Biography of William Shakespeare Essay
In the mid-sixteenth century, William Shakespeare’s father, John Shakespeare, moved to the idyllic town of Stratford-upon-Avon. There, he became a successful landowner, moneylender, glove-maker, and dealer of wool and agricultural goods. In 1557, he married Mary Arden. John Shakespeare lived during a time when the middle class was expanding in both size and wealth, allowing its members more freedoms and luxuries as well as a louder voice in local government. He took advantage of the change in times and in 1557 became a member of the Stratford Council. This event marked the beginning of his illustrious political career.
By 1561, he was elected one of the town’s fourteen burgesses and subsequently served successively as constable, one of two chamberlains, and alderman. In these positions, he administered borough property and revenues. In 1567, he became bailiff—the highest elected office in Stratford and the equivalent of a modern-day mayor. Town records indicate that William Shakespeare was John and Mary’s third child. His birth is unregistered, but legend pins it on April 23, 1564, possibly because it is known that April 23 is the day on which he died 52 years later.
In any event, his baptism was registered with the town on April 26, 1564. Little is known about his childhood, although it is generally assumed that he attended the local grammar school, the King’s New School. The school was staffed by Oxford-educated faculty who taught the students mathematics, natural sciences, logic, Christian ethics, and classical language and literature. Shakespeare did not attend university, which was not at all unusual for the time. University education was reserved for wealthy sons of the elite, mostly those who wanted to become clergymen.
The numerous classical and literary references in Shakespeare’s plays are a testament, however, to the excellent education he received in grammar school (and to his ability as an autodidact). His early plays in particular draw on the works of Seneca and Plautus. Even more impressive than his formal education is the wealth of general knowledge exhibited in his works. His vocabulary exceeds that of any other English writer by a wide margin. In 1582, at the age of eighteen, William Shakespeare married the twenty-six-year-old Anne Hathaway.
Their first daughter, Susanna, was baptized only six months later—a fact that has given rise to speculation concerning the circumstances surrounding their marriage. In 1585, Anne bore twins, baptized Hamnet and Judith Shakespeare. Hamnet died at the age of eleven, by which time Shakespeare was already a successful playwright. Around 1589, Shakespeare wrote his supposed first play, Henry VI, Part 1. Sometime between his marriage and writing this play, he moved to London, where he pursued a career as a playwright and actor.
Although many records of Shakespeare’s life as a citizen of Stratford—including marriage and birth certificates—have survived, very little information exists about his life as a young playwright. Legend characterizes Shakespeare as a roguish young man who was once forced to flee London under suspect circumstances perhaps having to do with his love life. But the little written information we have of his early years does not necessarily confirm this characterization. In any case, young Will was not an immediate and universal success.
The earliest written record of Shakespeare’s life in London comes from a statement by the rival playwright Robert Greene. In his Groatsworth of Witte (1592), Greene calls Shakespeare an “upstart crow… [who] supposes he is as well able to bombast out a blank verse as the best of you. ” While this is hardly high praise, it does suggest that Shakespeare rattled the London theatrical hierarchy even at the beginning of his career. It is natural, in retrospect, to attribute Greene’s complaint to jealousy of Shakespeare’s ability, but of course we can’t be sure.
With Richard III, Henry VI, The Comedy of Errors, and Titus Andronicus under his belt, Shakespeare was a popular playwright by 1590. * The year 1593, however, marked a major leap forward in his career. By the end of that year, he secured a prominent patron in the Earl of Southampton and his Venus and Adonis was published. It remains one of the first of his known works to be printed and was a huge success. Next came The Rape of Lucrece. Shakespeare had also made his mark as a poet and most scholars agree that the majority of Shakespeare’s sonnets were probably written in the 1590s.
In 1594, Shakespeare returned to the theater and became a charter member of the Lord Chamberlain’s Men—a group of actors who changed their name to the King’s Men when James I ascended to the throne. By 1598, he was the “principal comedian” for the troupe; by 1603, he was “principal tragedian. ” He remained associated with the organization until his death. Although acting and playwriting were not considered noble professions at the time, successful and prosperous actors were relatively well respected. Shakespeare’s success left him with a fair amount of money, which he nvested in Stratford real estate.
In 1597, he purchased the second largest house in Stratford—the New Place—for his parents. In 1596, Shakespeare applied for a coat of arms for his family, in effect making himself a gentleman. Consequently, his daughters made “good matches,” marrying wealthy men. The same year that he joined the Lord Chamberlain’s Men, Shakespeare wrote Romeo and Juliet, along with Love’s Labour’s Lost, The Taming of the Shrew, and several other plays. Two of his greatest tragedies, Hamlet and Julius Caesar, followed around 1600.
Hamlet is widely considered the first modern play for its multi-faceted main character and unprecedented depiction of his psyche. The first decade of the seventeenth century witnessed the debut performances of many of Shakespeare’s most celebrated works, including many of his so-called history plays: Othello in 1604 or 1605, Antony and Cleopatra in 1606 or 1607, and King Lear in 1608. The last play of his to be performed was probably King Henry VIII in either 1612 or 1613. William Shakespeare lived until 1616. His wife Anna died in 1623 at the age of 67.
He was buried in the chancel of his church at Stratford. The lines above his tomb—allegedly written by Shakespeare himself—read: Good friend, for Jesus’ sake forbear To dig the dust enclosed here. Blessed be the man that spares these stones And cursed be he that moves my bones. *The dates of composition and performance of almost all of Shakespeare’s plays remain uncertain. The dates used in this note are widely agreed upon by scholars, but there is still significant debate around when and where he wrote most of his plays.
Biography of William Shakespeare Essay
It is known that he was born in April 1564 and that he died on 23rd April 1616 at the age 52. He was baptized on 26th April 1564. How fitting that the great English writer is so closely identified with the patron saint of England. Shakespeare had seven siblings. They were: Joan (1558); Margaret (1562); Gilbert (1566); Joan II (1569); Anne (1571); Richard (1574) and Edmund (1580). Shakespeare married Anne Hathaway when he was 18. She was 26 and she was pregnant when they got married. Their first child was born six months after the wedding.
Shakespeare and Anne Hathaway had three children together – a son, Ham net, who died in 1596, and two daughters, Susanna and Judith. His only granddaughter Elizabeth – daughter of Susanna – died childless in 1670. Shakespeare therefore has no descendants. Shakespeare died a rich man. He made several gifts to various people but left his property to his daughter, Susanna. The only mention of his wife in Shakespeare’s own will is: “I give unto my wife my second best bed with the furniture”. The “furniture” was the bedclothes for the bed. Shakespeare was buried in the Holy Trinity Church, Stratford-upon-Avon.
He put a curse on anyone daring to move his body from that final resting place. His epitaph was: “Good friend for Jesus’ sake forbear, To dig the dust enclosed here: Blest be the man that spares these stones, And curst be he that moves my bones. ” Though it was customary to dig up the bones from previous graves to make room for others, Shakespeare’s remains are still undisturbed. During his life, Shakespeare wrote 37 plays and 154 sonnets! This means an average 1. 5 plays a year since he first started writing in 1589. His last play The Two Noble Kinsmen is reckoned to have been written in 1613 when he was 49 years old.
While he was writing the plays at such a pace he was also conducting a family life, a social life and a full business life, running an acting company and a theatre. Few people realize that apart from writing his numerous plays and sonnets, Shakespeare was also an actor who performed many of his own plays as well as those of other playwrights. During his life Shakespeare performed before Queen Elizabeth I and, later, before James I who was an enthusiastic patron of his work. Shakespeare’s profession was acting. He is listed in documents of 1592, 1598 and 1603 as an actor.
We know that he acted in a Ben Jonson play and also in his own plays but it’s thought that, as a very busy man, writing, managing the theatre and commuting between London and his home in Stratford where is family was, he didn’t undertake big parts. There is evidence that he played the ghost in Hamlet and Adam in As You Like It. In Elizabethan theatre circles it was common for writers to collaborate on writing plays. Towards the end of his career Shakespeare worked with other writers on plays that have been credited to those writers. Other writers also worked on plays that are credited to Shakespeare.
We know for certain that Timmons of Athens was a collaboration with Thomas Middleton; Pericles with George Wilkins; and The Two Noble Kinsmen with John Fletcher. Some scholars have maintained that Shakespeare did not write the Shakespeare plays, with at least fifty writers having been suggested as the “real” author. However, the evidence for Shakespeare’s having written the plays is very strong. Shakespeare is the second most quoted writer in the English language – after the various writers of the Bible. Suicide occurs an unlucky thirteen times in Shakespeare’s plays.
It occurs in Romeo and Juliet where both Romeo and Juliet commit suicide, in Julius Caesar where both Cassius and Brutus die by consensual stabbing, as well as Brutus’ wife Portia. Some of Shakespeare’s signatures have survived on original documents. In none of them does he spell his name in what has become the standard way. He spells it Shakespere and Shakespear. Shakespeare lived a double life. By the seventeenth century he had become a famous playwright in London but in his hometown of Stratford, where his wife and children were, and which he visited frequently, he was a well known and highly respected businessman and property owner.
The American President Abraham Lincoln was a great lover of Shakespeare’s plays and frequently recited from them to his friends. His assassin, John Wilkes Booth was a famous Shakespearean actor. Although it was illegal to be a Catholic in Shakespeare’s lifetime, the Anglican Archdeacon, Richard Davies of Litchfield, who had known him wrote some time after Shakespeare’s death that he had been a Catholic. Candles were very expensive in Shakespeare’s time so they were used only for emergencies, for a short time.
Most writers wrote in the daytime and socialized in the evenings. There is no reason to think that Shakespeare was any different to his contemporaries. It was illegal for women and girls to perform in the theatre in Shakespeare’s lifetime so all the female parts were written for boys. The text of some plays like Hamlet and Antony and Cleopatra refer to that. It was only much later, during the Restoration, that the first woman appeared on the English stage. There are only two Shakespeare plays written entirely in verse: they are Richard II and King John.
Many of the plays have half of the text in prose. Shakespeare wrote many more plays than the ones we know about. It’s certain that he wrote a play titled Cardenas, which has been lost, but scholars think he wrote about twenty that have gone without a trace. Shakespeare’s shortest play, The Comedy of Errors is only a third of the length of his longest, Hamlet, which takes four hours to perform. Two of Shakespeare’s plays, Hamlet and Much Ado About Nothing, have been translated into Klingon.
The Klingon Language Institute plans to translate more. All Uranus’ satellites are named after Shakespearean characters. William Shakespeare’ is an anagram of ‘I am a weakfish speller’. Shakespeare’s original grave marker showed him holding a bag of grain. Citizens of Stratford replaced the bag with a quill in 1747. “William Shakespeare was an English poet and playwright, widely regarded as the greatest writer in the English language and the world’s pre-eminent dramatist. He is often called England’s national poet and the “Bard of Avon”.
Biography of William Shakespeare Essay
William Shakespeare was baptized on April 26, 1564, in Stratford-in Avon, England. From the year 1594 onward he was an important member of the Lord Chamberlain’s Men members of theatrical players. Written records give little information of the way in which Shakespeare’s professional life was his artistry. All that can be said is that over the course of 20 years, Shakespeare wrote plays that intensify the range of human emotion and conflict.
Even though birth records don’t exist, church records were found that a William Shakespeare was baptized at Holy Trinity Church on April 26, 1564. From this, it is believed he was born on April 23, 1564, and this is the date known as William Shakespeare’s birthday. William was the third child of John Shakespeare, a leather merchant and Mary Arden. William had two older sisters Joan and Judith, and three younger brothers, Gilbert, Richard and Edmund. Before William’s birth, his father became a successful merchant and held official positions as alderman, an office resembling a mayor.
there is no record of Shakespeare attending schools, students have written that he most likely attended the King’s New School in Stratford, which taught reading, writing and the classics. Being a public official’s child, he could have had free tuition if he wanted too ,. But misbelieve regarding his education has led some to raise questions about the authorship of his work and even to wonder if he even was real or a made up character of a great writer whom just made up the name to hide behind the name and keep people wondering .
William Shakespeare married Anne Hathaway on November 28, 1582, in Worcester. William was 18 and Anne was 26 she got pregnant of Their first a girl they named Susanna, was born on May 26, 1583. Two years later, on February 2, 1585, twins Hamlet and Judith were born,. Hamlet later died of unknown causes at age 11. By 1592, there is evidence William Shakespeare earned a living as an actor and a playwright in London . In the September 20, 1592 edition of the Stationers’ Register there is an article by London playwright Robert Greene that takes a few jabs at William Shakespeare: “…
there [William Shakespeare] is an upstart Crow, beautified with our feathers that with his tigers heart wrapped in a Player’s hide, supposes he is as well able to bombast out a blank verse as the best of you and being an absolute Johannes factotum, is in his own conceit the only Shake-scene . Students differ on the interpretation of this criticism, but most agree that it was Greene’s way of saying Shakespeare was reaching above his rank, trying to match better known and educated playwrights like Christopher Marlowe .
Thomas Nash or Greene himself. In the 1590s, documents show William Shakespeare was a managing partner in the Lord Chamberlain’s Men, a acting company in London. After the crowning of King James the 1 in 1603, the company changed its name to the King’s Men. the King’s Men company was very popular, and records show that Shakespeare had works published and sold as popular literature. The theater culture in 16th-century in England he was not highly admired by people of high rank.
However, many of the nobility were good patrons of the performing arts and friends of the actors. Early in his career, Shakespeare was able to attract the attention of Henry Wriothesley, the Earl of Southampton, to who he dedicated his first published poems “Venus and Adonis” (1593) and “The Rape of Lucrece” (1594). It was a four-day ride by horse from Stratford to London, so it is believed that Shakespeare spent most of his time in the city writing and acting and came home once a year during the 40-day Lenten period, when the theaters were closed.
By 1599, William Shakespeare and his business partners built their own theater on the south bank of the Thames River, which they called the globe . Shakespeare was very innovative, adapting the traditional style to his own purposes and creating a freer flow of words. With only small degrees of variation, Shakespeare usually used a metrical pattern consisting of lines of unrhymed words , or blank verse, to compose his plays. At the same time, there are passages in all the plays that come from this and use forms of poetry or simple phrase .
With the exception of Romeo and Juliet William Shakespeare’s first plays were mostly histories written in the early 1590s. Richard II and ” parts 1, 2 and 3 and Henry v dramatize the destructive results of weak or corrupt rulers and have been interpreted by drama historians . Shakespeare also wrote several comedies during his early period: the witty romance A and Much Ado About Nothing,” the charming “As You Like It,” and Twelfth Night. Other plays, possibly written before 1600, were “Titus Andronicus, The Comedy of Errors The Taming of the Shrew” and “The Two Gentlemen of Verona.
” DEATH Tradition has it that William Shakespeare died on his birthday, April 23, 1616, though many students believe this is a myth. Church records show he was interred at Trinity Church on April 5, 1616. In his will, he left the bulk of his possessions to his eldest daughter, Susanna. Though entitled to a third of his estate, little seems to have gone to his wife, Anne, whom he didnt seem to care much for This has drawn speculation that she had fallen out of favor, or that the couple was not close.