William Shakespeare

No household in the English-speaking countries can be imagined without the Bible and the works of William Shakespeare. They are symbols of Religion and Culture. What do we know about W. Shakespeare's life?
Unfortunately, very little, as during his lifetime nobody collected any facts for his biography Only a century after his death it became clear that he was the supreme genius.
Nowadays it is easy to compile the biography of a modem writer or dramatist, because the essential facts of his life are available in newspapers and magazines, issues of "Who 's Who", etc. But for the biography of an Elizabethan dramatist there are 4 sources of information:
1) his works;
2) the comments of contemporaries;
3) traditions and gossip;
4) documentary records.
Let's consider each of them:
1. William Shakespeare portrayed so many characters and depicted such a wide range of stories that it is impossible to know when he was speaking out of his own experiences or created experiences of his characters. Of course, all great writers betrayed themselves in their works.
2. There arc many references to Shakespeare made even during his lifetime: mentions of his plays, characters, quotations from his works. They prove Shakespeare's existence, but they don't give facts about the man himself.
3. Traditions and anecdotes can also be taken into consideration, but they can't be tested or trusted. Some stories about W.Shakespeare were collected after 166O.They were gossips from local inhabitants of Stratford-on-Avon.
4. The most important sources for the biography of Shakespeare are official and documentary records: definite, reliable and dull. Of prime importance is the register of Stratford-on-Avon (Holy Trinity Church) which gives the date of the baptism of William Shakespeare, his marriage, the baptism of his children, and his death.
William Shakespeare was born in 1564, in Stratford-on- Avon, and was christened in Holy Trinity Church on April, 26.
That's why his birthday is believed to be April, 23, St George's Day, why is the holy patron of England.
William's father, John Shakespeare, was one of the wealthiest citizens, and his mother, Mary Arden, belonged to an ancient and distinguished Catholic family William was their third child and the eldest son.
It seems quite natural, that there are no records of William's boyhood. No wonder, as who could have imagined that he was to become the pride of the nation?
He must have attended the Stratford Grammar school, where he acquired the knowledge of LatiLater he satirised the school education of his time in his comedies "Love's Labour's Lost" and "The Merry Wives of Windsor".
The next record of Shakespeare's life is his marriage to Anne Hathaway, a daughter of a wealthy yeoman, in 1582. On May 26, 1583 their first child, Susanna, was baptised, and then in February 1585 the twins, Hamnet and Judith, followed her.
After the birth of the twins we know absolutely nothing about Shakespeare's life for the next seven years. It is4cnown that by 1592 Shakespeare had settled in London and had started writing plays In 1593 a very serious epidemic of the plague broke out, and all the theatres were temporarily, closed down. During that time Shakespeare must have written his two narrative poems, both of which were dedicated to the Earl of Southampton, "Venus and Adonis" (1593), "The Rape of Lucrece (1594). At the same time William Shakespeare became a share-holder, the principal playwright and a second-rate actor of the best- known of Elizabethan theatres, the Globe, on the southern bank of the Thames in London Shakespeare wrote and staged comedies, tragedies , historical plays and dramas.
As the time passed, he became rather rich, wrote less and in 1613 after the Globe had been destroyed by fire, Shakespeare retired to Stratford where he died on April 23, 1616, and was buried in the same Holy Trinity Church, where he was christened.
In 1623 Shakespeare's plays were collected by his fellow- actors, and published in a single volume, known as the First Folio. Sixteen plays in the collection were published for the .first time.

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