William Shakespeare Essay Research Paper William ShakespeareA

William Shakespeare Essay, Research Paper

William Shakespeare

A complete, authoritative account of Shakespeare?s life is not available; thus there is a lot of supposition surrounding few facts. William Shakespeare was generally believed to born on April 23, 1564 to Mary Arden and John Shakespeare in Stratford-upon-Avon, Warwickshire. Shakespeare was baptized in the Holy Trinity Church. John Shakespeare owned a general store and was one of the town?s Aldermen. The Shakespeare family was comfortable, but they were not aristocrats. William Shakespeare was the eldest son and the third of eight children. Because his father was an Alderman, Shakespeare received a free education. Business started to go bad for his father when Shakespeare was 15 and he was forced to go to work. Growing up Shakespeare loved to play sports, especially soccer, and also enjoyed arguing with the referees. There were few entertainment options in his time since books were not in wide circulation, and music selections were poor. Shakespeare was the most widely admired and influential body of literature by any individual in the history of the Western Civilization. (McDonald, Ross. ?William Shakespeare? Grolier Multimedia Time)

As the eldest son, Shakespeare ordinarily would have been apprenticed to his father?s shop so that he could learn and eventually take over the business, but according to one account he was apprenticed to a butcher because of the decline of the family business. According to another account, he became a schoolmaster. (?Shakespeare, William,? Microsoft? Encarta? 98 Encyclopedia. )

However it is known that in 1582 when Shakespeare was 18, he married Anne Hathaway, the daughter of a farmer. They had a daughter in 1583 and twins, a boy and a girl, in 1585. The boy did not survive. (?Shakespeare, William,? Microsoft? Encarta? 98 Encyclopedia)

Little is known about Shakespeare between 1582 and 1592, except that he began to build a career as an actor and eventually established himself as a popular member of the London theatre circuit. Shakespeare became an actor and was a member of a theatrical company known as the ?The Lord Chamberlain?s Men.? This organization was later known as, ?The Kings Men,? because King James provided financial support to the group and later began to meet them backstage and on tour. The group had great success in the Globe Theater and the Blackfriars Theater. (?Shakespeare, William,? WorldBook Article 1 Encyclopedia)

Shakespeare?s playwriting began with historical works. His very first tragedy was ?Titus Andronicus?, which was influenced by a Roman Playwright, Lucaius Annaeus. Between 1590 and 1593, Shakespeare wrote, ?Henry VI, Parts 1, 2 and 3,? ?Richard III? and ?A Comedy of Errors.? ?The Tragedy of Romeo and Juliet? was written around 1594-1595. Shakespeare?s plays were given special presentation at the courts of Queen Elizabeth I and King James I which was more frequent than those of any other contemporary dramatist. In Shakespeare?s lifetime, he apparently wrote, modified, or collaborated on 38 plays. ( ?Shakespeare, William? Excite.com Time)

As Shakespeare?s fame and success grew, Shakespeare was able to buy the second biggest house in Stratford-upon-Avon. The house was called New Place. The house was on 107 acres with a cottage, a garden and a soccer field. In about 1611 Shakespeare retired permanently to Stratford-upon-Avon to spend more time with his family. Shakespeare became a leading local citizen and earned the social status of ?Gentleman.? After writing many successful tragedies and comedies, Shakespeare is regarded, in many circles, as the greatest dramatist of all time. (Gray, Terry ?Timeline Summary? Excite.com Time)

Shakespeare died young on his birthday in 1616 at the age of 52. Shakespeare was buried at Holy Trinity Church in Stratford as an honored citizen. Shakespeare?s tombstone is carved the with following:

Good Friend, for Jesu?s sake forbear

To dig the dust enclosed here.

Blest be the man that spares these stones,

And cursed


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