Plays- Shakespeare's plays are still produced all over the world (Anderson 8). Shakespeare wrote at least 38 plays, two major narrative poems, a sequence of sonnets, and several short poems. 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; it is thought that as an actor he played old men's roles, such as the ghost in Hamlet and Old Adam in As You Like It (William 3). Shakespeare has had enormous influence on culture throughout the world. His works have helped shape the literature of all English-speaking countries. His work has also had an important effect on the literary cultures of such countries as Germany and Russia.
Theater- As we have seen, by 1594, William Shakespeare was an established dramatist on the London stage. But the first of his works to appear in print was not a play but the 1194-line narrative poem Venus and Adonis . The official Stationers' Register enters the publication on April 18, 1593 (Baker 30). In 1599, Burbage's theater was torn down and its timbers were used by Shakespeare and his company to build the Globe Theatre. This was the theater for which Shakespeare wrote most of his plays. In 1599 he became a partner in the ownership of the Globe theatre, and in 1608 he was part owner of the Blackfriars theatre. Shakespeare retired and returned to Stratford c.1613. He undoubtedly enjoyed a comfortable living throughout his career and in retirement, although he was never a wealthy man (William 3). In his play Henry V , Shakespeare called his theater a "wooden O." It was a large, round (or polygonal) building, three stories high, with a large platform stage that projected from one end into a yard open to the sky. Since Shakespeare's time "the planks" (the stage) have undergone various changes. First, the part of the stage that projected into the yard grew narrower, and the small curtained inner stage grew larger, until there developed what is called the proscenium stage.
Personal Life- Shakespeare, William (1564-1616), was an English playwright, poet, and actor. Many people regard him as the world’s greatest dramatist and the finest poet England has ever produced (Shakespeare 1). What we know about William Shakespeare's life comes mostly from church and legal documents--a baptismal registration, a marriage license, and records of real estate transactions (Anderson 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 (William 1). It is assumed that from around the age of five to seven, William Shakespeare went to a school where he would have learned to read. Stratford, in common with other English towns of a similar stature, had a grammar school, which was founded in around 1427. The sons of prosperous town citizens would have attended it (Baker 11). In spite of the long hours he spent in school, Shakespeare’s boyhood was probably not all boring study. As a market center, Stratford was a lively town. In addition, holidays provided popular pageants and shows, including plays about the legendary outlaw Robin Hood and his merry men. By 1569, traveling companies of professional actors were performing in Stratford. For young Shakespeare, Stratford could thus have been an exciting place to live (Shakespeare 17).