Born: Not Found
Died: Not Found
Region: Not Found
Address: Not Found
William Shakespeare was an English poet and playwright, widely regarded as the greatest writer in the English language and the world's pre-eminent dramatist. He is often called England's national poet and the "Bard of Avon" . His surviving works consist of 38 plays, 154 sonnets, two long narrative poems, and several other poems. His plays have been translated into every major living language, and are performed more often than those of any other playwright. Shakespeare produced most of his known work between 1590 and 1613. His early plays were mainly comedies and histories, genres he raised to the peak of sophistication and artistry by the end of the sixteenth century. Next he wrote mainly tragedies until about 1608, including Hamlet, King Lear, and Macbeth, considered some of the finest examples in the English language. In his last phase, he wrote tragicomedies, also known as romances, and collaborated with other playwrights. Many of his plays were published in editions of varying quality and accuracy during his lifetime, and in 1623, two of his former theatrical colleagues published the First Folio, a collected edition of his dramatic works that included all but two of the plays now recognised as Shakespeare's.
During his lifetime, William Shakespeare wrote around 37 plays for the theatre and over 150 poems! No one can say the exact number, because some of his work may have been lost over time – and some may have been written with the help of other people.
William was born in Stratford-upon-Avon in 1564, during England’s Tudor period. He was one of eight children born to John Shakespeare, a well-to-do glove-maker and leather worker, and his wife, Mary Arden, an heiress from a wealthy family.
Very little is known about William Shakespeare’s early years. In fact, his actual date of birth remains a mystery to this day! But it’s believed he had a good upbringing, attended a good school and enjoyed playing outdoors a lot.
In 1582, William married a farmer’s daughter called Anne Hathaway. They had three children together – a daughter called Susanna, and twins, Judith and Hamnet.
Come 1585, the mysterious William Shakespeare disappeared from records for around seven years! Historians often refer to this part of the writer’s life as ‘the lost years‘…
Then, in 1592 he suddenly turned up in London as an actor and playwright. But poor William didn’t have it easy – his jealous rivals, known as the ‘University Wits’, criticised and made fun of his work. One writer, named Robert Greene, referred to him as ‘an upstart crow’!
William was part of a theatre company called Lord Chamberlain’s Men, who regularly performed at a place called ‘The Theatre’. But after a dispute with the landlord, they took the building apart, rebuilt it across the river and named it the Globe.
Shakespeare’s plays had the royal seal of approval. Both Queen Elizabeth I and James VI of Scotland and I of England would often hire Shakespeare’s company to come and perform at the royal court.
Plays in Shakespeare’s time were different to the ones we have today. There were no female actors (women’s parts were played by men!), and audiences could be very rowdy. They would shout, boo and even throw food at the actors they didn’t like!
Product successfully Added!