William Shakespeare

by Silvy from Vancouver

Early Life....

William Shakespeare was the third and oldest surviving child of the eight children of Mary Arden and John Shakespeare. He was believed to be born on April 23, 1564 in Stratford-upon-Avon, and was baptized on April 26, 1564 which was two days after his birth. When William Shakespeare was four, he saw a play for the first time in his life. He did not understand the words, but he loved the music and the costumes. He went to the King's New School in Stratford- upon- Avon where he learned Latin grammar and the classics. It was about a quarter mile away from his house but it was free. In 1565 his father John Shakespeare was elected as bailiff (mayor).


Shakespeare was 18 when he married a lady named Anne Hathaway who was eight years older than him. Six months after their marriage, Anne gave birth to a daughter named Susana, who was baptized on May 26, 1583. After about two years, Anne gave birth to twins, Hamnet, a boy, and Judith, a girl, who were baptized on February 2, 1585. Hamnet died at the age of eleven of an unknown cause and was buried on August 11, 1596. Susana married a physician named John Hall. Judith was married on February 10, 1616 to a vintner named Thomas Quiney, whose father Richard Quiney was apparently Shakespeare’s Stratford neighbour. The Halls had a daughter named Elizabeth who married twice, and the Quiney’s had three sons that all died before Judith so they all did not get married.


Shakespeare's plays are a really important part of him. He wrote 37 plays, ten of them are histories to deal with English royalty and nine of the ten concern events from 1398-1540. Shakespeare's early plays were mainly comedies, histories, tragedies, and then tragicomedies which is also known as romance. The most well known plays by Shakespeare were written from 1589-1613. When Shakespeare was writing a play he always thought of the stage the play was going to be performed at and he always wrote plays to suit the talents of specific performers.

Later Years....

When Shakespeare retired, he went back to Stratford-upon-Avon where he lived his early life. After retirement he wrote fewer and fewer plays. He died on April 23, 1616. He was buried on April 25, 1616, which was two days after his death. He was 52 years old when he died.

Interesting Facts.....

- Was believed to be born on the same date as he died.
- Shakespeare was one of the six shareholders who signed the lease for the Globe Theatre's new site in 1559.
- He became part of the first group of actor-sharers to also be theatre owners.
- From 1608-1629 Shakespeare and the “King’s Men” group performed in the Blackfriars Theatre in the winter and in the summer they would perform in the Globe Theatre.
- Most of Shakespeare’s life was in the Elizabethan period which was when Elizabeth I was queen.
- Most of the people in the Elizabethan period believe in ghosts, witches and magicians.
- Shakespeare’s grandchildren all died without having children.
- During his last eight years, Shakespeare was the sole author of only three plays Cymbeline, The Tempest, and The Winter’s Tale.
- Shakespeare lived in the baroque period of time, that was when many famous composers lived and worked.
- There are a lot of versions of Shakespeare’s plays.
- Scholars can tell roughly the date his plays were written by the literary style.
- Only men and boys performed on stage in the Elizabethan time.
- The boys that performed the role of women or children were called apprentices.

Page created on 11/29/2010 12:00:00 AM

Last edited 11/29/2010 12:00:00 AM

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