Shakespeare Research Project Jennifer Valencia Period 4

Thesis: Shakespeare influenced the world from his early life, plays, and later life.

Early Life:

Quote #1: "While little is known of Shakespeare's boyhood, he probably attended the grammar school in Stratford, where he would have been educated in the classics, particularly Latin grammar and literature. Whatever the veracity of Ben Jonson's famous comment that Shakespeare had "small Latine, and less Greeke," much of his work clearly depends on a knowledge of Roman comedy, ancient history, and classical mythology" ("William").

Commentary: This shows that at an early age, Shakespeare was already interested in subjects similar to playwriting, or writing in general. Although little is known it definitely goes to show that Shakespeare was meant be a playwright and share his knowledge to the world.

Quote #2: "By 1592, Shakespeare had already become an and a playwright. By 1594, he was a charter member of the theatrical company called the Lord Chamberlain's Men, which was later to become the King's Men. Shakespeare worked with this company for the rest his writing life. Year after year he provided it with plays, almost on demand. Shakespeare was the ultimate professional writer" (Anderson 777).

Commentary: This shows, that plus the knowledge from grammar school, Shakespeare had a lot of experience. What seemed to help his influence spread was the company itself. It was in fact supported by King James. Word must have gotten out about Shakespeare making him spread throughout the world.

Quote #3: "This son of an illiterate provincial butcher had the largest vocabulary of any writer in English in history, using about 37,000 different words in his works ...Shakespeare was also, apparently, the first writer to use the word 'its' as a third person possessive" (Rubinstein).

Commentary: From this it shows that we have used his way of writing into ours. We use its' as a third person in essays and multiple projects for school. What's to say he might have more of an influence than just its'?


Quote #4:"Shakespeare’s plays have attracted large audiences in big, sophisticated cities and in small, rural towns. His works have been performed on the frontiers of Australia and New Zealand. They were part of the cultural life of the American Colonies and provided entertainment in the mining camps of the Old West. Today, there are theaters in many nations dedicated to staging Shakespeare’s works" (Lander).

Commentary: From this it introduces us to how important Shakespeare was through the lands. He was such a big influence that it spread to Australia and New Zealand. As well as, became a part of people's life.

Quote #5: "Following the success of Romeo and Juliet and A Midsummer Night’s Dream the previous year, his only son, Hamnet, died at the age of 11. No letters or documents record how England’s most celebrated dramatist and poet felt at the time, but 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 1).

Commentary: From this it shows how Shakespeare got to the top of literature and influenced the world. It shows that he possibly wrote his plays from personal experience. With that emotion, it made his plays more raw and true to the audience.

Quote #6:"Shakespeare’s poems and plays show a love of nature and rural life. This display undoubtedly reflects his childhood experiences and his love of the Stratford countryside" (Lander).

Commentary: This supports my theory of Shakespeare drawing his experiences into his line of work. He made it personal through past experiences and things he saw in his early life. This made such an influence because it was relatable to the audience. From that, people must have started to write from experiences of their own.

Quote #7: "Shakespeare's plays have inspired countless playwrights and filmmakers,English playwright Tom Stoppard (1937­) wrote a comedy called Rosencrantz and Guildenstern Are Dead, based on two characters from Shakespeare's play Hamlet. The musical West Side Story is based on Romeo and Juliet. It tells the story of two families at odds with each other in New York City" (Banting).

Commentary: From this, it shows that he is a big influence in the theater department. From that, were created new classics that we watch today. Some well known classics like West Side Story is based on Shakespeare's works of Romeo and Juliet.

Later Life:

Quote #8: "...the life of a prosperous retired gentleman, Shakespeare had written thirty-seven plays, including such masterpieces as Julius Caesar, Hamlet, Othello, King Lear, and Macbeth" (Anderson 777).

Commentary: Shakespeare, as said, wrote Othello, later on in his life. Othello as known, has many racist characters, causing us to question race and how we follow it through. It made us think about how to treat each other.

Quote #9: "English playwright William Shakespeare used prophetic witches in his tragedy of Macbeth...The witches' eerie supernatural powers allow Shakespeare to hold the attention of his 17th-century audience...classic fairy tales by Hans Christian Anderson and the Brothers Grimm almost always used witches to represent forces of evil..., J.K. Rowling invented an entire magical world in her seven-book series published between 1997 and 2007" (Rogers).

Commentary: From this, it shows that Shakespeare inspired novelists that are well known today. For example, J.K Rowling was inspired with the world of witchcraft and wizardry for the famous Harry Potter series. Witches and wizards came to attention from Shakespeare when introduced in Macbeth. From this it shows, how much of an influence he has made to us now.

Quote #10: "For A Midsummer Night's Dream, Shakespeare wrote some of his most richly descriptive poetry...The passage transports the audience in imagination to a magic wood where flowers bloom and fairies play. Shakespeare balanced this romantic fantasy with the rough humor of Bottom and his friends. The self-centered Bottom ranks as one of Shakespeare's finest comic figures. The comedy also has a serious side. Light-heartedly but firmly, it makes fun of romantic love" ("Midsummer").

Commentary: Midsummer Night's Dream, was a play written in Shakespeare's later life. From this you can see that, this play was part of an influence on novelists, for fantasy and romance together. Some examples could be The Mortal Instrument Series by Cassandra Clare, or The Lunar Chronicles by Marissa Meyers.

Works Cited

Anderson, Robert. “William Shakespeare’s Life.” Holt Literature & Language Arts: Mastering the California Standards: Reading, Writing, Listening, Speaking, by G. Kylene Beers et al., Austin, Holt, Rinehart & Winston, 2003, pp. 776-77.

Banting, Erinn. “The World Of Books.” England: The Culture (2004): 25­29. History Reference Center. Web. 1 Dec. 2016.

Lander, Jesse M. “Shakespeare, William.” World Book Advanced. World Book, 2016. Web. 17 Nov. 2016.

“Midsummer Night’s Dream, A.” World Book Advanced. World Book, 2016. Web. 8 Dec. 2016.

RAVILIOUS, KATE. “The Bard At Home.” Archaeology 69.4 (2016): 44­47. History Reference Center. Web. 30 Nov. 2016.

Rogers, Barbara Radcliffe, and Andrew Matthews. “Witchy Characters.” Cobblestone 37.7 (2016): 34­37. History Reference Center. Web. 5 Dec. 2016.

Rubinstein, William. “Who Was Shakespeare?.” History Today 51.8 (2001): 28. History Reference Center. Web. 30 Nov. 2016.

“William Shakespeare.” Columbia Electronic Encyclopedia, 6Th Edition (2016): 1-4. History Reference Center. Web. 18 Nov. 2016.

William Shakespeare.“ Columbia Electronic Encyclopedia, 6Th Edition (2016): 1­4. History Reference Center. Web. 30 Nov. 2016.


Created with images by tonynetone - "William Shakespeare" • marybettiniblank - "london globe theatre theater" • KJGarbutt - "Shakespeare" • summonedbyfells - "WILLIAM SHAKESPEARE AT THE BODLEIAN LIBRARY" • WikiImages - "william shakespeare othello poster" • shearings - "William Shakespeare's Birthplace" • photoloni - "Midsummer Night's Dream" • Fæ - "The W.P.A. Federal Theatre Negro Unit (presents) Macbeth by William Shakespeare LCCN92522687" • Provenance Online Project - "Title page from Penn Libraries EC Sh155 622oc" • Provenance Online Project - "Title page from Folger Shakespeare Library 22273 Fo.1 no.23"

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