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The Man, The Myth, The
Why do we study Shakespeare?
He is an amazing
wordsmith. Many of
the words and
phrases we use
today were coined
by Shakespeare.
Look familiar?
catch a cold
disgraceful conduct
fair play
green eyed monster
pitched battle
to thine own self be true
towering passion
brevity is the soul of wit
mind's eye
primrose path
flaming yout
it smells to heaven
the lady doth protest too much
witching time of the night
it's Greek to me
live long day
breathe one's last
heart of gold
give the devil his due
too much of a good thing
naked truth
clothes make the man
method in his madness
frailty, thy name is woman
ministering angel
foregone conclusion
break the ice
strange bedfellows
wear one's heart on one's
all that glitters isn't gold
eat out of house and home
be all and end all
more sinned against than
sinning one fell swoop
the milk of human kindness
the course of true love never
did run smooth
neither a borrower nor a lender
dog will have his day
Baptized on April 23,
Shakespeare was born
in Stratford, England. It
was a small town about
100 miles outside of
London. His family lived
here when he was a
child. He eventually
married and raised his
own family there as
Childhood: Family
 Shakespeare’s
father, John, was actually
a prominent merchant in Stratford.
According to records he served as town
mayor and justice of the peace during his
 It is lucky that John was able to be
successful. He and his wife, Mary, had a
total of eight children. Shakespeare was
the third born.
Childhood: Schooling
Students in Shakespeare’s
time began schooling at
age 7.
They attended for nine
hours a day year round.
Corporal punishment was
used to teach students
the proper way to
behave in class.
All students studied Latin.
It provided them with the
knowledge to go into
law, medicine or the
At the age of 18, Shakespeare married Anne
Hathaway. She was eight years older than
The pair had three children. They had their first
child and then Anne gave birth to twins.
Not long after the birth of their twins
Shakespeare appears to have moved to
London and left his family behind in Stratford.
Career: Actor
Before Shakespeare’s plays began to
be acted out on stage, he was
merely an actor performing in a
He performed in the Lord
Chamberlain’s Men and the King’s
Men acting companies. As you can
tell by their names, these companies
were sponsored by wealthy patrons.
The King’s Men were sponsored by
King James himself!
Performances were held in the
courtyards of various inns. The acting
companies would travel from place
to place performing.
Career: Playwright
Shakespeare wrote three types of plays:
• Comedies such as Much Ado About
Nothing, The Taming of the Shrew, and
Twelfth Night
• Tragedies such as Romeo and Juliet,
Macbeth, and Hamlet
• Histories such as Richard III, King John,
Julius Caesar and King Henry V
Career: Playwright
In 1574 the Council of London began to
charge licensing fees to inns holding
performances. The crowds would become
to rowdy and disorderly.
James Burbage built “The Theater” in 1576. It
was a place modeled after the set-ups of
the inns (balconies overlooking a stage).
Acting companies were now able to
perform without traveling from place to
In 1599 “The Theater” was torn down and
replaced with “The Globe Theater.” This
theater was built by Shakespeare’s own
company. Many of his plays were written
with this stage in mind.
Career: Poet
Shakespeare wrote
poetry in addition to his
many plays.
During a few years in
the 1570s, London was
swept with the plague.
When the plague was
bad the acting
companies would be
closed down. This
provided Shakespeare
the perfect time to
write poetry!
“My mistress' eyes are
nothing like the sun;
Coral is far more red
than her lips' red;
If snow be white, why
then her breasts are dun;
If hairs be wires, black
wires grow on her head.
I have seen roses
damask'd, red and white,
But no such roses see I in
her cheeks;”
Conspiracy Theories
 Francis
 Christopher Marlowe
 Mary Sidney Herbert