Shakespeare

one of the greatest writers of all time

The Man Himself

There are no records of Shakespeare's birth date though church records say that he was baptised on the 26th of April 1564. It has been mentioned that he was born on or near the 23rd of April 1564. William Shakespeare was the third child out of six. He had two older sisters; Joan and Judith and three younger brothers; Gilbert, Richard and Edmund. William Shakespeare's father, John Shakespeare was a leather merchant (sex shop owner) and his mother, Mary Arden was a local heiress (wealthy from inheritance.)

William found his first lover, Anne Hathaway at the age of 18 in 1582 marrying her that same year on November 28. Anne Hathaway carried their first child at 26 years old. Their first child was a girl named Susanna born on the 26th of May, 1583. William and Anne later had twins Hamnet and Judith, born February 2nd, 1585. Sadly Hamnet died at the age of 11, August 11, 1566.

There are no records of Shakespeare's life From 1573 (seven years after the twins were born) to 1592 where he reappears in Lovon. These are known as the "lost years." It was guessed that Shakespeare arrived in London around 1588 and began to discover himself as an actor and playwright.




William wrote his will in 1611, giving his daughter Susanna (married in 1607 to Dr. John Hall) the properties and for Judith, he left 300 pounds, and to his wife Anne left “my second best bed”. William unfortunatly died on his birthday, April 23rd, 1616.

Still to this day, 400 years later, he is the biggest play writer ever!


His Works

William Shakespeare wrote 37 plays but only 18 plays were printed. There were four categories that Shakespeare wrote in. They were comedy, tragedy, history and romance.

The comedy plays had a happy ending with funny scenes but were always based on a serious story line.

A tragedy always ended unhappily such as the characters killing themselves or getting killed. The main issues in a tragedy were over love, revenge or jealousy.

Shakespeare’s historical plays were based in the period of 1199 to 1547. From the time of King John ( 1199 - 1216) to the time of King Henry the 8th. These plays were made to suck up to the royalty.

The romances that Shakespeare wrote started tragically but ended happily. there were lots of adventures with families being torn apart and re-united at the end of the play. These plays were considered “tragi-comedies.”


Comedies

A midsummer nights dream

The comedy of errors

Love’s labour’s lost

The taming of the shrew

The two gentlemen of Verona

The merchant of Venice

Much ado about nothing

As you like it

Twelfth night

All’s well that ends well

Measure for Measure

The merry wives of Windsor


Tragedies

Troilus and Cressida

Timon of Athens

Coriolanus

Julius Ceasar

Antony and Cleopatra


Titus Adronicus

King Lear

Hamlet

Macbeth

Romeo and Juliet

Othello


Histories

King John

Richard 2

Henry 4, part one

Henry 4, part two

Henry 5

Henry 6, part one

Henry 6, part two

Henry 6, part three

Richard 3

Henry 8


Romances

Pericles

Cymbeline

The winter’s tale

The tempest

Elizabethan Era

The Elizabethan Period was known to be the Golden age in English History. The Elizabethan era was the age of the Renaissance, new inventions, and new thinking. They became believers in the supernatural!

When something bad happened and they couldn’t figure out who had done it they automatically blamed it on the “Witches”. Women were normally thought of being witches. According to historical evidence 270 witches were killed and 247 of them were women and only 23 of them were men. It was believed that women were framed as witches more than men because the population was mostly men dominated, also women didn’t have many rights so when a man would accuse a woman of being a witch everyone agreed and they were either; burnt at the stake or hung. When the prospect of witches and witchcraft entered the Elizabethan era everyone became more and more superstitious and had the feeling that they couldn’t trust anyone!

The Elizabethan Period is also known for its peak in music, english poetry and literature. Which was what Shakespeare achievements were for.



Summary

William Shakespeare was a child of six and had a moderately wealthy family. He married Anne Hathaway at the age of 18 and had there first child a year later. They had three children, Susanna (eldest,) Hamnet and Judith. Hamnet and Judith were twins, Hamnet unfortunately died at the age of 11. Shakespeare moved to London around 1588 and started his career as a actor and playwright. He died on the 23rd of April 1616.


William Shakespeare wrote 37 plays, only printing 18 of them. He wrote in four categories comedy, tragedy, history and romance. Three of his most famous plays are Macbeth, Hamlet and Romeo and Juliet.


William Shakespeare lived during the Elizabethan era. During this time they were into supernatural activity blaming anything unusual on "witches." Elizabethan era is well known for it music and literature.

by Leah Williamson, Ingrid Walter and Jas Christian