William Shakespeare

William Shakespeare

Famous as Greatest Writer
Born on 26 April 1564
Born in Stratford, United Kingdom
Died on 23 April 1616
Nationality United Kingdom
Works & Achievements A Lover's Complaint, Romeo and Juliet, and Love Labor's Lost




William Shakespeare


William Shakespeare
William Shakespeare is regarded as the greatest writer and poet ever known in the English language who authored world's greatest poems, drama and sonnets. The bard, who remains an icon in the literary world, wrote over 38 plays, 154 sonnets and several poems and most of his works are still performed all over the world. Having started with comedies and histories, Shakespeare earned name for raising the genres to the heights of creativity and classiness. His major works are considered to be the culmination of art of tragedy, romance and comedy in his era and is still emulated by the writers that came after him. In his later career Shakespeare wrote poems which set the best mixture of love, passion, procreation, romance, time and death. His greatness lies in the fact that several plays and poems written by him, along with his other works are widely performed and translated into almost every existing language till date.

Childhood & Education
The exact birth date of William Shakespeare remains mystified due to the lack of proper documentation. But there are few records that reveal that the great bard Shakespeare was baptized on 26 April 1564. This leads many scholars to suppose that he was born on 23 April 1564-the date he died on in 1616-as it was required then that the child be baptized on the nearest Sunday. His father John Shakespeare was a successful apprentice Glover and tanner of leathers, while his mother Mary Arden was the daughter of a wealthy landowning farmer. Shakespeare was the third of their children and the first son to survive into adulthood. Their most of the other children succumbed to the plague. John Shakespeare and Mary Arden died in 1601 and 1608 respectively.
 
It is believed that Shakespeare began his education at the age of six and he attended the Stratford grammar school which later became known as the King’s New School of Stratford-upon-Avon. Like all Elizabeth grammar schools at that time, Latin was the primary language of learning, and Latin authors remained the focus of his literary training. However, whatever little English he learned there, he acquired the full grasp of it. It is further concluded that Shakespeare was confiscated from the school at age 13-14 due to his father’s financial and social condition, but he resumed his studies somewhere else.  
 
Marriage & Children
Shakespeare, still a minor, married a pregnant orphan Anne Hathaway, who was 26 years old at the time of marriage. Their marriage certificate was issued on 27 November 1582. The genuineness of his marriage to Anne is as controversial and disputed as other matters connected to his life, as many biographers believe that there were two women in his life with the same name ‘Anne’. Whatever the case was- Anne gave birth to daughter Susanna after six months, who was baptized on 26 May 1583. Their twins, son Hamnet and daughter Judith followed in 1585 and were baptized on 2 February 1585. A tragedy befell the family in 1596, when their son Hamnet died of unknown cause at the age of 11. The sorrow felt by Shakespeare, who had moved to London by then, was profound and unimaginable and he deeply mourned over the death of his beloved son in his incoming poetry and plays.
 
Career in London
There are two time periods in his life, popularly known as the “lost years” - 1578-82 and 1585-92. The only fact known about the first major span of time is his marriage to Anne, while the latter covers the seven years of his hard work and research for perfecting his writing skills. Though no one for certain knows when Shakespeare began writing, allusions and documents show that it was somewhere between 1585 and 1592. And by 1592, he had become popular enough to be criticized and attacked by some of the great playwrights of that era: Robert Greene was the first. With the success of several plays such as Henry VI, The Comedy of Errors and Titus Andronicus, Shakespeare had become a known face and had been ranked as the most popular playwright of that era.
 
His success brought him a fortune and as a wealthy man, Shakespeare bought one of the most expensive houses in Stratford in 1597. In those years, Shakespeare’s plays were performed only by the Lord Chamberlin’s Men, a group of players including him. During this period, he wrote many plays, which include Romeo and Juliet, Richard II, King John and Love’s Labour’s Lost. After the death of Queen Elizabeth in 1603, the company became known as the King’s Men. The group built their own theatre, ‘Globe’ on the bank of river ‘Thames’ in 1599 and purchased another theatre Blackfriars indoor theatre in 1608.
 
Later Days & Death
By 1598, Shakespeare’s charisma had reached its peak and only came to a fall around 1605, when his career was near its end. By then Shakespeare had authored the plays and poetries that made him a legend to be revered down the ages. After 1606, Shakespeare wrote very few plays and many of them came in collaborations with another King’s Men member. In 1613, Shakespeare took over a gatehouse in the Blackfriars priory and in 1614 he moved to London where he stayed for several weeks with his son-in-law John Hall.
 
Shakespeare died on 23 April, 1616 and was buried in the chancel of the Holy Trinity Church two days after his death. He was survived by his wife and two of his daughters Susanna, who had married John Hall in 1607 and Judith, who had married Thomas Quiney, two months before his death.  
 
Notable Works
Shakespeare’s major writing consist poems, sonnets and plays representing a rainbow of human emotions and nature. Tragic and tragicomedies remained the centre of this writing throughout career and proved to be dominant factor in his success. His famous tragic play Romeo and Juliet in 1599, which ended with the fateful end of Julius Caesar, was a legendry success and remains so till this day. Othello, another masterpiece in this league, has been translated into several languages and has been adopted into movies. He later moved on to tragicomedies and romances and authored poems such as A Lover’s Complaint and The Phoenix and the Turtle which reflect the finest example of love, sexual passion, procreation, romance, time and death.

Timeline: 
1564- Shakespeare was baptized on 26 April.
1582- Shakespeare married Anne Hathaway.
1601- John Shakespeare died.
1608- Shakespeare’s mother Mary Arden died in.
1583- Shakespeare’ wife Anne gave birth to Susanna
1585- Their twins, son Hamnet and daughter Judith were born.
1597- Shakespeare bought one of the most expensive houses in Stratford.
1599- The group of players built their own theatre, ‘Globe’.
1603- Queen Elizabeth died.
1607- Susanna married John Hall.
1608- Shakespeare & group purchased another theatre Blackfriars indoor theatre.
1613- Shakespeare took over a gatehouse in the Blackfriars priory.
1616- His daughter Judith married Thomas Quiney.
1616- Shakespeare died on 23 April.

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