The Life and Works of William Shakespeare

His Life before being “The Bard”

  • Born in Stratford-upon-Avon on April 23rd, 1564. (Above)
  • Attended the Stratford Latin School where he learned Latin and the “classics.” (Above)
  • Shakespeare married Anne Hathaway (Below) on November 28, 1582 and they had three children: Susanna (1583); twins Judith and Hamnet (1585).
Anne Hathaway: https://encrypted-tbn3.gstatic.com/images?q=tbn:ANd9GcRUoBn8_jyvGonYlxgywGLRxtZItOHFcqq2sP9PMR4B5J3JVIjh
  • He later moved from Stratford to London to act. He doesn’t return for 20 years.
http://www.elizabethan-era.org.uk/elizabethan-london.htm
  • From 1578-82 (school to marriage) and 1585-92 (birth of children to image as great player), periods referred to as his “lost years.” No one knows about him during this time.
  • By 1592, Shakespeare was established as an influential playwright. A few plays were popular by this time.
  • In 1593, the Earl of Southampton sponsored Shakespeare and funded his work.
  • At this time, he wrote many of his sonnets.
  • He acted in the Lord Chamberlain’s Men Company, mostly at the Globe theater, and in front of Queen Elizabeth many times.
  • He continued his writing throughout this time, creating all of his plays and poems during the next 20 years.
  • He dies with great prestige on April 23, 1616.

His Greatest Accomplishments

  • Shakespeare wrote 37 plays and 154 sonnets, all critically acclaimed, during his lifetime.
  • He received his own coat of arms because of his reputation in 1596.
  • Classes based on his writing are the only “universal” classes taught in university English programs around the country.
  • For nearly 500 years, he has been considered the greatest playwright of all.

Sources for his Plays

  • Shakespeare was a master of character and not of plot.
  • He borrowed stories from other sources and brought them to life with his own character creations.
  • Classic literature- Ancient Greek and Roman authors, like Homer and Ovid
  • Medieval literature- Chaucer particularly
  • Biblical texts- Old and New Testament
  • Historical accounts

His Types of Plays

  • History- chronicles the history of England, highlighting main events and glorifying Queen Elizabeth
  • Comedy- deals with earning a happy life: love (sex and marriage), relationships
  • Tragedy- looks at the unhappy half of life: death, war, disease, and the mental meltdown of men

Credits:

Created with images by tonynetone - "William Shakespeare" • wwarby - "Shakespeare's Birthplace" • ell brown - "The Almshouses - Church Street, Stratford-upon-Avon" • Martin Pettitt - "Shakespeare's Globe Theatre" • david__jones - "And curst be he yt moves my bones" • Ben Sutherland - "Front cover of William Shakespeare's First Folio" • KJGarbutt - "Shakespeare" • bud ellison - from the street - "Rome" • Stifts- och landsbiblioteket i Skara - "Gottfried Chaucer" • CircaSassy - "A pictorial history of England (1854)" • Andrew Campbell Photography - "Herstmonceux Medieval Festival" • Arbron - "Shakespeare's Globe Theatre" • JustABoy - "The Globe Theatre(15)" • D-Stanley - "Shakespeare`s Globe Theatre" • MCAD Library - "Hamlet" • Marcus Meissner - "Shakespeares Globe Theater main stage"

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