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William Shakespeare

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William Shakespeare

william shakespeare

"the Sweet Swan of Avon" - Ben Jonson


 

Shakespeare, William 1564 - 1616

Playwright and poet. Born in 1564, in Stratford-upon-Avon, Warwickshire, England (historians believe Shakespeare was born on April 23, the same day he died in 1616). The son of John Shakespeare, a glover, and Mary Arden, of farming stock. Much uncertainty surrounds Shakespeare's early life. He was the eldest of three sons, and there were four daughters. He was educated at the local grammar school, and married Anne Hathaway, from a local farming family, in 1582. She bore him a daughter, Susanna, in 1583, and twins, Hamnet and Judith, in 1585.

Shakespeare moved to London, possibly in 1591, and became an actor. From 1592 to 1594, when the theatres were closed for the plague, he wrote his poems "Venus and Adonis" and "The Rape of Lucrece." His sonnets, known by 1598, though not published until 1609, fall into two groups: 1 to 126 are addressed to a fair young man, and 127 to 154 to a "dark lady" who holds both the young man and the poet in thrall. Who these people are has provided an exercise in detection for numerous critics. The first evidence of his association with the stage is in 1594, when he was acting with the Lord Chamberlain's company of players, later "the King's Men'. When the company built the Globe Theatre south of the Thames in 1597, he became a partner, living modestly at a house in Silver Street until c.1606, then moving near the Globe. He returned to Stratford c.1610, living as a country gentleman at his house, New Place. His will was made in March 1616, a few months before he died, and he was buried at Stratford.

The modern era of Shakespeare scholarship has been marked by an enormous amount of investigation into the authorship, text, and chronology of the plays, including detailed studies of the age in which he lived, and of the Elizabethan stage. Authorship is still a controversial subject for certain plays, such as Titus Andronicus, Two Noble Kinsmen, and Henry VI, part I. This has involved detailed studies of the various editions of the plays, in particular the different quarto editions, and the first collected works, The First Folio of 1623. It is conventional to group the plays into early, middle, and late periods, and to distinguish comedies, tragedies, and histories, recognizing other groups that do not fall neatly into these categories.

1589 King John Plays
1590 -- 1591 Henry VI Part 11 Plays
1590 Titus Andronicus Plays
1590 -- 1591 Henry VI Part 1 Plays
1590 -- 1591 Henry VI Part 111 Plays
1593 The Comedy of Errors Plays
1593 The Two Gentlemen of Verona Plays
1593 Venus and Adonis Poetry
1594 Love's Labour's Lost Plays
1594 The Rape of Lucrece Poetry
c. 1594 The Life and Death of Richard III Plays
c. 1594 The Life and Death of Richard II Plays
c. 1594 The Taming of the Shrew Plays
c. 1595 Romeo and Juliet Plays
1596 A Midsummer Night's Dream Plays
1596 The Merchant of Venice Plays
1597 Henry IV Part 1 Plays
1597 The Merry Wives of Windsor Plays
c. 1598 Much Ado about Nothing Plays
1598 Henry IV Part 11 Plays
1599 The Life of Henry V Plays
1599 Julius Caesar Plays
c. 1599 As You Like It Plays
c. 1600 Twelfth Night Plays
1601 The Phoenix and the Turtle Poetry
c. 1601 Hamlet Plays
1602 -- 1604 All's Well That Ends Well Plays
c. 1602 Troilus and Cressida Plays
c. 1604 Othello, The Moor of Venice Plays
c. 1604 Measure for Measure Plays
c. 1605 King Lear Plays
c. 1606 Macbeth Plays
c. 1607 Antony and Cleopatra Plays
c. 1607 Timon of Athens Plays
c. 1608 Coriolanus Plays
1609 Sonnets Poetry
1609 Pericles, Prince of Tyre Plays
c. 1610 Cymbeline Plays
c. 1611 The Winter's Tale Plays
c. 1611 The Tempest Plays
1613 The Life of King Henry VIII Collaborations
1634 The Two Noble Kinsmen Collaborations

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William Shakespeare - Famous People with Cotswold Connections