William Shakespeare An English Playwrighter English Literature Essay

Noemi Torres

Professor May

English Comp 2

William Shakespeare an English playwright, poet, and actor. He is recognized worldwide as the leading writer of the English language of all time. William Shakespeare was born April 23 1564, in Stratford, Avon. He was the son of John Shakespeare and Mary Arden, and perhaps was educated at the King Edward IV Grammar School in Stratford, thus learning Latin and some Greek, additionally he read the Roman dramatists ("William", poets.org). He attended school until he was fourteen years of age ("William", Famous). Shakespeare was the eldest child of Mary Arden, the daughter of a local landowner and John Shakespeare, a leather and wood dealer. In 1568, John Shakespeare was mayor of Stratford and a justice of the peace. His wool business was unsuccessful in the 1570’s additionally; he was fined a great sum of money for failing to keep the peace, leaving no records of him ever canceling his debt (Liukkonens).

In 1582, Shakespeare married at the age of eighteen to Anne Hathaway, a woman who was seven or eight years older than he ("William", poets.org), and pregnant the day of their wedding ("William", Columbia 2), together they had Susanna, born in 1583, and Hamnet and Judith, twins, born in 1585, Hamnet, Shakespeare’s only son, died in 1596, at the age of eleven ("William", Colombia 2). After the twins were born until about 1592, little is known about Shakespeare, he may have possibly been a teacher, but it is apparent, shortly after 1585 he traveled to London to begin his apprenticeship as an actor ("William", poets.org), he must have been inspired at some point in his boyhood age, when his father was a mayor of the town and responsible for Stratford’s entertainment, Shakespeare must have first seen actors perform as traveling players visiting on tour.( "William", poets.org)

There is very little information on Shakespeare’s personal life. Stories arise on occasions that he did not write his plays conversely, the real author was Christopher Marlowe, a fellow peer of Shakespeare (Liukkonen). According to a fable, Shakespeare left Stratford to avoid a charge of stealing deer ("William", Columbia 2). Whether Shakespeare had to leave Stratford for that reason, or whether he joined one or several touring companies such as the Queen’s Men and Lord Chamberlain’s Company, he was firstly known for a London playhouse personality. This is when his name was mentioned in a booklet called A Groatsworth of Wit Bought with a Million of Repentance (1592) written by a writer and playwright named Robert Greene (Griffith). He wrote many great plays for the King’s Men group. Shakespeare was known as a rapid writer: "His mind and hand went together, "his publishers Heminges and Condell reported, and what he thought, he uttered with that easiness that we have scarce received from him a blot in his papers"(Liukkonen). By 1595, Shakespeare, as a share member of the acting company, Lord Chamberlin’s Men, later named the King’s Men; was entitled to a share of the company’s profits. This position was obtained through his investment in items for the company such as, costumes, playbooks, and props (Griffith). In 1599 Shakespeare joined a group of Chamberlain’s Men that would form an organization to build and operate a new playhouse, the Globe, which became the most famous theater of its times, and still exists in London today. Because of the black plague, the London theaters were often closed, therefore Shakespeare and his colleagues were not able to presents there plays, and thus the men looked to poetry, not playwright for enduring fame ("William" poets.org). With Shakespeare’s shares from the Globe, he was able to purchase New Place, a home he purchased in his home town Stratford ("William", Columbia 2).

In Shakespeare’s poem and plays, he invented thousands of words, often mixing or twisting Latin, French and native roots ("William", poets.org). Shakespeare owned a large vocabulary for his time, having used 29,066 different words, total, in his plays. Today the typical English-speaking person uses 2,000 words in day by day speech. Some of Shakespeare’s plays, such as Hamlet, first printed in 1603, Shakespeare’s largest drama, based on a lost play known as the Ur-Hamlet, and Romeo and Juliet, which was based on real lovers who lived in Verona, Italy, and died for each other in the year 1303, are amongst the most famous literary pieces of the world (Liukkonen). Shakespeare wrote a total of 154 sonnets, and 37 plays, from which Venus and Adonis and The Rape of Lucrece, both were dedicated to his believed supporter Henry Wroithesley (Griffith).

Although there are no apparent associations of Shakespeare plays and poems to his wife or children, in the play King John it is said, beginning with, "Grief fills the room up of my absent child," reveals Shakespeare’s own personal emotions. When Shakespeare was fifteen, a woman from a nearby village drowned in the Avon. Her death was presumed to be accidental but it may possibly have been a suicide. Later in Hamlet, Shakespeare left unwrapped the question whether Ophelia died accidentally or by her own hand. It may be implicit he related Ophelia to the women who died when he was fifteen (Liukkonen).

Shakespeare died on April 23, 1616. Since his death, Shakespeare’s plays have been almost repeatedly performed, in non-English tongue nations as well as those where English is the resident tongue; they are quoted more than the works of any other single author ("William", Columbia 2). His widowed wife was legally entitled to a third of the estate. William Shakespeare, in his will on March 1616, a month before his death, bestowed his "second-best bed" to his wife, while his best bed was for guests. The ramification of this phrase shaped the path of Anne Hathaway’s life for almost 400 years. As an object of material domesticity as well as a reminder of sexual activity, the ‘second best bed’ embodies both the sexual and domestic sides of this famous wife, connecting her physically to Shakespeare and to the home life that likely kept her in Stratford for the extent of her life. Extensive arguments have taken place about whether the ‘second best bed’ was a term of endearment or an offense (Scheil 59). Anne Hathaway died seven years after Shakespeare’s death ("William", Columbia 2).