Shakespeare's Life Koby Holland Period 4

William Shakespeare

Thesis

The highlights of William Shakespeare's life can be divided into 3 parts: his early life, his plays, and his death.

Early Life

Shakespeare as a child

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. 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.

Since Shakespeare wrote plays by going to these plays when he was younger triggered his interest in plays once he got older.

I know that Shakepeare wrote plays so it is obvious that he would have enjoyed attending plays when he was a younger boy.

"He is the most famous writer in the world, but he left us no journals or letters---he left us only his poems and his plays. What we know about William Shakespeare's personal life comes mostly from church and legal documents---a baptismal registration, a marriage license, and records of real estate transactions. We also have a few remarks that others wrote about him during his lifetime." (Anderson 776.)

Although William Shakespeare is the most famous writer he did not leave any personal journals or letters. What is known about Shakespeare's personal life come from church, legal docs, and remarks others wrote about him during his life.

After reading this I wonder why he didn't leave any journals or letters.

Beginning at about the age of 7, William probably attended the Stratford grammar school with other boys of his social class. Students spent about nine hours a day in school. The teachers enforced strict discipline and physically punished students who broke the rules. The students chiefly studied Latin, the language of ancient Rome. Knowledge of Latin was necessary for a career in medicine, law, or the church. In addition, the ability to read Latin was considered a sign of an educated person. Young Shakespeare may have read such outstanding ancient Roman authors as Cicero, Ovid, Plautus, Seneca, Terence, and Virgil.

It is thought that William Shakespeare attended Stratford grammar school with children of like class. Because of strict schooling Shakespeare is believed to have been taught Latin, reading works from such authors as Cicero, Ovid, and Plautus.

One can assume that they took education very seriously during the time of Shakepeare's childhood, because of school hours, strict punishment, and strict learning.

School and compulsory church attendance would have given young men a thorough knowledge of the Bible (probably the 1568 Bishops' Bible), the Book of Common Prayer (1549), and the sermons in the Book of Homilies (published in 1571). There are biblical allusions throughout Shakespeare's works; the books of Ecclesiastes and Job are special favorites. Passages in Titus Andronicus (4.2.43) and Love's Labour's Lost (4.3.336–337) reflect arguments concerning the translation of "charity" or "love." The Book of Job forms the biblical foundation of the common Shakespearean theme of friends' abandonment of someone whose luck has turned, as, for instance, in Timon of Athens. The Book of Ecclesiastes is probably the source for the attack on excessive grief found in Romeo and Juliet and other plays.

In this paragraph one can assume that Shakespeares parents wanted him to be religious, because he used stuff from the bible in his works.

I wonder why Shakespeares parents wanted him to be so religious.

His Plays

Romeo and Juliet play

Scholars do not know exactly what Shakespeare wrote. With the possible exception of a short passage from Sir Thomas More, no manuscripts in Shakespeare’s handwriting exist. Thus, editors have had to sort through the early printed documents to determine what was written by Shakespeare. Their labors have been greatly assisted by Shakespeare’s Comedies, Histories & Tragedies, published in 1623. This volume, called the First Folio, was published by a group of publishers led by Isaac Jaggard and Edward Blount. The publishers were assisted by two leading members of the King’s Men, John Heminge and Henry Condell, who were able to provide copies of the 18 plays that had not appeared before in print. Along with these 18 plays, the First Folio republished an additional 18 plays, making a total of 36.

By reading this one can tell that made his historic plays with the help of other publishers to make his 36 plays in total.

After reading this I wonder why Shakespeare did not leave enough evidence for scholars to acknowledge the effort he put into his plays.

Shakespeare wrote his plays to suit the abilities of particular actors and the tastes of specific audiences. The physical structure of the theaters in which his works were presented also influenced his playwriting. He used many dramatic devices that were popular in the Elizabethan theater but are no longer widely used. Modern readers and theatergoers can enjoy Shakespeare’s plays more fully if they know about the various theatrical influences that helped shape them.

By reading this one can tell that people really enjoyed his plays, and the way Shakepeare wrote his plays is what makes him unique. Another reason why his plays were so terrific is because of the actors that acted the plays.

I wonder how Shakespeare came up with his way of writing and entertaining people, and how he influenced people to see his plays.

Globe Theatre was an early open-air English theater in London. Most of the great English playwright William Shakespeare's plays were first presented at the Globe. The brothers Cuthbert and Richard Burbage constructed the theater in 1599 from the timbers of London's first playhouse, called The Theatre. They erected the Globe in the area known as the Bank side on the south side of the River Thames in the suburb of Southwark. Shakespeare owned a modest percentage of the theater and its operations.

By reading this one can tell that the Global Theatre did not always have its name it started off as just "the theatre" until it was forced to move to somewhere else and thats where it got its name.

I wonder why they had to move the theatre from its original spot.

During his last eight years, Shakespeare was the sole author of only three plays—Cymbeline,The Tempest, and The Winter’s Tale. He collaborated with John Fletcher, another English dramatist, in writing three more plays. In the past, some scholars argued that The Tempest, written about 1610, was Shakespeare’s last play. Such a theory was encouraged by the presence in the play of passages that sound like a farewell to the stage. However, in 1612 and 1613, Shakespeare worked closely with Fletcher, who replaced him as the chief dramatist for the King’s Men, on Cardenio (now lost), King Henry VIII, and Two Noble Kinsmen. In addition, Shakespeare purchased a house in the Blackfriars district of London in 1613. The evidence thus suggests that Shakespeare gradually reduced his activity in London rather than ending it abruptly.

In this paragraph it talks about his last play and who he collaborated with to help him perform his last play. Also this paragraph talks about what he did after the play.

In this paragraph it talks about his last play and who he collaborated with to help him perform his last play. Also this paragraph talks about what he did after the play.

His Death

Shakespeare dead

During his last eight years, Shakespeare was the sole author of only three plays—Cymbeline,The Tempest, and The Winter’s Tale. He collaborated with John Fletcher, another English dramatist, in writing three more plays. In the past, some scholars argued that The Tempest, written about 1610, was Shakespeare’s last play. Such a theory was encouraged by the presence in the play of passages that sound like a farewell to the stage. However, in 1612 and 1613, Shakespeare worked closely with Fletcher, who replaced him as the chief dramatist for the King’s Men, on Cardenio (now lost), King Henry VIII, and Two Noble Kinsmen. In addition, Shakespeare purchased a house in the Blackfriars district of London in 1613. The evidence thus suggests that Shakespeare gradually reduced his activity in London rather than ending it abruptly.

In this paragraph it talks about his last play and who he collaborated with to help him perform his last play. Also this paragraph talks about what he did after the play.

In this paragraph it talks about his last play and who he collaborated with to help him perform his last play. Also this paragraph talks about what he did after the play.

The purchase of Shakespeare's only known London property, for which he paid a deposit of £80, is curious. Shakespeare's signature is on the mortgage deed dated March 11, 1613. He also signed a deed to the effect that the complete purchase amount would be paid at Michaelmas on September 29; however, the mortgage remained unpaid when Shakespeare died in 1616. According to Richard Frith, a Blackfriars resident writing in 1586, Blackfriars Gatehouse "hath sundry back doors and bye-ways, and many secret vaults and corners." Frith added, "It hath been in time past suspected and searched for papists but no good done for want of good knowledge of the back doors and bye-ways, and of the dark corners" (qtd. in Dobson and Wells: 49).

From reading this paragraph one can tell Shakespeares death was probably a sad day for many people who enjoyed his plays.

I wonder why Shakespeare paid a deposit for his only known London property.

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