Stratford Mill by John Constable

Who is Shakespeare?

Shakespeare was an English poet, playwright, and actor, widely regarded as the greatest writer in the English language.

“Shakespeare wrote at least 38 plays, two major narrative poems, a sequence of sonnets, and several short poems. His works have been translated into a remarkable number of languages, and his plays are performed throughout the world. His plays have been a vital part of the theater in the Western world since they were written about 400 years ago. Through the years, most serious actors and actresses have considered the major roles of Shakespeare to be the supreme test of their art.” (Lander, Jesse M. "Shakespeare, William." World Book Advanced. World Book, 2016.)

his life

All we know about his life is based on official documents like his property, court records, marriage certificate, his tomb and also his greatest plays and some anecdotes that were saved through history. He born in April, 1564 in the small city of Stratford. His father was a man of importance in the city, but Shakespeare didn't live in nobility.

" SHAkespeare did not continue his formal education at university, nor did he come under the MENTOR SHIP of a senior artist, nor did he marry into wealth or prestige. His talent as an actor seems to have been modest, since he is not known for starring roles. His success as a playwright depended in part upon royal patronage. Yet in spite of these limitations, Shakespeare is now the most performed and read playwright in the world." (National endowments for the arts editors. "The life of william shakespeare". nefta. December 14, 2016)
The Trial of the Queen Katherine, "Henry VIII"

Early Career, the fame an his last years

How did he create such a great legacy? To look deep into this, one has to focus on his early years and understand how the life on the Elizabethan Era was. Before 1592, experts believe that he moved to London from Stratford. In London, Shakespeare began working with one of the city’s theater companies, the theater companies were enterprises dedicated to share plays in public places and were funded by the nobility of the time. One of those companies was The Lord Chamberlain’s Men, they were one of the most popular companies in London. Shakespeare’s position as sharer allowed him make a lot of money, which some of the dramatist of those years couldn’t make, Most playwrights were free-lancers who were paid a one-time fee for their plays and usually worked for several companies. By 1612, Shakespeare had become England’s most successful playwright. Experts believe that he moved from London to Stratford again and live his last 8 years in one of the biggest houses on the city.

THE WOODEN O' and the king's men

The Globe Theater, often Called "The Wooden O" by Shakespeare
“The Globe” or “The Wooden O”.“In 1599, Burbage’s theater [one of the first theaters ever built] was torn down and its timbers were used by Shakespeare and his company to build the Globe Theater. This was the theater for which Shakespeare wrote most of his plays (LANDER, JESSE M. "SHAKESPEARE, WILLIAM." WORLD BOOK ADVANCED. WORLD BOOK, 2016.

The Wooden O' was a perfect match with Shakespeare style, and also was really efficient with it's traits. The theater had an open roof so they could use natural illumination, and his audiences could enjoy in different stages the plays and interact with the actors. His company (The Lord Chamberlain's Men) and the theater was sustained by all the visitors, the Lord Chamberlain's Men were the best dramatic company in London, and Shakespeare’s talent help them filled crowds to all of his plays, and all class of people attended regardless of the social class.

"That Shakespeare Play" by Tracy Lee



Shakespeare’s plays were characterized for being dramatic, and his characters to being deeply troubled or tragic, like in the story of “Hamlet”

“One of the most psychologically powerful dramas ever written. It is set in the castle of Elsinore (modern Helsingor, Denmark). Prince Hamlet of Denmark deeply mourns the recent death of his father and resents his mother's remarriage to his uncle Claudius, who has become king. The ghost of Hamlet's father appears and tells the prince Claudius murdered him. Hamlet broods about whether he should believe the ghost. He decides to have a band of traveling actors perform "something like the murder of my father" before Claudius. The king's violent reaction to the play shows his guilt.” (World Book)

Or the story Romeo and Juliet, which describes the tragedy of a couple in deep love separate by the nonsense argument of their two families, so they finally ended up committing suicide, which they considered better than a lifetime separated.

Then, there is Julius Caesar, a five-act tragedy.

“The play takes place in ancient Rome and concerns events before and after the assassination of the Roman ruler Julius Caesar. Despite its title, the play's central character is not Caesar but Brutus, a Roman general and Caesar's best friend. Brutus reluctantly joins a plot led by Cassius. The plotters plan to murder Caesar, and Brutus joins it because he believes Rome's safety requires Caesar's death. Caesar has already been made dictator of Rome, and the conspirators fear that he might be crowned king. The plotters attack Caesar in the Roman Senate, and each of them stabs him in turn. The last to strike is Brutus. Caesar's last words are "Et tu, Brute? [You too, Brutus?] Then fall, Caesar!" Brutus defends the assassination to a crowd of Romans. But he unwisely allows the clever and eloquent Mark Antony to deliver a funeral speech over Caesar's body that begins with the famous line "Friends, Romans, countrymen, lend me your ears." Antony tells the people, "I come to bury Caesar, not to praise him." He then describes the plotters with heavy sarcasm as "honourable men." At the same time, Anthony points out Caesar's virtues and thus gradually turns the crowd into a mob ready to burn and kill to avenge Caesar's death. The plotters are forced to flee Rome.” (World Book)

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