Troubled Years Essay, Research Paper
When William Shakespeare first started writing, He had problems with two fires that almost wiped out his house. He was forced to get married quickly.He had problems finding good actors, and later experienced writer’s block. Even though Shakespeare was a great writer, he had many problems, which got in the way of his writing.
William and his family have had problems with fires and other disasters. In 1554, part of Stratford was burned down. Shakespeare’s house was almost burnt down but because there was a creek near the house it was saved (Levi 145). In 1555 there was another fire, even though fires were common then many houses and buildings were burnt down, but his house was not harmed (Levi 145). When William was about twelve, his father’s fortunes began to take a dive. Though the reason for this is debated, many think that John Shakespeare neglected his family business and was involved in many lawsuits. As a result of their debt, John had to transfer land and mortgage his wife’s estate. By 1578, the family became so poor that they didn’t have to pay the local taxes. William left school at thirteen to help on the farm (Quennell 133). When he was older and first started writing his plays, many people did not like them, because of this, he became very discouraged and almost stopped (Halliday 158). Once Shakespeare got started his performances nearly doubled. He had trouble keeping up on all the work and he could not write as much as he had before (Halliday 164).
Throughout Shakespeare’s career, he had many problems with actors. When Shakespeare hit it big, he had to find a lot of good actors to fill in the parts of his plays. He had many problems finding enough actors that were good enough. Also, when he had to do plays like Romeo and Juliet, he had to find a young man who could play a 14-year-old girl. This was very hard to do (Levi 148). When Shakespeare was known, he had almost no competition so he was able to not write as much and still be successful (Levi 144). Sometimes the inns that the players were meant to stay at were full; the actors were forced to sleep outside and on dirty floors (Ordish 422). In January 1593, the plague forced many London theaters to close because of the fear that the disease would spread. A group of seven men, including William Shakespeare, Richard Burbage, and John Hemming, decided to start a new theater company the following December. (Ordish 423). Many times Shakespeare had to act to fill in the gaps in his performances and to make them better. The first ten major plays were not very good for him because seven of them had major problems. If one of the leading actors were not sick, one of them was dead. (Levi, 155).
Many times throughout his career he had writer’s block or just did not have the time to write. In 1605, He wrote nothing. He was too busy acting. While he was acting he wrote a few things that were never published. The things he wrote were very bad. He came out with things that were not even close to the quality of his other writings. There were many things that were written by a W.S or even a W. Sh but no one is sure if he wrote it (Levi 149). The writings that were found, were the quality of a third graders writings (Levi 149).
There are many things that would suggest that Shakespeare had a bad marriage, but there is no real evidence that he did. On November 28, 1582, the Bishop of Worcester issued a marriage bond for William Shakespeare and Anne Hathaway. He was only eighteen; she was eight years his elder. William still had to get permission from his father to marry, who said it was fine because Anne was already three months pregnant. The marriage was done quickly, because there was a need to hurry since Advent, a time when no marriages were performed was coming. They wanted to be married before their child was born. On May 26, 1583, their first daughter Susanna was baptized. On February 2, 1585, their twins, Judith and Hamnet (named after their godparents and neighbors Hamnet and Judith Sadler) were baptized. (Shakespeare’s only son Hamnet died of unknown causes in 1596, at eleven and a half years old.) (Levi 147).
Now, with a family of three and a wife to take care of, Shakespeare took off to London. No one knows the reason why he just decided to leave; though there are some ideas associated with deer stealing and his unhappiness as a schoolmaster. Shakespeare might have left just for the thrill and excitement of doing something different. Information on what Shakespeare did during this time is unclear (1586-1592 are known as the Lost Years), but some believe that he first joined an acting company called Strange’s Men. There is some evidence that Shakespeare joined the prestigious Queen’s Men in the 1580’s. Either way, it is known that he became quite a successful player in London. Around this time, Shakespeare turned to writing poetry and plays, his first plays for Pembroke’s Men (Halliday 156). There was also a roomer that his friend Burbage and him wanted the same girl; but there is never any evidence that he cheated on his wife (Levi 159). Shakespeare may have had a rocky relationship with his wife because he was almost never home.
Since Shakespeare had as many problems as he did, It is a miracle that he ended up being one of the best writers ever.