14 May 2012
The Life and Times of William Shakespeare
"To be, or not to be: that is the question" (Hamlet Act III, Scene I). A famous quote that you may of heard many times throughout your life. A quote said by William Shakespeare, an influential man in the world of the arts. Shakespeare was baptized April 26 1564 and died April 23 1616. His actual birth date is unknown, but is traditionally celebrated on April 23. He was an English poet and play writer and was known as the greatest writer in the English language and the world's pre-eminent dramatist. Shakespeare is often called England's national poet and the "Bard of Avon". His works that we know today consist of about 38 plays, 154 sonnets, two long narrative poems, and several other poems. His plays have been translated into every major living language and are performed more often than any other plays (http://www.william-shakespeare.info/).
Shakespeare was born and brought up in Stratford-upon-Avon. At the age of 18, he married Anne Hathaway and they had three children together; Susanna and twins Hamnet and Judith. Between the time period of 1585 and 1592 Shakespeare began his career in London as an actor and writer and then he became a part owner of a playing company called the Lord Chamberlain's Men. He became very successful in what he did but after his exciting life he went back to his hometown in Stratford around 1613 at age 49 and sadly passed away three years later (http://www.shakespeare-online.com/biography/shakespearebirth.html).
Shakespeare produced most of his work between 1589 and 1613. His early plays were mainly comedies and histories and then changed his genre of writing by the end of the 16th century. He then wrote mainly tragedies until about 1608 which include Hamlet, King Lear, Othello, and Macbeth. This plays are known as some of his finest work. In his last period of writing, he wrote tragicomedies or as we know them as romances (http://www.bardweb.net/man.html).
It is believed that Shakespeare took a lot of his inspiration from a variety of books, histories and earlier plays as subject material