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Biography of William Shakespeare

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Biography of William Shakespeare

William Shakespeare was born on April 23, 1564 in the town of Stratford-upon-Avon, England to Mary Arden and John Shakespeare. His dad made some money in the glove busuiness, however finally opened a general store and over the years bought some property.

William was the third of eight children and received a free education because of his father's position as alderman. Indications in his later writing suggest that as a kid Shakespeare enjoyed football, field sports and arguing with the referees. The Shakespeare's were comfortable, but not upper class by any means. By the time William was fifteen the family's fortunes were declineing and his father's business was bad. This meant that when William came of age, he had to work for a living.

Apparently, there were not a lot of entertainment options at the time. Books were not in wide circulation and anyone with half a brain could only take so much of that crappy reeorder music and ridiculous puppet shows, so Shakespeare had the bright idea of becoming an actor. Theatrical troupes of Elizabethan England were kind of like the garage bands of this day and age. Actors would often write thcir own plays, make up lines, and dress up in drag. It wasn't unusual for them to rave for hours, or to bore their friends into oblivion. Yet, past evidence suggests actors of Shakespeare's times would regularly trash inns, drink heavily, chase locals and usually cause chaos.

When Will was eighteen he fell in love with Anne Hathaway. After the necessary amount of headaches and paperwork they were married. Aside from the birth of his children, little is known about Shakespeare between 1582 and 1592, except that he built a career as an actor and eventually became a well-known and well-liked member of the London theatre circuit.

Shakespeare's play writing success began with historical works. Between 1590 and 1593 he wrote "Henry Vl, Parts 1, 2, and 3," "Richard III" and "A Comedy of Errors." "Romeo and Juliet" was written around 1594-1595. As an actor, he was a member of a theatrical company known as the Lord Chamberlain's Men. During the reign of Queen Elizabeth and later King James, they had great success in two famous theatres, The Globe and the Blackfriars. King James was cool and actually became a sponsor of Shakespeare's reformed outfit The Kings Men by lending the group money and hanging out with the lads backstage and on tour. Commoners as well as the privileged enjoyed theatre of that time era. Often the audiences were completely illiterate. Public theatres like The Hope, The Fortune, The Red Bull, and The Swan were outside so the players had to compete with livestock sales and the ubiquitous drunks.

To reach the crowd Shakespeare could not rely on a large stack of amplifiers. He needed the most electrifying words and images ever created in the English language. Concepts that would electrify common people and make them stop, lose themselves, rise above the manure for an hour or two. Shakespeare had the rhymes. Everyone knew it. In fact, he used rhythm we're still hearing today to reinforce



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