Thesis: Shakespeare's life can be shown through the time from birth to marriage, when he was popular, and the end of his life.
His Life From Birth to Marriage:
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 26. According to the custom at that time, infants were baptized about three days after their birth. Therefore, the generally accepted date for Shakespeare’s birth is April 23" (Lander).
Commentary: This shows us when and where Shakespeare was born. It reveals to us a little bit about the customs of his time.
Quote #2: "William attended grammar school, where he studied Latin grammar, Latin literature, and rhetoric (the uses of language). As far as we know, he had no further formal education" (Anderson 776-777).
Commentary: This shows us what Shakespeare learned in school. It also tells us about what he has learned and what he has not learned.
Quote #3: "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" (Branam).
Commentary: This shows us that during Shakespeare's teenager years, his family had some hard times. It also tells us that matters didn't improve when he hastily got married.
Quote #4: "On Nov. 27, 1582, Shakespeare received a license to marry Anne Hathaway... At the age of 18, William was young to marry, while Anne at 26 was of normal marrying age... the birth of their first child, Susanna, in May 1583 came only six months after marriage... William may have been forced to marry Anne because she was pregnant... Early in 1585, Anne gave birth to twins, Judith and Hamnet" (Lander).
Commentary: This shows us when, who and how he got married to. It also shows us a bit of how marriages were during that time.
His Life When He Was Popular:
Quote #5: "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)" (Branam).
Commentary: This shows some of Shakespeare's early works that he created during his life time. It shows how his early popularity came from these early works.
Quote #6: "Shakespeare took the theater of his time, and used it brilliantly... Shakespeare called his theater a 'wooden O'" (Anderson 778).
Commentary: This shows us what he decided to do during his time. He created his theater that he then became well known for.
Quote #7: "As king of England, he became James I. James enjoyed and actively supported the theater. He issued a royal license to Shakespeare and his fellow players, which allowed the company to call itself the King’s Men. In return for the license, the actors entertained the king at court on a more or less regular basis" (Lander).
Commentary: This shows us a time of Shakespeare's life were he entertained the King with his fellow players. It also tells us how he got his royal license and why he got it.
The End of His Life:
Quote #8: "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" (Lander).
Commentary: This shows us some of the plays he wrote during the end of his life. It also tells us that even during the end of his life he was writing.
Quote #9: "On March 25, 1616, Shakespeare was concerned enough about his health to call his lawyer to make final provisions in his last will and testament... William Shakespeare died of unknown causes" (Gaines 23).
Commentary: This basically tells us that Shakespeare was concerned about his heath towards the end of his life. We also now know that what caused him to have an end to his life was unknown.
Quote #10: "Shakespeare died on April 23, 1616, at the age of fifty-two. He is buried under the old stone floor in the chancel of Holy Trinity Church in Stratford" (Anderson 777).
Commentary: This shows us when his life ended. It also gives us some information about how old he was when he died and where his body is buried.
Anderson, Robert. "Shakespeare and His Theater: A Perfect Match." Holt Literature & Language Arts: Mastering the California Standards: Reading, Writing, Listening, Speaking, by G. Kylene Beers et al., Austin, Holt, Rinehart & Winston, 2003, pp. 778-80.
---. "William Shakespeare's Life: A Genius from Stratford." Holt Literature & Language Arts: Mastering the California Standards: Reading, Writing, Listening, Speaking, by G. Kylene Beers et al., Austin, Holt, Rinehart & Winston, 2003, pp. 776-77.
Branam, Harold. "William Shakespeare." Salem Press Biographical Encyclopedia (2016): Topic Overviews 6-12. Web. 8 Dec. 2016.
Gaines, Barry. "Biography Of William Shakespeare." Critical Insights: King Lear (2011): 18-24. Literary Reference Center. Web. 8 Dec. 2016.
Lander, Jesse M. "Shakespeare, William." World Book Advanced. World Book, 2016. Web. 29 Nov. 2016.