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The Life and Works of William Shakespeare Free essay! Download now

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The Life and Works of William Shakespeare

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The Life and Works of William Shakespeare


Shakespeare was an English dramatist and poet, who is
generally considered to be the greatest of authors in any
language, ancient or modern (Wilson 12). The date of
Shakespeare’s birth is not known, but the earliest record
of him was an entry of his baptism in the Holy Trinity
Church, Stratford-upon-Avon, Warwickshire, on April 26,
1564. His father, John Shakespeare, first appeared in town
records in 1552, when he was fined for not removing a
dunghill from his door in Henley Street. Later, his father
became prominent in town affairs and was elected a
chamberlain of the Stratford Corporation in 1561, alderman
in 1565, and high baliff or mayor in 1568. Mary, his
mother, was the daughter of a wealthy landowner. She had
eight children in which William was the third and the
oldest son. In the mid 1570’s, his father’s fortune
declined, but the fortunes lost then would later be
repaired by his son William Shakespeare. (Gille 787)

Shakespeare’s first school was probably Stratford. It
was an excellent free grammar school, although no record of
the fact that he actually attended exists. On November 27,
1582, church authorities gave him permission to marry Anne
Hathaway from the neighboring village of Shottery. At the
time, he was eighteen and she was twenty six years old and
probably pregnant. On May 26, 1583, their daughter Susanna
was baptized in Holy Trinity. Later his wife gave birth to
twins, Hamnet and Judith, who were baptized on February 2,
1585. Between the years of the twins Baptism and 1592, no
records have been found. This was called the missing
period. The actor William Beeston, whose father was a
member of Shakespeare’s company, told John Aubrey many
years later that Shakespeare had been a school master in
the country. (Campbell 972)

During those years, a
disappointed author Robert Greene, referred cryptically to
Shakespeare in his Groatsworth of Wit Bought With a Million
of Repentance. He warned his fellow writers about “ an
upstart crow, beautified with our feathers, that with his
tiger’s heart wrapped in player’s hide, supposes he is as
well able to bombast out a blank verse as the best of you,
and being an absolute Johannes Fac Totum, is in his own
conceit the only Shake-scene in the country. ” Thus as
early as 1592, Shakespeare was sufficiently well known to
be recognized by the pun on his name and the parody of his
line from his Henry the Sixth part three “ O tiger’s heart
wrapped in a women’s hide. ” (Spencer 473)

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