William Shakespeare By: Grant smeltzer and andrew blosser


William was baptized April 26, 1564. They don't know his exact birthdate but they infer that he was born April 23, 1564. He was born and baptized in Stratford-upon-Avon, England. His parents were John Shakespeare and Mary Arden. (Shakespeare's Life, www.folger.edu)

Marriage and Children

William married Anne Hathaway. William was 18 and Anne was 26 when they married. They had their first child, Susanna, when Anne was 26, and William was 18. Susanna was baptized on May 26, 1583. In 1585, William and Anne had twins, a son, Hamnet, and a daughter, Judith. After they had twins, they didn't have any more kids, completing their family. Hamnet and Judith were baptized on February 2, 1685. Hamnet, William's only son, died at the age of 11. He was buried in Stratford on August 11, 1596. (Shakespeare's Life, www.folger.edu)


As a kid, William attended King Edward VI’s grammar school. He most likely started attending this grammar school at the age of 6. The schoolwork at this school was mainly based on the study of Latin. His school day started at 6 am and ended at 5 pm. They had a two-hour lunch break from 11 to 1. The boys' job in school was to read and translate comedies, political speeches, poems, and dialogues. One of William's teachers, Thomas Jenkins, was likely who taught William how to understand how to use words and arguments in lively and dramatic ways. (Romeo and Juliet, book, Folger Shakespeare Library)


The first mention of Shakespeare was in 1592. He was an actor and playwright at the London theater. The first quarto editions of his early plays appeared in 1594. Shakespeare had many roles in the London theater as an actor, playwright, and a business shareholder in a major acting company. Little by little he became more famous in the London theater world. His name, which wasn't even listed on the first quartos of his plays, became a regular feature. As soon as William became a published poet, in that same year he published a long narrative poem and followed it with another. After he published his first two poems, the plague shut down the theaters. He wasn't able to create and perform any new plays because not enough people would come and they won't make their money. The plague devastated the vast population of London. He wrote two major poems, Ovid’s Metamorphosis: Venus and Adonis and The Rape of Lucrece. He also wrote a sequence of sonnets and several short poems. After 1612, William wrote little more and returned to live with his family in Stratford-upon-Avon. Shakespeare wrote his last play, The Two Noble Kinsman in 1613. (Romeo and Juliet, book, Folger Shakespeare Library/Gale research in context)


The most famous and probably the most well-known writing of Shakespeare is Hamlet. There are other popular writings such as Romeo and Juliet, Macbeth, and King Lear. Learning and knowing about Shakespeare today is important because we still use some of the language and word organization that he used in his plays. Learning about Shakespeare also allows us to see the change in English and the effect on the English language William had. Finally, what the characters do is something that we all do too. For example, Romeo killed Tybalt by impulse and later he regretted it. Everyone acts out of impulse and they can't control it, then later they regret it. (Gale Research in Context)


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