William Shakespeare ian Breeden p4

A few plays written by Shakespeare

William Shakespeare was one of the most famous poets and play writers in history, possibly making plays and stories what they are today.

Life

It is very uncertain what exactly William did with his life, but most people believed he attended grammar school which resulted in his amazing ways with words and succeeding plays. William Shakespeare attended grammar school to learn basic Latin grammar how to write.

"While little is known of Shakespeare's boyhood, he probably attended the grammar school in Stratford, where he would have been educated in the classics, particularly Latin grammar and literature." (Columbia Electronic Encyclopedia, 6th Edition, 2)

Shakespeare's school was located in a small English town. People who attended learned Latin literature and classical history.

"William Shakespeare went to a school where he would have learned to read. Stratford, in common with other English towns of a similar stature, had a grammar school, which was founded in around 1427. The sons of prosperous town citizens would have attended it. At such grammar schools, students learned classical history and Latin literature, including Livy's history; Cicero's speeches; Plautus's and Terence's comedies; Seneca's tragedies; Virgil's poetry; and the works of Ovid, a poet frequently referred to in Shakespeare's early work." (Asquith, 11).

Many of his plays were performed world wide. For this reason, his plays were translated into many languages so people can enjoy his plays.

"His works have been translated into a remarkable number of languages, and his plays are performed throughout the world." (Lander).

Writer

Shakespeare wrote many plays and poems throughout his life. Many of them, if not all, were a great success. This is why his played ended up being preformed worldwide and translated into many languages.

"Shakespeare wrote at least 38 plays, two major narrative poems, a sequence of sonnets, and several short poems." (Lander).

Shakespeare was not only a writer, later in his life he began acting in his own plays instead of making a career out of writing. This caused him to get many job opportunities and become a popular playwright.

"Despite the commercial success of these early publications, Shakespeare made no effort to make a career of poetry. When the theaters reopened, he returned to acting and play writing." (Lander)

Once his plays were preformed, his name got out there and he quickly became famous. He was known as one of London's most popular playwrights because of the amount of times his plays were preformed worldwide.

"Shakespeare ranked as London’s most popular playwright, based on the number of times his plays were performed and published. But his reputation was largely that of a popular playwright, not of a writer of unequaled genius." (Lander)

Actor

Shakespeare was an actor and playwright for Chamberlain's men. He remained with the company until the end of his London career. People believed that he played roles of older men, like the ghost in Hamlet.

"Throughout the 1590’s, Shakespeare’s reputation continued to grow. From 1594 to 1608, he was fully involved in the London theater world. In addition to his duties as a sharer and actor in the Lord Chamberlain’s Men, he wrote an average of almost two plays a year for his company. During much of this period, Shakespeare ranked as London’s most popular playwright, based on the number of times his plays were performed and published." (Lander)

Although his plays were very successful and loved, there was something strange about them. Every actor was a small boy or man. There were no women playing any roles at the time.

"The salaried workers, who were called hirelings, took minor roles in the plays, performed the music, served as prompters, and did various odd jobs. The apprentices were boys who played the roles of women and children." (Lander)

Part of this reason could be because Shakespeare wrote his plays in ways where that characters would resemble other people he knew so it could be easier for those people the play that role. While writing his plays, he had certain people in mind to play those roles for him, forming the stories he writes.

"Shakespeare wrote his plays to suit the talents of specific performers. He knew when he created a Hamlet, Othello, or King Lear that the character would be interpreted by Richard Burbage, the company’s leading tragic actor." (Lander)

Shakespeare also began acting in his own plays, which created bonds with the cast, meaning that his plays only got better and better from there since he was familiar with his cast. This caused his plays to become even more popular!

"He not only wrote exclusively for his own company but also served as an actor and sharer in it. The close association between Shakespeare, his fellow actors, and the conditions of production had enormous influence on his dramas." (Lander)

Sources

Lander, Jesse M. "Shakespeare, William." <i>World Book Advanced</i>. World Book, 2016. Web. 17 Nov. 2016.

"William Shakespeare." EBSCO eBook Collection .

"William Shakespeare." Bloom's Literature .

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