WILLIAM SHAKESPEARE

William Shakespeare was an English playwriter, poet, and actor, widely known as the greatest writer in the English Writer in the English language and world’s greatest dramatist. He also called the national poet of England also “Bard of Avon”.

William Shakespeare was born in Stratford-upon-Avon in Warwickshire, England in April 1564. William was the son of John Shakespeare, a successful tradesman and alderman, and of Mary Arden, a daughter of the gentry.

The House in Stratford is known as “Shakespeare’s Birthplace”, although this statue is uncertain. Shakespeare’s father was a renowned glove maker and owned many titles during his. Lifetime, including ale taster, chamberlain, alderman,  bailiff, and chief alderman

Growing Up:

William Shakespeare probably attended the Stratford Grammar School in central Stratford, which likely provided an intensive education in Latin grammar, and translating such authors as Cicero, Virgil, and Shakespeare’s beloved Ovid. It is presumed that the young Shakespeare attended this school because John Shakespeare’s position as alderman allowed his children a free education at the school. 

On November 28 1582 at age of 18, Shakespeare got married with Anne Hathaway at Temple Grafton, near Stratford. Two neighbours of Anne, Fulk Sandalls and John Richardson, posted bond that there were no impediments to the marriage. There appears to have been some haste in arranging the ceremony, as Anne was three months pregnant. After his marriage, William Shakespeare left few traces in the historical record until he appeared on the London literary scene. On May 26, 1583 Shakespeare’s first child, Susanna, was baptized at Stratford. after on February 2, 1585 a son, Hamnet, and a daughter, Judith, were baptized soon. In 1596 Hamnet died at the age of eleven of unknown cause.

The late 1580s are known as Shakespeare’s “Lost Years” because no evidence has survived to show exactly where he was or why he left Stratford for London. One legend, long since thoroughly discredited, pronounces that he was caught poaching deer on the park of Sir Thomas Lucy, the local Justice of the Peace, and had to flee. Another theory is that Shakespeare could have joined Leicester’s or Queen’s Men as they travelled through Stratford while on tour.

London and Theatrical Career:

By the end of 1592, Shakespeare became an established playwriter in London, receiving acclaim for such plays as Henry VI, “The Comedy of Errors”, and Titus Andronicus. By 1598 Shakespeare had moved to the parish of St. Helen’s, Bishopsgate, and appeared at the top of a list of actors in Every Man in His Humour written by Ben Jonson. Shakespeare became an actor, writer, and finally part-owner of a playing company, known as the Lord Chamberlain’s Men—the company took its name, like others of the period, from its aristocratic sponsor, the Lord Chamberlain. The group became popular enough that after the death of Elizabeth I and the coronation of James I (1603), the new monarch adopted the company after which it became known as the King’s Men. In 1604, Shakespeare acted as a matchmaker for his landlord’s daughter. Legal documents from 1612, when the case was brought to trial, show that in 1604, Shakespeare was a tenant of Christopher Mountjoy, a Huguenot tire-maker (a maker of ornamental headdresses) in the northwest of London.

Later Years:

Shakespeare “retired” to Stratford in about 1610-11, although he still spent much time in London and attending to his company’s affairs. His retirement was not entirely without controversy; he was drawn into a legal quarrel regarding the enclosure of common lands. In the last few weeks of Shakespeare’s life, the man who was to marry his younger daughter Judith—a tavern-keeper named Thomas Quiney—was charged in the local church court with “fornication.” A woman named Margaret Wheeler had given birth to a child and claimed it was Quiney’s; she and the child both died soon after.

Shakespeare died on April 23, 1616 at the age of 52. He remained married to Anne until his death and was survived by his two daughters, Susannah and Judith. Susannah married Dr. John Hall. Neither Susannah’s nor Judith’s children had any offspring, and as such, there are no known direct descendants of the poet and playwright alive today. It was rumoured, however, that Shakespeare was the real father of his godson, William Davenant.

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