The Life of William Shakespeare by isabella brodeur

In Shakespeare's time, theater was not considered positively, it was considered the work of the devil. Many people treated theater with scorn, but it was William Shakespeare who turned it all around, despite all the troubles he and the art went through. Shakespeare's life was very grey, but his childhood, his love life, and his life and success in the theatre world turned him into the man he is known as today.

Firstly, Shakespeare's early childhood turned him into the man he is known as today. He was born the third of eight children, in 1564. He was born on April 23rd, and was baptized April 26th. He attended the Stratford grammar school with other boys of his social class, and the school was notoriously difficult- students spending nine hours a day in class, and attending classes year-round. The teachers were smart, being Oxford graduates, but they were also famously strict.

Students at Shakespeare's notoriously difficult school were taught the language of Latin, and also learned about ancient Roman authors, such as Ovid, Platus, or Seneca, "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. (Lander, paragraph 18)".

Shakespeare was taught the ancient language of Rome, and learned about the ancient authors of Rome. This is where he might have gotten some inspiration for his plays later on in his life.

On November 27th, 1582, Shakespeare married Anne Hathaway. While their families knew each other, the details of their relationship are still speculated, and Shakespeare was young to marry Hathaway, "On Nov. 27, 1582, Shakespeare received a license to marry Anne Hathaway, the daughter of a local farmer. The two families knew each other, but the details of the relationship between William and Anne have been a source of speculation. At the age of 18, William was young to marry, while Anne at 26 was of normal marrying age" (Lander, paragraph 21).

Soon after Shakespeare grew up, he got married to Anne Hathaway. The marriage between them may have also sparked some inspiration for all the love in such plays as "Romeo and Juliet", and "A Midsummer Night's Dream".

The lost years, between 1585 and 1592, was when Shakespeare was first acknowledged by a London writer, and many have theories about what he did during this time, "1585(?): Shakespeare leaves Stratford sometime between 1585 and 1592 and joins a company of actors as a performer and playwright"..."1589–90: Shakespeare probably writes Henry VI, Part One. The dates given for the composition of Shakespeare's plays, though based in scholarship, are somewhat conjectural" (Hacht, lines 6 and 8).

While these years may have left everything shrouded in mystery, there are many things that Shakespeare could have done during this time. Possibly, he started on some of his famous plays, and started to gain interest in theater.

After the lost years ended, Shakespeare had finally gained recognition, but not in a particularly positive way, "1592: Shakespeare was known in London as an actor and a playwright by this time, as evidenced by his being mentioned in Robert Greene's pamphlet A Groats-worth of Wit. In this pamphlet (published this year), Greene chides Shakespeare as an "upstart crow" on the theater scene. Greene charges that Shakespeare is an unschooled player and writer who "borrows" material from his well-educated betters for his own productions" (Hacht, line 12).

Although Shakespeare had gained an enemy, he had finally gained some recognition in the literary world. Maybe, this had sparked Shakespeare to write even more plays and sonnets, furthering his career in the theater world.

Starting from the year of 1589, Shakespeare started to write and produce many of his most famous plays, "1589-1592 Shakespeare’s early comedies are produced, as are Titus Andronicus, Henry VI, Parts I-III, and Richard III"..."1595-1596 Love’s Labour’s Lost, Richard II, Romeo and Juliet, and A Midsummer Night’s Dream are produced"..."1596-1598 The Swan theater opens. Henry IV, Part I, King John, The Merchant of Venice, The Merry Wives of Windsor, and Henry IV, Part II are produced" (Lear, lines 23, 28, and 30).

This was when Shakespeare really started to show in the world of theater. He became even more recognizable, and more eloquent with each play, and with this, his career developed smoothly.

Soon enough, Shakespeare had produced more than 20 plays, and his Globe Theatre was built, "1599 Henry V is produced. The Globe Theatre is built on the south bank of the Thames from the timbers of the Theatre"..."1599-1600 Much Ado About Nothing, As You Like It, Julius Caesar, and Twelfth Night are produced"..."1600-1601 Hamlet and Troilus and Cressida are produced" (Lear, lines 33, 34, and 35).

Also starting in 1599, Shakespeare produced more plays, and his famously known Globe Theatre was built. The Globe Theater now presents all of Shakespeare's famous plays, and he must have felt extremely proud that his career had gotten to such a high level of recognition and grandeur.

Thanks to Shakespeare producing many plays, and his revenue from his plays, he became not rich, but comfortable financially, "Most students vaguely familiar with Shakespeare’s life understand that his share in the theater company, his modest earnings from writing thirty-seven dramas, and his third night’s revenues (the custom of granting the author the third night’s profits) stood Shakespeare in good stead. It is widely known that unlike most writers of his age, his earnings enabled Shakespeare to move back to his native town to an affluent retirement" (Archer, paragraph 4).

Shakespeare gained many revenues from his plays being produced and showed at theatres. Unlike many writers, he became more financially stable. Thanks to his eloquence and brilliance, Shakespeare stood proud in his position as a writer, both socially and financially.

Shakespeare, now with a plentiful amount of money, started to invest back in Stratford, and kept ties with his family and friends there, "With abundant capital to invest, he bought houses in London and Stratford, farmland outside Stratford, and even an interest in church livings, or benefices, of three villages near his native town, an investment that yielded regular income from tithes. Fraser astutely observes that Shakespeare invested the greater part of his surplus income in and around Stratford, as a local boy made good might be inclined to do. It is also correct that, despite his infrequent visits to his hometown, he maintained numerous family ties and lifelong friendships there" (Archer, paragraph 5).

Shakespeare went back to Stratford, and invested in several villages and churches. He kept ties with his family, even though he was far from Stratford, and showed that even though he was now popular, he stayed close to his roots, which inspired him in many of his plays originally.

Sadly, Shakespeare died soon after his success, and was buried in the Holy Trinity Church, "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, pg. 777).

Shakespeare died on his birthday, and was buried in the Holy Trinity Church of his hometown, where he most likely gained much of his inspiration for his plays. He lives on, even in the grave.

Shakespeare did leave a small inscription on his grave, "Carved over his grave is the following verse (the spelling has been modernized: Good friend, for Jesus' sake forbear. To dig the dust enclosed here! Blessed be the man that spares these bones, And cursed be he that moves my bones" (Anderson, pg. 777).

He left the inscription to warn people not to steal his bones, and also as a final poem. Even though Shakespeare died at the top of his success, he died how he would want to, with his poems and his plays.

Shakespeare's life was very grey, but his childhood, his love life, and his life and success in the theatre world turned him into the man he is known as today. Through marriage, childhood and his school then, and his work and success in the theatre, his influence lives on forever. Even though Shakespeare is dead, he is still alive, through his plays and poems.


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