Shakespeare/Shakespeare Life term paper 12625

Shakespeare term papers
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England's greatest poet and playwright was born at Stratford-upon-Avon, the son

of a tradesman and Alderman of Stratford, John Shakespeare in 1564. William, the

eldest son, and third child (of eight) was baptised on 26th April 1564 and

probably educated at Stratford Grammar School, but little is known of his life

up to his eighteenth year. He did not go to University and his younger

contemporary and fellow-dramatist, Ben Johnson, would later speak disparagingly

of his "small Latin, and less Greek" in the eulogy prefaced to the

Firs Folio. However the Grammar School curriculum would have provided a

formidable linguistic, and to some extent literary, education. Although, in 1575

when he was eleven, there was a great plague in the country and Queen Elizabeth

journeyed out of London to avoid its consequences and stayed for several days at

Kenilworth Castle near Stratford enjoying "festivities" arranged by

her host Lord Leicester. It is probable these events may have made a strong

impact on the mind of young William. At the age of Eighteen, he married Anne

Hathaway, eight years his senior. Five years later he left for London. William

worked at the Globe Theatre and appeared in many small parts. He first appeared

in public as a poet in 1593 with his Venus and Adonis and the following year

with The Rape of Lucrece. He became joint proprietor of The Globe and also had

an interest in the Blackfriars Theatre. The play writing commenced in 1595 and

of the 38 plays that comprise the Shakespeare Cannon, 36 were published in the

1st Folio of 1623, of which 18 had been published in his lifetime in what are

termed the Quarto publications. Love's Labour's Lost and The Comedy of Errors

appear to be among the earliest, being followed by The Two Gentlemen of Verona

and Romeo and Juliet. Then followed Henry VI, Richard III, Richard II, Titus

Andronicus, The Taming of the Shrew, King John, The Merchant of Venice, A

Midsummer Night's Dream, All's Well that Ends Well, Henry IV, The Merry Wives of

Windsor, Henry V, Much Ado about Nothing, As you like it, Twelth Night, Julius

Caesar, Hamlet, Troilus and Cressida, Othello, Measure for Measure, Macbeth,

King Lear, Timon of Athens, Pericles, Antony and Cleopatra, Coriolanus,

Cymbeline, A Winter's Tale, The Tempest, Henry VIII and The Two Noble Kinsmen.

When he retired from writing in 1611, he returned to Stratford to live in a

house which he had built for his family. His only son, Hamnet died when still a

child. He also lost a daughter Judith (twin to Hamnet), but his third child

Susanna married a Stratford Doctor, John Hall and their home "Hall's

Croft" is today preserved as one of the Shakespeare Properties and

administered by the Shakespeare Birthplace Trust. In 1616 Shakespeare was buried

in the Church of the Holy Trinity the same Church where he was baptised in 1564.

Tradition has it that he died after an evening's drinking with some of his

theatre friends. His gravestone bears the words:- Good frend for Jesus sake

forebeare, to digg the dust encloased heare, Bleste be ye man yt spares thes

stones, And curst be he yt moves my bones. In his will Shakespeare left his

wife, the former Anne Hathaway, his second best bed. We cannot be sure of the

reason for this. It may have been the marital bed the best bed being reserved

for guests. It may suggest that they had a not altogether happy marriage which

nevertheless produced three children, Susanna, born on May 26th 1583 and twins ,

Hamnet and Judith, born on February 2nd 1585. These entries appear in the Holy

Trinity Register. There is no direct evidence of the marriage of William

Shakespeare to Anne Hathaway although most historians accept that an entry in

the Bishop's Register at Worcester in November 1582 regarding the issue of a

marriage licence to William Shaxpere and Anne Whateley of Temple Grafton does

not refer to the famous bard. However the following day a guarantee of £40 was

undertaken in Stratford by two yeomen of the town against the prevention of the

legal marriage of William Shagspere and Anne Hathway on only one reading of the

banns. In 1582 , £40 was a considerable sum of money and one cannot believe

that the simple fact of Anne's being three months pregnant would warrant it. No

marriage of an Anne Whatelely has ever been traced, neither has the marriage of

Anne Hathway, but lack of record does not mean that it did not happen.

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