There is no document stating when William Shakespeare was born, but scholars believe his birth date is on or near April 23, 1564 in Stratford-Avon, UK. This date is three days before he was baptized on April 26, 1564. His work and church records give us a basic outline of his life. None of these records or documents give us information about who he was as a person. Shakespeare grew up in Stratford-upon-Avon which at the time was a market town bisected with a country road and the River Avon.
William Shakespeare was the third child of John Shakespeare who was a leather merchant. Shakespeare's mother, Mary Arden, was a local landed heiress. Mary gave birth to her first child, Joan Shakespeare, who died shortly after her birth because of the plague. Mary gave birth in 1562 to a second daughter, Margaret, but their happiness was short-lived when she died after one year. Mary Arden and John Shakespeare later had two more daughters, Joan and Judith, as well as, three sons: William, Gilbert, Richard and Edmund. William's father became a successful merchant and held official positions as bailiff, or an office resembling a mayor. However records show his success declined in the late 1570s.
On November 28, 1582, 18 year old William Shakespeare married 26 year old Anne Hathaway in Worcester. Their marriage was quickly arranged after Shakespeare's parents found out Anne was pregnant out of wedlock. On May 26, 1583, their first daughter Susanna was born. Twins Hamnet and Judith were born two years later on February 2, 1585. Shakespeare's son, Hamnet, died of unknown causes at age 11. After his twin's birth there are no records proving his existence for seven years. These are called the "lost years".
His older daughter Susanna later married a well-to-do Stratford doctor, John Hall. Their daughter Elizabeth, Shakespeare's first grandchild, was born in 1608. In 1616, just months before his death, Shakespeare's daughter Judith married Thomas Quiney, a Stratford vintner, or winemaker. The family later died out, leaving no immediate descendants of Shakespeare.
The first mention of Shakespeare after the "lost years" is in 1592 as a London actor and playwright. Shakespeare’s father and mother were both illiterate, his father used glover compasses as his signature and his mother couldn’t read or write. This raises questions about William Shakespeare’s writing abilities. He wrote 37 plays and 154 sonnets. He was successful enough to buy the second most prestigious house in Stratford. Since it was a four-day ride by horse from Stratford to London it is believed that Shakespeare spent most of his time in London writing and acting. Shakespeare's most famous plays were tragedies written after 1600. He then wrote Hamlet, King Lear, Othello and Macbeth. The most famous of these plays is Hamlet.
Shakespeare's plays are known for having many complex themes. Although his plays have some similar themes, each play still has its own topic and issues. The four most evident themes his plays have in common are: appearance and reality; change; order and disorder; and conflict. These are topics that influenced him greatly as he observed the world surrounding him. Shakespeare sometimes uses repetition of individual words which represent themes in his plays. In Macbeth, the most repeated word is 'blood'. In the play, 'blood' has multiple meanings. Macbeth has a massive amount of killing and blood seen. His characters say the word many times and this is where Shakespeare invents the word 'bloody'. He also uses 'blood' to refer to his family, or blood relatives. Blood also conveys ideas like courage, youth, and anger.
William Shakespeare died on April 23, 1616 of unknown causes. Church records prove he was buried at Trinity Church on April 25, 1616. In his will, he left most of his possessions to Susanna, his oldest daughter. He didn't leave his wife with much which can mean they had a falling out, but there's no actual proof.
Sources: "William Shakespeare - Poet, Playwright - Biography.com." 5 Jul. 2016, http://www.biography.com/people/william- shakespeare-9480323. Accessed 5 Jan. 2017. "WILLIAM SHAKESPEARE." http://www.william-shakespeare.info/. Accessed 5 Jan. 2017. "Shakespeare's Life | Folger Shakespeare Library." http://www.folger.edu/shakespeares-life. Accessed 8 Jan. 2017. "Shakespeare's Themes: How Shakespeare Uses Themes In His Plays." http://www.nosweatshakespeare.com/play-summary/play-themes/. Accessed 16 Jan. 2017.