An Introduction to Hamlet

Shakespeare's Life

A Quick Timeline of Events

  • April 1564 - Born
  • 1582 - Marriage at the age of 18 to Anne Hathaway
  • 1592 - Prominence gained in London
  • 1593 - Published poet
  • 1599 - Globe built
  • April 1616 - Death

His Early Years (1564 to 1581)

Shakespeare was born in the town of Stratford-upon-Avon in April 1564. Although we do not know the details of Shakespeare's early life for sure, it is assumed that he went to King's New School in Stratford-upon-Avon, once of the very best "grammar schools." Many of Shakespeare's works are influenced by the Latin texts that he was required to memorize in school. At the King's New School in Stratford-upon-Avon, Shakespeare received an education that was far superior to that of other schools at the time.

His Professional Years (1582 - 1612)

His Final Years (1612-1616)

Returning Home

Shakespeare did not write much after 1612, the last play he wrote was most likely King Henry VIII. Between the years 1610 and 1613, Shakespeare left London, and returned to his hometown Stratford-upon-Avon. Shakespeare lived a comfortable life in his hometown, he owned a large house with plenty of property for his wife, his two daughters, and their husbands lived. Shakespeare was most likely able to afford such a comfortable way of life because of the profits made during his professional years. Shakespeare died in April 1616.

A Changing World

Shakespeare lived during a time of many radical changes. New places were being discovered such as North and South America, and the people who inhabited these lands lived much differently than Renaissance Europeans. In 1609, Galileo's telescope confirmed that Copernicus was correct, the Earth was not the center of the universe. In the years that Shakespeare lived in London, the city was hit by the plague several times.