The Times and Life of Shakespeare

with a dash of Hamlet

Life and Times of Shakespeare

Many records on Shakespeare are fairly vague, and some of his records do not exist to our knowledge. All we know is that William Shakespeare was baptized on April 26th, 1564 in Stratford-Upon-Avon. His mother was a local landed heiress and his father was a leather merchant. He had two older sisters and three younger brothers. On November 28 1582 he married Anne Hathaway, who was 26 and pregnant. Shakespeare was 18 at the time. Hathaway gave birth to a daughter and then later on gave birth to twin brother and sister. By 1597 191 pieces were written by Shakespeare. His pieces ranged from Dramatic pieces to Comedic pieces. He also took a period of time, when the bubonic plague affected the theater business, to write sonnets and different poetic pieces. In 1599, Shakespeare and a few of his partners built their own theater, called the Globe. On April 25th, Shakespeare was buried in the Holy Trinity Church graveyard in his hometown. On his tomb there is a warning written. It warns anyone who moves his bones to be aware that a curse will be put on them for disturbing the peace. To this day, his bones have not been removed from their original spot.

Did You Know?

  • · Baptized on April 26th 1564 in Stratford-upon-Avon, England
  • · Died in 1616 at age 52
  • · From 1594 onwards he was involved with the Lord Chamberlains Men Company of theatrical players.
  • · Mother was a local landed heiress, father was a leather merchant
  • · Buried on April 25th in the Holy Trinity Church Graveyard in Stratford-upon-Avon
  • · Two older sisters, Joan and Judith, and three younger brothers, Gilbert, Richard and Edmund.
  • · Married Anne Hathaway on November 28, 1582. William was 18, Anne 26 and pregnant.
  • · Gave birth to daughter Susanna, and then later to twins Hamnet and Judith. Hamnet died at age 11 by unknown causes.
  • · By 1597, 15 of the 37 plays written by William Shakespeare were published.
  • · 1599, William Shakespeare and his business partners built their own theater on the south bank of the Thames River, which they called the Globe.
  • · Shakespeare wrote 37 plays and 154 sonnets!
1. Shakespeare wears a Gold hoop in his ear
2. Some of Shakespeare’s signatures have survived on original documents. In none of them does he spell his name in what has become the standard way. He spells it Shakespe; Shakspe; Shakspere and Shakespear.
3. Two of Shakespeare’s plays, Hamlet and Much Ado about Nothing, have been translated into Klingon. The Klingon Language Institute plans to translate more! (Kilngon is the language in Star Trek)

Hamlet in two minutes

The story starts with news that King Hamlet of Denmark has recently died. Denmark is preparing for a war against Norway. King Claudius, who is the new ruler of Denmark, has requested Hamlet’s wife, Queen Gertrude, to be his wife. Hamlet appears, the son, and tells his mother he does not approve of his mother marrying a new man so quickly. In other news Laertes, son of Lord Chamberlain Polonious, tells his sister not to fall in love with Hamlet. Hamlet meets the Ghost of his father and learns that he was poisoned by King Claudius and King Hamlet tells Hamlet to avenge his death, not punish his mother. Hamlet is utterly confused on whether or not the ghost is telling the truth, so he creates a play to gauge King Claudius’s reaction. The play consists of some scenes of what truly happened to King Hamlet. Hamlet plans to kill Claudius. Hamlet kills six people through his time of fear. First is Polonius, who Hamlet stabs for spying. Claudius punishes Hamlet and exiles him to England. Hamlet is not happy that he is to be executed, and gets upset. Ophelia hears all of this and commits suicide by drowning while sing sad love songs. Then her brother Laertes dies due to a sword fight with Hamlet. Then he tells Hamlet that he will soon die because they both got cut by a poisoned sword. After that Claudius gets stabbed by Hamlet and poisoned by a drink. Hamlet, dying, tells everyone that Prince Fortinbas of Norway should be the new King, and the play ends with him giving the order for a proper funeral service for Hamlet.

*Themes to explore” Mortality, Madness, Woman, and Political power.

hamlet plot