The Life of Shakespeare Leland Lugo Period 1

William Shakespeare was a genius play write that came up with many different commonly used phrases in the English language. He climbed his way up from being an ordinary actor to the chief dramatist of the King's Men, which was the most successful acting troupe during the Elizabethan era. If Shakespeare were still alive today, he would be earning an estimated "$25,000 a week in royalties for a production of Othello alone,"(Robert 777). Shakespeare's life wasn't just about his work; he also had a very unusual personal life. He incorporated some of his grief, political views, and his love for the theater into his works, which is why he was so genius. In this paper, readers will see Shakespeare's brilliant plays are still performed to this date because of his ability to mold parts of his life into his plays so that the audience has a personal connection while watching.

Shakespeare's children

It is speculated that Shakespeare was born on April 23, 1564 to John and Mary Shakespeare. His father was an alderman, (a town council member) which means he was likely to attend a very prestigious school as a child. As a young adult, "Shakespeare courts Anne Hathaway, who becomes pregnant; the two marry on November 28, [1582]"(Chronology of William). Susanna, Shakespeare's first child, was born some time in 1583, and in 1585, twins Judith and Hamnet are born, but tragically his only son Hamnet died in adolescence. Shortly thereafter, Shakespeare wrote King John, a play with a mother who was grieving for the loss of her son. Scholars think that "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, Arthur"(Ravilious, Kate). From the similarities between his own and Lady Constance's situation, it is obvious he himself was grieving when he wrote this play. As sad as it may be, the death of his child made for an all around better and more emotional play. Because Shakespeare channeled his pain into writing, the audience can feel more for the mother of the child, and therefore the overall experience is more enjoyable.

Elizabethan era Hierarchy

Many Scholars believe Shakespeare was opposed to Elizabethan politics. According to the article, Shakespeare Our Contemporary, there was a, "consistent theme of Shakespeare’s histories: a sharp tension around the legitimacy of the monarchy." Shakespeare didn't just talk of how he disliked the monarchy, he had to put it into one of his plays, Henry V! "Financial interests dictate the inception of an international war; dossiers are drawn up to quiet the moral qualms of a government and present the action as just..."(Shakespeare Our). Basically, Henry V was all about how the government is constantly trying to look big and strong by doing all sorts of immoral things, like making fake documents that look like war is a good thing just for money. Without that slight animosity towards the monarchy, the play wouldn't be interesting at all.

John Fletcher collaborated with Shakespeare on many plays

As Shakespeare grew older, he slowly started to ease out of his theatrical career. He started collaborating with John Fletcher on many of his plays. Together, they wrote Cardenio, King Henry VIII, Two Noble Kinsmen, and The Tempest. Many scholars think that The Tempest is the last play Shakespeare ever wrote. He was leaving the stage forever, so he decided to include "passages that sound like a farewell to the stage"(Lander, Jesse). He wanted his audience to know he was done writing so he decided to incorporate himself into his play as the puppet master (or playwright) who gave up all his power (or he retired), and in the end, the play was one of the only plays that had an original story. Because Shakespeare felt the need to say one final farewell, he wrote one of the most convoluted and thrilling plays ever made. According to Jesse Lander, when The Tempest was finished, Fletcher "replaced [Shakespeare] as the chief dramatist for the King’s Men" in around 1613 and died 3 years later. "Shakespeare died on April 23, 1616, at the age of fifty-two. He is buried under the old stone floor in the chancel of Holy Trinity Church in Stratford" (Anderson, Robert). Scholars believe he died the same day he was born.

William Shakespeare was a genius, and his work will live on forever

William Shakespeare lived and died on the stage. He was extremely gifted, and he used his talent to create some of the most commonly used phrases and many extremely influential plays. He was able to do all of this because he had the ability to take interesting things from his life and put them into his plays without fail. He was able to channel his pain from the loss of his son to make a more believable grieving mother in King John, he was able to incorporate some sass toward the monarchy in Henry V, and he was able to actually place himself into The Tempest as a character to say his final farewell to the stage. Therefore, William Shakespeare is the greatest playwright of all time because of his ability to connect with the audience on a personal level through the pieces of himself in all of his plays.

Created By
Leland Lugo


Created with images by tonynetone - "William Shakespeare" • Biblioteca Rector Machado y Nuñez - "Shakespeare" • ryanrocketship - "Lego Shakespeare" • Peter Glyn - "Globe Theatre"

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