Hamlet: What to know before reading

By Andrew Dufort

Who is William Shakespeare?

William Shakespeare was born on April 23, 1564, in Stratonford-upon-Avon, England. In the mid to late 1580’s he arrived in London, and might have found work at a theater in London. In the 1590's Shakespeare had works published and they were sold as popular literature. Shakespeare was very innovative, and combined the traditional style and his own style so that there could be a freer flow of words in his pieces. Moral failures are what often drive the plots of Shakespeare’s tragedies. Church records show he was interred at Trinity Church on April 5, 1616.

Why is Shakespeare still relevant

It is believed that Shakespeare is the greatest dramatist, the greatest poet and the greatest prose writer in the history of the language. Shakespeare is like the Michael Jordan of writing. Also many of his themes are still relevant today, and the characters were complex and interesting. Another reason is why he is so popular is because many people can relate to his writing, and there is a wide audience.

Shakespeare fun facts

1. Shakespeare’s only granddaughter Elizabeth, daughter of Susanna, died childless. Therefore, Shakespeare has no descendants.

2. Shakespeare died a very wealthy man, which was unlikely for artists during his time He formed a joint-stock company with his actors meaning he took a share in the company’s profits, as well as earning a fee for each play he wrote.

3. Some scholars believe that Shakespeare did not write the Shakespeare plays, for there are a variety of things we don’t know about him, like schooling.