William Shakespeare

A Historical Figure by Justice Guindon

Biographical Background of William Shakespeare

William Shakespeare was allegedly born in Stafford on April 23, 1564. He married Anne Hathaway on November 28, 1582, him being 18 and her being 26. They later had three children named Susanna, the daughter, and twins named Hamnet and Judith. Hamnet died at the age of 11 and brought severe pain and tragedy to the family. He died on his birthday on April 23 in the year of 1616. His words have endured for 400 years, and still reach across the centuries as powerfully as ever.

The Globe Theatre

The Globe Theatre was located in London. In 1613, it burned to the ground when a cannon shot during a performance of Henry Vlll ignited the thatched roof of the gallery. The first theater was built at Shoreditch in the year of 1576 and owned by James Burbage. The Globe Theater was a great success and were very popular. The numbers dropped due to the Bubonic Plague when the theater shut down in the years of 1593, 1603 and 1608.

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The Bubonic Plague

The Bubonic Plague, also known as Black Death, is an extremely deadly and contagious disease that affected many. The houses would be locked and bolted from the outside. The victims were not allowed outside and no one was allowed to enter. They would have to sign a death warrant or 'Certificate of Health' if they ever recovered. Since no one was allowed to leave the house watchmen would lower food in baskets from an upper window to feed the victims. The main way the disease would spread was by the fleas that lived on rodents and animals. It could also be transmitted from an infected person's breath.

The City of London

The City of London claimed to be a beautiful city, but is not. The streets were narrow, cobbled, slippery with the slime of refuse. And countering the bad, man-made odors, the smells of the countryside floated in. Chamber pots, or jordans were emptied out of windows. There was no drainage. If that's not disgusting then I don't know what is!

A Challenge.

One line in the Twelfth Night may interest you:

I know of none;

Nor know I you by voice or any feature:

I hate ingratitude more in man

Than lying, vainess, babbling, drunkeness,

Or any taint of vice whose strong corruption

Inhabits our frail blood

Can you figure out what this means?