Shakespeare's Life By devin SMith

The looks of Shakespeare

Thesis: During Shakespeare's early, middle, and late life he accomplished huge things that still influence us today.

Who is Shakespeare

Quote #1: "Shakespeare, William (1564-1616), was an English playwright, poet, and actor. Many people regard him as the world’s greatest dramatist and the finest poet England has ever produced" (Lander 1).

Commentary: Shakespeare is an amazing play writer from the 1500's. Writing over 38 plays throughout his life, his most known play is Romeo and Juliet. That one plays is still being played and acted today. He influenced our culture with his amazing works from 400 years ago.

Early Life

Quote #2: "Shakespeare’s parents belonged to what today would be called the middle class. John Shakespeare, William’s father, was a glove maker who owned a shop in the town of Stratford-upon-Avon" (Lander 13).

Commentary: Shakespeare was born in a little town called Stratford and the date was April 26, 1564. He was born into a middle class family so he did not have it easy but he also was not in the low class so he had it about average difficult growing up. His father was a glove maker so what he wanted to do did not always please his dad.

Quote #3: "His father, John Shakespeare, was successful in the leather business during Shakespeare's early childhood but later met with financial difficulties. During his prosperous years his father was also involved in municipal affairs, holding the offices of alderman and bailiff during the 1560s. 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" ("William" 1).

Commentary: Shakespeare was having it good but then his dad got into financial problems and this made a little bit of a problem for Shakespeare. He went to a school for grammar and literature trying to pursue his passion of writing and plays when end up making a big difference.

Quote #4: "The school’s highly qualified teachers were graduates of Oxford University. Students spent about nine hours a day in school. They attended classes the year around, except for three brief holiday periods. The teachers enforced strict discipline and physically punished students who broke the rules. The students chiefly studied Latin, the language of ancient Rome" (Lander 17).

Commentary: Shakespeare went to schools with kids that were in the same class levels of their families. His teachers were people that went to Oxford University and are very strict. So growing up he was a really smart and well mannered.

Middle Life

Quote #5: "In 1582 Shakespeare married Anne Hathaway, eight years his senior and pregnant at the time of the marriage. They had three children: Susanna, born in 1583, and twins, Hamnet and Judith, born in 1585. Nothing is known of the period between the birth of the twins and Shakespeare's emergence as a playwright in London (c.1592). However, various suggestions have been made regarding this time, including those that he fled Stratford to avoid prosecution for stealing deer, that he joined a group of traveling players, and that he was a country schoolteacher" ("William" 2).

Commentary: Shakespeare married the love of his life, Anne Hathaway, in 1582 at the age of 18. They had three children and two of them were twins. Their names were Susanna, Hamnet, and Judith.

Quote #6: "The summer of 1596 was a sad one for William Shakespeare. Following the success of Romeo and Juliet and A Midsummer Night’s Dream the previous year, his only son, Hamnet, died at the age of 11. No letters or documents record how England’s most celebrated dramatist and poet felt at the time, but perhaps some of his grief can be detected in King John (written later in 1596), in the words he gave Lady Constance, a mother frantic at the loss of her son" (Ravilious 1).

Commentary: In 1596 Shakespeare lost one of his children Hamnet. This happened right after he had felt tremendous success from his play "Romeo and Juliet". No one has evidence of how he felt but they say he dropped into a deep sadness and was like this for a while.

Quote #7: "Romeo and Juliet is a famous tragedy written by English playwright William Shakespeare. The play was probably first performed in 1596 and was first published in 1597" (Seidel 1).

Commentary: This is Shakespeare's most known play and probably has the most impact today. Many now are still acting out this play now. It has the most impact on our culture today.

Later Life

Quote #8: "During his last eight years, Shakespeare was the sole author of only three plays—Cymbeline,The Tempest, and The Winter’s Tale" (Lander 41).

Commentary: Before his last 8 years he had written 3 more plays. His daughter got married before he died and one of his sons died a couple of years before him.

Quote #9: "On April 23rd, 1940, St George's Day, as Hitler's armies were preparing for their westward drive towards the Channel ports, the leading lights of German cultural and intellectual life were assembling at the National Theatre in Weimar to commemorate Shakespeare's birthday" (Strobl 1).

Commentary: Hitler was a big deal while Shakespeare was around. On his birthday Hitler started coming in the direction that he was staying at. So he worried that Hitler might come but in the end he did not end up getting close.

Quote #10: "In 1594 Shakespeare became an actor and playwright for the Lord Chamberlain's Men, the company that later became the King's Men under James I. Until the end of his London career Shakespeare remained with the company; it is thought that as an actor he played old men's roles, such as the ghost in Hamlet and Old Adam in As You Like It. In 1596 he obtained a coat of arms, and by 1597 he was prosperous enough to buy New Place in Stratford, which later was the home of his retirement years" ("William" 3).

Commentary: Towards the end of his he had written 30 plays and went to the Lord Chamberlain's Men. Once he was done with that he went back to Stratford and bought a house that would become his retirement home.

Works Cited

Lander, Jesse M. “Shakespeare, William.” World Book Advanced. World Book, 2016. Web. 18 Nov. 2016.

RAVILIOUS, KATE. “The Bard At Home.” Archaeology 69.4 (2016): 44-47. History Reference Center. Web. 7 Dec. 2016.

Seidel, Michael. “Romeo and Juliet.” World Book Advanced. World Book, 2016. Web. 8 Dec. 2016.

Strobl, Gerwin. “Shakespeare And The Nazis.” History Today 47.5 (1997): 16. History Reference Center. Web. 7 Dec. 2016.

“William Shakespeare.” Columbia Electronic Encyclopedia, 6Th Edition (2016): 1-4. History Reference Center. Web. 7 Dec. 2016.


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