William Shakespeare

The Chandos portrait, artist and authenticity unconfirmed. National Portrait Gallery, London. Baptised 26 April 1564 (birth date Born unknown) Stratford-upon-Avon, Warwickshire, England 23 April 1616 (aged 52) Died Stratford-upon-Avon, Warwickshire, England Occupation Literary movement Spouse(s) Playwright, poet, actor

English Renaissance theatre

Anne Hathaway (m. 1582–1616)

Susanna Hall Hamnet Shakespeare Judith Quiney

Children

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[9] He was the third child of eight and the eldest surviving son.• John Shakespeare (father) Mary Shakespeare (mother) Relative(s) • Signature William Shakespeare (baptised 26 April 1564. His actual birthdate remains unknown. widely regarded as the greatest writer in the English language and the world's pre-eminent dramatist. but the curriculum was dictated by law throughout England.[10] Although no attendance records for the period survive. Life Main article: Shakespeare's life Early life William Shakespeare was the son of John Shakespeare.[2] [nb 2] His surviving works. has proved appealing to biographers. consist of about 38 plays. since Shakespeare died 23 April 1616.[1] He is often called England's national poet and the "Bard of Avon". died 23 April 1616)[nb 1] was an English poet and playwright. Shakespeare produced most of his known work between 1589 and 1613.[nb 3] 154 sonnets.[8] This date. most biographers agree that Shakespeare was probably educated at the King's New School in Stratford.[12] about a quarter-mile from his home. the daughter of an affluent landowning farmer. Grammar schools varied in quality during the Elizabethan era. an alderman and a successful glover originally from Snitterfield. and several other poems. St George's Day. and Mary Arden. which can be traced back to an 18th-century scholar's mistake. two long narrative poems.[3] Shakespeare was born and raised in Stratford-upon-Avon. including some collaborations.[11] a free school chartered in 1553.[13] and the school would have provided an intensive education in Latin grammar and the classics. . [7] He was born in Stratford-upon-Avon and baptised there on 26 April 1564. but is traditionally observed on 23 April. His plays have been translated into every major living language and are performed more often than those of any other playwright.

The consistory court of the Diocese of Worcester issued a marriage licence 27 November 1582. Shakespeare left few historical traces until he is mentioned as part of the London theatre scene in 1592.[23] No evidence substantiates such stories other than hearsay collected after his death. and one man in his time plays many parts. supposes he is as well able to bombast out a blank verse as the best of you: . and all the men and women merely players: they have their exits and their entrances. Scene 7. a Catholic landowner who named a certain "William Shakeshafte" in his will. son Hamnet and daughter Judith. Shakespeare is also supposed to have taken his revenge on Lucy by writing a scurrilous ballad about him. Shakespeare’s first biographer. that with his Tiger's heart wrapped in a Player's hide. in Stratford-upon-Avon. and Shakeshafte was a common name in the Lancashire area.[22] Some 20th-century scholars have suggested that Shakespeare may have been employed as a schoolmaster by Alexander Hoghton of Lancashire..John Shakespeare's house.[18] After the birth of the twins.there is an upstart Crow. Shakespeare married the 26-year-old Anne Hathaway." —As You Like It.[14] The ceremony may have been arranged in some haste. recounted a Stratford legend that Shakespeare fled the town for London to escape prosecution for deer poaching in the estate of local squire Thomas Lucy. but contemporary allusions and records of performances show that several of his plays were on the London stage by 1592. Susanna.[24] London and theatrical career "All the world's a stage.[20] Another 18th-century story has Shakespeare starting his theatrical career minding the horses of theatre patrons in London. since the Worcester chancellor allowed the marriage banns to be read once instead of the usual three times. At the age of 18. beautified with our feathers.[15] and six months after the marriage Anne gave birth to a daughter. Nicholas Rowe. The next day two of Hathaway's neighbours posted bonds guaranteeing that no lawful claims impeded the marriage. and scholars refer to the years between 1585 and 1592 as Shakespeare's "lost years".[21] John Aubrey reported that Shakespeare had been a country schoolmaster. believed to be Shakespeare's birthplace.[26] He was well enough known in London by then to be attacked in print by the playwright Robert Greene in his Groats-Worth of Wit: . Act II.. baptised 26 May 1583. followed almost two years later and were baptised 2 February 1585. 139–42[25] It is not known exactly when Shakespeare began writing.[19] Biographers attempting to account for this period have reported many apocryphal stories.. [16] Twins.[17] Hamnet died of unknown causes at the age of 11 and was buried 11 August 1596..

and in 1605. a maker of ladies' wigs and other headgear. Thomas Nashe and Greene himself (the "university wits"). which they called the Globe. In 1596. the company was awarded a royal patent by the new king.[31] From 1594. although we cannot know for certain which roles he played.[35] Some of Shakespeare's plays were published in quarto editions from 1594. There he rented rooms from a French Huguenot called Christopher Mountjoy. Shakespeare was living in the parish of St.[36] Shakespeare continued to act in his own and other plays after his success as a playwright. the year before he bought New Place as his family home in Stratford. and changed its name to the King's Men. north of the River Thames. Rowe passed down a tradition that Shakespeare played the ghost of Hamlet's father. identifies Shakespeare as Greene's target.[43] Shakespeare divided his time between London and Stratford during his career.[32] After the death of Queen Elizabeth in 1603. rather than the more common "universal genius". [41] Later traditions maintain that he also played Adam in As You Like It and the Chorus in Henry V. Records of Shakespeare's property purchases and investments indicate that the company made him a wealthy man. he invested in a share of the parish tithes in Stratford.[27] Scholars differ on the exact meaning of these words. Here Johannes Factotum—"Jack of all trades"— means a second-rate tinkerer with the work of others. a company owned by a group of players. the partnership also took over the Blackfriars indoor theatre.[39] In 1610. New Place.[45] By 1604. to an area north of St Paul's Cathedral with many fine houses. however. By 1598.[46] Later years and death . John Davies of Hereford wrote that "good Will" played "kingly" roles.[29] The italicised phrase parodying the line "Oh.[34] In 1597.[40] In 1709.[28] but most agree that Greene is accusing Shakespeare of reaching above his rank in trying to match university-educated writers such as Christopher Marlowe. his name had become a selling point and began to appear on the title pages. Bishopsgate.[44] He moved across the river to Southwark by 1599. that soon became the leading playing company in London. along with the pun "Shake-scene". Part 3.[33] In 1599. James I. the year his company constructed the Globe Theatre there.[28][30] Greene's attack is the earliest surviving mention of Shakespeare’s career in the theatre. some of which were first staged after Volpone.and being an absolute Johannes factotum. tiger's heart wrapped in a woman's hide" from Shakespeare's Henry VI. he bought the second-largest house in Stratford.[38] The First Folio of 1623. including Shakespeare.[37] The absence of his name from the 1605 cast list for Jonson’s Volpone is taken by some scholars as a sign that his acting career was nearing its end. In 1608. lists Shakespeare as one of "the Principal Actors in all these Plays". Shakespeare's plays were performed only by the Lord Chamberlain's Men.[42] though scholars doubt the sources of the information. he had moved north of the river again. The 1616 edition of Ben Jonson's Works names him on the cast lists for Every Man in His Humour (1598) and Sejanus His Fall (1603). is in his own conceit the only Shake-scene in a country. Biographers suggest that his career may have begun any time from the mid-1580s to just before Greene's remarks. a partnership of company members built their own theatre on the south bank of the River Thames. Helen's.

who was probably entitled to one third of his estate automatically. probably with John Fletcher. which was carefully avoided during restoration of the church in 2008:[66] . John Hall. and none are attributed to him after 1613. Mary.[56] and Judith had married Thomas Quiney. in 1607.Rowe was the first biographer to pass down the tradition that Shakespeare retired to Stratford some years before his death.[50] and from November 1614 he was in London for several weeks with his son-in-law. ending Shakespeare’s direct line.[51] Shakespeare's funerary monument in Stratford-upon-Avon.[63] Some scholars see the bequest as an insult to Anne.[49] In March 1613 he bought a gatehouse in the former Blackfriars priory. Elizabeth.[65] The epitaph carved into the stone slab covering his grave includes a curse against moving his bones.[53] who succeeded him as the house playwright for the King’s Men.[59] The Quineys had three children. a vintner.[47] In 1612 he was called as a witness in a court case concerning the marriage settlement of Mountjoy's daughter.[54] Shakespeare died on 23 April 1616[55] and was survived by his wife and two daughters. After 1606–1607. of leaving her "my second best bed".[61] Shakespeare's will scarcely mentions his wife. Anne. John Hall. two months before Shakespeare’s death. a bequest that has led to much speculation.[47] but retirement from all work was uncommon at that time. who married twice but died without children in 1670. Susanna had married a physician. [52] His last three plays were collaborations.[64] Shakespeare was buried in the chancel of the Holy Trinity Church two days after his death.[58] The terms instructed that she pass it down intact to "the first son of her body".[62] He did make a point.[48] and Shakespeare continued to visit London. whereas others believe that the second-best bed would have been the matrimonial bed and therefore rich in significance. Shakespeare left the bulk of his large estate to his elder daughter Susanna. Shakespeare wrote fewer plays.[57] In his will.[60] The Halls had one child. all of whom died without marrying. however.

for Jesus' sake forbear.Shakespeare's grave. a funerary monument was erected in his memory on the north wall." "Blessed be the man that spares these stones. Socrates. Good frend for Iesvs sake forbeare." "To dig the dust enclosed here. And cvrst be he yt moves my bones. and Virgil. with a half-effigy of him in the act of writing. Contribution to English Influence Main article: Shakespeare's influence .[68] In 1623. including funeral monuments in Southwark Cathedral and Poets' Corner in Westminster Abbey. Its plaque compares him to Nestor. the Droeshout engraving was published.[67] Modern spelling: "Good friend.[69] Shakespeare has been commemorated in many statues and memorials around the world." "And cursed be he who moves my bones. in conjunction with the publication of the First Folio. Bleste be ye man yt spares thes stones."[66] Sometime before 1623. To digg the dvst encloased heare.

If something’s grand and wonderful.000.[150] and his use of language helped shape modern English. it’s majestic. the first serious work of its type. plot. If you’re in a rush. you might swagger. Shakespeare's work has made a lasting impression on later theatre and literature. These words came mostly from Latin. he expanded the dramatic potential of characterisation. Some scholars put the total that have actually survived at around 12. By Henry Fuseli. and while they didn’t necessarily fill gaps where we had no word to describe something. In particular. romance had not been viewed as a worthy topic for tragedy.Macbeth Consulting the Vision of the Armed Head. but Shakespeare used them to explore characters' minds. language. Every single italicized word in the previous paragraph was coined by Shakespeare… or at least first recorded by him. for example.[152] Expressions such as "with bated breath" (Merchant of Venice) and "a foregone conclusion" (Othello) have found their way into everyday English speech. they . and new styles of writing. spelling and pronunciation were less standardised than they are now. 1793–94. you hurry.000 words to our language.[151] Samuel Johnson quoted him more often than any other author in his A Dictionary of the English Language.[153] Part 1 :If you want to charge someone with a crime. there was an explosion of words being created. And. hundreds of phrases. English owes a great debt to this monumental figure."[146] In Shakespeare's day. Washington. [144] Soliloquies had been used mainly to convey information about characters or events. Folger Shakespeare Library. if Shakespeare hadn’t been a playwright. though with little success. If you want to give a winning athlete a title. William Shakespeare introduced nearly 2. English grammar. The Romantic poets attempted to revive Shakespearean verse drama. if you’re arrogant. and genre.[143] Until Romeo and Juliet. there’s a word for it: you accuse them. This assertion is not baseless. Critic George Steiner described all English verse dramas from Coleridge to Tennyson as "feeble variations on Shakespearean themes. there’s a term for it: you call them a champion. we wouldn’t have all those very useful words. In Shakespeare’s time. If you’re sick you might puke.[145] His work heavily influenced later poetry.

2. The way most of these new words came into use was through written works: one major example is Shakespeare’s plays. The variations of language that he put forth encompassed many different social classes.” (Twelfth Night. 4. Over time. One usage that gives this impression is the introduction of “I have got” for “I have.138. o’er instead of over. In his writing we can see that he wasn’t very enthusiastic about the school systems at the time.31) One has an extra syllable. fantastical for Shakespeare meant something more along the lines of imagined. 4. He created his characters through the language. However. but keeps the same meaning.” This adds a syllable.” (As You Like It. One such vulgar word was now-a-days (used by the grave-digger in Hamlet).1. and couldn’t be used to describe a murder. audiences are willing to give the writer a break when he has to come up with some new words.created many synonyms. There are many ways that Shakespeare created his new words. It could have easily been a way for Shakespeare to fix up a line and give it the right rhythm and length. and his amazing rhetoric. His viewers ranged from peasants to royalty.e. are examples. One way he did this was with “what say you” and “what do you say. unlike “…My thought. A Table Alphabeticall of hard usual English words.18) As a boy. but it didn’t fit in iambic pentameter (a type of meter of poetry). his knowledge of other languages. Part 2 :One benefit of the many words that Shakespeare coined is that we can make better distinctions between meanings. he found “tongues in trees. Ne’er instead of never. it is still a prime example of how he used vocabulary (both in use at the time and new words that he coined) to shape his characters. books in the running brooks. by Robert Cawdrey).3. He could turn a character into someone vulgar simply through their vocabulary.3. Some reasons that Shakespeare created so many new words were: • • he didn’t have a word that would fit exactly what he wanted to say.2. Another device that he also used was making contractions. . Other examples are the dictionaries of the time (i. because he was very well acquainted with courtly speech. and his audience would recognize these traits as soon as the words left the players’ mouths. the words changed meaning to some degree so now we are better able to make slight distinctions that we were otherwise unable to make before. Instead. For example. When someone writes thousands of lines in this demanding style. Today’s meaning has positive connotations. It could have easily been a way for Shakespeare to fix up a line and give it the right rhythm and length. and he had a word.) Last time I mentioned that Shakespeare might have wanted to create language to fit his iambic pentameter style of writing. he was more interested in nature. He went to school until the age of 14. whose murder yet is but fantastical…” (1. but they have the same meaning. Macbeth.89. which could explain his use of Latin to create new words. Although this is not one of his additions to our language. his general references to education tell us that. He may also have worked as a schoolmaster himself. It is probable that he worked as a lawyer’s clerk or a page. the main reason that Shakespeare used so many words was to reach a broad audience.

His words came largely from manipulation of the current language. line 6.2. Other examples are “…say what you can. “…which happies those that pay the willing loan…” (Sonnet IV. but of language. 2.) The watch is used to mean watchmen. He turned adjectives into adverbs. He was able to switch words from one part of speech to another part. lastly. .16. 2. For example. “…a sudden pale…usurps her cheek…” (Venus and Adonis). to force). His influence on the English language was monumental and he is still one of the most iconic literary figures of all time. An example is “…recounts what horrid sights seen by the watch…” (Julius Caesar. He made adjectives into nouns. Shakespeare was a master not only of words.) And.1283).4. he made verbs into nouns. For example. my false o’erweighs your true…” (Measure for Measure. He made adjectives and nouns into verbs (to fault.

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