WILLIAM SHAKESPEARE

William Shakespeare, often called England"s national poet, is considered the greachạy thử dramatist of all time. His works are loved throughout the world, but Shakespeare"s personal life is shrouded in mystery.

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Who Was William Shakespeare?

William Shakespeare was an English poet, playwright và actor of the Renaissance era. He was an important thành viên of the King’s Men company of theatrical players from roughly 1594 onward. 

Known throughout the world, Shakespeare's writings capture the range of human emotion & conflict and have sầu been celebrated for more than 400 years. And yet, the personal life of William Shakespeare is somewhat a mystery. 

There are two primary sources that provide historians with an outline of his life. One is his work — the plays, poems and sonnets — and the other is official documentation such as church & court records. However, these provide only brief sketches of specific events in his life & yield little insight inlớn the man himself.


When Was Shakespeare Born?

No birth records exist, but an old church record indicates that a William Shakespeare was baptized at Holy Trinity Church in Stratford-upon-Avon on April 26, 1564. From this, it is believed he was born on or near April 23, 1564, và this is the date scholars acknowledge as Shakespeare's birthday. 


Located about 100 miles northwest of London, during Shakespeare's time Stratford-upon-Avon was a bustling market town along the River Avon và bisected by a country road.


Family

Shakespeare was the third child of John Shakespeare, a leather merchant, và Mary Arden, a local landed heiress. Shakespeare had two older sisters, Joan và Judith, và three younger brothers, Gilbert, Richard và Edmund. 

Before Shakespeare's birth, his father became a successful merchant & held official positions as alderman và bailiff, an office resembling a mayor. However, records indicate John's fortunes declined sometime in the late 1570s.

Childhood and Education

Scant records exist of Shakespeare's childhood and virtually none regarding his education. Scholars have surmised that he most likely attended the King's New School, in Stratford, which taught reading, writing & the classics. 


Being a public official's child, Shakespeare would have undoubtedly qualified for không tính phí tuition. 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).

Wife & Children

Shakespeare married Anne Hathaway on November 28, 1582, in Worcester, in Canterbury Province. Hathaway was from Shottery, a small village a mile west of Stratford. Shakespeare was 18 and Anne was 26, and, as it turns out, pregnant. 


Their first child, a daughter they named Susanmãng cầu, was born on May 26, 1583. Two years later, on February 2, 1585, twins Hamnet and Judith were born. Hamnet later died of unknown causes at age 11.


Shakespeare’s Lost Years

There are seven years of Shakespeare's life where no records exist after the birth of his twins in 1585. Scholars Call this period the "lost years," và there is wide speculation on what he was doing during this period. 

One theory is that he might have sầu 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- lớn late 1580s & 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 & playwrights in Hollywood and Broadway.

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The King's Men

By the early 1590s, 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 khổng lồ the King's Men following the crowning of King James I in 1603. 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 và friends of the actors.

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Actor & Playwright

By 1592, there is evidence Shakespeare earned a living as an actor và a playwright in London và possibly had several plays produced. 

The September trăng tròn, 1592 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 lớn bombast out a blank verse as the best of you: & 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 sầu his rank, trying to lớn match better known và educated playwrights lượt thích Christopher Marlowe, Thomas Nashe or Greene himself.

Early in his career, Shakespeare was able lớn attract the attention of Henry Wriothesley, the Earl of Southampton, lớn whom he dedicated his first và second published poems: "Venus & Adonis" (1593) and "The Rape of Lucrece" (1594).

By 1597, Shakespeare had already written và 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 khổng lồ London, so it's believed that Shakespeare spent most of his time in the thành phố writing và acting & came home page once a year during the 40-day Lenten period, when the theaters were closed.

Globe Theater

By 1599, Shakespeare & his business partners built their own theater on the south ngân hàng of the Thames River, which they called the Globe Theater. 

In 1605, Shakespeare purchased leases of real estate near Stratford for 440 pounds, which doubled in value and earned hyên 60 pounds a year. This made hlặng an entrepreneur as well as an artist, và scholars believe sầu these investments gave him the time to lớn write his plays uninterrupted.


Shakespeare’s Writing Style

Shakespeare's early plays were written in the conventional style of the day, with elaborate metaphors và rhetorical phrases that didn't always align naturally with the story's plot or characters. 

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