It’s fair to say that we don’t need to talk all the time.

I have groundlings on my mind today, for some reason. The poor folks that stood on the ground, by the stage in the Globe Theatre in the 17th century. They could barely afford to watch a play conceived by Shakespeare, but when they could, they were happy enough to. Never quite had the luxury of sitting down comfortably, but they were at least lucky enough to have a front row spot occupying ‘the pit’.

Lucky is subjective. The popularity of Shakespeare’s plays would pack the house. Every square inch of the pit would be full of 500-or-so people, though these groundlings were entertained by a play, they would have to give up the freedom of space. The inhabitants of the pit were normally peasants, and tradesmen that would spend a days wage ( a single english penny, if I’m not mistaken). Being that close to the action with little room to move around, they were often rowdy. These folks would turn to heckling or throwing vegetables at the characters they wouldn’t like. Continue reading