Thesis: William Shakespeare was important because of his accomplishments in his Early Life, Middle life, and later life.
William Shakespeare’s Early life
Quote: "The name 'Gulielmus Filius Johannes Shakespeare' is recorded in the baptismal records in the parish register of The Holy Trinity Church, Stratford-upon-Avon, Warwickshire on 26 April 1564. Tradition assigns the date of actual as 23 April 1564" (Baker).
Commentary: The tradition back then was that you were to be baptized 3 days after you were born so that is the reason many suggest that he was born on the 23. Why was this tradition practiced and why is it not practiced anymore.
Quote: "On Nov. 27, 1582, Shakespeare received a license to marry Anne Hathaway, the daughter of a local farmer. The two families knew each other, but the details of the relationship between William and Anne have been a source of speculation. At the age of 18, William was young to marry, while Anne at 26 was of normal marrying age" (Lander)
Commentary: What was the normal marrying age for men. Was their marriage for love or to gain a higher social status.
Quote: "William probably attended the Stratford grammar school with other boys of his social class. 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. Knowledge of Latin was necessary for a career in medicine, law, or the church. In addition, the ability to read Latin was considered a sign of an educated person. Young Shakespeare may have read such outstanding ancient Roman authors as Cicero, Ovid, Plautus, Seneca, Terence, and Virgil" (Lander).
Commentary: Shakespeare education must have allowed him to succeed in being a playwright because of the strict discipline and extensive hours at school. His education opened up opportunity for a career in medicine, law, or church.
Quote: "The next mention of Shakespeare is in 1592, when he was an actor and playwright in London. His actions during the seven-year interim have been a matter of much curious speculation, including unproved stories of deer poaching, soldiering, and teaching. It may have taken him those seven years simply to break into and advance in the London theater" (Branam)
Commentary: Why did he go into the the theater career when he could have have done law or medicine with his schooling. How was he introduced into the theater career.
William Shakespeare Middle life
Quote: "Despite their imitative nature and many other faults, Shakespeare’s early plays, notably Henry VI, were popular onstage, but his greatest early popularity came from two long narrative poems, Venus and Adonis (1593) and The Rape of Lucrece ..." (Branam).
Commentary: Were these the first major plays that he wrote. Did he work for a company in his early career.
Life in Stratford
Quote: "He used his earnings from the theater to install himself as the town’s leading citizen, buying New Place as a family residence in 1597 and thereafter steadily amassing other land and property. In 1596, his father was granted a hereditary coat of arms and thus became a gentleman, a status he had never achieved on his own" (Branam).
Commentary: Are coat of arms only awarded to leading citizens or is it passed down to the most successful child. What benefits were given to the leading citizen other than land and property.
Quote: "By 1612, when he returned to Stratford to live the life of a prosperous retired gentlemen, Shakespeare had written thirty-seven plays..." (Anderson).
Commentary: What was the common age that people retired. Did Shakespeare retire "early" because of how much money he made or because he was tired of being a playwright.
Shakespeare’s Later life
Quote: "Shakespeare died on April 23, 1616, at the age of 52" (Anderson)
Commentary: He died 6 years after he retired. Did he die before or after the death expectancy of men at that time.
How the Theater affected his plays
Quote: "Sometimes playwright influence the shape and form of the theater, but more often the existing theater influences the shape and form of plays. It is important that we understand shakespeare's theater because it influenced how he wrote his plays" (Anderson).
Commentary: What form of the theater caused him to change part of his plays. Were the changes added to make the better seats more expensive or to make the play more enjoyable for everyone.
Quote: "Shakespeare has had enormous influence on culture throughout the world. His works have helped shape the literature of all English-speaking countries. His work has also had an important effect on the literary cultures of such countries as Germany and Russia. In addition, his widespread presence in popular culture extends to motion pictures, television, cartoons, and even songs" (Lander).
Commentary: What would the modern world be like without Shakespeare. Would it change my daily life in any form.
“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. 776-777
“Shakespeare and His Theater: A Perfect Match.” Holt Literature & Language Arts: Mastering the California Standards: Reading, Writing, Listening, Speaking, by G. Kylene Beers et al., Austin, Holt, Rinehart & Winston, 2003, pp. 778-780
Baker, William. William Shakespeare. London: Continuum, 2009. eBook Collection (EBSCOhost). Web. 10 Dec. 2016.
Branam, Harold. “William Shakespeare.” Salem Press Biographical Encyclopedia (2016): Topic Overviews 6 12. Web. 8 Dec. 2016.
Lander, Jesse M. “Shakespeare, William.” World Book Advanced. World Book, 2016. Web. 6 Dec. 2016.