Shakespeare-the Birth of Greatness

Essay by EssaySwap ContributorHigh School, 12th grade February 2008

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In the Renaissance, a time where the excitement of renewal of Roman and Greek culture swept the entire Europe, came about what will be known as the greatest dramatist of the human kind-William Shakespeare. Born in Stratford, England, in April 1564, Shakespeare's exact birth date is unknown to anyone. However, since it's a custom to baptize a child on the third day of birth, and William Shakespeare was baptized on April 26, we can assume that he was born on the twenty-third. Shakespeare was the 3rd child of 8 of John and Mary Arden Shakespeare. His father used to be a high bailiff, but as time grew, he gradually lost all his money. As a boy, Shakespeare is known to have attended numerous grammar school, however, he had never went to university. Instead, at the age of 18, he married the daughter of a rich farmer, and formed a family of 3 kids and 2 adults.

Many years of Shakespeare's life, he spent incognito, meaning that no one really knew what he was up to. However, when Shakespeare appeared in London in the year of 1592, he had already become an eminent playwright, and was recognized as an actor and poet. Nevertheless, despite his achievements, he was accused of plagiarizing ideas from other playwrights, and making them his own. It may be true that Shakespeare had used the ideas of others, but he has always found a way to make his plays unique and memorable such as breathing new life into characters, creating intriguing new plots, and most importantly, expressing emotions through his poetic dialogues.

As Shakespeare's fame grew, his financial status got better and his power grew with it. He was accepted as a member of Lord Chamberlain's Men, which was one of the most famous acting troupes of the time. When the Globe Theater was built in 1935, he became one of the owners of the establishment, where most of his future plays were destined to be performed at. In return for his partially ownership of the Globe Theater, Shakespeare wrote many plays specifically for the outdoor Globe Theater, where his plays, such as Julius Caesar, Macbeth, Othello, King Lear and Hamlet, entertained people of all classes during the Renaissance. Other plays of his were also performed at theaters such as Blackfriars Theatre, which was an indoor theater too expensive for the poor to attend.

Because of his plays, Shakespeare had become quite wealthy and was able to retire comfortably to his birthplace in Stratford in 1610. However, Shakespeare died mysteriously and unexpectedly on April 23, 1616, his 52nd birthday. When his wife and children later died, the whole family was buried in the same grave, right next to each other. Even though Shakespeare died so early, his lifework and achievements are incomparable to anything else. Before he died, Shakespeare has managed to finish 37 plays, six epic poems, and 154 sonnets, which are all informative and enjoyable at the same time.

Everyone still remembers Shakespeare till today, yet much of his early life still remains a mystery to us. He had never kept a journal like da Vinci, none of his personal letters are found, and not even manuscripts of his play had survived. Besides his poems the only other documents that are here for us to examine are his court papers and his will.