William Shakespeare

William Shakespeare

|English
date of birth : 23/04/1564 | date of death : 23/04/1616
Born on April 26, 1564, England, Playwright, Poet

Birth, Birthplace, Time of birth:

William Shakespeare was born in Stratford-upon-Avon, England on April 23, 1564.

Father’s name: John Shakespeare
Mother’s name: Mary Arden
Brother: Gilbert, Richard, Edmund
Sister: Joan, Margaret, Joan, Anne
Spouse: Anne Hathaway (m. 1582–1616)
Children: Susanna Hall, Hamnet Shakespeare, Judith Quiney

Reputation,nickname:

The Bard, Swan of Avon, Bard of Avon

Personal Information:

Religion: Anglican/Episcopalian
Race or Ethnicity: White
Sexual orientation: Matter of Dispute

Life events:

William Shakespeare was born in Stratford-upon-Avon, allegedly on April 23, 1564. Church records from Holy Trinity Church indicate that he was baptized there on April 26, 1564. Young William was born of John Shakespeare, a glover and leather merchant, and Mary Arden, a landed local heiress. William, according to the church register, was the third of eight children in the Shakespeare household—three of whom died in childhood. John Shakespeare had a remarkable run of success as a merchant, alderman, and high bailiff of Stratford, during William's early childhood. All that is known of Shakespeare's youth is that he presumably attended the Stratford Grammar School, and did not proceed to Oxford or Cambridge. The next record we have of him is his marriage to Anne Hathaway in 1582. William was 18 at the time, and Anne was 26—and pregnant. Their first daughter, Susanna, was born on May 26, 1583. The couple later had twins, Hamnet and Judith, born February 2, 1585 and christened at Holy Trinity. Hamnet died in childhood at the age of 11, on August 11, 1596. It is estimated that Shakespeare arrived in London around 1588 and began to establish himself as an actor and playwright. Evidently Shakespeare garnered some envy early on, as related by the critical attack of Robert Greene, a London playwright, in 1592: "...an upstart crow, beautified with our feathers, that with his Tiger's heart wrapped in a player's hide, supposes he is as well able to bombast out a blank verse as the best of you: and being an absolute Johannes factotum, is in his own conceit the only Shake-scene in a country." Greene's bombast notwithstanding, Shakespeare must have shown considerable promise. By 1594, he was not only acting and writing for the Lord Chamberlain's Men (called the King's Men after the ascension of James I in 1603), but was a managing partner in the operation as well. With Will Kempe, a master comedian, and Richard Burbage, a leading tragic actor of the day, the Lord Chamberlain's Men became a favorite London troupe, patronized by royalty and made popular by the theatre-going public. Shakespeare's accomplishments are apparent when studied against other playwrights of this age. His company was the most successful in London in his day. He had plays published and sold in octavo editions, or "penny-copies" to the more literate of his audiences. Never before had a playwright enjoyed sufficient acclaim to see his works published and sold as popular literature in the midst of his career. In addition, Shakespeare's ownership share in both the theatrical company and the Globe itself made him as much an entrepreneur as artist. While Shakespeare might not be accounted wealthy by London standards, his success allowed him to purchase New House and retire in comfort to Stratford in 1611. Shakespeare spent the last five years of his life in Stratford, by now a wealthy man. He died on 23 April 1616 and was buried in Holy Trinity Church in Stratford. The first collected edition of his works was published in 1623 and is known as 'the First Folio'. In his will, he left the bulk of his possessions to his eldest daughter, Susanna. Though entitled to a third of his estate, little seems to have gone to his wife, Anne, whom he bequeathed his "second-best bed." This has drawn speculation that she had fallen out of favor, or that the couple was not close. However, there is very little evidence the two had a difficult marriage. Other scholars note that the term "second-best bed" often refers to the bed belonging to the household's master and mistress--the marital bed--and the "first-best bed" was reserved for guests.

Education:

King Edward VI School Stratford-upon-Avon

Occupation and Career:

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.
By 1592, aged 28, Shakespeare was in London and already established as both an actor and a dramatist. There is little evidence for Shakespeare's London career. Between 1592 and 1594, when the theatres were frequently closed because of the plague, he wrote his earliest poems Venus and Adonis and The Rape of Lucrece. They were published in 1593 and 1594 respectively, and dedicated to his patron the 3rd Earl of Southampton. The chronology of Shakespeare's early plays is very difficult to determine. His first plays have been dated to 1590 or even earlier, when he may have been a member of the Queen's Men. Shakespeare was probably a founder member of the Lord Chamberlain's Men, the acting company established under the patronage of Henry Carey, 1st Lord Hunsdon, in 1594. He is first mentioned as a leading member of that company in the accounts of the Treasurer of the Queen's Chamber in March 1595, when he and others received payment for performances at court during the Christmas period of 1594-1595. He was both a player and a shareholder in the company, as well as its leading dramatist. Shakespeare wrote the majority of the 37 plays which are now accepted as his, as well as collaborating on several more, between 1594 and 1613. As an actor, he was associated with the parts of kings and old men. His roles may have included the Ghost in Hamlet and old Adam in As You like It. Elizabeth I died in 1603 and was succeeded by James VI of Scotland, as James I. The Lord Chamberlain’s Men became the King’s Men soon after the new king reached London, and Shakespeare’s name appears prominently in the company’s royal Patent. The company enjoyed the new king’s favour and played regularly at court for several years. In 1608, the King’s Men acquired an indoor theatre at Blackfriars, and from 1609 they played there as well as at the Globe. This new indoor theatre, as well as the company’s appearances at court, may have influenced Shakespeare’s last plays. In 1613, Shakespeare bought a gatehouse in Blackfriars. This was the first property he had acquired in London, and was probably an investment since he seems not to have lived there. The burning of the Globe in 1613 may have affected Shakespeare’s future plans, even though the playhouse was quickly rebuilt. By 1613, his activity as a poet and dramatist was over, and he had apparently returned to live in Stratford-upon-Avon where he died less than 3 years later.

Awards /Honors:

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.
Shakespeare has not received any awards himself for his works but his plays recently performed in theatre and films have received awards.

Books:

Comedy

  • All's Well That Ends Well
  • As You Like It
  • The Comedy of Errors
  • Cymbeline
  • Love's Labours Lost
  • Measure for Measure
  • The Merry Wives of Windsor
  • The Merchant of Venice
  • A Midsummer Night's Dream
  • Much Ado about Nothing
  • Pericles, Prince of Tyre
  • Taming of the Shrew
  • The Tempest
  • Troilus and Cressida
  • Twelfth Night
  • Two Gentlemen of Verona
  • Winter's Tale

History

  • All's Well That Ends Well
  • As You Like It
  • The Comedy of Errors
  • Cymbeline
  • Love's Labours Lost
  • Measure for Measure
  • The Merry Wives of Windsor
  • The Merchant of Venice
  • A Midsummer Night's Dream
  • Much Ado About Nothing
  • Pericles, Prince of Tyre
  • Taming of the Shrew
  • The Tempest
  • Troilus and Cressida
  • Twelfth Night
  • Two Gentlemen of Verona
  • Winter's Tale Henry IV, part 1
  • Henry IV, part 2
  • Henry V
  • Henry VI, part 1
  • Henry VI, part 2
  • Henry VI, part 3
  • Henry VIII
  • King John
  • Richard II
  • Richard III

Tragedy

Antony and Cleopatra Coriolanus Hamlet Julius Caesar King Lear Macbeth Othello Romeo and Juliet Timon of Athens Titus Andronicus

Poetry

The Sonnets A Lover's Complaint The Rape of Lucrece Venus and Adonis Funeral Elegy by W

Hobbies and personal interests:

We have no information on this. Writing was not his hobby--it was his job. We don't know anything about what personal interests he had since neither he nor anyone else left a record of it. He did spend a lot of time effort and money in getting a coat of arms for his father (and indirectly for himself) so he was clearly interested in social status. We don't know that he had a hobby.

Death, place of death, Time of death, place of burial:

William Shakespeare allegedly died on his birthday, April 23, 1616 in Stratford and was buried in Holy Trinity Church in Stratford.

Controversy and Literary Legacy:

About 150 years after his death, questions arose about the authorship of William Shakespeare's plays. Scholars and literary critics began to float names like Christopher Marlowe, Edward de Vere and Francis Bacon--men of more known backgrounds, literary accreditation, or inspiration--as the true authors of the plays. Much of this stemmed from the sketchy details of Shakespeare's life and the dearth of contemporary primary sources. Official records from the Holy Trinity Church and the Stratford government record the existence of a William Shakespeare, but none of these attest to him being an actor or playwright. Skeptics also questioned how anyone of such modest education could write with the intellectual perceptiveness and poetic power that is displayed in Shakespeare's works. Over the centuries, several groups have emerged that question the authorship of Shakespeare's plays. The most serious and intense skepticism began in the 19th century when adoration for Shakespeare was at its highest. The detractors believed that the only hard evidence surrounding William Shakespeare from Stratford-upon-Avon described a man from modest beginnings who married young and became successful in real estate. Members of the Shakespeare Oxford Society (founded in 1957) put forth arguments that English aristocrat Edward de Vere, the 17th Earl of Oxford, was the true author of the poems and plays of "William Shakespeare," The Oxfordians cite de Vere's extensive knowledge of aristocratic society, his education, and the structural similarities between his poetry and that found in the works attributed to Shakespeare. They contend that William Shakespeare had neither the education nor the literary training to write such eloquent prose and create such rich characters. However, the vast majority of Shakespearean scholars contend that William Shakespeare wrote all his own plays. They point out that other playwrights of the time also had sketchy histories and came from modest backgrounds. They contend that Stratford's New Grammar School curriculum of Latin and the classics could have provided a good foundation for literary writers. Supporters of Shakespeare's authorship argue that the lack of evidence about Shakespeare's life doesn't mean his life didn't exist. They point to evidence that displays his name on the title pages of published poems and plays. Examples exist of authors and critics of the time acknowledging William Shakespeare as author of plays such as "The Two Gentlemen of Verona," "The Comedy of Errors" and "King John." Royal records from 1601 show that William Shakespeare was recognized as a member of the King's Men theater company (formally known as the Chamberlain's Men) and a Groom of the Chamber by the court of King James I, where the company performed seven of Shakespeare's plays. There is also strong circumstantial evidence of personal relationships by contemporaries who interacted with Shakespeare as an actor and a playwright. What seems to be true is that William Shakespeare was a respected man of the dramatic arts who wrote plays and acted in some in the late 16th and early 17th centuries. But his reputation as a dramatic genius wasn't recognized until the 19th century. Beginning with the Romantic period of the early 1800s and continuing through the Victorian period, acclaim and reverence for William Shakespeare and his work reached its height. In the 20th century, new movements in scholarship and performance have rediscovered and adopted his works. Today, his plays are highly popular and constantly studied and reinterpreted in performances with diverse cultural and political contexts. The genius of Shakespeare's characters and plots are that they present real human beings in a wide range of emotions and conflicts that transcend their origins in Elizabethan England.

Quotes and Memoirs:

  • A fool thinks himself to be wise, but a wise man knows himself to be a fool.
  • Be not afraid of greatness: some are born great, some achieve greatness, and some have greatness thrust upon them.
  • Love all, trust a few, do wrong to none.
  • All the world's a stage, and all the men and women merely players: they have their exits and their entrances; and one man in his time plays many parts, his acts being seven ages.
  • Expectation is the root of all heartache.
  • To thine own self be true, and it must follow, as the night the day, thou canst not then be false to any man.
  • Life's but a walking shadow, a poor player, that struts and frets his hour upon the stage, and then is heard no more; it is a tale told by an idiot, full of sound and fury, signifying nothing.
  • As soon go kindle fire with snow, as seek to quench the fire of love with words.
  • A peace is of the nature of a conquest; for then both parties nobly are subdued, and neither party loser.

References:
http://www.bardweb.net
http://www.shakespeare-literature.com
http://www.biography.com
http://www.bbc.co.uk
http://www.bl.uk
http://en.wikipedia.org
http://hrsbstaff.ednet.ns.ca