The Unaccounted for Period of William Shakespeare's Life

analytical Essay
1956 words
1956 words

The Unaccounted for Period of William Shakespeare's Life William Shakespeare was born on April 26th 1564[1] in Stratford on-Avon to parents John and Mary. Growing up, he received a good education for a country boy of that period. He attended the village elementary school, was tutored by his mother and others, and learned a great deal by himself[2]. At the age of 18 he married Anne Hathaway, had his first child, Susanna in 1583 followed by twins Judith and Hamnet in 1585. Documentation ends here. From the years 1586 to 1592, there is little to no information about his activities and whereabouts. During this unaccounted for period of time, Shakespeare had to get from Stratford to London, where his presence was first reported by Robert Green in 1592 as an “upstart crow” in the theatre industry. Biographers and historians have done extensive research trying to find some information about these missing years. There are dozens of theories regarding his whereabouts but three main explanations are widely accepted in the historical community. Each of these is backed up by writings from around that time or from later in history but all are circumstantial. The theories include Shakespeare fleeing Stratford after being caught poaching game on Sir Thomas Lucy’s property, his employment as a law clerk while remaining in Stratford, and his service as a schoolmaster in faraway Lancashire[3]. Because of the mystery surrounding these years in the life of this genius, historians have now applied to this period the title The Lost Years. The first of these theories is referred to most often. It states that Shakespeare had been poaching game on the property of Sir Thomas Lucy and was caught. He was whi... ... middle of paper ... ...y in his Brief Lives (1681) and was later argued by E.A.J Honigmann in his 1985 book, Shakespeare: “The Lost Years”. [4] A Ballad in this sense is a poem or essay with a mocking or insulting tone. [5] The Merry Wives of Windsor was first performed on April 23rd, 1597, St George’s Day. It was commissioned by Queen Elizabeth herself after her love of Henry IV and the character of Falstaff. Falstaff is a main character in The Merry Wives of Windsor. [6] The Comedy of Errors was originally performed on December 28th, 1594 but was thought to have been written in or before 1592. [7] i.e. Italian culture, language, customs in plays such as The Merchant of Venice. [8] This theory is held by the nineteenth century writer W.J. Thoms who was amazed by Shakespeare’s knowledge of military and combat, which he portrayed in his plays. [9] Also spelled “Kempe”

In this essay, the author

  • Explains that william shakespeare was born on april 26th 1564 in stratford on-avon to parents john and mary. he attended the village elementary school, was tutored by his mother, and learned a great deal by himself.
  • Explains that there are dozens of theories regarding shakespeare's whereabouts, but three main explanations are widely accepted in the historical community. the theories include shakespeare fleeing stratford after being caught poaching game on sir thomas lucy’s property.
  • Explains that shakespeare poached game on sir thomas lucy's property and was whipped, put in prison, and then forced to flee stratford altogether to escape further punishment. this theory originated in the writings of a gloucestershire clergyman.
  • Opines that shakespeare was given to all unluckiness in stealing venison and rabbits, particularly from sir lucy who oft had him whipped and sometimes imprisoned and at last mad [sic] him fly his native country to his great advancement.
  • Analyzes how rowe's writings give shakespeare a little more credibility than saying it was solely he who stole the game.
  • Narrates how a young fellow fell into ill company and robbing the park belonging to sir thomas lucy of cherlecot, near stratford. he was prosecuted by that gentlemen, as he thought, somewhat too severely.
  • Explains that the "ballad" referred to in this passage was never positively identified. however, there have been other early writings discovered that contain anti-lucy ideas.
  • Analyzes how shakespeare's play the merry wives of windsor contains a character, justice robert shallow, who many believe is sir thomas lucy himself.
  • Explains that the second theory of shakespeare working as a law clerk in the offices of the country attorney in stratford has even less evidence to back it up than the prior one.
  • Analyzes how the third theory presented to explain shakespeare's whereabouts between leaving stratford and arriving in london fits the modern view of his personality better than the other two.
  • Explains that shakespeare was living with the catholic family of the houghton's in lancashire. john cottom was shakespeare’s last schoolmaster in stratford.
  • Argues that shakespeare must have been involved in writing, directing, and acting in plays at the lancashire school at which he worked. early play scripts show significant sources for some of shakespeare’s earliest plays including the comedy of errors.
  • Explains that shakespeare traveled to italy, held horses outside theatres in london, or was a conscript in the low countries.
  • Opines that shakespeare's whereabouts between 1586 and 1592 leans towards the third theory about his working as a schoolmaster in lancashire.
  • Analyzes how a traveling theatre company of the queen's men visited stratford in 1587 and asked the locals to help in their performances. shakespeare impressed them with his natural talent and was asked to come to london.
  • Opines that the lost years, in which the greatest writer in the history of the world disappeared for six years, will be a mystery forever.
  • Explains that william shakespeare was born april 23rd 1564 on st. george's day.
  • Explains that william taught himself how to write from a book. the merry wives of windsor was commissioned by queen elizabeth after her love of henry iv and the character of falstaff.
  • Explains that the comedy of errors was originally performed on december 28th, 1594, but was thought to have been written in or before 1592.

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