The life of William Shakespere

Essay by orientalgurlHigh School, 11th gradeA, April 2002

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William Shakspere was born in the market-town of Stratford in the year 1564 (April 23 is believed to be the correct date). He was one of eight children. His father, John Shakspere was a businessman, but is more often associated with the trade of a glover. It is assumed that young William began attending King's New School at Stratford-upon-Avon between the age of four or five, as was the custom of the day. And according to the curriculum of various other schools in England during this period, it is assumed that he learned grammar and some Latin while attending this school. How long he attended this school is uncertain, but it is believed that he had to forgo his education to assist his father at home. In 1582 he married a farmers daughter, Anne Hathaway. They had a daughter the following year, and twins, a boy and a girl two years later.

The boy did not survive. Then from this period up until 1592 is referred to by scholars as the "Lost Year", for very little is recorded of Shakspere's life. However, there have been a number of "legends" that have sought to fill the numerous gaps in his biography, knitting together an illustrious portrayal of a figure, that was so prominent in the literary society that followed his death.

Apparently he arrived in London sometime in the late 1580. Then came into the company of Lord Chamberlains men in the 1590's. It was in 1593 that a fellow Stratfordian printed Venus and Adonis, and a year later the Rape of Lucrece. Although it is assumed that there were various writings to precede it, Venus and Adonis is the earliest printed copy to survive. A number of the play's that bear his name, or are assumed to be written by...