William Shakespeare

The Life and Times of William Shakespeare

Biography

William Shakespeare was allegedly born in Stratford-Upon-Avon on April 23rd,1564 and was the third eldest of eight children. He married his wife Anne Hathaway on November 25th,1582 she was 26 years old and William was just 18. They had three children, Susana was their first and then came twins Hamnet, and Judith. On August 11th, 1596 their only son Hamnet died, he was only 11 years old. William Shakespeare allegedly died on his birthday April 23rd, 1616.

The Globe Theatre

William Shakespeare helped to establish the Globe Theatre in London in 1599. It was three stories high and had a seating capacity of about 3000. The stage was 43 feet wide and 28 feet deep. Unfortunately in 1613 the theatre burned to the ground when a cannon was fired during Henry VIII. The cannon ball caught the roof on fire and the building was completely destroyed.

Shakespeare's Legacy

Shakespeare's legacy is a body of work that can never be equaled. The works he created have lasted 400 years and will continue to do so for centuries to come. The Twelfth Night is just one example of his many works.

London during Elizabethan Times

The streets in London during this time were made of cobbled stone, they were very narrow and crowded, and due to lack of a proper drainage system they were often very slippery because of the slimy refuse. The most unbearable part of all this was the smell that came from chamber pots that were emptied from surrounding windows.
More on London

For more information on London during this time visit this site.

The Bubonic Plague

During these times the bubonic plague also known as the Black Death was highly feared by everyone including Shakespeare. It was deadly and killed countless numbers of people. Families that were infected would be locked inside their homes with a bolt on the outside of the door. Whole families died from the illness or starved to death because Queen Elizabeth allowed no one to leave or visit the home.

When an outbreak occurred it usually spread quickly because of over crowding, poor living conditions, and people leaving and coming to town in search of work.

The famous Globe Theatre had to be closed three time due to outbreaks of the Bubonic Plague in 1593, 1603, and again in 1608.