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Key Buildings from Prehistory to the Present by Andrew Ballantyne

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Globe Theatre

image

London, UK; 1598

William Shakespeare’s play Henry V (1599) opens with a prologue that explains what he expects of the audience. The action of the play to follow will revolve around the Battle of Agincourt: a confrontation between the armies of England and France. Is there room in the theatre to assemble the armies of two great nations and have them fight a battle?

Can this cockpit hold

The vasty fields of France? or may we cram

Within this wooden O the very casques

That did affright the air at Agincourt?

The answer is no. For the drama to work as intended, the audience must use its imagination. The ‘wooden O’ is the theatre, round ...

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