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William Shakespeare

William Shakespeare WILLIAM SHAKESPEARE William Shakespeare was a family man; he was a poet and a lasting literary figure. He is considered to be the most fascinating Elizabethan dramatist due to his writings and versatile life. Shakespeares career has endured for centuries. He is one of the most studied authors of all time (Zender 22). Shakespeare did not attend a university, yet he created 144 poems and many plays, which are considered to be literary works of art. His writings in comedies and tragedies show his talent is unbounded.

William Shakespears popularity must have extended beyond his own expectations as it touches people even today (Zender 23). William Shakespeare was born in the year of 1564 and died in 1616. His education consisted mostly of Latin studies- learning to read, write, and speak the language fairly well and studying some of the classical historians and poets. A bond, dated November 28, 1582, was executed by two men of Stratford as a security to the bishop for the issue of a license for marriage between Williams Shakespeare and Anne Hathaway of Stratford. One year later, a daughter named Susanna was born on May 26, 1583.

On February 2,1585 twins were born Hamlet and Judith. Shakespeares only son-died eleven years later (Groiler 1991). How Shakespeare spent the next eight years or so science 1585, until his name begins to appear in London Theater records, is not known. There are stories of stealing deer and getting into trouble with a local magistrate, of earning a living as a school master in the country, of going to London and gaining entry into the world of theater by minding horses of theater- goers. In the light of evidence, exploits of Shakespeares life cannot be proved or dismissed.

Shakespeare has often been viewed from the internal evidence of his writings. However, this method is unsatisfactory. One cannot conclude, for example from allusions to the law that Shakespeare was a lawyer, although he clearly was a writer who without difficulty could get whatever legal knowledge needed for the composition of his works. It is not clear how his career in the theater began; but from about 1594 onward, he was an important member of Lord Chamberlains company of players, called the Kings Men after the accession of King James I in 1603. The company had the best actor, Richard Burbage; they had the best theater, the Globe; and the best dramatist, Shakespeare. It is no wonder that the company prospered.Shakespeare became a full-time professional man of this own theatre, sharing in a cooperative enterprise and intimately concerned with the financial success of the plays he wrote (Groiler 1991). Shakespeares will, made on March 25, 1616, is a long and detailed document.

It included quite extensive properties to the male heirs of his elder daughter, Susanna. As an afterthought, Shakespeare bequeathed his second best bed to his wife, but no one can be certain what this notorious legacy means. The signature to the will was apparently in shaky hands. Perhaps Shakespeare was already ill. He died on April 23, 1616.

No name was inscribed on his gravestone. Within a few years a monument was erected. Its epitaph, written in Latin and inscribed immediately below the bust, attributes to Shakespeare the worldly wisdom of Nestor, the genius of Socrates, and the poetic art of Virgil (Groiler 1991). Shakespeare lived in a time when ideas and social structures established in the Middle Ages still influenced mans thoughts and behavior. Queen Elizabeth was a firm believer in divine power of the crown. She thought herself Gods deputy on earth, lords and commoners had their dueplace in society under her, with responsibilities up through her to God and down to those of more humble rank.

The order of things did not go unquestioned. Atheism was still considered a challenge to beliefs and way of life of a majority of Elizabethans, but the Christian faith was no longer the single religion, with expansion of the Anglican Church and the growing power of the Puritans. Commoners were becoming more literate and could read the scriptures for themselves. In philosophical inquiry, the question how became the impulse for advance, rather than traditional why of Aristotle (Davidow 42). Beginning in the summer of 1592, the theaters were closed almost continuously for two years. This was the result of the bubonic plague.

At this point, Shakespeare turned his attention to writing narrative poetry. Fellow Elizabethans considered this style of writing to be serious literature in contrast with the popular drama entertainment of the day (Davidow 43). Shakespeares manuscript of Venus and Adonis was printed and published by a Stratford friend, Richard Field, in 1593. Shakespeare dedicated this poem to a young nobleman, Henry Wriothesley, The Earl ofSouthampton. As was customary of the time period, Shakespeare would have been rewarded with a gift. However, there is no record to reflect the value of the poem for that time period (Davidow 45).

Venus and Adonis met with instantaneous success. Davidow states, In fact this poems immense popularity led Shakespeare to write The Rape of Lucrece in the following year. This poem was also printed by his friendField in 1594, but was also published by another gentleman by the name of John Harrison. Again the poem was dedicated to his friend The Earl of Southhampton (Davidow 60). About this time Shakespeare wrote a series of 154 poems; all but three were 14-line sonnets.

The formulation of these sonnets was spread over a number of years. Some sonnets are thought to go as far back as 1588, the same time the Spanish Armada attempted the invasion of England. According to Davidow, The entire collection of sonnets were not published until 1609; probably without Shakespeares knowledge (Davidow 65). Consequently, the last group of English history plays Shakespeare chose to write about was Julius Caesar, who held particular fascination for the Elizabethans. Julius Caesar was a solider, scholar, and politician.

Caesars greatest friend had killed him and Caesar was seen as the first Roman to perceive and, in part, to achieve the benefits of monarchial state. Caesar appears in three scenes and then is murdered before the play is half finished. A variety of characters respond to and reflect upon the central fact of the great man. This is the dramatic strategy of an ironist, a writer such as Shakespeare, who wishes to question human behavior and to observe intera …