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William Shakespeare

William Shakespeare

William Shakespeare was born at Stratford upon Avon in April, 1564. He was the third child and eldest son of John Shakespeare and Mary Arden. His father was one of the most prosperous men of Stratford and his mother was of gentle birth. Little is known of Shakespeare's early life. In December, 1582, he married Ann Hathaway. Their first child Susanna was baptized on May 6, 1583, and twins, Hamnet and Judith, were baptized on February 22, 1585.

From 1592 onwards the records are much more full. March 1592 is the first reference to Shakespeare. The Lord Strange's players produced a new play at the Rose Theatre called Harry the Sixth, which was very successful, and was probably the first part of Henry VI. Robert Greene, the best known of the professional writers, wrote a letter to three fellow writers in which he warned them against the ingratitude of players in general, and in particular against an 'upstart crow.' This is the first reference to Shakespeare, and the whole passage suggests that Shakespeare had become suddenly famous as a playwright. In April, 1593, Shakespeare published his poem Venus and Adonis and a year later his second poem, The Rape of Lucrece, was also published.

There was little playing in 1593, for the theatres were shut during a severe outbreak of the plague; but in the autumn of 1594, when the plague ceased, the playing companies were reorganized, and Shakespeare became a sharer in the Lord Chamberlain's company. He had already written the three parts of Henry VI, Richard III, Titus Andronicus, The Two Gentlemen of Verona, Love's Labour's Lost, The Comedy of Errors, and The Taming of the Shrew. Soon afterwards he wrote the first of his greater plays—Romeo and Juliet—and he followed this success in the next three years with A Midsummer Night's Dream, Richard II, and The Merchant of Venice. The two parts of Henry VI were written in 1597-8.

The company left the Theatre in 1597 owing to disputes over a renewal of the ground lease. The players settled the matter by demolishing the old Theatre and re-erecting a new playhouse named the Globe. The expenses of the new building were shared by the chief members of the Company, including Shakespeare, who was now a man of some means. In 1596 he had bought a large house in the centre of Stratford, and through his father purchased a coat-of-arms from the Heralds, which was the official recognition that he and his family were gentlefolk.

By the summer of 1598 Shakespeare was recognized as the greatest of English dramatists. Shortly before the Globe was opened, Shakespeare had completed the cycle of plays dealing with the whole story of the Wars of the Roses with Henry V. It was followed by As You Like it, and Julius Caesar, the first of the more mature tragedies. In the next three years he wrote Troilus and Cressida, The Merry Wives of Windsor, Hamlet, and Twelfth Night.

On March 24, 1603, Queen Elizabeth died. In the early years of King James's reign Shakespeare wrote the more sombre comedies, All's Well that Ends Well, and Measure for Measure, which were followed by Othello, Macbeth, and King Lear. Then he returned to Roman themes with Antony and Cleopatra and Coriolanus.

After 1607, Shakespeare seems to have retired from the stage: his name no longer occurs in the various lists of players. Henceforward he lived for the most part at Stratford, where he was regarded as one of the most important citizens. He still wrote a few plays, and he tried his hand at the new form of tragi-comedy—a play with tragic incidents but a happy ending. He wrote four of these—Pericles, Cymbeline, The Winter's Tale, and The Tempest. For the last four years of his life he lived in retirement. His son Hamnet had died in 1596: his two daughters were now married. Shakespeare died at Stratford upon Avon on April 23, 1616, and was buried in the chancel of the church, before the high altar. Shortly afterwards, a memorial, which you can still see today, including a portrait bust was set up on the North wall.

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89 Items found
All's Well That Ends Well
Folger Shakespeare Library
by William Shakespeare
from Washington Square Press
for 10th-Adult
in Renaissance & Reformation Literature (Location: CLT-REN)
All's Well that Ends Well
by William Shakespeare
from Dover Publications
for 10th grade-adult
in Renaissance & Reformation Literature (Location: CLT-REN)
Antony and Cleopatra
Folger Shakespeare Library
by William Shakespeare
from Simon and Schuster
for 10th-Adult
in Renaissance & Reformation Literature (Location: CLT-REN)
Antony and Cleopatra
Oxford School Shakespeare
by William Shakespeare
from Oxford University
for 10th-Adult
in Renaissance & Reformation Literature (Location: CLT-REN)
Antony and Cleopatra
Dover Thrift Editions
by William Shakespeare
from Dover Publications
Historical Tragedy for 9th-Adult
in Renaissance & Reformation Literature (Location: CLT-REN)
As You Like It
Dover Thrift Editions
by William Shakespeare
from Dover Publications
Comedy for 9th-Adult
in Renaissance & Reformation Literature (Location: CLT-REN)
As You Like It
Folger Shakespeare Library
by William Shakespeare
from Washington Square Press
for 10th-Adult
in Renaissance & Reformation Literature (Location: CLT-REN)
As You Like It
by William Shakespeare
from Oxford University
for 10th-Adult
in Renaissance & Reformation Literature (Location: CLT-REN)
As You Like It - Memoria Press Literature Set
from Memoria Press
for 8th grade
in Memoria Press Literature & Poetry (Location: B18-00B)
As You Like It - MP Student Guide
from Memoria Press
for 8th grade
in Memoria Press Literature & Poetry (Location: B18-00B)
As You Like It - MP Teacher Guide
from Memoria Press
for 8th grade
in Memoria Press Literature & Poetry (Location: B18-00B)
Brit. Lit. Volume 3
by Sir Philip Sidney, Sir Edmund Spencer, William Shakespeare
from Logos School
for 10th-12th grade
in Logos Brit. Lit. (Location: B18-14A)
Comedy Of Errors
Folger Shakespeare Library
by William Shakespeare
from Washington Square Press
for 10th-Adult
in Renaissance & Reformation Literature (Location: CLT-REN)
Comedy of Errors
by William Shakespeare
from Dover Publications
for 10th grade-adult
in Renaissance & Reformation Literature (Location: CLT-REN)
Complete Sonnets
Dover Thrift Editions
by William Shakespeare
from Dover Publications
Lyrical Poetry for 9th-Adult
in Renaissance & Reformation Literature (Location: CLT-REN)
Great Scenes from Shakespeare's Plays - Coloring Book
Dover Coloring Books
by John Green & Paul Negri
from Dover Publications
Coloring Book for 2nd-6th grade
in Dover Coloring Books (Location: A01-DOV)
Green Tiger's Illustrated Stories from Shakespeare
by E. Nesbit
from Laughing Elephant
for 4th-8th grade
in Classics Retold (Location: A10-03A)
Hamlet
Dover Thrift Editions
from Dover Publications
for 10th-Adult
in Renaissance & Reformation Literature (Location: CLT-REN)
Hamlet
by William Shakespeare
from Oxford University
for 10th-Adult
in Renaissance & Reformation Literature (Location: CLT-REN)
Hamlet
Folger Shakespeare Library
by William Shakespeare
from Washington Square Press
for 10th grade-adult
in Renaissance & Reformation Literature (Location: CLT-REN)
Hamlet
by William Shakespeare
from Barron's Educational Series, Inc.
for 10th-Adult
in Renaissance & Reformation Literature (Location: CLT-REN)
Hamlet - Study Guide
Progeny Press Literature Guides
by Bethine Ellie
from Progeny Press
Literature Guide for 9th-12th grade
in Progeny Press Literature Guides (Location: B18-00T)
Hamlet - Study Guide CD
Progeny Press Literature Guides
by Bethine Ellie
from Progeny Press
Literature Guide for 9th-12th grade
in Progeny Press Interactive CDs (Location: B18-14B)
Henry IV, Part 1
Dover Thrift Editions
by William Shakespeare
from Dover Publications
for 10th-Adult
in Renaissance & Reformation Literature (Location: CLT-REN)
Henry IV, Part One
Folger Shakespeare Library
by William Shakespeare
from Washington Square Press
for 10th-Adult
in Renaissance & Reformation Literature (Location: CLT-REN)
Henry V
Oxford School Shakespeare
by William Shakespeare & Roma Gill, editor
from Oxford University
Historical Drama for 7th-10th grade
in Renaissance & Reformation Literature (Location: CLT-REN)
Henry V
by William Shakespeare
from Dover Publications
Historical Drama for 9th-Adult
in Renaissance & Reformation Literature (Location: CLT-REN)
Henry V
Folger Library
by William Shakespeare
from Washington Square Press
Historical Drama for 9th-Adult
in Renaissance & Reformation Literature (Location: CLT-REN)
Illustrated Stories from Shakespeare
by Willam Shakespeare, Rosie Dickens
from Usborne
for 2nd-5th grade
in Classics Retold (Location: A10-03A)
Julius Caesar
Barron's Shakespeare Made Easy
by William Shakespeare
1st U.S. from Barron's Educational Series, Inc.
Historical Tragedy for 9th-Adult
in Renaissance & Reformation Literature (Location: CLT-REN)
Julius Caesar
Oxford School Shakespeare
by William Shakespeare & Roma Gill, editor
from Oxford University
Historical Tragedy for 7th-10th grade
in Renaissance & Reformation Literature (Location: CLT-REN)
Julius Caesar
Folger Shakespeare Library
by William Shakespeare
from Simon and Schuster
for 9th-Adult
in Renaissance & Reformation Literature (Location: CLT-REN)
Julius Caesar
Dover Thrift Editions
by William Shakespeare
from Dover Publications
Historical Tragedy for 9th-Adult
in Renaissance & Reformation Literature (Location: CLT-REN)
Julius Caesar
Literary Classics
by William Shakespeare
from A Beka Books
Historical Tragedy for 10th grade
in A Beka Literature (Location: B18-01D)
Julius Caesar - Guide
Progeny Press Literature Guides
by Michael Gilleland
from Progeny Press
Literature Guide for 9th-12th grade
in Progeny Press Literature Guides (Location: B18-00T)
Julius Caesar - Guide CD
Progeny Press Literature Guides
by Michael Gilleland
from Progeny Press
Literature Guide for 9th-12th grade
in Progeny Press Interactive CDs (Location: B18-14B)
Julius Caesar With Reader's Guide - Set
by William Shakespeare, Helene Cunningham
from Amsco School Publications
for 10th-Adult
in Renaissance & Reformation Literature (Location: CLT-REN)
King John and Henry VIII
by William Shakespeare
from Bantam Books
Historical Drama for 9th-Adult
in Renaissance & Reformation Literature (Location: CLT-REN)
King Lear
Dover Thrift Editions
by William Shakespeare
from Dover Publications
Tragedy for Adult
in Renaissance & Reformation Literature (Location: CLT-REN)
King Lear
Folger Shakespeare Library
by William Shakespeare
from Washington Square Press
for 10th-Adult
in Renaissance & Reformation Literature (Location: CLT-REN)
King Lear
Shakespeare Made Easy
by William Shakespeare
1st edition from Barron's Educational Series, Inc.
in Renaissance & Reformation Literature (Location: CLT-REN)
King Richard III
Cambridge School Shakespeare Series
by William Shakespeare
from Cambridge University
Historical Drama for 9th-Adult
in Renaissance & Reformation Literature (Location: CLT-REN)
King Richard III
Cambridge School Shakespeare Series
by William Shakespeare
from Dover Publications
Historical Drama for 9th-Adult
in Renaissance & Reformation Literature (Location: CLT-REN)
Love's Labours Lost
Dover Thrift Editions
by William Shakespeare
from Dover Publications
for 10th-Adult
in Renaissance & Reformation Literature (Location: CLT-REN)
Macbeth
Folger Shakespeare Library
by William Shakespeare
from Simon and Schuster
for 9th-12th grade
in Renaissance & Reformation Literature (Location: CLT-REN)
Macbeth
Dover Thrift Editions
by William Shakespeare
from Dover Publications
for 10th-adult
in Renaissance & Reformation Literature (Location: CLT-REN)
Macbeth
Oxford School Shakespeare
by William Shakespeare & Roma Gill, editor
from Oxford University
Historical Tragedy for 7th-10th grade
in Renaissance & Reformation Literature (Location: CLT-REN)
Macbeth - Guide CD
Progeny Press Literature Guides
by Rebecca Gilleland
from Progeny Press
Literature Guide for 9th-12th grade
in Progeny Press Interactive CDs (Location: B18-14B)
Macbeth - Progeny Press Guide
Progeny Press Literature Guides
by Rebecca Gilleland
from Progeny Press
Literature Guide for 9th-12th grade
in Progeny Press Literature Guides (Location: B18-00T)
Measure for Measure
Folger Shakespeare Library
by William Shakespeare
from Washington Square Press
for 10th-Adult
in Renaissance & Reformation Literature (Location: CLT-REN)
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