The Life of the Great William Shakespeare

Satisfactory Essays
There are many authors that are widely read. However, none are more

universally read and studied than the great William Shakespeare of the

late 16th and early 17th centuries. His plays and poems have moved

millions of people, unofficially giving him the well-deserved title of

the greatest of all dramatists. Shakespeare is the basis for

excellence in literacy and theatrical performances. Although

occasionally confusing to the reader, Shakespeare's work is a blend of

inspirational quotes and dramatic plots.

Many details of Shakespeare's childhood in Stratford, England are

lacking, but we do know a few major facts. John Shakespeare, the

father of this elite writer was a "burgess of the borough" (Encarta

'96), the position corresponding to mayor for the town of Stratford.

His mother, Mary Arden, was a descendant of a rich, ancient family,

and was the heiress to some land. They got married, thus moving John

and Mary Shakespeare up a step on the social scale. Together, they

bore eight children, the third and oldest son, William Shakespeare was

born in 1564, and they baptized him in Stratford-upon-Avon,


The Shakespeare family was not rich and therefore could not afford to

send their children to a "private school," and it is commonly accepted

that the children attended Stratford's Grammar School.

"William's education consisted of mostly Latin studies (learning to

read, write, and speak the language almost fluently), and the study of

some of the classic historians, moralists, and poets. Of course, they

also had basic math and English, but all this was only a minimal

education, for it was assumed that the children would go to the

university to enhance their knowledge toward the field of their

choice" (Britannica 253-254). William Shakespeare, however, did not go

to the university, and instead tried his hand at life with only the

education he received at the local grammar school. This surprises most

historians; they find it hard to believe that one with minimal

education could write such historically accurate plays. This generally

makes us assume that he liked school, and did well in it, but there
Get Access