THESIS: In Shakespeare’s life, the hardships he went through which only helped him better his writing, his childhood, and his life after retirement all are important in helping us understand the possibly best playwright that has lived better.
Quote #1: "By 1592, Shakespeare apparently attracted the hostile attention of a jealous rival. Robert Greene was a university-trained writer who was among the first to attempt to make a career of writing for the stage and the commercial press. Greene’s Groats-Worth of Wit Bought with a Million of Repentance, a pamphlet published after Greene’s death in 1592, contains a harsh reference to Shakespeare. The English playwright Henry Chettle prepared the pamphlet for publication and may have been the true author" (Lander).
Commentary: Since Shakespeare is just starting young as a writer, people are starting to notice all the plays he writes and are starting to become impressed with him. Due to signs of later success, Ben Greene grew jealous of the young writer's potential to become a great writer. Being a writer, it is inevitable to get criticism. Being one of the first signs of criticism to be received as a young writer, this stands as an obstacle to Shakespeare to get past and continue the great work and even improve.
Quote #2: "The line “Tiger’s heart wrapped in a Player’s hide” echoes a line spoken by the Duke of York in Shakespeare’s Henry VI, Part III. The line is “O tiger’s heart wrapped in a woman’s hide.” The pun on Shakespeare’s name makes the object of attack clear. Whether written by Greene or Chettle, this passage indicates that Shakespeare was in 1592 an actor who also wrote plays. He was successful enough to provoke the scorn and jealousy of competitors who considered themselves socially and culturally superior" (Lander).
Commentary: Because authors are trying to get to Shakespeare's head by using puns and insults through their work, Shakespeare just has to get away from all that negativity and just focus on making his own work the best he possibly can. Not only that, the fact that writers who consider themselves "superior" than himself just proves he is on the right track of his writing career.
Quote #3: "John Cobbe (b. before 1561-1614), a wealthy Stratfordian died in 1614, and left Shakespeare the by no means inconsiderable sum for the time of £5. However, in the final two years of his life, Shakespeare became embroiled in arguments relating to the enclosing of land whose tithes he owned in the Stratford area, and especially in Welcombe, a small village roughly a mile and a half from Stratford" (Baker, 126).
Commentary: Shakespeare has had much much success early and midway throughout his career. However, as the years pass by, Shakespeare is burdened with arguments in relation to enclosed property he owns. Yes his life has been filled with success and praise, but he has gone through many hardships, and he has just been confronted by yet another obstacle, even in retirement.
Quote #4: "The reference to "Shake-scene" is a clue that the "upstart crow" was Shakespeare, whom Greene accused of gaining public favor by plagiarizing, or copying, works of the successful dramatists of the time—that is, beautifying himself with their feathers" (Carnagie).
Commentary: Just because Shakespeare had a humble start to his life, people doubt that he is really capable of producing the excellent work he writes. People doubt him so much that other playwrights have to accuse him of plagiarizing works of others, pushing Shakespeare to continue making the great work he does and prove everyone wrong.
Quote #1: "William Shakespeare was born in the small market town of Stratford-upon-Avon in 1564, the third of eight children. The register of Holy Trinity, the parish church in Stratford, records his baptism on April 2" (Lander).
Commentary: This quote gives knowledge about where he was born and baptized. It also gives information about how many children came before or after him. Lastly, it also tells about the church where he was baptized.
Quote #2: "When Shakespeare was a teenager, his family fell on hard times. His father stopped attending town council meetings in 1577, and the family’s fortunes began declining. Matters were not improved in 1582 when Shakespeare, at the age of eighteen, hastily married Anne Hathaway, the twenty-six-year-old daughter of a farmer from the nearby village of Shottery; she presented him with a daughter, named Susanna, approximately five months later. In 1585, the couple also became the parents of twins, Hamnet and Judith. As was then customary, the young couple probably lived in his parents’ home, which must have seemed increasingly crowded" (Branam).
Commentary: Shakespeare as a teenager was faced with problems when it came to his teenage years. This shows that Shakespeare did not have the easiest times in his youth. His father stopped attending the town council meetings and his family was slowly falling into poverty, showing that Shakespeare was faced with the crucible of having to live with a family that would struggle to provide for him and his siblings. He went on to quickly marry Anne Hathaway, not making matters any better. This shows Shakespeare tried as much as he could to at least try to improve the family's current condition. Lastly, Shakespeare and his wife, with twins and a daughter, made Shakespeare's family's home exceedingly crowded.
Quote #3: "Possibly, Shakespeare's early and hasty marriage cut off any plans he may have had for a university education. His father's financial difficulties also meant that no money was available for further education. Whatever the case—and historians have no evidence that he planned to attend one of the universities in England—Shakespeare had to rely on his own resources to support a family" (Carnagie).
Commentary: This quote supports the fact that Shakespeare had rough teenage years. His decision in getting married early and quickly just made his already tough youth, even harder. This is because his early and quick marriage disturbed any plans he had to get a university education. Even when you thought it could not have gotten any worse, Shakespeare's father was lacking in money and finances, not being able to support Shakespeare's education and new family, so Shakespeare had to rely on his own resources to support his family.