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The History of William Shakespeare

Mario 1

Mario Yarbrough

June 26, 2022

     William Shakespeare was an English poet and playwright during the Elizabethan era, which was from 1558-1603. Although there is no information on when he was born, it is known that he was baptized on April 26, 1564. He married Anne Hathaway at the age of 18 and had three children. He lived in a small English town called Stratford- upon – Avon, where he worked as an actor and writer. He is considered one of the greatest writers in history, and his plays remain popular around the world today. Several of his plays have even been made into feature films by the modern movie industry.

     Shakespeare is best known for his many plays. Back in that time, the word “Comedy” meant a light story with a happy ending, not just a series of jokes as it is today. “History” was a story about a person or event that actually happened. “Tragedies” were sad stories with unhappy endings. “Tragicomedy” and “Romance” were a sort of complex comedy, that normally had a happy ending, but not always.

     Shakespeare was a part of the Lord Chamberlain’s Men, which was the leading play company in London. The group was the only playing company to perform Shakespeare’s plays during his life. They were awarded a royal patent by James I and changed their name to The King’s Men. They built a sophisticated theater, called “The Globe”, on the south band of the Thames River in London. Shakespeare became a rich man and bought a large house called “New Place”. He retired to Stratford and died in April 1616, leaving behind his wife and three daughters.

     There is a suspicion as to whether the historical Shakespeare was the actual author of his plays and poems. His biography is a bit bland and does not account for the genius and good education that seems to be necessary for the impressive writings. Historians suggest the 17th Earl of Oxford, Francis Bacon, Christopher Marlowe, and the 6th Earl of Derby as potential ghost writers of the Shakespearian plays.

     His works have influenced literature and theater greatly overtime. Authors like Dickens and Melville, and the famous psychoanalyst Sigmund Freud drew on Shakespeare in their writings. Shakespeare also helped shape modern English through inventing phrases that became part of our everyday speech. He was a great man with few others like him.



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