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William Shakespeare
William Shakespeare
Shakespeare was born 23rd of April 1564, the same day as the day of his death,
52 years later - at Stratford on Avon, a small town in Warwickshire, in the heart of
His father, John Shakespeare, was a glover, a wooddealer and perhaps a
About 1565 John Shakespeare was elected to various public offices.
His mother, Mary Arden, was born into a farmers’ family residing in
Warwickshire as well. Her people were better off than her husband’s.
William Shakespeare led the life of an ordinary country boy.
He attended the free Latin grammar school of his native town until the age of
14. There, as he was customary at that time, he was tough the classical languages and
became familiar with the great Latin writers. Shakespeare’s first poems “Venus and
Adonis” and “The Rape of Lucrece” evince his classical learning.
At the age of 18 (in 1582) William Shakespeare married Anne Hathaway, 8
years his senior. His wife was the daughter of a farmer in a village near by. They had 3
children: Susanna, the eldest and the twins Hamnet and Judith.
We find Shakespeare in London 1586. He went to the Capital to try his fortune
The story goes that in London he started earning his living by tending the
horses of the gentlemen who came riding to the playhouse.
 a horse keeper
 a stage boy
 a prompter
 a play mender
 an actor
 a playwright
By the turn of the century Shakespeare was a prosperous man so that he had
money to spare to pay his father debts and to buy a coat of arms for him. In 1600
Shakespeare bought the largest house in Stratford known as New place.
He died on the 23rd of April 1616 and was buried in the chancel of his parish
church at Stratford. No name was engrave on tombstone butfor the lines which as the
tradition goes he himself had prepared before his death. They warn the passers-by not
to dig his bones. By 1623, a monument was setup on the wall above the grave.
Shakespeare’s heritage consists of 2 long poems, a sequence of 154 sonnets
and 37 plays. His activities as a poet and playwright covers over 24 years.
The first creative period
1590 - 1600-1601
“Venus and Adonis”
“The Rape of Lucrece”
The plays:
“Henry VI” in 3 parts (1590-1591)
“Richard III”
“The Taming of the Shrew” (1592)
William Shakespeare
William Shakespeare
“The Comedy of Errors”
“The Two Gentleman of Verona”
“Love’s Labour’s Lost”
“Romeo and Juliet”
“A Midsummer Night’s Dream”
“Richard II”
“King John”
“The Merchant of Venice”
“Henry IV” in 2 parts
“Much Ado about Nothing”
“Henry V”
“The Merry Wives of Windsor”
“As You Like It”
“Julius Caesar” (a roman play)
“Twelfth Night”
The second creative period
1600-1601 - 1608
Shakespeare’s great tragedies
“King Lear”
“Timon of Athens”
The Roman plays:
“Antony and Cleopatra”
“All’s Well That Ends Well”
“Troilus and Cressida”
“Measure for Measure”
The third creative period
“Cymbeline” (1609)
“The Winter’s Tale”
“The Tempest”
To this period also belongs:
“Pericles, Prince of Tyre”
“Henry VII”
but their authorship is doubtful.
William Shakespeare