Shakespeare

Taylor Jackson

"To be, or not to be; that is the question" (William Shakespeare).

Elizabethan Culture

Six years before Shakespeare's birth, Elizabeth I was crowned Queen of England in 1558. During Elizabeth's 45 years of ruling London became a center of literature and leaning. Queen Elizabeth was a fan of theatre and playwrights and some of Englands greatest were written during her reign. She grantd permission for professional threaters to be built in England for the first time. These massice theaters attracted at least 15,000 viewers a week in London alone, which only had a population of about 200,000. The Elizabethan Age opened up many opportunites for Shakespeare that he would not have gotten otherwise.

The Globe Theatre

The orgininal Globe threate opened in Autumn of 1599 in Southwark, an area which is now known as Bankside. It was one of the seven major theatres located in this area during the time. Most of Shakespeare's plays were performed at the Globe after it was built. These play included Julius Caeser, Macbeth, Othello, King Lear, and Hamlet. Many actors were shareholders of the Globe threatre including Shakespeare himself. On June 29th, 1613, during a performance of Henry the Eighth, the theater went up in flames due to a cannon set of from the play. The wooden beams caught fire and burned the theater down.

Shakespeare's Background

Although there is no offical recorded date of birth for William Shakespeare, they do know that he was baptized on April 26, 1564 in Stratford-upon-Avon, England. From 1594 on he was an important member of the Lord Chamerlain's Men company of plays. There are no written records of how Shakespeare got his passion for theater. Over the next 20 years though, he wrote numerous plays that are still extremley famous to this day.

Life in London

In 1592 Shakespeare was living in London and was already and established actor and play writer at the age of 28. There is not much evidence of Shakespeare's career in London because between 1592 and 1594 most theatres were closed because of the plague. His first play in London was thought to be in 1590 or even earlier. While there he wrote 37 plays, as well as helping with many more, between 1594 and 1613.

Playwrights of his Era

There were many famous playwrights during Shakespeares Era including:

-Ben Johnson (1572-1637)

-Christopher Marlow (1564-1593)

-John Fletcher (1579-1625

- Thomas Middleton (1580-1627)

These playwrights wrote plays like A Game at Chess, Catiline, and The Scornful Lady.


Below is a video about the famous playwright Ben Johnson

Benjamin Jonson - Playright

Famous Plays

Shakespeare wrote many plays of all kinds. He wrote and acted in comedical plays, historical, tragic, and poety. Some of his most famous work includes the comedy A Midsummer Night's Dream, and Winter's Tale. Although, his most famous plays were tragedies. These included Hamlet, Julius Caeser, Macbeth, Othello, and the one everybody knows, Romeo and Juliet.


"But Shakespeare's magic could not copied be, whithin that circle none durst walk but he" (Dryden, Essay of Dramatic Poetry).

Shakespeare's Impact on Modern English

Shakespeare: Legacy and Modern Interpretations

Work Cited

"The Old Globe Theater History." The OLD GLOBE THEATER History. N.p., n.d. Web. 11 Feb. 2015.

"Elizabethan Era." ELIZABETHAN ERA. N.p., n.d. Web. 11 Feb. 2015.


"The Life of William Shakespeare (1564–1616)." The Life of William Shakespeare (1564–1616). N.p., n.d. Web. 05 Mar. 2015.