William Shakespeare's life and legacy By jonathan Lopez

William Shakespeare is considered, "By virtually unanimous consensus the finest poet-dramatist of the European Renaissance, Shakespeare also stands with a very few other verse playwrights at the very pinnacle of world poetic and dramatic achievement" (Cook, James Wyatt). He is referred to as undoubtedly the most praiseworthy playwright-poet of his time and, is part of a very elite group of successful playwrights. As a result, Shakespeare Is remarked as indisputably one of the best playwrights to have ever existed. His literary achievement is also acclaimed to be among the very best which fuels his praised image. William Shakespeare embedded himself as a predominant influence in contemporary literature, the English language, and theater as a result of his exertions throughout his early, middle, and final years of his life.

William Shakespeare depicted during his early life

Widely eminent, "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" (Jesse M. Lander). He was especially known for his occupation as English scriptwriter, poet, and actor and, is regarded as "The finest poet England has ever produced" ( Lander). Shakespeare's poems and plays, as well as his theatrical work are all acclaimed to among the very best, which contributes to his praised image. Thus, Shakespeare leaves a legacy that contribute to him being acclaimed as the finest poet to have existed and, having an influence in contemporary English literature and theatrical work.

Despite missing information from William Shakespeare's life, "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" (Robert Anderson). He was born into a fairy large family in a small commercial town called Stratford approximately a hundred miles from London. Since William Shakespeare was born into a fairly large family it could have served as an incentive for him to include a wide range of characters in his literature. The involvement of various characters would provide many personalities that would be able to bring equilibrium to the plot, moral and, ultimately success to the literature and play.

It is stated that most likely, "Beginning at about the age of 7, 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" (Jesse M. Lander). William Shakespeare attended a grammar school in Stratford with distinguished teachers and peers of similar social class. The education supplied by teachers with a prestigious educational background would allow Shakespeare to build off a concrete platform of knowledge starting very young. This solid platform would be the means of which Shakespeare would be able to write the literature and, convey his morals he is so famous for. Without such a primed education taught by knowledgeable teachers starting young, it bares the question whether William Shakespeare would still have been renown for his literature?

William Shakespeare and the Lord Chamberlain company (Shakespeare's middle life)

Approximately, "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" (Robert Anderson). He move to London unaccompanied by his family and, recently born twins. Why would William Shakespeare leave his family behind in Stratford? Whatever the reason, it proved to be a meaningful sacrifice. His journey to London would mark his voyage for more opportunities in a larger prominent city as a young screenplay writer, poet, and actor.

Indications prove that, "By 1594 records show that he was a shareholder in London's most celebrated stage company under the patronage of the Lord Chamberlain. Besides his early plays—the comedies, Comedy of Errors (1592), Two Gentlemen of Verona (1594),Love's Labour's Lost (1594), and A Midsummer Night's Dream (1595); historical chronicles, Henry VI (1590), Richard III (1592), and Richard II (1595); and the early tragedies, Titus Andronicus (1593) and Romeo and Juliet (1594)—Shakespeare achieved literary distinction as a poet with Venus and Adonis(1593) and The Rape of Lucrece (1594)" (Burt, Daniel S). William Shakespeare was a partner of London's most renowned stage company by 1594 and, simultaneously around the same time he was producing his early plays and writing poems that would distinguished him as a poet. William Shakespeare's affliction with London's most prominent stage company would allow him to present his work among a large audience starting nearly at the beginning of playwright career. Consequently, this would make more people notice the emerging Shakespeare. Moreover, his eminence as poet would ensure his work embedding itself upon literature for years to come.

Shakespeare contributed to the construction of the Globe Theater since, "He shared in the expenses for the construction of the Globe in 1598, a large playhouse on the south bank of the Thames, where his masterpieces were performed. They include the great comedies, As You Like It (1599) and Twelfth Night (1599); the historical cycle of Henry IV (1597) and Henry V (1598); the great tragedies, Hamlet (1600), Othello (1604), King Lear (1605), and Macbeth (1605); and the Roman plays, Julius Caesar (1599) and Antony and Cleopatra (1606)" (Burt, Daniel S). This playhouse would served as the outlet where his most acclaimed work ranging from his great comedies, tragedies, and Roman plays were performed. William's generosity for contributing funds for the construction of the Globe Theater in 1598, provides insight about William's career as a playwright at the time. It indicates that his work was successful and, generated enough money for him to contribute money for the funding of the Globe Theater. Moreover, the presence of his astonishing plays at a grand playhouse like the Globe Theater would introduce his work to a large audience. Ultimately, playing a factor in his literature's impact being noticed by many and, embedded as being distinguished.

Statue of William Shakespeare (William Shakespeare's final years)

William Shakespeare had remained dormant from writing for the final years of his life considering, "He had retired from the stage by 1613 and wrote nothing in the last three years of his life" (Bloom, Harold). William abstained from his career near his final years and, remained that way till his death. Shakespeare's halt from his career; a career he had granted much of his life and energy to, proves that he had felt sufficiently satisfied with his legacy on stage. Evermore, the works he had left behind would justify his retirement from stage and writing since, they have received an abundance of praise from many. Thus, Shakespeare's retirement would reflect upon his success and, the impact he left behind.

Not too long before his death in April 23, 1616, "Shakespeare made his will on March 25, 1616. In this long and detailed document, he bequeathed his ample property to the male heirs of his first daughter and the "second best bed" in the house to his wife. No one has ever deciphered the meaning of this strange legacy. He died on April 23, 1616" (Blooms, Harold). Shakespeare's will named his first daughter and, grandsons the heirs to much of his fortune, while he was not as generous to his wife. William Shakespeare's will was a testament to the success he had experienced during his time as a playwright, poet, and actor. Since his will listed a vast fortune, it indicated that his renowned work was plentiful and, thus, profitable. Evermore, his generosity would only strike his Daughter and grandsons while his wife stayed deprived. Why would the playwright leave so little to his wife? One thing is for sure, William's successful work could not be counted by hand. As a result, it was certain that his literature would continue to live on beyond his own life.

It is noted that, "He produced a series of masterpieces, including the great tragedies Hamlet, Othello, King Lear, Macbeth, Coriolanus, and Antony and Cleopatra, as well as "problem plays" or "bitter comedies" such as All's Well That End's Well, Troilus and Cressida, and Measure for Measure. It was a flowering of genius perhaps unmatched in literary history" (Cook James Wyatt). His masterpieces which ranged from his great tragedies to bitter comedies provides evidence of his intellect that is possibly unequaled in the history of literature. William Shakespeare's image as a skillful genius has been contributed to his work as a playwright and, his literature. His variety of work ranging from numerous genres of plays, provide a wide basis for his work to have been bestowed the name of a masterpiece. In addition, his work is regarded as "genius . . ." (Cook). Thus, Shakespeare's legacy is still relevant till this day through his literary work, as it embedded itself upon literature.

Created By
Jonathan Lopez


Created with images by tonynetone - "William Shakespeare" • Robanov83 - "Shakespeare's Grave"

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