William Shakespeare: A Compact Documentary Life By Samuel Schoenbaum

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In the biography “William Shakespeare: a Compact Documentary Life”, Samuel Schoenbaum is able to use diction, rhetoric, and authorial intrusion to establish a timeline of Shakespeare’s life in detail despite having so little accurate information of Shakespeare. As one of the most remarkable playwrights in the world, Shakespeare is highly influential in modern literature and in the modern world. The famous writer, Shakespeare, was said to have been born in Stratford as the first son to John and Mary Shakespeare on either the 21st, 22nd, or 23rd of April 1564. Most assume that Shakespeare’s birth occurred on the 23rd where then; he was baptized three days later on April 26, 1564. When he was five years of age, Shakespeare attended King’s New School at Stratford. Around 1574 or 1574 Shakespeare graduated from the Lower school to the Upper. There is no record telling how long Shakespeare had spent at King’s New School. There is a chance that Shakespeare was also apprenticed at his father’s shop. In 1582 Shakespeare became associated with the eldest daughter of the Hathaway family. In November of that year, Shakespeare and Anne Hathaway were licensed to marry but the court of Worcester. The couple had approximately three children together: Susanna, Hamnet, and Judith. Susanna was born in 1583 and the twins were born two years after. The time after this, from 1585 -1592, became known as the lost years as there are little known about Shakespeare in that period of time. It is assumed that around 1590 Shakespeare left Stratford to London and began his play writing career. Shakespeare’s first play had been Henry VI, Part One. Then in 1593, the theatres became closed due to the bubonic plague and reopen the next year. During that ... ... middle of paper ... ... other than pure interest that Schoenbaum would write of Shakespeare, the Shakespeare’s accomplishments would be it. The life William Shakespeare lead was not an easy one. Shakespeare had been middle-classed and his circumstance had been no easier than of most people today. He had to apprentice at his father’s shop, and then, after marriage, travel away from his family to start his career. When Shakespeare started, no one would have thought of how successful he would be, and he was even criticized for his work. Through his determination and individuality Shakespeare gained fame and fortune. Shakespeare life story then came to be preserved in Samuel Schoenbaum’s biography of Shakespeare and many other biography of him. If there was a lesson to be taught in Shakespeare’s life, then it would be this: “We know what we are, but know not what we may be.” (Hamlet, 4.5).

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