William Shakespeare

By Pierce Michael

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Early Life (1564-1590)

Born April 23, 1564, Shakespeare had two older sisters and three younger brothers. William grew up in a decently wealthy family. His father was a fortunate merchant who later became the mayor of Stratford-upon-Avon, England, the town in which William and his siblings were born and raised. There are not many records regarding Shakespeare's early life, but he is believed to have attended the King's New School located in Stratford. This is thought to be the school where William learned English and writing.


Between the ages of 19 and 21, Shakespeare's wife, Anne Hathaway, gave birth to three children, one of which died around the age of 11 from unknown causes. There were seven years after his last child was born when the were no records of William Shakespeare whatsoever; no one really knows why. This period is often referred to as the "lost years".


Pictured above is the home where William Shakespeare and his family resided during his childhood in Stratford-upon-Avon.

Early Career (1592-1595)

Though many believe Shakespeare had written many plays prior to his start in 1592, he had never made it big. Shakespeare became associated with London playwright Robert Greene. Robert saw William's potential and realized William had the ability to rise above much better known writers, including himself.


In the 1590s, Shakespeare began managing acting company Lord Chamberlain's Men. The very popular company showed record of Shakespeare's successful sales of his literature. With this literature was Shakespeare to attract the attention of people of a higher rank, such as Henry Wriothesley.

Career (1597-1605)

Most of William Shakespeare's plays written in the 1590s were more about comedy, such as A Midsummer Night's Dream and Much Ado About Nothing whereas in his later work he began to write a lot of tragedy plays, like Hamlet and Othello.


As time went on, more of Shakespeare's plays were published. With his success, William purchased his family the second largest home in Stratford. Because of the distance to London, it is believed that Shakespeare stayed in the city to act for the majority of the year and came home to Stratford for about 1 month out of the year during a period in which the theaters were closed.


In 1599, Shakespeare had built his very own theatre called the Globe Theatre. The Globe Theatre gave William more freedom upon writing his plays.


Pictured above is William Shakespeare while writing a play.

Later Life (1600-1610)

It is during this period that Shakespeare wrote his three most well-known plays (also found below): Hamlet, Othello, and Macbeth. The plays Shakespeare wrote in this period of time tended to be more on the serious and tragic side. As William Shakespeare matured, so did his work. At this time in his life, William tried to create plays that would be timeless and everlasting.

Death (1616)

Many believe Shakespeare died on his 52nd birthday, April 23, 1616. After death, the majority of Shakespeare's belongings went to his oldest daughter, Susanna Shakespeare. His wife received one third of his estate, and that's about it. Judging by the lack of items his wife received, some think William and Anne Shakespeare were not very close. Others think that because there is no confirmation of this, it must be untrue.

Most notable projects

Works Cited

"William Shakespeare." Bio. A&E Television Networks, 2015. Web. 09 Mar. 2015.


"Shakespeare Play Summaries/Synopses." Shakespeare Play Summaries/Synopses. N.p., n.d. Web. 10 Mar. 2015.