Essay by Duane t. Zitta`A+, March 1997

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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...