William Shakespeare

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William Shakespeare was born on April 23, 1564, in the country town of Stratford-on-Avon. When he was eighteen years old he married twenty-six year old Anne Hathaway. They had a daughter named Susana, and twins named Hamnet and Judith. It is rumored that shortly after the twins were born, Shakespeare left his family in Stratford but visited them frequently.

There is no written evidence of Shakespeare's education in existence that we know of, not even an attendance list with his name on it can be found. It is probable that by his fathers position in society, William had attended the towns free grammar school for a few years. Although it is apparent that Shakespeare did not continue his education at a University, he would have obtained an adequate level of education in the six or seven years he attended the grammar school.

Beginning his involvement with the theater as an actor, Shakespeare was part owner and principle playwright of the "Lord Chamberlains Men," which was a theater group, later renamed the "Kings Men."

William Shakespeare moved on to become one of the most famous playwrights of all time and part owner of the famous Globe Theater. Shakespeare wrote thirty-seven plays, some of which became the greatest dramas of all time, displaying his understanding of human nature in them. He changed the pattern of the Italian sonnet, employing a form known now as the English or Shakespearean sonnet. During the years 1593-1594, He wrote 154 sonnets while the theaters were closed due to the spread of plague.

In about 1610, William Shakespeare, now a prosperous middle class man, retired to Stratford; however, he continued to write more plays until he passed away six years later. Exactly fifty-two years after he entered this world, William Shakespeare left it. He was buried at the Holy Trinity Church in Stratford. Although Shakespeare had written his plays to be performed rather than published, after his passing, two members of his theater company, John Heminges and Henry Condell, issued the first published edition of his work entitled the First Folio in 1623. Because of their eloquent language and depth, Shakespeare's plays have retained their popularity for centuries.