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William Shakespeare Life Essay

William Shakespeare's Life And Works Essay

William Shakespeare was an English playwright and poet and widely recognized as the greatest dramatist to ever live. His plays show a great knowledge of human behavior, shown through portrayals of a wide range of characters. He had a large vocabulary, using almost 30,000 different words in his plays. His use of poetry and drama to create a unified effect is recognized as a singular achievement, and his use of poetry in his plays to show human emotion is considered one of the greatest accomplishments in literary history.


Shakespeare was born in 1564 in Stratford-upon-Avon, Warwickshire. He was the third of eight children and was educated at a local grammar school. When he got older, he was apprenticed to a butcher because of his father's financial situation. In 1582, he married Anne Hathaway. Shakespeare left Stratford for London in 1588 and by 1592 had become an established actor and playwright.


While in London, Shakespeare wrote many poems including Venus and Adonis and The Rape Of Lucrece. His Sonnets established his reputation as a gifted and popular poet of the Renaissance. Shakespeare's modern reputation, however, was built mainly on the 38 plays that he apparently wrote, modified, or collaborated on. While he was popular in his time, Shakespeare's plays were mostly little esteemed by his educated contemporaries, who considered the English plays of their day to be vulgar.


Shakespeare's career took off when he bought a share of the profits in his acting company, the Chamberlain's Men, later called the King's men, and its two theaters, the Globe Theatre and the Blackfriars. His plays were presented at the courts of Queen Elizabeth I and King James I more frequently than those of any other dramatist. He only risked falling out of royal favor once when his company performed a play at the request of conspirators against Elizabeth. Shakespeare's company was innocent of involvement with the conspiracy.


Shakespeare's dramatic career is generally divided into four periods: the first being the period up to 1594, second is the years between 1594 and 1600, the third is they years from 1600 and 1608, and the fourth is the period after 1608. Because of the difficulty in dating Shakespeare's plays and the lack of facts about his writings, these dates are approximate and can be used only as a framework to show his different styles. In all periods, the plots of his plays were drawn from chronicles, histories, or earlier work much like the plays of his contemporary dramatists.


Shakespeare's first period was one of experimentation. Some of his earliest works include the dramas Henry VI, Parts I, II, and III, and Richard III. These plays deal with evil resulting from weak leadership and national disunity. Shakespeare's comedies of the first period represent a wide range. The Comedy Of Errors is a farce in imitation of classical Roman comedy. It is about the mistaken identities of twins...

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William Shakespeare Facts

William Shakespeare was an English poet, playwright, and actor. He was born on 26 April 1564 in Stratford-upon-Avon. His father was a successful local businessman and his mother was the daughter of a landowner. Shakespeare is widely regarded as the greatest writer in the English language and the world's pre-eminent dramatist. He is often called England's national poet and nicknamed the Bard of Avon. He wrote about 38 plays, 154 sonnets, two long narrative poems, and a few other verses, of which the authorship of some is uncertain. His plays have been translated into every major living language and are performed more often than those of any other playwright.

Marriage and career

Shakespeare married Anne Hathaway at the age of 18. She was eight years older than him. They had three children: Susanna, and twins Hamnet and Judith. After his marriage information about his life became very rare. But he is thought to have spent most of his time in London writing and performing in his plays. Between 1585 and 1592, he began a successful career in London as an actor, writer, and part-owner of a playing company called the Lord Chamberlain's Men, later known as the King's Men.

Retirement and death

Around 1613, at the age of 49, he retired to Stratford , where he died three years later. Few records of Shakespeare's private life survive. He died on 23 April 1616, at the age of 52. He died within a month of signing his will, a document which he begins by describing himself as being in "perfect health". In his will, Shakespeare left the bulk of his large estate to his elder daughter Susanna.

His work

Shakespeare produced most of his known work between 1589 and 1613. His early plays were mainly comedies and histories and these works remain regarded as some of the best work produced in these genres. He then wrote mainly tragedies until about 1608, including Hamlet, Othello, King Lear, and Macbeth, considered some of the finest works in the English language. In his last phase, he wrote tragicomedies, also known as romances, and collaborated with other playwrights.

Shakespeare's plays remain highly popular today and are constantly studied, performed, and reinterpreted in diverse cultural and political contexts throughout the world.

Adapted from Wikipedia