William Shakespeare

Essay by EssaySwap ContributorHigh School, 11th grade February 2008

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William Shakespeare 1564 to 1616 Family and Education -born in Stratford-on-Avon -his father was a prominant citizen or "gentleman" -Shakespeare read everything available in print -he read the classics, French and Italian plays, legends, folk plays, mythology, historical chronicles, and the Bible -Gutenberg printing press had been invented 100 years earlier -married Ann Hathaway and had three children - Susanna, and the twins Hamnet and Judith -Shakespeare died in 1616 of Brights' disease -in Shakespeare's will he left his house and lands to his eldest daughter, his wife his "second-best bed", his youngest daughter a silver bowl, and enough money for each of his fellow actors to buy a ring to wear in his memory -Shakespeare's grave reads Good friend, for Jesus sake forbear To dig the dust enclosed here Blessed be the man that spares these stones And cursed be he that moves my bones.

-seven years after his death his friends John Hemings and Henry Condell published a book containing 36 plays, which was called the "First Folio" -"He was not of an age, but for all time."

Ben Johnson His Life in the Theatre -considered to be the greatest dramatist in the world -only the Bible is read more than Shakespeare's plays -from 1593 - 1613 he wrote 37 plays, acted, helped manage an acting troup and was part owner of the "Old Globe Theatre" -1593-1594 the theatres were closed because of the plague and Shakespeare wrote his narrative poetry -little is known about Shakespeare because he did not write about himself, nor did he publish his own plays, he made his money by writing plays that were performed for an audience -his first play was The Comedy of Errors which was a flop according to the audiences -Shakespeare wrote comedies, histories, tragedies, and romances -he would often use a plot he already knew or read about, converted it, added to it, and made it his own -he was able to create characters that are so realistic that their names are now symbols for types of people and/ or ideas (i.e. a lover is a "Romeo")