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William Shakespeare

Shakespeares life
Shakespeare was born on or around the 23 of April 1564 in Stratford. He lived for 52 years in which he became famous. Out of the 52 years he only spent 23 of them writing his 37 plays. Shakespeares parents were Mary and John Shakespeare. His father was a glove-maker. William was third born of eight but the first two children had died at a young age. He had four sisters and three brothers. His sisters were Joan (died), Margaret (died), Joan (named after first born) and Anne. His three brothers were Gilbert, Richard and Edmund. There isnt too much known about William Shakespeare since many of his information is lost.

Shakespeares world context

Not much is known about Shakespeares school life. However this much is known. Shakespeare attended grammar school for free because of his fathers high standing in the community. However it is believed he had to be withdrawn. He had attended school from the age of seven to fourteen. Schooling back then was harsh and started at 6am and finished at 5pm. Any punishment was dealt by the hitting of the cane. Entertainment was mainly the watching of plays although there was many other harsher one, like the watching of someone getting executed. Living conditions back then were terrible with litter and manure covering the streets. They lived by the Elizabethan laws. After becoming famous, Shakespeare performed for the queen many times.

Shakespeares plays

The three most famous Shakespearean plays are Hamlet, Romeo and Juliet and Macbeth. Set in the Kingdom of Denmark, this play recounts how Prince Hamlet tries to get revenge on his uncle Claudius. This famous play explores the themes of treachery, revenge, incest and moral corruption.

Romeo and Juliet

Romeo and Juliet talks about young teenage love but the two cannot be together. This play changes between comedy and tragedy making the audience entranced. This play also houses the famous quote Romeo, Romeo where art thou Romeo.

Macbeth, Shakespeares shortest tragedy talks about the accounts of King Macbeth of Scotland, Macduff and Duncan in Holinsheds Chronicles, a history of England, Scotland and Ireland. It is also believed the play is cursed and some do not utter its name. They instead called it the Scottish play.

Shakespeares influences on literature

Shakespeare has influenced theatre, literature and also present day movies and books. It is because of his writings, expectations about what could be accomplished through characterization, plot, language and genre have changed. Prior to and during Shakespeares time, English grammar and rules were not fixed. Shakespeare expanded the scope of English literature by introducing new word and phrases. He also introduced new poetic and grammatical structures. Among Shakespeares greatest contributions to the English language must be the introduction of new vocabulary and phrases which has enriched the language making it more colourful and expressive. As said by Warren King in all his works (the plays, the sonnets and the narrative poems) Shakespeare uses 17 677 words of those, 1 700 were first used by Shakespeare.

Shakespeares theatre and actors

The plays in Shakespeares lifetime were performed on stages in private theatres, provincial theatres, and playhouses. However the most famous of those which is associated with Shakespeare is definitely The Globe although it had been burnt down. The second type of theatre is the Elizabethan theatre. It is classified into two groups. Those within the London district and the ones in the countryside.

The actors in Shakespearean time did not have a good reputation. The content of plays was checked to ensure that they did not contain political or religious elements in case it threatened the state. However as time passed the reputation for actors got better and better and they got richer and richer with 3000 viewers at times.