William ShakespeareWilliam Shakespeare was born in the year of 1564 in Stratford-upon-Avon,England. His exact birth date is unknown but it is traditionally celebrated onApril 23. In England this day is known as the feast of St. George. He was thethird of eight children born to John and Mary Arden Shakespeare. JohnShakespeare was a tanner, and a glove maker. He served a term as the mayor ofStratford, a town council man, a justice of peace, and an ale-taster.
Unfortunately John could not write. John Shakespeare died in 1601. Since Williamwas his eldest son he received what little land his father owned. Little isknown about his mother’s life. It is known that she came from a wealthyfamily. Her family also paid her husband a handsome dowry. William Shakespearewent to a very good grammar school in Stratford-upon- Avon. Two of hisinstructors were Oxford graduates, Simon Hunt and Thomas Jenkins. William’sstudies were in Greek and Latin. He developed the ability of keen observation ofboth nature and mankind. It is said that his education ended here. On November27, 1582, when William was 18 years old, he married Anne Hathaway. She was tenyears older than him. Their first daughter, named Susanna, was born the nextyear on May 26, 1583. The couple also had twins, Hamnet and Judith, in 1585.
Hamnet died at the age of eleven, but it is unknown how. Between the years of1585 and 1592 no evidence of what happened in Shakespeare’s life is known.
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These years are called “The Hidden Years”. It is said that during thisstretch of time, he ran away from the law or was the apprentice of a butcher,although a man named John Aubry was told by Christopher Beston that Shakespearewas a school teacher up until 1592 somewhere in London. Beginning in 1592, inLondon, he became known as an established playwright. In 1593 he found a patron,Henry Wriothsley, to sponsor him. William Shakespeare was also an actor, writer,director, and stockholder in “The King’s Men” company. He acted fora company called “The King’s Men”. This company became the largestand most famous acting company simply because William was performing and workingfor them. Shakespeare wrote two long poems. His first, “Venus and Adonius”,was written in the year 1593. Then a year later he wrote, “Rape of Lucrece”.
These were written at a time when theatres were closed because of the contagiousepidemic known as the plague. In the late 1590’s he wrote many plays. Most ofthem being comedies, the major ones are: “The Taming of the Shrew”,”The Comedy of Errors”, “As You Like It”, “Much AdoAbout Nothing”, and “The Two Gentlemen of Verona”. “Romeoand Juliet” was his only tragedy written during this time. In 1599 atheatre called the Globe was built by Shakespeare’s company. Some of his mostprominent tragedies written and performed were “Hamlet”,”Othello”, “King Lear”, and “Macbeth”. SinceShakespeare was established playwright, he was wealthy because of multipleincome sources. In 1597 he bought his family a huge house called New Place,located in Stratford-upon-Avon. Shakespeare retired from theatre in 1610 andreturned to Stratford. On the 25th of March, 1616, he wrote his will. On April23, 1616, the same date as his birthday, William Shakespeare died. He was buriedat the chancel of the Church of the Holy Trinity in Stratford. The cause of hisdeath is unknown. Many people believe that he knew that his death was near, butdid not want anybody to know. Seven years after he died, in 1623 WilliamShakespeare’s first folio was published including 154 sonnets, 36 plays, andhis two long poems. The folio was put together by his friends so that nobodycould take his work as theirs.
Bibliography1. Torstenson,Casey. “William Shakespeare”. Internet 2. Shah, RaviP.”Life of Shakespeare”. Internet,1997 3.
Booth,Beth.”Shakespeare’s Life”. Internet 4. Editors of the GrolierUniversal Encyclopedia. “Shakespeare”, Stratford Press,Inc: NewYork,1966
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