So much Drama!

William Shakespeare, The Globe Theater, and LiteraryTerms

Using this page...

Use this page to gain background knowledge about Shakespeare, his theater, and the times he lived in before reading one of his most famous works, The Tragedy of Romeo and Juliet. Be sure to complete the webquest, fill out the short survey, and leave a comment at the bottom of the page.

William Shakespeare

Begin with a webquest featured here...

Write your answers on the handouts provided in class. You DO NOT need to write in complete sentences.

More about the Man of Many Words

Random Facts About Shakesperare

  • In the few signatures that have survived, Shakespeare spelled his name "Willm Shaksp", "William Shakespe", "Wm Shakespe", "William Shakespere", and "William Shakespeare"--- but never "William Shakespeare."
  • In the 1570s, John Shakespeare was prosecuted (or threatened with prosecution) four times for the illegal activities of trading in wool and money-lending.
  • In November 1582, Shakespeare applied for a license to marry Anne Whately. "Anne Whately" could be a scribal error for Anne Hatheway, whom he married on or about November 30. She was three months pregnant at the time.
  • Elizabethan theatergoers could purchase apples and pears to eat during the show. These snacks were often thrown at the actors by dissatisfied members of the audience.
  • The Globe burned to the ground on June 29, 1613, set fire by a cannon shot during a performance of Shakespeare's Henry VIII.
  • Based on textual evidence in the sonnets and some plays, some believe that Shakespeare was bisexual.
  • Countless excellent phrases, now commonly used, occur first in Shakespeare, including one fell swoop, vanish into thin air, play fast and loose, be in a pickle, foul play, tower of strength, flesh and blood, be cruel to be kind, and with bated breath.
  • In March 1616, Shakespeare revised his will. His signatures are shaky, suggesting that he was not well.
  • Shakespeare died on April 23, 1616. In his will, he left most of his real estate to his daughter Susanna. A statement was inserted between the lines in the will, which said" "I gyve unto my wife my second best bed with the furniture." The "furniture" was the bedclothes for the bed. This is all he left his wife in his will, and the only time she is mentioned.
  • The full inventory of Shakespeare's possessions, which would have listed his books and other historically important information, was probably sent to London, where such records were kept at the time. It was most likely destroyed in the Great Fire of 1666.
  • Some commentators claim that Shakespeare did not write his plays. About 50 candidates have been suggested as having written his plays. However, there is more evidence that Shakespeare wrote his own work than there is that he did not.
  • Shakespeare's son, Hamnet, died in 1956. His daughter Susanna died in 1649. His younger daughter Judith had three children, but all died before their mother and without children. His granddaughter Elizabeth, daughter of Susanna, died childless in 1670, ending the William Shakespeare line.
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The Globe Theater

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Virtual Tour

Use the virtual tour in the link below to see what the modern Globe looks like. This theater was built in near exact likeness to the original Globe Theater.

Literary Terms

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