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William Shakespeare’s Life and Times


William Shakespeare is one of the most significant figures of the United Kingdom and the whole world. His contribution to the development of culture and literary and theatrical art is priceless, and the fact that this ingenious writer lived and created literary works is a gift for all humankind. There are several rather interesting facts of his biography, and the purpose of this paper is to provide them and some information about his plays.

Early Years and Marriage

William Shakespeare, an English playwright, poet, and actor, was born on April 26, 1564, in Stratford-upon-Avon. He is widely considered to be one of the greatest writers and England’s national poet. His father, John Shakespeare, was a rather successful businessman, and his mother, Mary Arden, was a landowner’s daughter (“William Shakespeare Biography”). At the age of eighteen, on November 28, 1582, Shakespeare married Anne Hathaway, who was eight years older (“Who was William Shakespeare?”). They had three children: Susanna and twins Judith and Hamnet; unfortunately, their son died when he was only eleven.

The “Lost Years” and the Beginning of the Career

After he married, there was not much information about his life, and now scholars can only guess what he was doing. The period of seven years, where no records of Shakespeare’s life exist, is called the “lost years” (“Who was William Shakespeare?”). After that, it is thought that he arrived in London at the beginning of the 1590s (“Who was William Shakespeare?”). He probably found work at some of London’s theaters and started writing and performing in his plays. Between 1585 and 1592 were the ages of the beginning of his successful career as a writer and actor. Moreover, he became a managing partner of the Lord Chamberlain’s Men, a playing company that was later known as the King’s Men.

The Globe Theater

His career was rather successful and gained popularity among actors, other playwrights, and ordinary people. Researchers note that “by 1597, Shakespeare had already written and published fifteen of his thirty-seven plays” (“William Shakespeare Biography”). One of the essential moments of his life is that, by 1599, Shakespeare gathered with his business partners and built their theater. It was located on the Thames River’s south bank and called the Globe Theater.

Retirement and Death

At the age of forty-nine, which was around 1613, Shakespeare returned to Stratford, and only a few records of his last years survived. It is known that he died three years later, on April 23, 1616, after a month of signing his will, in which he left the better part of his significant estate to Susanna, his elder daughter (“William Shakespeare Short Biography”). The playwright was buried in the sanctuary of the parish church, Holy Trinity.

Shakespeare’s Literary Works

Most of his well-known literary works were created between 1589 and 1613. His first and second published poems, Venus and Adonis (1593) and The Rape of Lucrece (1594), we’re dedicated to Henry Wriothesley (“Tragedies, Comedies, and Histories”). In general, Shakespeare wrote about thirty-eight plays, two long narrative poems, and one hundred and fifty-four sonnets (“Tragedies, Comedies, and Histories”). All of his plays are divided into three groups: tragedies (Macbeth, King Lear, Othello, and Hamlet), comedies (All’s Well That Ends Well, As You Like It, and The Comedy of Errors), and histories (King John and Richard II).

Most of his early works were histories and comedies, and precisely these plays are still regarded as some of the most brilliant examples of these genres. After that, until about 1608, Shakespeare wrote mostly tragedies (“Tragedies, Comedies, and Histories”). The fact that once again proves the genius of Shakespeare is that his plays have been translated into most of the living languages. Many playwrights remake his works and adapt them to current events, and most of his plays are still performed in every country more often than those of any other writer.

Works Cited

“Tragedies, Comedies, and Histories.” Royal Shakespeare Company, 2020. Web.

“Who was William Shakespeare?” Shakespeare Birthplace Trust, 2020. Web.

“William Shakespeare Biography.” Biography, 2019, Web.

“William Shakespeare Short Biography.” My English Pages, 2020. Web.

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StudyKraken. "William Shakespeare’s Life and Times." February 20, 2022.


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