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William Shakespeare is considered the greatest playwright and the greatest writer of all time. He wrote thirty eight plays, 154 sonnets, and various other poems. His works are among the most quoted in the English-speaking world and have become common proverbs. He is sometimes referred to as the Bard of Avon or simply The Bard.

BiographyEdit

William Shakespeare was born in 1534, most likely on April 23. His father was a Yeoman and his mother was of landed gentry. He died on April 23, 52 years later.

Shakespeare attended the local grammar school at Stratford, and he undoubtedly would have studied Latin rhetoric, philosophy, and literature. At 18, he married a farmer's daughter, Anne Hathaway. Six months later, he had his first daughter, Susanna. In 1585, he had twin named Hamnet and Judith.

It's estimated that Shakespeare started working as an actor in 1589. He was an actor and playwright of note by 1952. He worked for various companies, including Pembroke's Men and the Chamberlain's Men.

In 1952, the Plague closed all the theaters for two years. During this time, Shakespeare began writing poetry. The most famous of these were Venus and Adonis and The Rape of Lucrece. Shakespeare also started writing his sonnets which were published shortly after his retirement, without his permission.

In 1959, his son Hamnet died. However, his career moved forward. He became a partner at the Globe Theater, built by the Chamberlain's men in 1599. When Queen Elizabeth died in 1603, the Chamberlain's Men were renamed the King's Men. Shakespeare's popularity continued. A year from retirement, he bought a second theater, the Blackfriar Gatehouse. His final play was Henry VII, completed two years before his death.

During Shakespeare's life, his plays were never published except for the use of actors performing the play. At the time, the play was considered entertainment, but not literature. However, two of Shakespeare's fellows, John Heminges and Henry Condell gathered 36 of Shakespeare's play in the First Folio and published it.

The plays we have today are reconstructed, in part, from parts of the plays that the actors wrote down. At the time, the performance was all that mattered because that's what made money, so no one cared much about the scripts.

The Works of ShakespeareEdit

Comedies

Histories

Tragedies

Poems

  • Shakespeare's Sonnets
  • Venus and Adonis
  • Rape of Lucrece
  • The Passionate Pilgrim
  • The Phoenix and the Turtle
  • The Lover's Complaint

Lost Plays

Apocrypha

SourcesEdit

Shakespeare at eNotes.com
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