William Shakespeare

William Shakespeare

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William Shakespeare
1564 to 1616


Family and Education

-born in Stratford-on-Avon
-his father was a prominant citizen or "gentleman"
-Shakespeare read everything available in print
-he read the classics, French and Italian plays, legends, folk plays, mythology, historical chronicles, and the Bible
-Gutenberg printing press had been invented 100 years earlier
-married Ann Hathaway and had three children - Susanna, and the twins Hamnet and Judith
-Shakespeare died in 1616 of Brights' disease
-in Shakespeare's will he left his house and lands to his eldest daughter, his wife his "second-best bed", his youngest daughter a silver bowl, and enough money for each of his fellow actors to buy a ring to wear in his memory
-Shakespeare's grave reads
Good friend, for Jesus sake forbear
To dig the dust enclosed here
Blessed be the man that spares these stones
And cursed be he that moves my bones.
-seven years after his death his friends John Hemings and Henry Condell published a book containing 36 plays, which was called the "First Folio"
-"He was not of an age, but for all time." Ben Johnson

His Life in the Theatre

-considered to be the greatest dramatist in the world
-only the Bible is read more than Shakespeare's plays
-from 1593 - 1613 he wrote 37 plays, acted, helped manage an acting troup and was part owner of the "Old Globe Theatre"
-1593-1594 the theatres were closed because of the plague and Shakespeare wrote his narrative poetry
-little is known about Shakespeare because he did not write about himself, nor did he publish his own plays, he made his money by writing plays that were performed for an audience
-his first play was The

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-he would often use a plot he already knew or read about, converted it, added to it, and made it his own
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