The Life of the Great William Shakespeare

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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, Warwickshire. 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

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