William Shakespeare was a great English playwright, dramatist
and poet who lived during the late sixteenth and early seventeenth
centuries. Shakespeare is considered to be the greatest playwright of
all time. No other writer's plays have been produced so many times or
read so widely in so many countries as his.
Shakespeare was born to middle class parents. His father, John,
was a Stratford businessman. He was a glove maker who owned a
leather shop. John Shakespeare was a well known and respected man
in the town. He held several important local governmental positions.
William Shakespeare's mother was Mary Arden. Though she was the
daughter of a local farmer, she was related to a family of considerable
wealth and social standing. Mary Arden and John Shakespeare were
married in 1557.
William Shakespeare was born in Stratford in 1564. He was one
of eight children. The Shakespeare's were well respected prominent
people. When William Shakespeare was about seven years old, he
probably began attending the Stratford Grammar School with other
boys of his social class. Students went to school year round attending
school for nine 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 and many popular shows. It also held
several large fairs during the year. Stratford was a exciting place to
live. Stratford also had fields and woods surrounding it giving William
the opportunity to hunt and trap small game. The River Avon which
ran through the town allowed him to fish also. Shakespeare's' poems
and plays show his love of nature and rural life which reflects his
On November 28, 1582, Shakespeare married Anne Hathaway of
the neighboring village of...