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The Life And Times Of William Shakespeare

1348 words - 6 pages

The Life and Times of William Shakespeare Unless you've lived in a cave for your entire life, you've probably heard the phrases "To be or not to be that is the question," and "Romeo, Romeo where for art thou Romeo?" hundreds of times. You probably know that the man that wrote them was William Shakespeare, but what do you really know about him? Was he rich or poor? Where did he grow up? When did he write his first play? Actually historians know quite a lot about Shakespeare. In fact, they know more about Shakespeare than any other Elizabethan playwrights excluding Ben Jonson. [4,p.3] William Shakespeare was born on April 23, 1564. It is said by A.L. Rowse, the author of ...view middle of the document...

[3,p.10] The theater was his life, when he was not acting in plays he was writing them.In 1591, Shakespeare's first play was finished. It was a comedy called The Comedy of Errors. [5] It was the first of thirty-seven plays all of which were written in a twenty-two year period. From then on Shakespeare's career continued to grow more and more successful.While in London William joined an acting group called the "Lord Chamberlain's Men". [3,p.10] He wrote almost all of the plays that the group performed. Not only was he their main playwright, but he also was one of the lead actors. So, as you can see, between writing, acting, and being a husband and a father to his children, William Shakespeare was an extraordinarily busy man.In 1599, the "Lord Chamberlain's Men" bought The Globe Theater. [3,p.10] It was a circular, open roofed theater that really contributed to the group's success. The Globe was very popular with both royalty and commoners. When King James the Sixth saw them perform he was so impressed that he gave them the title "The Kings Men". [1,p.140-141] They performed for him numerous times.One of the things in Shakespeare's life that has been disputed is the existence of the so-called "Dark Lady". Supposedly, Shakespeare had an affair with a woman, and then based characters in his plays, sonnets, and poems on her. She is called the "Dark Lady," because of the belief that she had dark skin. [2,p.94] Shakespeare was infatuated with her, but she was more interested in another man who was younger and did not have a wife and children. Shakespeare expressed how he felt about this in many of his sonnets and plays. It has now been proven that she did exist, though we do not know the exact relationship she had with Shakespeare. [2,p.94-97] Unlike his plays, his poems were almost always based on William's experiences. None of his plays were written about his daily life or what he was feeling. They were either based on someone else's life, such as Henry VIII or King John, or they were completely made up, such as A Midsummer Night's Dream. His poems, on the other hand, were about his life. It is through his poems that we can truly know and understand who William Shakespeare really was.He has been accused many times of not being the actual author of his plays. This has not been proven by anyone, and it would be nearly impossible to do so. [3,p.9] These accusations did not hurt his success in any way. He was a very wealthy man during the course of his life. Then in 1613, things took...

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