Thesis: Shakespeare made an influence to the modern with his job, plays, theater, and life.
Hometown, Father, School
"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 importance in Stratford, serving at various times as justice of the peace and high bailiff (mayor). William attended grammar school, where he studied Latin grammar, Latin literature, rhetoric (the uses of language)”(Anderson).
Shakespeare was known to be one of many children. He was the son of John, the mayor of the town, who has very well respected and important. The only recorded information of Shakespeare's education is that he attended a grammar to study Latin grammar, Latin literature, and rhetoric.
Shakespeare was one of the most creative and intelligent minds known throughout history. the surroundings Shakespeare was in influenced what we know now and his mind evolution. His education and him being in grammar school probably increased his interest in the famous plays he created. Also, his father's position in the town probably helped him become the magnificent play writer he was.
"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).
Shakespeare married Anne Hathaway ,even though she was eight years older, and they had children. They had three kids, two of whom were twins, and it is said that Shakespeare left his family behind. He left and moved to London where he begun his career.
Shakespeare was a father before he really committed into working with plays, He was settled with an entire family. He left to pursue the passion he held inside and to show his talent to the world. This quote further explains what his life was like before he reached the theater.
Becoming a Playwright and an Actor
"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. In 1599 he became a partner in the ownership of the Globe theatre, and in 1608 he was part owner of the Blackfriars theatre. Shakespeare retired and returned to Stratford c.1613. He undoubtedly enjoyed a comfortable living throughout his career and in retirement, although he was never a wealthy man"(Columbia Electronic Encyclopedia).
Shakespeare became an actor and a playwright in 1594. The company he was in was called the Chamberlain's Men, that later became the KIng's Men under James l. He proceeded in this company through his london years and he might have been playing old men's roles. He obtained a coat of arms by 1596 and by 1597 he bought a place in Stratford. Shakespeare became an owner of the Globe Theater and the Blackfriars Theatre. In 1603, he retired and lived in Stratford having a nicely lived career.
Shakespeare was a very wise man so him being able to do all of the things for his lifetime was something that completely described who he was. Even though, shakespeare had some ears that were not recorded in history he probably did do something worth his time. Shakespeare's life was full of achievements. Also, the steps he took into becoming a playwright and an actor made him the legend he is now known to be.
Beginning His Career
"No one knows for certain how Shakespeare first started his career in the theatre, although several London players would visit Stratford regularly, and so, sometime between 1585 and 1592, it is probable that young Shakespeare could have been recruited by the Leicester's or Queen's men. Whether an acting troupe recruited Shakespeare in his hometown or he was forced on his own to travel to London to begin his career, he was nevertheless an established actor in the great city by the end of 1592. In this year came the first reference to Shakespeare in the world of the theatre. The dramatist Robert Greene declared in his death-bed autobiography that "There is an upstart crow, beautified with our feathers, that with his Tygers heart wrapt in a Players hide supposes he is as well able to bombast out a blank verse as the best of you; and, being an absolute Johannes Factotum, is in his own conceit the only Shake-scene in a country"(Mabillard).
The time that Shakespeare first started his career isn't very certain it is possible he was recruited by the Leicester's or Queen's Men. Shakespeare was an established and recognized actor by the end of 1592. This year the first reference to Shakespeare in the world was made by dramatist Robert Greene in his death bed. He told,"There is an upstart crow, beautified with our feathers, that with his Tygers heart wrapt in a Players hide supposes he is as well able to bombast out a blank verse as the best of you; and, being an absolute Johannes Factotum, is in his own conceit the only Shake-scene in a country."
The steps Shakespeare took into actually starting his public career caused him to be seen and a respected actor in 1592. During the time period that he was not recorded might have been when he influenced the dramatist Robert Greene. The first reference to Shakespeare in the world of theater was something that made him even bigger and showed how much he deserved to be heard.
Starting a Company
"When James I came to the throne, he converted the Lord Chamberlain’s Men into the King’s Men, thus assuring Shakespeare’s company powerful protection and plentiful court performances that could be rewarded richly"(Rosenblum).
Shakespeare's career really started off when James l converted the Lord;s Chamberlain into the King's Men. This change guaranteed the company protection and success.
The change might have been a jump start to Shakespeare's job and interests that caused him to be a respected playwright. Most of the performances after that probably became more successful and gave Shakespeare a chance to prove his talent.
" From mid-1592 to 1594, London authorities frequently closed the theaters because of repeated outbreaks of plague. Without the income provided by acting and playwriting, Shakespeare turned to poetry. In 1593, Venus and Adonis became the first of Shakespeare’s works to be published. The publisher was Richard Field, a native of Stratford who may have known Shakespeare in childhood. As was customary at the time, Shakespeare dedicated his volume to a noble patron, in this case Henry Wriothesley, the Earl of Southampton. Venus and Adonis proved to be extremely popular and was reprinted at least 15 times in Shakespeare’s lifetime"(Lander).
In the mid-1592 to 1594, outbreaks of plague began to occur. This made the theaters shut down. Therefore, Shakespeare began to work on poetry. He wrote Venus and Adonis in 1593 and it was his first published work. The publisher was a maybe childhood friend from Stratford, RIchard Field. Venus and Adonis became very popular in his lifetime.
Since the theaters shut down, Shakespeare had to find another temporary job to cover costs during the plague. He proceeded with the same creative and thoughtful side of him and turned to poetry. His works became very successful because of the fact that he was already a great actor and playwright. Knowing this means that Shakespeare knew how to write things that would would appeal to the audience and never die.
"Records also tell us that several of Shakespeare's plays were popular by this time, including Henry VI, The Comedy of Errors, and Titus Andronicus. The company that staged most of the early productions of these plays was Pembroke's Men, sponsored by the Earl of Pembroke, Henry Herbert. The troupe was very popular and performed regularly at the court of Queen Elizabeth. Most critics conclude that Shakespeare spent time as both a writer and an actor for Pembroke's Men before 1592"(Mabillard).
Records say that plays like Henry Vl, The Comedy of Errors,and Titus Andronicus were popular at the time. Most of Shakespeare's early productions were staged by Pembroke's Men sponsored by the Earl of Pembroke, Henry Herbert. It is believed that Shakespeare stood with this popular group as both an actor and playwright before 1592 and performed to the Queen.
Shakespeare chose his partnerships very well and knew how to be heard. He did what he could to rise higher while he was with this group and gained more experiences and teachings. Shakespeare's early plays marked history and was only the start to his great reign in theater.
"Since his death Shakespeare's plays have been almost continually performed, in non-English-speaking nations as well as those where English is the native tongue; they are quoted more than the works of any other single author. The plays have been subject to ongoing examination and evaluation by critics attempting to explain their perennial appeal, which does not appear to derive from any set of profound or explicitly formulated ideas. Indeed, Shakespeare has sometimes been criticized for not consistently holding to any particular philosophy, religion, or ideology; for example, the subplot of A Midsummer Night's Dream includes a burlesque of the kind of tragic love that he idealizes in Romeo and Juliet.The strength of Shakespeare's plays lies in the absorbing stories they tell, in their wealth of complex characters, and in the eloquent speech—vivid, forceful, and at the same time lyric—that the playwright puts on his character's lips. It has often been noted that Shakespeare's characters are neither wholly good nor wholly evil, and that it is their flawed, inconsistent nature that makes them memorable. Hamlet fascinates audiences with his ambivalence about revenge and the uncertainty over how much of his madness is feigned and how much genuine. Falstaff would not be beloved if, in addition to being genial, openhearted, and witty, he were not also boisterous, cowardly, and, ultimately, poignant. Finally, the plays are distinguished by an unparalleled use of language. Shakespeare had a tremendous vocabulary and a corresponding sensitivity to nuance, as well as a singular aptitude for coining neologisms and punning"(Columbia Electronic Encyclopedia).
When Shakespeare passed, the plays he made are still continuously being performed in English and non-English speaking nations, all over the world. In English speaking nations, he is one of the most quoted and well known in history. Critics are trying to explain and examine the appeal of his plays. Shakespeare has been sometimes criticized for not holding on to a particular philosophy, religion, or ideology. Examples include Midsummer Night's Dream and Romeo and Juliet. The strength of Shakespeare's plays lies on the stories they tell and the interpretation that one has to take with each complex character and eloquent speech. The speech he puts into his plays are vivid, forceful, and lyric. Most of his characters are noted to not be completely good or evil but some do have different sides to them. That inconsistent nature makes them memorable. The plays have an unparalleled use of language that makes them unique.
Shakespeare had tremendous use of vocabulary that distinguishes his plays to any other. His different style and unusual creativity makes the stories excel. The use of words and unique personalities of each character made Shakespeare a legend and an idol to theater and the world.
"Acting companies consisted of only men and boys because women did not perform on the Elizabethan stage. A typical acting company had 8 to 12 sharers, a number of salaried workers, and apprentices. The sharers were the company's leading actors as well as its stockholders. They had charge of the company's business activities. They bought plays and costumes, rented theaters, paid fees, and split the profits. 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).
The plays were performed by acting companies that consisted of only men and boys. Women were not yet allowed to perform on an Elizabethan stage. They typically contained eight to twelve sharers, apprentices, and workers. Sharers were the leading actors and stockholders. They would get the plays, costumes, rented theaters, they paid fees and split profits. Hirelings were workers and they had minor roles like the music, they were prompters, and more. The boy apprentices had to play women's roles.
Plays had to be prepared to be on the stage and it took plenty to get them started and for people to gain interest in them. Shakespeare's plays had to be performed by these companies that had to sell each role even the women ones to make the story deep. Each person in the companies had their role to play and Shakespeare should know that since he has also been an actor to companies himself. His company and theater hosted many of his plays and their grand openings.
The Globe Theater
"In his Henry V,Shakespeare called his theater a "wooden o." It was a large, round (or polygonal) building, three stories high, with a large platform stage that projected from one end into a yard open to the sky"(Anderson).
Shakespeare's theater was often called the "wooden o." it was called this because it was a large, round, polygonal building. It is three stories high and has a large platform in the center with an open sky view.
The theater he created lead to many tales and heartfelt tears. After leaving his family, he began to focus on art and plays that really changed the world. The stage made by him was for the audience to enjoy the story in a different way. The theater he created is shaped the way it is for a full experience.
"We can see that this stage, with its few sets and many acting areas-forestage. inner stage, and upper stage- made for a theater of great fluidity. That is, scene could follow scene with almost cinematic ease"(Anderson).
The stage had an inner stage, forestage, and upper stage. There were many acting areas but few sets. This caused fluidity in the plays creating cinematic ease each time.
The theater Shakespeare co-owned gained interest to the public and was great to the type of plays he created. It created a different type of appeal that related to the audience. The few sets did not stop them from making theater and play magic.
"Unlike most modern dramas, Elizabethan plays did not depend on scenery to indicate the setting (place) of the action. Generally, the setting was unknown to the audience until the characters identified it with a few lines of dialogue. In addition, the main stage had no curtain. One scene could follow another quickly because there was no curtain to close and open and no scenery to change. The lack of scenery also allowed the action to flow freely from place to place, as in modern motion pictures. The action of Shakespeare’s Antony and Cleopatra, for example, shifts smoothly and easily back and forth between ancient Egypt and Rome"(Lander).
The Globe Theater did not have scenery so they had to show the setting in a different way. The characters would show where the story was taken place by the dialogue and the costumes. Since the main stage had no curtain, the scenes moved from one another quickly and smoothly and there was no scenery to change.The action of the plays would move freely. In Shakespeare's Anthony and Cleopatra, everything shifts smoothly and easily through Rome and Egypt.
The effects of the stage in every play created a more natural feel to every story line. It allows the audience to imagine the scenery and make it their own. This is something that really identified Shakespeare's plays and gave it a different vibe.