William Shakespeare - Courtship, Plays and Wife (2023)


Wer war William Shakespeare?

William Shakespeare was an English poet, playwright and actorRenaissancewas. From about 1594 he was an important member of the King's Men Company of stage actors.

Known around the world, Shakespeare's writings capture the breadth of human emotion and conflict and have been celebrated for over 400 years. And yet William Shakespeare's private life is a mystery.

There are two main sources that provide historians with a summary of his life. On the one hand his work, the plays, poems and sonnets, on the other hand official documentation such as church and court records. However, these provide only brief sketches of certain events in his life and give little information about the man himself.

When were Shakespeare born?

There are no birth records, but an old church record indicates that William Shakespeare was baptized at Holy Trinity Church in Stratford-upon-Avon on April 26, 1564, and this is the date scholars recognize as Shakespeare's birthday.

About 100 miles north-west of London, in Shakespeare's day Stratford-upon-Avon was a bustling market town on the River Avon, bisected by a country road.


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

Before Shakespeare's birth, his father became a successful merchant and held official offices as alderman and bailiff, akin to that of mayor. However, records indicate that John's fortunes declined sometime in the late 1570s.

childhood and upbringing

Records of Shakespeare's childhood are few and virtually none of his upbringing. Scholars suggest he probably attended King's New School in Stratford, which taught reading, writing and the classics.

As the son of a civil servant, Shakespeare was entitled to free tuition. But this uncertainty about his upbringing has led some to question the authorship of his work (and even whether or not Shakespeare really existed).

wife and children

Shakespeare marriedanne Hathawayon November 28, 1582 in Worcester in the province of Canterbury. Hathaway was from Shottery, a small town about a mile west of Stratford. Shakespeare was 18 and Anne was 26 and it turned out she was pregnant.

Their first child, a girl named Susanna, was born on May 26, 1583. Two years later, on February 2, 1585, the twins Hamnet and Judith were born. Hamnet later died at the age of 11 from unknown causes.

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Shakespeare's Lost Years

There are seven years of Shakespeare's life that are not recorded after the birth of his twins in 1585. Scholars call this period the "lost years," and there is much speculation as to what he was doing during this period.

One theory is that he may have gone into hiding to poach the local owner, Sir Thomas Lucy. Another possibility is that he worked as an assistant teacher in Lancashire.

It is widely believed that he arrived in London in the mid-1580s and may have found work as a groom in some of London's finest theatres, an environment updated centuries later by the myriad aspiring actors and playwrights of Hollywood and Broadway.

the king's men

In the early 1590s documents show that Shakespeare was managing partner in Lord Chamberlain's Men, a London drama troupe with which he was associated for most of his career.

Considered the most important company of its time, the company changed its name to King's Men after the coronation of King James I in 1603. By all accounts, the King's Men company was very popular. Records show that Shakespeare's works were published and sold as popular literature.

Although theatrical culture in 16th-century England was not universally admired by high-ranking figures, some members of the nobility were good patrons of the performing arts and friends of actors.


William Shakespeare - Courtship, Plays and Wife (1)

Actors and Playwrights

In 1592 there is evidence that Shakespeare was earning his living as an actor and playwright in London and may have produced several plays.

The September 20, 1592 edition of thepick up stationery(a Guild publication) contains an article by London playwright Robert Greene criticizing Shakespeare: "... There is an upstart raven, embellished with our feathers, and with his tiger heart cloaked in a gambler's skin, supposing, that he is just as capable of bombarding blank verse as your best: and being an absolute John factotum it is itself Shake's only scene in a country," Greene wrote of Shakespeare.

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Scholars interpret these criticisms differently, but most agree that it was Greene's way of saying that Shakespeare was above his position and trying to compete with better-known and better-educated playwrights like himself.Cristobal Marlowe, Thomas Nashe oder Greene himself.

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

By 1597 Shakespeare had written and published 15 of his 37 plays. Civil records show that at this time he bought the second largest house in Stratford called the New House for his family.

It was a four-day journey from Stratford to London, so it is believed that Shakespeare spent most of his time in the city writing and acting, returning home once a year during the 40-day Lent when theaters were closed.

balloon theater

In 1599, Shakespeare and his associates built their own theater on the south bank of the Thames, which they named the Globe Theatre.

In 1605 Shakespeare bought land near Stratford for £440, doubling its value and earning him £60 a year. This made him both an entrepreneur and an artist, and scholars believe these investments gave him 24 hours a day to write his plays.

Shakespeare's style of writing

Shakespeare's early plays were written in the conventional style of the time, with elaborate metaphors and rhetorical phrases that did not always fit naturally with the plot or characters of the story.

However, Shakespeare was very innovative, adapting the traditional style for his own purposes and creating a freer flow of words.

With only minor variations, Shakespeare used primarily a metrical pattern consisting of lines of unrhymed iambic pentameter or blank verse to compose his works. At the same time, in each work there are passages that deviate from this, using simple forms of poetry or prose.

Works by William Shakespeare

Although it is difficult to determine the exact chronology of Shakespeare's works, in the two decades from 1590 to 1613 he wrote a total of 37 plays, which revolve around several main themes: story, tragedy, comedy and tragicomedy.

Early works: short stories and comedies

Except for the tragic love storyRomeo and Juliet, Shakespeare's early plays were mostly stories.Henry VI (Parts I, II and III),Richard IImiHeinrich Vdramatize the destructive consequences of weak or corrupt rulers and have been interpreted by theater historians as Shakespeare's way of justifying the originsTudor-Dynasty.

Julius Caesardepicts a twist in Roman politics that may have resonated with viewers, as England's aging monarch,Queen Elizabeth IShe had no legitimate heir, thus creating the potential for future power struggles.

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Shakespeare also wrote several comedies during his early tenure: The CapriciousMidsummer Night's Dream, the romanticThe Merchant of Venice, joke and punSo much noise for nothingand the enchantingAs you likemiTwelfth Night.

Other works written before 1600 includeAndronicus Titus,the comedy of mistakes,The two knights of Verona,Taming of the Shrew,the labor of love is lost,King John,The Merry Wives of WindsormiHeinrich V.

Works after 1600: tragedies and tragicomedies

In Shakespeare's last period, after 1600, he wrote the TragediesDorf,Othello,Rey LearmiMacbeth. In them, Shakespeare's characters present vivid impressions of human temperament that are timeless and universal.

The most well-known of these pieces isDorf, which examines betrayal, retribution, incest, and moral failure. These moral flaws often result in Shakespearean plot twists and devastation for the hero and his loved ones.

In Shakespeare's last creative period he wrote several tragic comedies. Below areCimbelino,winter's TalemiSturm. Although they have a more serious tone than comedy, they are not the dark tragediesRey LearÖMacbethbecause they end in reconciliation and forgiveness.

Other works written during this period includeAll's well that ends well,measure for measure,helmet of athens,Coriolan,PericlesmiHenry the Eighth.

When did Shakespeare die?

Tradition holds that Shakespeare died on April 23, 1616, his 52nd birthday, but some scholars believe this to be a myth. Church records show that he was buried at Trinity Church on April 25, 1616.

Shakespeare's exact cause of death is unknown, although many believe he died after a short illness.

In his will, he left most of his estate to his eldest daughter, Susanna. Although he was entitled to a third of his estate, little seems to have gone to his wife Anne, to whom he bequeathed his "second best bed". This sparked speculation that she had fallen out of favor or that the pair were not close.

However, there is very little evidence that the two had a difficult marriage. Other scholars point out that the term "next best bed" generally refers to the bed of the master and mistress of the house, the matrimonial bed, and the "first best bed" was reserved for guests.

Shakespeare wrote his own plays?

Some 150 years after his death, doubts arose about the authorship of Shakespeare's works. Academics and literary critics began to single out figures like Christopher Marlowe, Edward de Vere, and othersFranz Speck-Men of better known origin, literary accreditation, or inspiration- than the true authors of the works.

Much of this stemmed from the vague details of Shakespeare's life and the lack of contemporary primary sources. The official records of the Church of the Holy Trinity and the Stratford government support the existence of a Shakespeare but do not attest that he was an actor or playwright.

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Skeptics also wondered how someone with such a modest education could write with the intellectual acumen and poetic vigor displayed in Shakespeare's plays. Various groups have emerged over the centuries that question the authorship of Shakespeare's works.

The most serious and intense skepticism began in the 19th century, when Shakespeare cult was at its peak. Critics believed that the only hard evidence surrounding Shakespeare of Stratford-upon-Avon presented a man of humble origin who married young and became successful in real estate.

Members of the Oxford Shakespeare Society (established in 1957) have argued that the English aristocrat and poet Edward de Vere, 17th Earl of Oxford was the true author of 'William Shakespeare's' poems and plays.

Oxfordians cite De Vere's extensive knowledge of aristocratic society, his upbringing, and the structural similarities between his poetry and that in works attributed to Shakespeare. They claim that Shakespeare had neither the education nor the literary training to write such eloquent prose and create such rich characters.

However, the vast majority of Shakespearean scholars maintain that Shakespeare wrote all of his own works. They point out that other playwrights of the time also had incomplete stories and came from humble backgrounds.

They claim that the Latin and Classics curriculum at New Grammar School, Stratford, could have provided a good foundation for literary authors. Supporters of Shakespeare's authorship argue that the lack of evidence about Shakespeare's life does not mean that his life did not exist. They point to evidence showing his name on the covers of published poems and plays.

There are examples of contemporary authors and critics who credit Shakespeare as the author of works, such asThe two knights of Verona,the comedy of mistakesmiKing John.

Royal records from 1601 show that Shakespeare was recognized by the court of King James I as a member of the King's Men theater company and groomsman of the Chamber, where the company performed seven of Shakespeare's plays.

There is also strong circumstantial evidence of the personal relationships of contemporaries who interacted with Shakespeare as actors and playwrights.

literary heritage

What seems to be true is that Shakespeare was a distinguished man of dramatic arts, writing and acting in a number of plays in the late 16th and early 17th centuries. However, his reputation as a dramatic genius was not recognized until the 19th century.

Beginning with the Romantic period of the early 19th century and continuing into the Victorian period, the recognition and reverence for Shakespeare and his work reached its peak. In the 20th century, his works were rediscovered and adopted by new academic and performance movements.

Today his works are very popular and are constantly studied and reinterpreted in performances with different cultural and political contexts. The genius of Shakespeare's characters and plots is that they portray real people in a wide range of emotions and conflicts that transcend their origins in Elizabethan England.

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  • Name: William Shakespeare
  • Year of birth: 1564
  • Date of Birth: April 23, 1564
  • City of birth: Stratford-upon-Avon
  • Country of birth: United Kingdom
  • Male gender
  • Best Known For: William Shakespeare, often referred to as England's national poet, is widely regarded as the greatest playwright of all time. His plays are loved all over the world, but Shakespeare's personal life is shrouded in mystery.
  • The industry
    • Fiction and Poetry
  • Star sign Taurus
  • schools
    • King's new school
  • interesting data
    • In the early 1590s, William Shakespeare was managing partner in Lord Chamberlain's Men, a popular theater company.
    • In 1599, Shakespeare and his associates formed their own theater company called The Globe.
    • Some historians have questioned whether William Shakespeare really existed given the scant evidence about him.
  • Year of death: 1616
  • Todesdatum: 23. April 1616
  • City of Death: Stratford-upon-Avon
  • Country of death: United Kingdom

We strive for accuracy and fairness. If you see something that doesn't look right,Contact us!

  • Article title: Biography of William Shakespeare
  • Autor: Biography.com Publishers
  • Website Name: The Biography.com website
  • URL: https://www.biography.com/writer/william-shakespeare
  • access date:
  • Publisher: A&E Television Networks
  • Last updated: December 10, 2020
  • Initial Release Date: April 23, 2014
  • The fool thinks he is wise, but the wise know he is a fool.
  • This above all: be true to yourself, and it must follow like night to day that you cannot be wrong with anyone.
  • There is nothing good or bad, but thinking makes it so.
  • Cowards often die before they die; the brave taste death only once.
  • Lord, what fools these mortals are!
  • Crying reduces the depth of pain.
  • Over time we hate what we often fear.
  • Men are sometimes masters of their destiny: the fault, dear Brutus, is not in our stars but in ourselves who are inferiors.
  • What is done cannot be undone.
  • We are the stuff dreams are made of and our little life is surrounded by sleep.
  • The madness of the greats should not go unnoticed.
  • First, we're going to kill all the lawyers.
  • All the world is a stage and all men and women are just actors.
  • Give all your ears, but your voice to few.
  • I say there is no darkness but ignorance.
  • I wasted time and now time is wasting me.
  • Some are born great, some attain greatness, and some are forced to be great.


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