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Who is Shakespeare?
How does Literature survive?
1. Themes that are relatable to everyone and
continues to be meaningful, language, complex
Shakespeare has all of these.
Withstood hundreds of years and millions of
Impacted the world of Literature, culture, art,
theater, and film
Adapted to …?
• Most of what we know comes from his writing.
• There are a lot of holes in his history from
questions of his religious beliefs to sexual
• Born: April 23rd, 1564- we know this from his
baptismal records
• From a pretty well-to-do family. Mom- Mary
Arden; father- John Shakespeare (business man)
• Attended Christian Holy Trinity Church
• Around age 11 entered grammar school of
Straford, King’s New School- he would have
studied theatre and acting, in addition to Latin
literature, history and rhetoric
▫ What is rhetoric?
Marriage- 1852
• At age 18, married Anne Hathaway (1556-1623).
▫ Still a minor, so would need his father’s consent
• Anne was 8 years older so she was ______yrs
• Baptisms of 3 children were recorded
▫ Susanna, Judith and Hamnet
• Not clear what he was doing his first few years of
marriage- possible working as a one of the
Queen’s Men
▫ What are the Queen’s Men?
• He was writing poems and plays, and was
involved with theatre troupes.
▫ What are troupes?
1593- plague
• When the plague set in, many people fled the
cities for the country and the fresh air.
• Many theatres were shut down for long stretched
of time.
• We think Shakespeare spent his time traveling
between London, Stratford, and the provinces.
▫ During these dark days when not many theatres
were open, what do you think Shakespeare was
focused on?
The Lord Chamberlain’s Men
• His company was the most successful in London
to this day
• He had plays published and sold in octavo
editions, or “penny-copies” to the more literate
of his audiences.
• Never before had a playwright enjoyed as much
acclaim and been able to sell as popular
• Shakespeare was as much an artist, as an
▫ Ownership in the theatrical company and the
• Why is it important to know Shakespeare’s
• It is important in understanding the man and his
works because of the wealth of biblical and
liturgical allusions, both Protestant and Catholic,
in his writings and the hidden references to
contemporary religious tensions that are
claimed to be found in the plays.
No evidence of his religion affiliation
• Speculations- his family had Catholic
sympathies and that he, himself, was a secret
• On the other hand many scholars believe he was
a member of the established Anglican Church
Shakespeare wrote three types of
• 1.
• 2.
• 3.
• Tragedies
• Histories
• Comedies
• For homework, you must find a definition for all
three types of plays.
1. How would Shakespeare view on religion
impact his work?
2. How was Shakespeare’s view on religion a
reflection of the time period?
3. What are the three types of plays?
4. What do we need to consider about the
Elizabethan era when reading Shakespeare's
plays? Religion affiliations/ tensions?
Treatment of women? Who was Shakespeare
writing to?