Shakespeare and Hamlet

By: Sabrina Scherr

Insight on Shakespeare's Life

William Shakespeare is thought to have been born on April 23, 1564. There is no evidence to support this other than record of him being baptized on April 26, 1564. He is the third child of John Shakespeare and Mary Aden. He has 2 older sisters (Joan and Judith) and 3 younger brothers (Gilbert, Richard, and Edmund). Shakespeare married at age 18 to Anne Hathaway who was 26 and PREGNANT. They had a daughter (Susanna) and twins (Hamnet and Judith). After the twins were born, there are SEVEN unaccounted for years of Shakespeare's life. The next thing that we know about him is that, by 1592, William has been earning a living as an actor and playwright in London. He built the Globe in 1599 with other business partners, exemplifying that he was not only an artist, but also an entrepreneur. It is rumored that he died on his birthday in 1616, but this doesn't seem to be true since there is church record that he was buried on April 5th, 1616.
Video SparkNotes: Shakespeare's Hamlet Summary

Characters in Hamlet

The Ghost- specter of Hamlet's recently deceased father

Hamlet the Prince- Prince of Denmark (protagonist)

Claudius- King of Denmark (villain of play) and Hamlet's Uncle

Ophelia- Hamlet's love interest

Horatio- Close friend of Hamlet from the University

Polonius- The Lord Chamberlain of Claudius's court, Father of Ophelia

Laertes- Ophelia's brother and foil of Hamlet

Rosencrantz & Guildenstern- former friends of Hamlet, courtiers summoned to find out the cause of Hamlet's strange behavior