William Shakespeare


William Shakespeare

William Shakespeare

William Shakespeare was a great English
playwright, dramatist and poet who lived during the late sixteenth and
early seventeenth centuries. Shakespeare is considered to be the greatest
playwright of all time. No other writer's plays have been produced so many
times or read so widely in so many countries as his.

Shakespeare was born to middle class parents.

His father, John, was a Stratford businessman. He was a glove maker who
owned a leather shop. John Shakespeare was a well known and respected man
in the town. He held several important local governmental positions. William

Shakespeare's mother was Mary Arden. Though she was the daughter of a local
farmer, she was related to a family of considerable wealth and social standing.

Mary Arden and John Shakespeare were married in 1557.

William Shakespeare was born in Stratford
in 1564. He was one of eight children. The Shakespeare's were well respected
prominent people. When William Shakespeare was about seven years old, he
probably began attending the Stratford Grammar School with other boys of
his social class. Students went to school year round attending school for
nine hours a day. The teachers were strict disciplinarians.

Though Shakespeare spent long hours at
school, his boyhood was probably fascinating. Stratford was a lively town
and during holidays, it was known to put on pageants and many popular shows.

It also held several large fairs during the year. Stratford was a exciting
place to live. Stratford also had fields and woods surrounding it giving

William the opportunity to hunt and trap small game. The River Avon which
ran through the town allowed him to fish also. Shakespeare's' poems and
plays show his love of nature and rural life which reflects his childhood.

On November 28, 1582, Shakespeare married

Anne Hathaway of the neighboring village of Shottery. She was twenty-six,
and he was only eighteen at the time. They had three children. Susana was
their first and then they had twins, Hamnet and Judith. Hamnet, Shakespeare's
son, died in 1596. In 1607, his daughter Susana got married. Shakespeare's
other daughter, Judith, got married in 1616.

In London, Shakespeare's career took off.

It is believed that he may have become well known in London theatrical
life by 1592. By that time, he had joined one of the city's repertory theater
companies. These companies were made up of a permanent cast of actors who
presented different plays week after week. The companies were commercial
organizations that depended on admission from their audience. Scholars
know that Shakespeare belonged to one of the most popular acting companies
in London called The Lord Chamberlain's Men. Shakespeare was a leading
member of the group from 1594 for the rest of his career. By 1594, at least
six of Shakespeare's plays had been produced.

During Shakespeare's life, there were two
monarchs who ruled England. They were Henry the eighth and Elizabeth the
first. Both were impressed with Shakespeare which made his name known.

There is evidence that he was a member of a traveling theater group, and
a schoolmaster. In 1594, he became an actor and playwright for Lord Chamberlain's

Men. In 1599, he became a part owner of the prosperous Globe Theater. He
also was a part owner of the Blackfriars Theater as of 1609. Shakespeare
retired to Stratford in 1613 where he wrote many of his excellent plays.

There are many reasons as to why William

Shakespeare is so famous. He is generally considered to be both the greatest
dramatist the world has ever known as well as the finest poet who has written
in the English language. Many reasons can be given for Shakespeare's enormous
appeal. His fame basically is from his great understanding of human nature.

He was able to find universal human qualities and put them in a dramatic
situation creating characters that are timeless. Yet he had the ability
to create characters that are highly individual human beings. Their struggles
in life are universal. Sometimes they are successful and sometimes their
lives are full of pain, suffering, and failure.

In addition to his understanding and realistic
view of human nature, Shakespeare had a vast knowledge of a variety of
subjects. These subjects include music, law, Bible, stage, art, politics,
history, hunting, and sports. Shakespeare had a tremendous influence on
culture and literature throughout the world. He contributed greatly to
the development of the English language. Many words and phrases from Shakespeare's
plays and poems have become part of our speech. Shakespeare's plays and
poems have become a required part of education in the United States. Therefore,
his ideas on subjects such as romantic love, heroism,

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