Thesis: Shakespeare has influenced people through his early life, works of literature, and his late life.
Shakespeare’s Early life:
Quote#1-"By 1569, traveling companies of professional actors were performing in Stratford. Stratford also held two large fairs each year, which attracted numerous visitors from other counties. For young Shakespeare, Stratford could thus have been an exciting place to live." (Lander).
Commentary-Shakespeare got his motivation to become a famous writer. This helps reveal the importance of his early life because he was inspired by the plays in festivals and decided that he wanted to become one of the greatest, impactful, writers from his early years and on.
Quote#2-"Beginning at about the age of 7, William probably attended the Stratford grammar school with other boys of his social class. The school’s highly qualified teachers were graduates of Oxford University. Students spent about nine hours a day in school. They attended classes the year around, except for three brief holiday periods." (Lander).
Commentary-William attended a grammar school with teachers that were very skilled. This helps to show his early life because this relates to how William became such a famous writer and where it all started for him.
Quote#3-"In the 16th century the Shakespeare family numbered among its worthies, having made their fortune by siding with Henry Tudor at the Battle of Bosworth Field, then defying the rest of the Tudors by selling black-market wool. In their day Stratford was a small place, tightly jammed into a two by four block grid, which remains its historic center." (Hargan).
Commentary-Shakespeare's family was really important to him when he was younger. This helps to reveal the importance of his early life because Shakespeare wanted accomplish as much as his parents and become a very impactful person.
Works of literature:
Quote#4-"Despite their imitative nature and many other faults, Shakespeare’s early plays, notably Henry VI, were popular onstage, but his greatest early popularity came from two long narrative poems, Venus and Adonis (1593) and The Rape of Lucrece (1594). Shakespeare wrote these two poems during the two years that the plague closed down the London theaters." (Branam).
Commentary-People were noticing and admiring his work. This also shows how impactful he was because he could have helped people get through the tough time after the plague with his magnificent works of literature.
Quote#5- "This curiosity, plus his facility with language, enabled him to write his masterpieces and to create characters who are better known than some important figures in world history." (Branam).
Commentary-Shakespeare's works were popular and they are well known. This also helps to show how impactful he was because his characters in the poems he wrote are better known than real famous people in our past history.
Quote#6-"Shakespeare's sonnets are by far his most important nondramatic poetry. They were first published in 1609, although many of them had certainly been circulated privately before this, and it is generally agreed that the poems were written sometime in the 1590s." (H.R.C.).
Commentary-Out of all the poetry Shakespeare wrote, the sonnets influenced people and became the most important. This helps to reveal how Shakespeare influenced people because he was able to impact many people with this type of poetry and it was so important that it started to circulate privately.
Quote#7-"Chronology of Composition The chronology of Shakespeare's plays is uncertain, but a reasonable approximation of their order can be inferred from dates of publication, references in contemporary writings, allusions in the plays to contemporary events, thematic relationships, and metrical and stylistic comparisons. His first plays are believed to be the three parts of Henry VI; it is uncertain whether Part I was written before or after Parts II and III." (H.R.C).
Commentary-Shakespeare's plays actually had lessons to be learned and many different plots or themes. This reveals how he influenced people through his work because people were learning lessons and even learned about history during Shakespeare's plays. Some of his plays are even used today to teach because they have important history within them.
Shakespeare’s late life:
Quote#8-"Soon after, in 1597, the 33-year-old playwright, who was by that time the talk of London, was drawn back to his roots in Stratford-upon-Avon, the small market town about 100 miles northwest of London, where he was born. Records show that he bought New Place, the second largest house in town, for the considerable sum of £120 (a Stratford school teacher would have earned around £20 per year at the time)." (Ravilious).
Commentary-After Shakespeare wrote all of his works of art, he started to lay low. This helps to show his later life because he was able to settle down in his home town and buy the house he always dreamed of living in. He was able to afford the expensive home because of all the money he received from his plays and writings.
Quote#9-"Nicholas Rowe, an eighteenth-century Shakespeare biographer, states that the playwright “retired to Stratford some years before his death,” which some take to mean that he retreated from public life following Hamnet’s death, a period during which he may have written his Henry IV plays." (Ravilious).
Commentary-One of the reasons that Shakespeare might have retired from public life was because of his son's death. This helps to show his late life because people can have an idea of why Shakespeare retreated and why he wanted to write his last few plays in peace.
Quote#10- "Married in 1583, William was spending time in London's theaters by 1592, with so much success that, in 1596, he purchased one of Stratford's most expensive and impressive houses, just three blocks from his parents. William and his family would live there until the Bard's death in 1616." (Hargan).
Commentary-Shakespeare was so successful that later on in life he was able to buy the most expensive home. This helps to show the importance of Shakespeare's later life because he was very accomplished like his parents and due to his hard work, the Shakespeare family could afford such a nice home.
Works Cited Page:
RAVILIOUS, KATE. "The Bard At Home." Archaeology 69.4 (2016): 44-47. History Reference Center. Web. 13 Dec. 2016.
Hargan, Jim. "A Day To Visit: Stratford-Upon-Avon." British Heritage 31.3 (2010): 36-39. History Reference Center. Web. 13 Dec. 2016.
"William Shakespeare." Columbia Electronic Encyclopedia, 6Th Edition (2016): 1-4. History Reference Center. Web. 13 Dec. 2016.
Lander, Jesse M. "Shakespeare, William." World Book Advanced. World Book, 2016. Web. 13 Dec. 2016.
Branam, Harold. "William Shakespeare." Salem Press Biographical Encyclopedia (2016): Topic Overviews 6-12. Web. 13 Dec. 2016.