William Shakespeare accomplished many things throughout his life during his childhood, during his acting and writing career, and through the plays and poems he wrote, had a profound impact on modern literature.
Shakespeare with his family
Although Shakespeare was a great writer and poet later in his life, he led an ordinary childhood and had a wife and a family, "We know that William was born the third of eight children around April 23, 1564, in Stratford, a market town about one hundred miles northwest of London.”(Anderson 776).Shakespeare was the third of eight children, had many younger siblings, and was born and raised in a small town northwest of London. He also was educated in London, "William attended grammar school, where he studied Latin grammar, Latin literature, and rhetoric( the uses of language).”(Anderson 776). At a young age, William had a strong foundation for the writing he would do later in his life because of his thorough knowledge of grammar, literature, and rhetoric. Shakespeare also had a wife and family,“At the age of eighteen, he married Anne Hathaway, who was eight years older than he was. Sometime after the birth of their second and third children(twins), Shakespeare moved to London, apparently leaving his family in Stratford." (Anderson 776-777).After being married and having three children, he left his small hometown and moved to London to begin his writing and acting career.
A performance of Romeo and Juliet, one of the first plays that Shakespeare wrote
Acting and writing career:
During Shakespeare's early writing career, he began to put together some of his greatest works and began his acting profession. “During his time with the Chamberlain's Men Shakespeare wrote many plays, including Romeo and Juliet, Richard II, King John, and Love's Labor's Lost. As G.E. Bentley points out in Shakespeare and the Theater, Shakespeare had by this time become immersed in his roles as actor and writer.”(Mabillard 1). At the beginning of his career, Shakespeare joined a young acting troupe, the Chamberlain’s Men, who often put on performances for Elizabeth I. During this time period, he began to write plays and was completely involved in his job as an actor and a writer. He became famous very quickly, “By 1591 Shakespeare's name was known on the London stage. His Henry VI plays had been performed by The Admiral's Company. In the summer of 1592, however, London theaters were closed because of the plague. During this period Shakespeare wrote Venus and Adonis, the early sonnets. “ (Bloom 1). Shakespeare was a well-known actor who was successful with his Henry VI plays, but faced a setback when the theaters were closed because of the plague in London. However, he did not led this deter him, as he continued to write during this period. His job continued when the theaters reopened, “When the theaters reopened in 1594, Shakespeare had joined with several other notable actors of the time, Richard Burbage, John Heminge, Will Kempe, and Henry Condell, to form The Lord Chamberlain's Men. They became the foremost company of the time, performed at the Globe Theater, an outdoor theater, and the Blackfriars, a more exclusive indoor house. They also performed at court for Queen Elizabeth."( Bloom 1). During the reopening of the theaters in 1594, other famous actors had joined The Lord Chamberlain’s Men. This group of actors became the foremost company of the time, performing at famous theaters and at the court for Queen Elizabeth.
The Globe Theater, where Shakespeare performed many plays
Plays and impact on modern literature:
Shakespeare's late professions and his major plays have had a profound effect on literature for centuries, “With the ascendancy of James I, The Lord Chamberlain's Men became His Majesty's Servants, the King's Men.Shakespeare and his fellow actors became Grooms of the Chamber, and their revenues increased too, for James demanded many more court performances than had Elizabeth. Beside his career in the theater Shakespeare made several real estate investments in London."(Bloom 1). After James I succeeded Elizabeth I, The Lord Chamberlain’s Men was renamed to His Majesty’s Servants, the King’s Men. Shakespeare continued to perform for James I, and outside of his acting career, made several real estate investments in London. Shakespeare also wrote many tragedies, “Othello, King Lear, and Macbeth depict tragic heroes. Othello, like Brutus before him, is a good man easily led astray by someone with selfish motives. Macbeth and Lady Macbeth have the beginnings of a conscience, but only enough to make life miserable for them while they keep compounding their crimes. Lear lacks judgement, but he makes up for it in his growth following his banishment to the health."(Mittelstaedt 171-172). Commentary: Shakespeare also authored several well-known tragedies, including Othello, King Lear, and Macbeth. These tragedies speak of good people easily led astray by someone with selfish motives. "Shakespeare was forty-six when he went into semi-retirement. He returned to Stratford, but did not stop writing for the London stage and probably traveled between the two towns frequently. At the age of fifty-two he died of what seemed to be a sudden illness.”( Bloom 1). Shakespeare went into semi-retirement at age forty-six and traveled back to Stratford, but he continued to write for the London stage and traveled between Stratford and London often. Sadly, he died at the age of fifty-two of a sudden illness. "Shakespeare wrote at least 38 plays, two major narrative poems, a sequence of sonnets, and several short poems. His works have been translated into a remarkable number of languages, and his plays are performed throughout the world. His plays have been a vital part of the theater in the Western world since they were written about 400 years ago. Through the years, most serious actors and actresses have considered the major roles of Shakespeare to be the supreme test of their art."(Lander 1). Shakespeare wrote many plays, poems, and sonnets. His plays have been translated many times and have been performed around the world. Many actors and actresses have considered Shakespeare to be the supreme test of their art.
Anderson, Robert. “William Shakespeare’s Life: A Genius from Stratford.” Holt Literature & Language Arts: Mastering the California Standards: Reading, Writing, Listening, Speaking, by G. Kylene Beers et al., Austin, Holt, Rinehart & Winston, 2003, pp. 776-77.
Bloom’s Literary Reference Online. Bloom’s Literary Reference Online, www.fofweb.com/activelink2.asp?ItemID=WE54&WID=103800&SID=5&iPin=BGRAJ02&SingleRecord=True.
Lander, Jesse M. “Shakespeare, William.” World Book Advanced. World Book, 2016. Web. 17 Nov. 2016.
Mabillard, Amanda. “Shakespeare of Stratford.” SIRS Knowledge Source. SIRS Knowledge Source, sks.sirs.com/webapp/article?artno=0000238271&type=ART. Accessed 2 Dec. 2016.
Mittelstaedt, Walt. “Summing up.” A Student’s Guide to William Shakespeare, Enslow Publishers, 2005, pp. 171-72. Understanding Literature.
Extra credit one pager: below
William Shakespeare as a child
This is an image of William Shakespeare as a child. This image relates to my note cards because one of my note cards discusses Shakespeare´s education as a child. ¨We know that William was born the third of eight children around April 23, 1564, in Stratford, a market town about one hundred miles northwest of London. His father John, was a shopkeeper and a man of some importance in Stratford, serving at various times as justice of the peace and high bailiff(mayor).¨(Anderson 776) ¨As a child, William attended grammar school, where he was educated in Latin grammar and Latin language. He was also educated in the use of rhetoric, but had no further formal education.
William Shakespeare with his family
This is a picture of William Shakespeare with his family. This image relates to my note cards because two of my note cards discuss Shakespeare´s children and family. Shakespeare had a father named John, who was a shopkeeper and a high bailiff in the town of Stratford. Also shown in the picture is William´s first child, Susanna Shakespeare. Several years later, Shakespeare had two twin girls who were born in January 1585. Lastly, Shakespeare´s wife, Anne Hathaway, is also shown in the picture. Shakespeare married her at age eighteen, when she was eight years older than him. However, he left his family to go to London, and while he was in London, one of his twin daughters, Hamnet Shakespeare, died of an unknown cause.
This is an image of The Globe Theater, built in 1599 by the Lord Chamberlain's Men. This image relaters to one of my note cards because one of my note cards discuss Shakespeare's time acting with the Lord Chamberlain's Men, by whom the Globe Theater was built. Shakespeare performed with the Lord Chamberlain's Men on several occasions. He performed for Queen Elizabeth I and King James. By this time, Shakespeare was well into his acting and play writing career. His early plays, which he wrote while he was acting with Lord Chamberlain's Men, include Romeo and Juliet, Richard II, King John, and Love's Labor's Lost. "As G.E. Bentley points out in Shakespeare and the Theater, Shakespeare had by this time become immersed in his roles as actor and writer. He was 'more completely and more continuously involved in theaters and acting companies than any other Elizabethan dramatist.' "(Mabillard 1).
A performance at the Globe Theater
This is an image of a performance occurring at the Globe Theater. This image relates to one of my note cards because one of my note cards discusses Shakespeare's popular plays and the major events during the later stages of his acting career. "By 1591 Shakespeare's name was known on the London stage. His Henry VI plays had been performed by The Admiral's Company. In the summer of 1592, however, London theaters were closed because of the plague. During this period Shakespeare wrote Venus and Adonis, the early sonnets, and The Rape of Lucrece. When the theaters reopened in 1594, Shakespeare had joined with several other notable actors of the time, Richard Burbage, John Heminge, Will Kempe, and Henry Condell, to form The Lord Chamberlain's Men. They became the foremost company of the time, performed at the Globe Theater, an outdoor theater, and the Blackfriars, a more exclusive indoor house. They also performed at court for Queen Elizabeth."(Bloom 1)