The arts were flourishing in Britain when Shakespeare worked and wrote in London. He was a member of the acting company the Lord Chamberlain’s Men which by law was allowed to perform for the public only because of its patron sponsorship.
This 1890 panoramic view compares 1616 and 1890 scenes of London and shows the Globe Theater. Shakespeare was a part owner of the playhouse along with his fellow actors. Opened in 1599, the Globe was destroyed by a fire in 1613, rebuilt, and endured until 1642, when it was closed in response to Puritanical laws forbidding the performance of plays.