William Shakespeare


Word Count: 815

William Shakespeare was a great English
playwright, dramatist and poet who lived during the late
sixteenth and early seventeenth centuries. Shakespeare is
considered to be the greatest playwright of all time. No
other writer\'s plays have been produced so many times or
read so widely in so many countries as his. Shakespeare
was born to middle class parents. His father, John, was a
Stratford businessman. He was a glove maker who owned a
leather shop. John Shakespeare was a well known and
respected man in the town. He held several important local
governmental positions. William Shakespeare\'s mother was
Mary Arden. Though she was the daughter of a local farmer,
she was related to a family of considerable wealth and social
standing. Mary Arden and John Shakespeare were married
in 1557. William Shakespeare was born in Stratford in
1564. He was one of eight children. The Shakespeare\'s
were well respected prominent people. When William
Shakespeare was about seven years old, he probably began
attending the Stratford Grammar School with other boys of
his social class. Students went to school year round
attending school for nine hours a day. The teachers were
strict disciplinarians. Though Shakespeare spent long hours
at school, his boyhood was probably fascinating. Stratford
was a lively town and during holidays, it was known to put
on pageants and many popular shows. It also held several
large fairs during the year. Stratford was a exciting place to
live. Stratford also had fields and woods surrounding it
giving William the opportunity to hunt and trap small game.
The River Avon which ran through the town allowed him to
fish also. Shakespeare\'s\' poems and plays show his love of
nature and rural life which reflects his childhood. On
November 28, 1582, Shakespeare married Anne Hathaway
of the neighboring village of Shottery. She was twenty-six,
and he was only eighteen at the time. They had three
children. Susana was their first and then they had twins,
Hamnet and Judith. Hamnet, Shakespeare\'s son, died in
1596. In 1607, his daughter Susana got married.
Shakespeare\'s other daughter, Judith, got married in 1616.
In London, Shakespeare\'s career took off. It is believed that
he may have become well known in London theatrical life by
1592. By that time, he had joined one of the city\'s repertory
theater companies. These companies were made up of a
permanent cast of actors who presented different plays
week after week. The companies were commercial
organizations that depended on admission from their
audience. Scholars know that Shakespeare belonged to one
of the most popular acting companies in London called The
Lord Chamberlain\'s Men. Shakespeare was a leading
member of the group from 1594 for the rest of his career.
By 1594, at least six of Shakespeare\'s plays had been
produced. During Shakespeare\'s life, there were two
monarchs who ruled England. They were Henry the eighth
and Elizabeth the first. Both were impressed with
Shakespeare which made his name known. There is
evidence that he was a member of a traveling theater group,
and a schoolmaster. In 1594, he became an actor and
playwright for Lord Chamberlain\'s Men. In 1599, he
became a part owner of the prosperous Globe Theater. He
also was a part owner of the Blackfriars Theater as of 1609.
Shakespeare retired to Stratford in 1613 where he wrote
many of his excellent plays. There are many reasons as to
why William Shakespeare is so famous. He is generally
considered to be both the greatest dramatist the world has
ever known as well as the finest poet who has written in the
English language. Many reasons can be given for
Shakespeare\'s enormous appeal. His fame basically is from
his great understanding of human nature. He was able to find
universal human qualities and put them in a dramatic situation
creating characters that are timeless. Yet he had the ability to
create characters that are highly individual human beings.
Their struggles in life are universal. Sometimes they are
successful and sometimes their lives are full of pain, suffering,
and failure. In addition to his understanding and realistic view
of human nature, Shakespeare had a vast knowledge of a
variety of subjects. These subjects include music, law, Bible,
stage, art, politics, history, hunting, and sports. Shakespeare
had a tremendous influence on culture and literature
throughout the world. He contributed greatly to the
development of the English language. Many words and
phrases from Shakespeare\'s plays and poems have become
part of our speech. Shakespeare\'s plays and poems have
become a required part of education in the United States.
Therefore, his ideas on subjects such as romantic love,
heroism, comedy, and tragedy have helped shape the
attitudes of millions of people. His portrayal of historical
figures and events have influenced our thinking more than
what has been written