous rows of seats where anyone can sit. An important difference between modern theatres and Shakespeare’s theatres are that back in the day the plays were live but today we watch a recorded movie. Back then the audience was divided depending on their class. The lower class stood on the ground in front of the actors because the tickets there were inexpensive, and there have been accounts of the “groundlings” shouting at the actors. On the other hand, the upper class and royalty sat on the three rows of benches. Today, anyone can sit wherever they want in the theatre. The scenery during Shakespeare’s time was very minimal because they had just a few props to last the whole play. They did not have any curtains to be able to change the scenery so they used just a few throughout the whole play. Modern movies have very elaborate scenery and go all out to decorate the set. However, the costumes back in the day were very intricate and colorful. Today, the costumes depend on what the movie is about but they still do pay close attention on what the actors wear and how they look. Shakespeare’s plays were written in blank verse which was non rhyming lines in iambic pentameter. An iambic pentameter’s lines are divided into five units with stress on every other syllable. The dialogue was very meaningful and had a lot of symbolism. However, modern day movies’ dialogues are much more different and simple, and contain plenty of slang terms and vulgar language.
Shakespearean plays and modern day movies have certain differences. During Shakespearean time, the plays were acted out in open arenas, where the stage was in the center, and the seats were divided according to class. There were very minimal props on stage and the actors were all men, therefore the women roles were also played out by men. The costumes that the actors wore also portrayed their class in the plays. Some were very royal and beautiful, others were very poor and unappealing; men would even wear tights! Lastly, the dialogue was different. They did not speak modern day English, the actors would think out loud, there was some soliloquy, and it felt as if the characters spoke to each other with respect. Modern day theaters are enclosed with a screen in front of the audience. The rows are lined back to back and the people are free to sit anywhere. The outfits that the characters wear are not a big deal, because they dress regularly(of course depending on the role they have). There are definitely props, backdrops, and actual locations where the movies are shot. Lastly, the actors speak in modern day English, there is no soliloquy, they curse/use slang, and are easily understood.
The Elizabethan theater and todays movies have great differences between them. In the Elizabethan theater the stage was a basic flat platform, in difference to the modern square rooms we have today. The modern audience sees the drama as a moving picture in a frame, or as in a room with one wall, but back then the theater included actual moving characters who played roles. The Elizabethan audience surrounded the stage on three sides, partly reaching on the fourth. They saw the drama as a scene enacted in their midst, especially the audience that couldn't afford to sit in the upper balconies and sat right next to stage. Also, the overall architecture of the theater was a circular dome shape building. In todays movie theaters we have aisles of seats going up overlooking the giant projected screen. The scenery in Shakespeare's theaters was minimal to none. There is no curtains to block the backstage with the play that's taking place on stage. The characters had to use very descriptive language to get across important information as to what time of day it was, or what month, etc. Today, obviously, by the color images we are able to produce we can clearly read all information, whether direct or indirect. Costumes were not used so as a result, men who took the role of woman had to make it clear by speech and not by fashion. Shakespeare’s plays were written in blank verse which was non rhyming lines in iambic pentameter. An iambic pentameter’s lines are divided into five units with stress on every other syllable. The monologues and the soliloquies had a lot of symbolism. In difference from classy speech, today's movies have slang and inappropriate language.
Throughout history and even today, theaters are places where people could be entertained as well as enjoy themselves. Movies and plays allow a person to enter an illusory state where he or she experiences different emotions and events. As a result of movies and plays, viewers are exposed to different perspectives and learn new ideas.
There are definite differences between Shakespeare’s theater and modern movies. The key differences between modern movies and Shakespeare’s theater are seen in the structure of the theater, the audience, the scenery and costumes, and the stye of dialogue.
Playhouses and theaters during the sixteenth and seventeenth centuries were tremendously different from the theaters today. Hundreds of years ago when there weren’t any playhouses, plays were acted out in courtyards or wherever audiences could be found. Later, open air theaters, those without roofs, were built around a courtyard. The seating arangement was also very different. The nobles sat farther away from the stage, while the common folk watched the play at a much closer distance. Theaters back then had an area around the stage where people could stand and watch the play instead of sitting down. Theaters during Shakespeare’s time were also very unique in the sense that they only showed one play a night. Performances were only conducted during the daytime because the playhouses did not have lights. Today, theaters are buildings that have many rooms that each show a different movie. Viewers can choose from a selection of movies they may watch. In addition, seating in today’s theaters are not based on social classes. People can choose their own seats and sit wherever they would like. Furthermore, movies can be seen any time of day. It is ironic that hundreds of years ago people watched plays in daylight, while people today watch movies in the dark.
During Shakespeare’s times most people watched plays because they enjoyed the arts. Plays were performed before a diverse audience that shouted comments to the actors performing onstage. Today, people watch movies for their enjoyment. Movies are played before a diverse audience too, but these viewers do not have the choice of watching the movies live. Viewers today, watch prefilmed movies, which are played back to them. Viewers today, also do not have the necessity of paying less to watch the movie standing up. If viewers today, shouted comments while watching a movie, they would most likely be kicked out of the theater.
Shakespeare’s theater was known for its intricate and colorful costumes. The actors dressed in elaborate clothing that people did not wear during those times. The actors that performed the plays were men and boys because women were seen to be unfit to act. Moreover, props and scenery were rarely used. Although scenery was minimally used, trumpets and music played an important part in the play. The scenery would be known by the viewers only after the performers described it. Today, both women and men are allowed to play roles in movies. Actors and actresses wear clothing that are the same as those worn by the viewers. Movies today have very elaborate scenery and use a lot of props. Viewers easily understand where the scene is and what is going on.
Shakespeare’s characters usually spoke in unrhymed sentences that were in iambic pentameter. The characters’ lines were usually spoken in unstressed and stressed syllables. The actors spoke clearer and quicker than do actors today. Unique to Shakespeare’s theater are the soliloquies and asides. A soliloquy is when an actor is speaking directly to the audience when he is alone on stage. An aside is when a character in the play speaks out loud but the other characters on stage are not supposed to hear him. These were very common customs in Shakespeare’s theater. Soliloquies and asides usually are not present in modern movies. Shakespeare also used literary devices such as imagery and symbolism. In modern movies, the characters use slang and do not always use proper language. Plays from Shakespeare’s theater had more meaning and thought in them than modern movies today.