William Shakespeare.

Essay by RcHa3971Junior High, 8th gradeA+, October 2003

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William Shakespeare

William Shakespeare was born on April 23rd 1564, in Stratford, England. Back then it was lucky that he even survived, as three of his siblings had died as infants. Shakespeare and his five brothers and sisters lived in a house on Stratford-upon-Avon with their mother and father. Their father, John Shakespeare, was a glove maker who also held many public statuses in town, a one point becoming the town's bailiff. He wanted his boys too have as much education as they could, so they were sent to grammar school as young boys. Unfortunately, his father suffered economical difficulties and William had to leave school at age 13.

Not too long after, William married a girl by the name of Anne Hathaway. Documents also show that he married a girl name Anne Whatley, but it has been concluded that there was an error somewhere and they were actually the same person.

Shakespeare had three children, Susanna, and then twins, Hamnet and Judith. Hamnet sadly died at age eleven, the cause is still unknown. William Shakespeare died on April 23rd, 1616, in Stratford-upon-Avon. Although it is nice to believe, it is considered a myth that William Shakespeare died on his birthday.

The time in which Shakespeare lived is known today as the Elizabethan Age. England had just defeated the Spanish Armada, and it was a great time for flourishing playwrights, such as Shakespeare. The population of England had swelled incredibly, and it more than doubled in this era. Also, it was a time of great disease, as the black plague commenced in the Elizabethan age. In fact, the theaters closed from 1593-1594 because of it, and theater troupes were constantly moving from one place to another. This is what happened to Shakespeare. His troupe traveled all over England.

There were four periods in Shakespeare's work. Period number one was from pre-1594. This period was described as decent, but more apparent then the works to follow. Two plays from this period were Richard III and The Comedy of Errors. Period two was from 1594-1600. In this period, his work is seen to be maturing, and coming more naturally and easy. He begins to write funny bits to compliment his style. Two plays from period two were Henry V and A Midsummer Night's Dream. In period three, from 1600-1608 Shakespeare began to write unfortunates and sorrows. Many believed he composed his best and most famous pieces in this period. The two works from this period were Macbeth and King Lear. The fourth period, from 1608-onward, mainly focuses on pensive sorrows, pretty much summarizing his works to the turn of the theater, which was entering the Elizabethan period. The two famous works were Cymbeline and The Tempest.

A Midsummer night's dream was written during period four, so it is bit of a comedy and tragedy.