William Shakespeare was a great English playwright, dramatist and poet who livedduring the late sixteenth and early seventeenth centuries. Shakespeare is consideredto be the greatest playwright of all time. No other writer’s plays have been produced somany times or read so widely in so many countries as his.

Shakespeare was born to middle class parents. His father, John, was a Stratfordbusinessman. He was a glove maker who owned a leather shop. John Shakespeare wasa well known and respected man in the town. He held several important localgovernmental positions.

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William Shakespeare’s mother was Mary Arden. Though she wasthe daughter of a local farmer, she was related to a family of considerable wealth andsocial standing. Mary Arden and John Shakespeare were married in 1557.William Shakespeare was born in Stratford in 1564. He was one of eight children. TheShakespeare’s were well respected prominent people. When William Shakespeare wasabout seven years old, he probably began attending the Stratford Grammar School withother boys of his social class.

Students went to school year round attending school fornine hours a day. The teachers were strict disciplinarians.Though Shakespeare spent long hours at school, his boyhood was probably fascinating.Stratford was a lively town and during holidays, it was known to put on pageants andmany popular shows. It also held several large fairs during the year.

Stratford was aexciting place to live. Stratford also had fields and woods surrounding it giving Williamthe opportunity to hunt and trap small game. The River Avon which ran through thetown allowed him to fish also. Shakespeare’s’ poems and plays show his love of natureand rural life which reflects his childhood.On November 28, 1582, Shakespeare married Anne Hathaway of the neighboring villageof Shottery.

She was twenty-six, and he was only eighteen at the time. They hadthree children. Susana was their first and then they had twins, Hamnet and Judith.Hamnet, Shakespeare’s son, died in 1596. In 1607, his daughter Susana got married.Shakespeare’s other daughter, Judith, got married in 1616.In London, Shakespeare’s career took off.

It is believed that he may have become wellknown in London theatrical life by 1592. By that time, he had joined one of the city’srepertory theater companies. These companies were made up of a permanent cast ofactors who presented different plays week after week. The companies were commercialorganizations that depended on admission from their audience.

Scholars know thatShakespeare belonged to one of the most popular acting companies in London calledThe Lord Chamberlain’s Men. Shakespeare was a leading member of the group from1594 for the rest of his career. By 1594, at least six of Shakespeare’s plays had beenproduced.During Shakespeare’s life, there were two monarchs who ruled England. They wereHenry the eighth and Elizabeth the first. Both were impressed with Shakespeare whichmade his name known.

There is evidence that he was a member of a traveling theatergroup, and a schoolmaster. In 1594, he became an actor and playwright for LordChamberlain’s Men. In 1599, he became a part owner of the prosperous Globe Theater.He also was a part owner of the Blackfriars Theater as of 1609. Shakespeare retired toStratford in 1613 where he wrote many of his excellent plays.There are many reasons as to why William Shakespeare is so famous.

He is generallyconsidered to be both the greatest dramatist the world has ever known as well as thefinest poet who has written in the English language. Many reasons can be given forShakespeare’s enormous appeal. His fame basically is from his great understanding ofhuman nature. He was able to find universal human qualities and put them in a dramaticsituation creating characters that are timeless. Yet he had the ability to createcharacters that are highly individual human beings. Their struggles in life are universal.Sometimes they are successful and sometimes their lives are full of pain, suffering, andfailure.

In addition to his understanding and realistic view of human nature, Shakespeare had avast knowledge of a variety of subjects. These subjects include music, law, Bible,stage, art, politics, history, hunting, and sports. Shakespeare had a tremendousinfluence on culture and literature throughout the world. He contributed greatly to thedevelopment of the English language.

Many words and phrases from Shakespeare’splays and poems have become part of our speech. Shakespeare’s plays and poemshave become a required part of education in the United States. Therefore, his ideas onsubjects such as romantic love, heroism, comedy, and tragedy have helped shape theattitudes of millions of people. His portrayal of historical figures and events haveinfluenced our thinking more than what has been written in history books. The worldhas admired and respected many great writers, but only Shakespeare has generatedsuch enormous continuing interest. My source states explanations rather than opinionson why Shakespeare’s contributions to literature are so vast. My source devoted thirtypages to William Shakespeare.

Shakespeare’s plays are usually divided into three major categories. These are comedy,tragedy, and history. Three plays which are in the category of comedy are “TheComedy of Errors”, “The Taming of the Shrew”, and “The Two Gentlemen of Verone”.

Three plays which are in the category of tragedy are “Romeo and Juliet”, “TitusAndronicus”, and “Julius Caesar”. In the category of history, three plays are “Henry V”,”Richard II”, and “Richard Words/ Pages : 843 / 24

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