William Shakespeare Shakespeare, William (1564-1616), was an English playwright and Poet, he is considered the greatest dramatist the world has ever known and the finest poet who has written in the English language. Shakespeare is known as the most popular author, no other writer’s plays have been produced so many times in so many different places. Many reasons can be given for Shakespeare’s popular audience, one is because of his broad understanding of human nature. Shakespeare understood people like nobody else did, he could see a dramatic situation in all of humans that relate to each other. From this he could create characters that have meaning beyond the time and place of his plays, yet his characters are not symbolic figures, there individuals. Shakespeare wrote at least thirty-seven plays which have been divided into comedies, histories, and tragedies.
These plays contain characteristics of all walks of life. Some of these walks of life are Kings, pickpockets, Drunkards, generals, hired killers, shepherds, and philosophers all were in Shakespeare’s works. In addition to his deep understanding of human nature Shakespeare had knowledge in a wide variety of other subjects, such as Music, the law, the Bible, military science, the stage, art, politics, the sea, History, hunting, woodcraft, and sports. As for as we know Shakespeare had no professional experience in any field except the theater. Shakespeare was born to what today would be called middle-class parents. His birthplace was the small market town of Stratford-upon-Avon.
After Shakespeare got Married at the age of 18 he left Stratford to go to London to seek fortune in the theatrical world. Within a few years he became one of the city’s leading actors and playwrights. By 1612 Shakespeare had become England’s most popular playwright. Shakespeare had a huge amount of influence on culture throughout the World, his works have shaped a lot of the English speaking world and other Countries such as Germany and Russia. Shakespeare contributed to the development of the English language also, people say he prevented literary English from becoming fixed and artificial.
Shakespeare’s works have not just been used by scholars, many words and phrases from his plays and poems have been a part of everyday speech. Some examples of the everyday speech are fair play, a foregone conclusion, catch cold, and disgraceful conduct. As far as sholars know common words such as assassination, bump, eventful, and lonely have been invented by Shakespeare. Many people can identify lines by Shakespeare even though they have never even seen or read one of his play’s a few examples are To be, or not to be, Friends, Romans, countrymen, lend me your ears, and A horse! A horse! My Kingdom for a horse! Shakespeare’s genius as a poet enabled him to express an idea both briefly and colorfully. In a tragedy Othello he described jealousy as the green-eyed monster which doth mock the meat it feeds on.
Another tragedy King Lear, Shakespeare described a daughter’s ingratitude toward her father as sharper than a serpent’s tooth. Besides influencing language and literature Shakespeare had effected other cultures of the English speaking world, his plays and poems have been a part of education. As a result Shakespeare’s ideas on such subjects as heroism, romantic love, and the nature of tragedy have shaped the attitudes of millions of people. His portrayals of historical figures and events have also influenced our thinking, for examples many people visualize Julius Caesar, Mark Antony, and Cleopatra as Shakespeare as Shakespeare portrayed them not like they been described in history books. Even historians have been influenced by Shakespeare’s greatness.
Shakespeare lived in England during the reign of Queen Elizabeth a period known as the Elizabethan Age, historians consider the Elizabethan Age as a peak of English culture. Some have questioned whether the period would seem so important if Shakespeare had not lived and worked in it. Shakespeare’s influence reflects his astonishing popularity, his plays have been a vital part of the theater in the Western world since they were written more than 300 years ago. Through the years the parts of Shakespeare’s play are considered to be the supreme test of their art. Shakespeare’s plays have been attracting audiences in big, sophisticated cities and in small, rural towns. His plays were performed on the frontiers of Australia and New Zealand, they were part of the cultural life of the American Colonies and provided entertainment in the mining camps of the Old West.
Today there are theaters in England, the United States, and Canada dedicated to staging some of Shakespeare’s works. Shakespeare’s plays appeal to readers as well as to theater goers, his play’s and his poems have all been printed and translated many of times. Publishing industries thrive on printing Shakespeare’s things so scholars can read every aspect of the man that wrote the plays and poems. Every year hundreds of books and articles appear on Shakespearean subjects. Thousands of scholars from all over the world gather in dozens of meetings annually to discuss topics related to Shakespeare. Special libraries and library collections focus upon Shakespeare, numerous motion pictures have been made of his plays, composers have written operas, musical comedies, and instrumental works based on his stories and characters. The world has admired and respected many great writers, but only Shakespeare has generated such varied and continuing interest and such constant affection. During the Elizabethan Age the English people cared little about keeping biographical information not related to the church or state.
Back than playwriting wasn’t a highly regarded occupation and Elizabethans saw little point in recording the lives of the dramatists, but they did record some parts of Shakespeare’s life. Some of the information they included is church registers and accounts of business dealings. Some information about Shakespeare’s parents is John Shakespeare Williams was a glove maker who owned a shop in the town of Stratford-upon-Avon. Stratford is about 75 miles (120 kilometers) northwest of London in the county of Warwickshire. John was a respected man and held many important positions in the local government. Shakespeare’s mother was born Mary Arden she was the daughter of a farmer but related to a family of considerable social standing in the county. John married Mary about 1557, the Ardens were Roman Catholics, Mary may have been a catholic also but the Shakespeare’s publicly belonged to the Church of England, the state church. Shakespeare when he was born in 1564 he was the third of eight children.
The register of Holy Trinity the parish church in Stratford records his baptism on April 26, the custom at the time infants were baptized about three days after their birth so Shakespeare was born on April 23. The Shakespeare’s were a family of considerable local prominence, in 1565 John Shakespeare became an alderman three years later he was elected bailiff (mayor) the greatest civic honor that a Stratford resident could receive. At about the age of 7 young William Shakespeare attended the Stratford grammar school. The teachers were graduates of Oxford University one of the good collages around the area. The students spent about nine hours a day in school they attended classes year around except for three brief holiday periods.
The teachers at Stratford grammar school enforced strict discipline and physically punished students who broke the rules. At the school the children studied Latin the language of ancient Rome. Knowing Latin was necessary for a career in medicine, law, or the church, knowing Latin was a sign of a well educated man. Some authors Shakespeare might have read about were Cecero, Ovid, Plautus, Seneca, Terence, and Virgil. By standards today the Stratford grammar school would of been demanding, dull, and strict, no evidence exists that Shakespeare had any teacher who might have stirred his imagination and brought routine studies alive. All the hours in school didn’t hurt Shakespeare’s boyhood his boyhood was probably not boring at all, he lived in Stratford which was a lively town, do to the market place.
In addition to the lively town on holiday’s there was popular pageants and shows, some plays about the legendary outlaw Robin Hood and his merry men. By 1569 traveling companies of professional actors were performing in Stratford, the town also held two large fairs each year which attracted numerous visitors from other counties. Shakespeare also had other pleasures in his boyhood the fields and woods surrounding the town provided opportunities to hunt and trap small game. Shakespeare could also go to the River Avon which ran through the town where he could fish. Shakespeare’s poems and plays show a love of nature and rural life this display reflects his childhood experiences and his love of the stratford countryside.
In November 1582, Shakespeare w …