Biography of Shakespeare William Shakespeare was the greatest playwright the world has ever known. No one, even today, has surpassed his amazing talent with the English language. Shakespeare was born in Stratford-upon-Avon in England on April 23, 1564. His father John Shakespeare became high bailiff of Stratford which allowed Shakespeare to go to school.
Shakespeare got his first taste of plays from the Traveling Players. They stopped in different towns performing wherever they could. Shakespeare didn't want to go to a university and he was withdrawn from school at 14. In 1582, at age 18, he married Anne Hathaway. Together they had three children. Their names were Susanna, Hamnet, and Judith. Judith and Hamnet were twins. From 1585 to 1592, not much is known about Shakespeare. These years are called the lost years. 10 years passed and an outburst from a dying drunk critic became the first evidence of Shakespeare working as a playwright in London.
Shakespeare tried to befriend the noblemen in order to get into high society. In 1553 he wrote Venus and Adonis for the Earl of Southampton. Then in 1594, Shakespeare dedicated The Rape of Lucrece to the Earl. Historians believe that they could have been lovers. Shakespeare became known as a poet and a playwright and soon the theaters were calling him back to write more plays. He was living away from home most of the time. The only time he would return was during the 40 days of Lent. The theaters were closed then so he wasn't working. His marriage to Anne Hathaway became loveless and his relationship with his children worsened. That year the plague hit England.
His career was halted due to the fact that the theaters were closed. That August, his only son died of the plague. He now had no male descendents and that meant that all of his land and money would have to be dissipated. His plays from this time seem to reflect his life and a fascination with death.
The theater where Shakespeare had been writing and performing plays had to be moved across the river. The new theater was rebuilt and named the Globe Theater.
Shakespeare began describing himself as a poet. His plays began to reflect a new depth.
He was becoming a better observer. It transformed his work and he started to write some of his best plays ever. Shakespeare was granted a Coat of Arms from King James VI. He was now known as a gentleman. His last playwriting years were most definitely his greatest. His plays showed more violence and passion. The tragedies he wrote gave insight to his life and thoughts. He started to become more involved with his daughters and it showed in his plays.
In 1613, the Globe Theater was burned down during a performance of "Henry VIII"ÃÂ. The fire marked the end of Shakespeare's career. He retired to Stratford a wealthy man. It is said that he went to a drinking party and he had too much to eat and drink. He caught a fever and died on April 23, 1616. He never lived to see his plays published.
Later on, a man named Ben Johnson published Shakespeare's plays, along with a poem he wrote as a tribute to Shakespeare. 18 out of the 36 plays published had never been published before. In 1939, the first Shakespearean play was made into a movie. Several plays have been made into movies since then. Shakespeare remains the greatest playwright ever and his writing is his legacy to the world.