William Shakespeare is arguably the most famous writer of the English language, known for both his plays and sonnets. Though much about his life remains open to debate due to incomplete evidence, the following biography consolidates the most widely-accepted facts of Shakespeare's life and career. 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 , he married Mary Arden. During John Shakespeare's time, the British middle class was expanding in both size and wealth, allowing its members more freedoms and luxuries, as well as a stronger collective voice in local government.
John took advantage of the changing times and became a member of the Stratford Council in , which marked the beginning of his illustrious political career. By , he was elected as one of the town's fourteen burgesses, and subsequently served as Constable, then Chamberlain, and later, Alderman. In all of these positions, the elder Shakespeare administered borough property and revenues.
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In , 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.
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His birth is unregistered, but legend pins the date as April 23, , possibly because it is known that he died on the same date 52 years later. In any event, William's baptism was registered with the town of Stratford on April 26, 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 languages and literature.
Shakespeare did not attend university, which was not unusual for the time.
University education was reserved for wealthy sons of the elite, and even then, mostly just those who wanted to become clergymen. His early plays in particular draw on the works of Seneca and Plautus. Even more impressive than Shakespeare's formal education is the wealth of general knowledge he exhibits in his work. His vocabulary exceeds that of any other English writer of his time by a wide margin.
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In , at the age of eighteen, William Shakespeare married twenty-six-year-old Anne Hathaway. Their first daughter, Susanna, was not baptized until six months after her birth - a fact that has given rise to speculation over the circumstances surrounding the marriage. In , Anne bore twins, baptized Hamnet and Judith Shakespeare. Hamnet died at the age of eleven, by which time William Shakespeare was already a successful playwright.
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 have survived, including his marriage and birth certificates, very little information exists about his life as a young playwright.
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Legend characterizes Shakespeare as a roguish young man who was once forced to flee London under suspect circumstances, perhaps related to his love life, but the paltry amount of written information does not necessarily confirm this facet of his personality. In any case, young Will was not an immediate universal success.
The earliest written record of Shakespeare's life in London comes from a statement by his rival playwright Robert Greene. In Groatsworth of Witte , Greene calls Shakespeare an "upstart crow In retrospect, it is possible to attribute Greene's complaint to jealousy of Shakespeare's ability, but the scarcity of evidence renders the comment ambiguous. In addition, Venus and Adonis was published; it one of the first of Shakespeare's known works to be printed, and it was a huge success.
Next came The Rape of Lucrece. By this time, Shakespeare had also made his mark as a poet, as most scholars agree that he wrote the majority of his sonnets in the s. In , 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 the throne.
By , Shakespeare had been appointed the "principal comedian" for the troupe; by , he was "principal tragedian. Although acting and playwriting were not considered noble professions at the time, successful and prosperous actors were relatively well respected. In , he purchased the second largest house in Stratford - the New Place - for his parents. In , Shakespeare applied for a coat of arms for his family, in effect making himself a gentleman.
In , he wrote two of his greatest tragedies, Hamlet and Julius Caesar. However, records indicate John's fortunes declined sometime in the late s. Scholars have surmised that he most likely attended the King's New School, in Stratford, which taught reading, writing and the classics. But this uncertainty regarding his education has led some to raise questions about the authorship of his work and even about whether or not Shakespeare really existed.
Hathaway was from Shottery, a small village a mile west of Stratford. Their first child, a daughter they named Susanna, was born on May 26, Two years later, on February 2, , twins Hamnet and Judith were born. Hamnet later died of unknown causes at age There are seven years of Shakespeare's life where no records exist after the birth of his twins in Scholars call this period the "lost years," and there is wide speculation on what he was doing during this period.
One theory is that he might have gone into hiding for poaching game from the local landlord, Sir Thomas Lucy. Another possibility is that he might have been working as an assistant schoolmaster in Lancashire. It's generally believed he arrived in London in the mid- to late s and may have found work as a horse attendant at some of London's finer theaters, a scenario updated centuries later by the countless aspiring actors and playwrights in Hollywood and Broadway. By the early s, documents show Shakespeare was a managing partner in the Lord Chamberlain's Men, an acting company in London with which he was connected for most of his career.
Considered the most important troupe of its time, the company changed its name to the King's Men following the crowning of King James I in From all accounts, the King's Men company was very popular.
Records show that Shakespeare had works published and sold as popular literature. Although the theater culture in 16th century England was not highly admired by people of high rank, some of the nobility were good patrons of the performing arts and friends of the actors. By , there is evidence Shakespeare earned a living as an actor and a playwright in London and possibly had several plays produced.
The September 20, edition of the Stationers' Register a guild publication includes an article by London playwright Robert Greene that takes a few jabs at Shakespeare: " There is an upstart Crow, beautified with our feathers, that with his Tiger's 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 in a country," Greene wrote of Shakespeare. Scholars 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 Nashe or Greene himself.
William Shakespeare's Life And Works. Essay
Early in his career, Shakespeare was able to attract the attention of Henry Wriothesley, the Earl of Southampton, to whom he dedicated his first and second published poems: "Venus and Adonis" and "The Rape of Lucrece" By , Shakespeare had already written and published 15 of his 37 plays. Civil records show that at this time he purchased the second-largest house in Stratford, called New House, for his family.
It was a four-day ride by horse from Stratford to London, so it's believed that Shakespeare spent most of his time in the city writing and acting and came home once a year during the day Lenten period, when the theaters were closed. By , Shakespeare and his business partners built their own theater on the south bank of the Thames River, which they called the Globe Theater.
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In , Shakespeare purchased leases of real estate near Stratford for pounds, which doubled in value and earned him 60 pounds a year. This made him an entrepreneur as well as an artist, and scholars believe these investments gave him the time to write his plays uninterrupted. Shakespeare's early plays were written in the conventional style of the day, with elaborate metaphors and rhetorical phrases that didn't always align naturally with the story's plot or characters.
However, 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 primarily used a metrical pattern consisting of lines of unrhymed iambic pentameter, or blank verse, to compose his plays. At the same time, there are passages in all the plays that deviate from this and use forms of poetry or simple prose. They got three children: Susanna who was born on and two twins a boy which is Hammet and a girl which is Judith.
He enjoyed history which was shown through his writing. He excelled at writing many kinds of different genres of plays. He especially enjoyed tragedy and history. The reason William Shakespeare remains well known today is because he was a brilliant playwright which was clearly influenced by his childhood and culture. William Shakespeare was born in Stratford, England.
On April 23, , he was supposedly. William Shakespeare William Shakespeare, man with intelligence, creativity, and with great passion for love, was one of the most prestige playwright, poet, and actor from the British Literature. He contributed his whole life writing some of the finest and well known plays and poems that are still highly valued in the present literary world. William Shakespeare grew up modestly throughout the early years of his life, but the influence that he had in the literary world was anything but.
His childhood education and young-adult jobs aided him in creating a name for himself gradually to the theater.