Thesis: Shakespeare's life was very interesting and influential from his early life, career and family life, and late life and in death.
Quote #1: "William Shakespeare was born in the small market town of Stratford-upon-Avon in 1564, the third of eight children" (Lander).
Commentary: William was born in Stratford-upon-Avon, which was a small town. It's shown how interesting his life is because he is one of eight children, and yet he went on and became someone so well known, and was not shadowed by his seven siblings.
Quote #2: "Beginning at about the age of 7, William probably attended the Stratford grammar school with other boys of his social class" (Lander).
Commentary: It is believed that William went to grammar school with the other boys from families of a similar status. Kids were attending grammar school at the age of seven, which seems strange to many now, because of how specific the type of schooling was, yet normal to people in that time.
Quote #3: "Studies of Elizabethan pedagogy reveal that emphasis was placed upon memory, composition, and rhetoric....School and compulsory church attendance would have given young men a thorough knowledge of the Bible...There are biblical allusions throughout Shakespeare's works" (Baker).
Commentary: School was focused on writing, memory, and rhetoric, and boys learned a lot about the Bible from church attendance. Shakespeare often alluded towards the Bible in his works. This is interesting because it shows how different school was along with what impact his schooling had on Shakespeare's plays.
Family Life and Career:
Quote #4: "In 1582 Shakespeare married Anne Hathaway, eight years his senior and pregnant at the time of the marriage. They had three children: Susanna, born in 1583, and twins, Hamnet and Judith, born in 1585" ("William").
Commentary: Shakespeare married a woman who was 8 years older than him named Anne Hathaway, who was pregnant when they wed. Shakespeare impacted the world by marrying and bringing three children into the world, two of which were twins.
Quote #5: "In 1585, Anne gave birth to twins, a boy (Hamnet) and a girl (Judith). After this, Shakespeare vanishes from the public record for nearly seven years" (Forster).
Commentary: After Shakespeare's wife Anne gave birth to their twins, William disappeared for about seven years. This is an example of how interesting his life was, since he vanished from the public then came back after a few years and kick start his career.
Quote #6: "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..." ("William").
Commentary: His career came to a start in 1594 where he began acting and writing plays under King James I where he continued to work until retirement. William not only was writing and acting for his entire career, but since he worked under the king, it was easy to get recognition. The acknowledgement and fame he received helped emphasize what he wanted to put out into the world for the public and expand the reach of his impact.
Quote #7: "Prior to the Elizabethan dramatists, the English theater offered mainly religious and allegorical themes. Shakespeare, preeminently, instead used drama to explore secular human experience and reflect the actual life of English and world history, shaped by a remarkable grasp of the commonplace and the subtlety of behavior and psychology" (Burt).
Commentary: Before the English theater became surrounded by dramatic plays, themes were centered around religion and morals, but William used drama to show the lives of humans and the way events were affected psychology and behavior. That shows Shakespeare's impact on the world because when he became a playwright, he completely changed what English theater was like, which has had a major influence on today's theater. It also illustrates how interesting his life was because he had such a big part in what English theater became.
Late Life and Death:
Quote #8: "He collaborated with John Fletcher, another English dramatist, in writing three more plays. In the past, some scholars argued that The Tempest, written about 1610, was Shakespeare’s last play. Such a theory was encouraged by the presence in the play of passages that sound like a farewell to the stage" (Lander).
Commentary: Even as his career was winding down, William managed to collaborate and write three more play, and it is believed that The Tempest was his last play because of the way he stated things. Shakespeare did not retire in a sad or boring way, instead he continued to do what he loved until he decided it was time, and even then his work never suffered or went down in quality, which aided in making his influence big.
Quote #9: "Shakespeare died on April 23, 1616, six weeks after Judith’s wedding. Many consider the same date as Shakespeare's birthday" (Forster).
Commentary: William passed on what was believed to be his birthday, six weeks after his daughter, Judith's wedding. It's intriguing that he died on what many conclude to be his birthday, yet still lived to see his youngest daughter wed.
Quote #10: "Royal Shakespeare Company is an English theater organization dedicated to presenting the plays of William Shakespeare and other playwrights of his time, modern classical dramas, and new works. The company...performs at its own theater at Stratford-upon-Avon, England, Shakespeare's birthplace" (Royal).
Commentary: There is a theater organization based in William's birthplace that is dedicated to acting out the plays of William Shakespeare along with other plays by playwrights of the time. Even many years after Shakespeare's death, he is still honored and remembered with the help of organizations like Royal Shakespeare Company who put in so much effort to displays William's plays.
Baker, William. “Shakespeare, William.” In Baker, William, and Kenneth Womack, eds. The Facts On File Companion to Shakespeare. New York: Facts On File, Inc., 2012. Bloom’s Literature, Facts On File, Inc.
Burt, Daniel S. “Shakespeare, William.” The Literary 100: A Ranking of the Most Influential Novelists, Playwrights, and Poets of All Time, Revised Edition. New York: Facts On File, Inc., 2008. Bloom’s Literature, Facts On File, Inc.
Forster, Matt. “William Shakespeare.” William Shakespeare (2005): 1-3. History Reference Center. Web. 7 Dec. 2016.
Lander, Jesse M. “Shakespeare, William.” World Book Advanced. World Book, 2016. Web. 17 Nov. 2016.
“Royal Shakespeare Company.” World Book Advanced. World Book, 2016. Web. 6 Dec. 2016.
“William Shakespeare.” Columbia Electronic Encyclopedia, 6Th Edition (2016): 1-4. History Reference Center. Web. 18 Nov. 2016.