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Shakespeare Essay, Research Paper


In the year of 1564 the man known as William Shakespeare was born, in Stratford-upon-Avon, England. The exact date of birth is unknown but is traditionally celebrated on the 23 of April. To Englanders this day is known as The Feast of St. George. The third-born of eight children to John Shakespeare and Mary Arden Shakespeare, William was their eldest son.

John Shakespeare was a glove-maker and a tanner. Earlier in his life John had served a term as the mayor of Stratford, was a town councilman, one of Stratford?s justices of peace, and an ale taster. John, unfortunately, could not write.

In 1601, when William was 37 years old, John Shakespeare died. William inherited what small portions of land John had come to own in his lifetime, being the eldest of John and Mary?s sons.

Very little is known about Mary Arden Shakespeare?s life. Although, she is known to have come from a wealthy family. Mary?s family also paid John a very gracious dowry.

William Shakespeare went to an excellent grammar school in Stratford-upon-Avon. Two Oxford graduates were instructors there. Shakespeare was fortunate to get both of them as teachers. Their names were Simon Hunt and Thomas Jenkins. William Studied the languages of Greek and Latin. He had also acquired a razor sharp awareness of both mankind and nature. This is believed to be his last type of formal education.

On the day November 27, 1582, when Shakespeare was a mere 18 years of age, he was wed to Anne Hathaway. She was 28 when they got married.

Their first child was a girl by the name of Susanna, born May 26, 1583. Two years later William and Anne had twins named Judith and Hamnet. Tragically, Hamnet died at the age of 11. It is not known why he died

Between the years of 1585 and 1592 there is no evidence of Shakespeare?s or the rest of his family?s lives. “The Hidden Years” are what many call this time period in Shakespeare?s life. It is believed that he may have been running from the law or was the apprentice of a butcher. A man named John Aubry was told by another man by the name of Christopher Beston that Shakespeare was simply working as a school teacher in London up until 1592.

Beginning in the year 1592, in London, he was starting to become known as an established playwright. In 1593 Henry Wriothsley became William Shakespeare?s patron and sponsor. Shakespeare was also a writer, director, actor, and stockholder in “The King?s Men” company.

William was acting for this company, which became the world?s largest and most famous acting company only because Shakespeare was acting and working for them.

Written in 1593 was Shakespeare?s first long poem, called “Venus and Adonius”. Then in 1594 William wrote his second long poem called “Rape of Lucrece”. These two poems were written when the theatres were closed because of the highly contagious epidemic plague.

William Shakespeare began writing plays in the late 1590?s. Writing “The Taming of the Shrew”, “The Comedy of Errors”, “As You Like It”, “Much Ado About Nothing”, and “The Two Gentlemen of Verona”. Most of these plays were comedies. The only tragedy he wrote at that time was “Romeo and Juliet”. 1599 brought the construction of the Globe, which was built by Shakespeare?s company. The most well-known of his tragedies were performed there. The plays acted out were “Hamlet”, “Othello”, “Macbeth”, and “King Lear”.

“To be, or not to be-that is the question: Whether ?tis nobler in the mind to suffer The slings and arrows of outrageous fortune…” (”Hamlet” in Hamlet) and “But soft, what light through yonder window breaks? It is the East, and Juliet is the sun. …” (”Romeo” in Romeo and Juliet) are two of Shakespeare?s most famous quotes.

Ever since William Shakespeare became a well-known playwright he had been a wealthy man, bringing in money from many different sources.

With all the money in his possession he had decided to buy a big house in Stratford for his family. This house was called New Place.

In the year of 1610 Shakespeare retired from theatre and returned to Stratford to be with his family. His will was written on March 25, 1616. Nearly one month later, on his 52 birthday, William Shakespeare died. He was buried at the Church of the Holy Trinity in Stratford-upon-Avon. Like his son, Hamnet, William?s cause of death was unknown. Many friends and family believed that he knew that his life was coming to an end, but didn?t want anybody to know.

Seven years after William?s death, in 1623, he had his first folio published. It included 154 sonnets, 36 plays, and 2 two long poems. Friends of William Shakespeare put together his folio so that nobody could take his work as their own.


1. Torstenson,Casey. “William Shakespeare”. Internet

2. Shah, Ravi P.”Life of Shakespeare”. Internet,1997

3. Booth,Beth.”Shakespeare?s Life”. Internet

4. Editors of the Grolier Universal Encyclopedia. “Shakespeare”, Stratford Press,Inc: New York,1966

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