William Shakespeare

The Bard

Shakespeare and Family

On April 26, 1564 William Shakespeare, son of John Shakespeare and Mary Arden was born in Stratford-upon-Avon. At the age of 18 he married Anne Hathaway, a 26 year old farmer in 1582. They had three children, Susanne the oldest, Hamnet and Judith, the youngest.


One of the many types of work Shakespeare wrote, were poems. While the theatre was closed to plague in 1593 and 1594, Shakespeare wrote two poems, Venus and Adonis as well as The Rape of Lucrece.


Shakespeare's plays revolved around one of three themes, humour, history or tragedy. Two of his most well known plays are Romeo and Juliet as well as A Midsummer Night's Dream. Both are read and deciphered by students in schools around North America to this day. All of his plays follow the same structure, and include five acts in each.

Shakespeare in Modern Life

Many of Shakespeare's plays have been made into movies or have been used as inspiration for movies that we watch today. Some of the words we use everyday were invented by William; blushing, eyeball, obscene, luggage, mimic and many more.

The Globe Theatre

Home to Shakespeare's acting company Lord Chamberlains Men, the Globe Theatre was constructed in 1599 to house all of their plays. The Globe was a hexagonal structure, three stories high and about 55 feet across. The inside of the theatre held the stage, which covered a large cellar where actors could wait and enter on the stage through trap doors. This cellar was often referred to as "hell" because many of the actors who used it were playing ghosts and it was entirely dark there. Behind the stage was the tiring house, which held props, dressing rooms, and the musicians gallery. Unfortunately the Globe Theatre was burnt down on June 29, 1613 when a misfired cannonball set the roof on fire.