Internet Shakespeare Editions


The proportions of the Fortune

The building contract for the Fortune gives useful information about the size of the theater and the accommodation for the audience.

The building was to be three stories in height, with four "gentlemen's rooms," "sufficient and convenient divisions for twopennie roomes," and seating in all the galleries.

Unfortunately, when it comes to the actual stage and tire-house, the contract is singularly unhelpful. It says:

And the saide Stadge to be in all proporcions contryved and fashioned like unto the Stadge of the saide Plaie howse called the Globe.

But the contract contains no direct information about the Globe.

The fate of the Fortune

The Fortune was built by Philip Henslowe in 1600, a year after the first Globe. It was unusual in its square design, perhaps harking back to the original inn-yards.

In 1621 it followed the fate of the first Globe, for it was destroyed by fire. A contemporary account records that "it was quite burnt downe in two howres, and all [the players'] apparell & play-books lost." It was rebuilt as a round building, and finally dismantled in 1649 after the closing of the theaters.