William Shakespeare's Masterpiece

An insightful overview of Macbeth

The Author, William Shakespeare

William Shakespeare was born on April 23, 1564 in Stratford. He was the oldest of four brothers, and he had four sisters, but three of them died at a young age. His parents were John and Mary Shakespeare. He went to school and learned to write, and finished school at age 15. He got married to Anne Hathaway at age 18 and had three children. 1585 through 1592 is called 'the lost years' because little is known about William during this time period. However, in 1593, a plague broke out in london which caused the theatres to close, so, William turned to writing poetry. William obtained great wealth during his life, and in 1611, he retired in stratford. He dies on April 23, 1616.

Fun Facts

Yoda Speaking like Shakespeare

- Reading Shakespeare is a lot like Yoda speaking because they have the same word arrangement, such as, "strong you are, Luke"

Old, Middle, and Modern English

Old English stems from German and is often hard to read, where as Modern English is much easier to read and looks a lot less like a foreign language than Old English does. Middle English is a mix of both Old and Modern English, its not easy to read, but it's certainly possible.

Understanding Shakespeare's language

If you've ever read at least one of Shakespeare's works, you'll know it's not easy to read. So, the next time you're reading Shakespeare, here are a few things to help you out.


- Break down language barriers.

- look for unusual word arrangement.

- find subject, verb, and object of the sentence.

- Rearrange the words in your head.

Rewriting the text

Think of ways that an original Shakespeare sentence can be reworded to sound like a normal sentence.


Original sentence: You are smart Thomas.

Rewrite #1: Smart you are, Thomas.

Rewrite #2: Thomas, you are smart.

Rewrite #3: Smart are you, Thomas.

These are some literary terms that you can look for when reading Shakespeare

- Soliloquy- An act of speaking ones thoughts aloud when by oneself or regardless of any hearers, especially in a character in a play. EX. "to be or not to be."

- Foreshadowing- Be a warning or indication of a future event. EX. I ran into the scary, dark woods.

- Paradox- a statement or proposition that, despite sound (or apparently sound) reasoning from acceptable premises, leads to a conclusion that seems senseless, logically unacceptable, or self-contradictory. EX. "I am nobody"

- Dramatic Irony- irony that is inherent in speeches or a situation of a drama and is understood by the audience but not grasped by the characters in the play. EX. The little girl doesn't know that a ghost is in her room.

- Pun- the humorous use of a word or phrase so as to emphasize or suggest its different meanings or applications, or the use of words that are alike or nearly alike in sound but different in meaning; a play on words. EX. i'm punny

- alliteration- the commencement of two or more words of a word group with the same letter, as in apt alliteration's artful aid. EX. Sally sells sea shells by the sea shell shore.