He was born in Statford Upon Avon.
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 First Folio. However
the Grammar School curriculum would have provided
a formidable linguistic, and to some extent literary,
Shakespeare grew up in the historical period known
as the Elizabethan Age. The Elizabethan Age is another
term for the Renaissance in England. It refers to
the long reign (1558-1603) of Queen Elizabethan I
of England, which is generally considered to be one
of the greatest periods in English history.
England not only became a leading maritime and commercial
power but also enjoyed a major cultural and artistic
renaissance. 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
On November 28, 1582, the Bishop of Worcester
issued a marriage bond for William Shakespeare and Anne
Hathaway. He was only eighteen; she was eight years his
senior. William still had to get permission from his father
to marry, who likely consented because Anne was already
three months pregnant. The marriage was done in haste, with
the banns sounding only once instead of the usual three
times. There was a need to hurry since Advent, a time when
no marriages were performed, was coming. They wanted to
be married before their child was born. On May 26, 1583,
their first daughter Susanna was baptized. On February 2,
1585, their twins, Judith and Hamnet (named after their
godparents and neighbors Hamnet and Judith Sadler), were
baptized. Five years later he left for London.
Actor (1586 - 1593) No one knows why Shakespeare decided
to leave, though there are various speculations associated
with deer stealing and his unhappiness as a schoolmaster.
He might have left just for the thrill and excitement of
doing something different. Information on what Shakespeare
did during this time is unclear (1586-1592 are known as
the Lost Years), but some believe that he first joined an
acting company called Strange's Men. There is some evidence
that Shakespeare joined the prestigious Queen's Men in the
1580's. Either way, it is known that he became quite a successful
player in London. Around this time, Shakespeare turned to
writing poetry and plays, his first plays for Pembroke's
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.
Plays By Shakespeare
That End's Well
As you like It
The Comedy Of Errors
Love's Labours Lost
Measure for Measure
The Merry Wives of Windsor
The Merchant of Venice
A Midsummer Night's Dream
Much Ado About Nothing
Pericles, Prince of Tyre
Taming of the Shrew
Troilus and Cressida
Two Gentlemen of Verona
|Henry IV, part
Henry IV, part 2
Henry VI, part 1
Henry VI, part 2
Henry VI, part 3
Romeo and Juliet
Timon of Athens
Some quotations from Shakespeare's best play : Julius
"Darest thou, Cassius, now Leap in with
me into this angry flood,And swim to yonder point?"
Upon the word,Accoutred as I was, I plunged inAnd bade him
Ye gods, it doth amaze meA man of such a
feeble temper shouldSo get the start of the majestic worldAnd
bear the palm alone.
Men at some time are masters of their fates:The
fault, dear Brutus, is not in our stars,But in ourselves,
that we are underlings.
Conjure with 'em,--Brutus will start a spirit
as soon as Cæsar.Now, in the names of all the gods
at once,Upon what meat doth this our Cæsar feed,That
he is grown so great? Age, thou art shamed!Rome, thou hast
lost the breed of noble bloods!
'T is a common proof,That lowliness is young
ambition's ladder,Whereto the climber-upward turns his face;But
when he once attains the upmost round,He then unto the ladder
turns his back,Looks in the clouds, scorning the base degreesBy
which he did ascend.
Between the acting of a dreadful thingAnd
the first motion, all the interim isLike a phantasma, or
a hideous dream:The Genius and the mortal instrumentsAre
then in council; and the state of man,Like to a little kingdom,
suffers thenThe nature of an insurrection.
Boy! Lucius! Fast asleep? It is no matter;Enjoy
the honey-heavy dew of slumber:Thou hast no figures nor
no fantasies,Which busy care draws in the brains of men;Therefore
thou sleep'st so sound.
When beggars die, there are no comets seen;The
heavens themselves blaze forth the death of princes.
Cowards die many times before their deaths;The
valiant never taste of death but once.Of all the wonders
that I yet have heard,It seems to me most strange that men
should fear;Seeing that death, a necessary end,Will come
when it will come.
But I am constant as the northern star,Of
whose true-fix'd and resting qualityThere is no fellow in