Englands Greatest Poet And Playwright Was Born At Essay

England’s greatest poet and playwright was born atStratford-upon-Avon, the son of a tradesman and
Alderman of Stratford, John Shakespeare in 1564.

William, the eldest son, and third child (of eight) was
baptised on 26th April 1564 and probably educated at
Stratford Grammar School, but little is
known of his life up to his eighteenth year. He did not
go to University and his younger contemporary and
fellow-dramatist, Ben Johnson, would later speak
disparagingly of his small Latin, and less Greek in
the eulogy prefaced to the Firs Folio. However the
Grammar School curriculum would have provided a
formidable linguistic, and to some extent literary,

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Although, in 1575 when he was eleven, there was a
great plague in the country and Queen Elizabeth
journeyed out of London to avoid its consequences and
stayed for several days at Kenilworth Castle near
Stratford enjoying festivities arranged by her host
Lord Leicester. It is probable these events may have
made a strong impact on the mind of young William.

At the age of Eighteen, he married Anne Hathaway, eight
years his senior. Five years later he left for London.

William worked at the Globe Theatre and appeared in
many small parts. He first appeared in public as a poet
in 1593 with his Venus and Adonis and the following
year with The Rape of Lucrece. He became joint
proprietor of The Globe and also had an interest in the
Blackfriars Theatre.

The play writing commenced in 1595 and of the 38 plays
that comprise the Shakespeare Cannon, 36 were published
in the 1st Folio of 1623, of which 18 had been
published in his lifetime in what are termed the Quarto

Love’s Labour’s Lost and The Comedy of Errors appear
to be among the earliest, being followed by The Two
Gentlemen of Verona and Romeo and Juliet. Then followed
Henry VI, Richard III, Richard II, Titus Andronicus,
The Taming of the Shrew, King John, The Merchant of
Venice, A Midsummer Night’s Dream, All’s Well that Ends
Well, Henry IV, The Merry Wives of Windsor, Henry V,
Much Ado about Nothing, As you like it, Twelth Night,
Julius Caesar, Hamlet, Troilus and Cressida, Othello,
Measure for Measure, Macbeth, King Lear, Timon of
Athens, Pericles, Antony and Cleopatra, Coriolanus,
Cymbeline, A Winter’s Tale, The Tempest, Henry VIII and
The Two Noble Kinsmen.

When he retired from writing in 1611, he returned to
Stratford to live in a house which he had built for his
family. His only son, Hamnet died when still a child.

He also lost a daughter Judith (twin to Hamnet), but
his third child Susanna married a Stratford Doctor,
John Hall and their home Hall’s Croft is today
preserved as one of the Shakespeare Properties and
administered by the Shakespeare Birthplace Trust.

In 1616 Shakespeare was buried in the Church of the
Holy Trinity the same Church where he was
baptised in 1564. Tradition has it that he died after
an evening’s drinking with some of his theatre
friends. His gravestone bears the words:-
Good frend for Jesus sake forebeare,
to digg the dust encloased heare,
Bleste be ye man yt spares thes stones,
And curst be he yt moves my bones.

In his will Shakespeare left his wife, the former Anne
Hathaway, his second best bed. We cannot be sure of the
reason for this. It may have been the marital bed the
best bed being reserved for guests. It may suggest that
they had a not altogether happy marriage which
nevertheless produced three children, Susanna, born on
May 26th 1583 and twins , Hamnet and Judith, born on
February 2nd 1585. These entries appear in the Holy
Trinity Register.

There is no direct evidence of the marriage of William
Shakespeare to Anne Hathaway although most historians
accept that an entry in the Bishop’s Register at
Worcester in November 1582 regarding the issue of a
marriage licence to William Shaxpere and Anne Whateley
of Temple Grafton does not refer to the famous bard.

However the following day a guarantee of ?40 was
undertaken in Stratford by two yeomen of the town
against the prevention of the legal marriage of William
Shagspere and Anne Hathway on only one reading of the
banns. In 1582 , ?40 was a considerable sum of money
and one cannot believe that the simple fact of Anne’s
being three months pregnant would warrant it. No
marriage of an Anne Whatelely has ever been traced,
neither has the marriage of Anne Hathway, but lack of
record does not mean that it did not happen.


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