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William Shakespeare

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William Shakespeare

Poet, actor, playwright, husband, father...William Shakespeare, one of history's most renowned playwrights of all time, did it all. Shakespeare's work has lasted the test of time and to this day is of the most studied pieces of literature in the world. "Shakespeare has stood the test of time so well that ... more than four hundred years after his birth, he is held in the highest regard as the world's greatest poet and playwright"(Hunter par.1).

The first period of Shakespeare's life is his early years which are also described as the lost or dark years. William Shakespeare was believed to be born on April 23, 1564, St. George's Day to parents John Shakespeare and Mary Arden and baptized at Holy Trinity Church on April 26, 1564. Living in Stratford-upon-Avon on Henley Street, William Shakespeare most likely attended the local grammar school, King Edward VI Grammar School, and studied logic, literature, history, and Latin Rhetoric. At eighteen years old, William married a woman eight years older than him, Anne Hathaway, a local farmer's daughter. Shakespeare and Anne had three children, Susanna in 1583, and twins Judith and Hamnet in 1585. In 1592, William suddenly left his family for London without explanation. (Hunter par. 2, 6,7). Titus Andronicus, Love's Labor's Lost, the Two Gentlemen of Verona, the Comedy of Errors, and the Taming of the Shrew were all written during this period of Shakespeare's life (William Shakespeare the greatest playwright par. 5).

During William's early years in London, he may have started as a horse holder in the theater and moved up the ladder to an actor (Hunter Par.9). He acted and wrote for the Pembroke's Men, the Strange's Men which later became the Chamberlain's Men. For the next two years the theater in London was closed due to the plague and during this time Shakespeare wrote two narrative poems "Venus and Adonis" and "The Rape of Lucrece" (Shakespeare Biography par. 6, 7). In 1597, the Globe Theater was built with Shakespeare as one of the main benefactors (Hunter par.10).

A period during each year Shakespeare returned to Stratford to visit and spend time with his family. In 1596, Shakespeare's only son Hamnet died at age eleven due to the plague. He then applied for and received a Coat of Arms for his family that his father had earlier applied for and been denied. Around this time Shakespeare purchased the New Place, the second largest home in Stratford At the turn of the century Shakespeare was at the peak of his writing , during this time he wrote Hamlet, Othello, King Lear, and Macbeth. The Globe Theater in 1613 was destroyed by a fire and a year later rebuilt (Hunter par. 11, 12).

Shakespeare moved back to Stratford in 1610 (Biography of William Shakespeare par.6). After the busy and stressful life that Shakespeare led in London he retired to problems with his daughter Judith's marriage to Thomas Quincy, a Stratford Vintner. Thomas was unfaithful to Judith during the engagement with Margaret Wheeler who passed away while giving birth to Thomas's child; also, Thomas regretted to receive a special license to have a wedding during lent which caused his excommunication. This ordeal caused William to alter his will so that Thomas Quincy could not benefit from his marriage to Judith. After all this Shakespeare was believed to have contracted



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