William Shakespeare Early Life
William Shakespeare was an English poet, dramatist, and actor who was born in Stratford-upon-Avon in 1564. Shakespeare’s birthday is commemorated on April 23, which is also the date he died in 1616.
During the Elizabethan and Jacobean periods of British theatre, Shakespeare was a prolific writer (sometimes called the English Renaissance or the Early Modern Period). Shakespeare’s plays are undoubtedly his best famous works, yet they are far from his only works. Shakespeare’s poems are still widely read today.
Shakespeare’s Family Life Records are documents connected to William Shakespeare’s family that provide insight into Shakespeare’s early life and the lives of his relatives. John Shakespeare married Mary Arden and had eight children with her. As a result of the loss of two daughters as babies, William became the eldest child of John and Mary. John Shakespeare worked as a glove manufacturer, but he also rose through the ranks of the Stratford community by holding civic responsibilities. Because of his higher social standing, he was even more likely to send his children to the local grammar school, including William.
Until he was eighteen, William Shakespeare would have resided with his family on Henley Street. Shakespeare married Anne Hathaway, who was twenty-six years his junior, when he was eighteen years old. Anne was already pregnant at the time of the wedding, so it was a hasty affair. They had three children together. Susanna, their first child, was born six months after the wedding, followed by twins Hamnet and Judith. Hamnet was only 11 years old when he died.
Shakespeare’s career took off in London, but when did he first visit? Shakespeare’s twins were baptized in 1585, and his reputation in London was well established by 1592, but the years between are a mystery. These years are commonly referred to as ‘The Lost Years’ by academics.
Shakespeare’s first printed works were released during his tenure in London. ‘Venus and Adonis’ (1593) and ‘The Rape of Lucrece’ (1594) were two large poems (1594). He was also a founding member of The Lord Chamberlain’s Men, a theatrical troupe. For almost two decades, Shakespeare was the company’s regular dramatist, creating two plays per year on average.
He stayed with the company for the rest of his career, during which time it became known as The King’s Men, thanks to King James I’s support (from 1603). Shakespeare composed many of his most famous tragedies, such as King Lear and Macbeth, as well as great romances, such as The Winter’s Tale and The Tempest, while he was a member of the company.
By 1592, Shakespeare’s name had become well-known in London. Shakespeare’s early plays, including Henry VI Part 1, Henry VI Part 2, Henry VI Part 3, The Two Gentlemen of Verona, and Titus Andronicus, were written during this period, though it is widely argued which of these plays was the first.
‘Venus and Adonis‘ (1593) and ‘The Rape of Lucrece’ (1594) were Shakespeare’s first printed works (1594). Shakespeare dedicated these two works to Henry Wriothesley, Earl of Southampton, who had become his patron.
Following the end of the plague epidemic, Shakespeare and other actors from various companies banded together to form the Lord Chamberlain’s Men. The Lord Chamberlain was the patron of this fledgling theatre company.
Shakespeare wrote 38 plays, two narrative poems, 154 sonnets, and a variety of other writings in total. There are no known original manuscripts of Shakespeare’s plays today. We have nearly half of Shakespeare’s plays courtesy to a group of performers from Shakespeare’s company. After Shakespeare’s death, they gathered them for publication, preserving the plays. These writings were collected in the First Folio (the term “folio” refers to the size of the paper used). There were 36 of his plays in the collection, but none of his poetry.
Shakespeare’s legacy is as rich and varied as his work; his plays have produced a plethora of adaptations in a variety of genres and civilizations. His plays have a long and illustrious history on the stage.
Shakespeare wrote 38 plays, two narrative poems, 154 sonnets, and a number of additional pieces in total. There are currently no known original manuscripts of Shakespeare’s plays. We have nearly half of Shakespeare’s plays because of a group of performers from Shakespeare’s company. Following Shakespeare’s death, they collected them for publication, preserving the plays. The First Folio (‘folio’ refers to the size of the paper used) was created to bring these writings together. There were 36 plays in total, but no poetry.
Shakespeare’s legacy is as rich and varied as his work, with many adaptations spanning genres and civilizations. His plays have left an indelible mark on the stage and in the minds of audiences.
William Shakespeare acquired the old family property in Henley Street after his father died in 1601, part of which was then leased to tenants. Stratford saw more property investments, including the purchase of 107 acres of land in 1602.
Shakespeare died on April 23, 1616, at the age of 52, in Stratford-upon-Avon. He was buried in the parish church’s sanctuary, Holy Trinity.
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