William Shakespeare, Man of Mystery

Essay by AtomicUniversity, Bachelor'sA+, March 2002

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William Shakespeare was born April 23,1564 in Stratford-upon-Avon, Warwickshire. There really is no record of what day he was born, so the same day as his death is used. He died April 23,1623. He married Anne Hathaway and had three children. Susanna was Shakespeare's eldest child; Hemnet and Judith who were twins. His only son, Hemnet, drowned.

His first Folio was published in 1623. Shakespeare wrote Tragedies, Comedies, and Histories. The doomed star-crossed lovers in Romeo & Juliet is an example of his works of Tragedy. The Taming of the Shrew is an interesting Comedy about gender roles and King Richard III is one of Shakespeare's Historical plays. These examples of his works show how the Bard's work encompasses everything from human emotion to political and gender issues.

Aside from the works Shakespeare's credited with, not much is known about his private life. The name of the Stratford grammar school he possibly attended was The King's New School. Although attendance records have been lost, Shakespearean scholars theorize that it is almost certain he was educated in Latin and classic works at this school. It is known that Shakespeare called his attorney to revise his will on March 25, 1616. Shakespeare chose an interesting day to change his will. On this day, people of that time celebrated New Year's. Shakespeare's private life is in fact a mystery, and there are those who question whether the Bard is the actual author of such works.

The nature of the authorship controversy stems from Charlton Ogborn's theory (now a movement) that the 17th earl of Oxford, Edward de vere, is the true Author of the plays that Shakespeare's credited with. "Oxfordians" believe de Vere's the author because he was highly educated, a poet and an adventurer. They theorize that because he...