The Life Of Shakespeare

In Elizabethan England


Shakespeare was allegedly born in Stratford-upon-Avon on April 23, 1564. He married Anne Hathaway and had three children, Susanna, and twins named Hamnet and Judith. However, Hamnet died at the age of 11. He went to London and established himself as a successful actor, and retired there. He allegedly died on April 23, 1616, which would have been his birthday. 400 years later, Shakespeare's legacy lives on in his timeless writings.

The Globe Theatre

Shakespeare helped establish the Globe Theatre. It was built in London in 1599. It was destroyed by fire in 1613, however, due to an accident with a cannon during a performance. The Globe Theatre was rebuilt on the same site in 1614.

Shakepeare Plays

Shakespeare had three themes for his plays. Those were: History, Tragedy and Comedy.

History - Number of plays: 10

Tragedy - Number of plays: 10

Comedy - Number of plays: 17

Meaning of Lines in the Twelfh Night

As we know, Shakespearean language isn't exactly easy to understand, so we may have to guess some meaning of lines in his works.

I know of none;
Nor know I you by voice or any feature:
I hate ingratitude more in a man
Than lying, vainness, babbling, drunkenness,
Or any taint of vice whose strong corruption
Inhabits our frail blood.

My interpretation of these lines could mean two things. It could be talking about a disease or illness (like the black death) because it does not have a voice of a feature but it "inhabits our frail blood.", or it could also be about a character in the play itself that the narrator does not know but they still managed to hurt the narrator, because it talks about "ingratitude in a man"

Life In Elizabethan England

Services and Occupations

Definitions of some jobs or shops:

Barber Surgeon - dental work

Apothecary - Drugs etc.

Fletcher - made and sold arrows

Masters and Servants

People of your household:

Steward - oversees the running of your estates

Nurse - takes care of your children/infants

Maids and Grooms - servants

City of London

Life in the city of London wasn't exactly glamorous in Elizabethan times. There were no drains in the city, so that meant no sewage of any kind. They would dispose of their waste by dumping it into the streets. Also, water and tea weren't popular in London, so they drank ale, or if they were rich, wine. Also, because of the brutality of the era, severed heads were displayed on temple bar and on London Bridge. All of this can add up to one thing; a foul smelling and unsightly city.

The Bubonic Plague or Black Death

The bubonic plague (or also known as the black death) was a disease that plagued people of the Elizabethan era. It mostly spread through fleas that lived on animals, but it could also spread by breath. This meant that the people who were most likely to catch the disease were farmers because they deal with animals.

If someone caught the virus, the families and the victim were confined to their house and the doors were locked and barred from the outside, which meant no one was allowed to leave and no one was allowed to enter. The only way to get food was for the family to lower a basket from a window and a watchmen would provide them with food.

There were men to get rid of the bodies of the deceased but some of them died from the bubonic plague and eventually there was a shortage of men to take care of the bodies. The bodies also got out of hand and eventually they just left them in their house until they could take care of them, and they placed a red cross over the door to show that there was a body in the house.

How Did The Plague Affect Shakespeare?

Major outbreaks of the bubonic plague resulted in the

Globe Theatre to be closed three times, in 1593, 1603, and 1608.