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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, education.

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 William.

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 Men.

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




All's Well 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
The Tempest
Troilus and Cressida
Twelfth Night
Two Gentlemen of Verona
Winter's Tale

Henry IV, part 1
Henry IV, part 2
Henry V
Henry VI, part 1
Henry VI, part 2
Henry VI, part 3
Henry VIII
King John
Richard II
Richard III
Anthony and Cleopatra
Julius Caesar
King Lear
Romeo and Juliet
Timon of Athens
Titus Andronicus

Some quotations from Shakespeare's best play : Julius Caesar

"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 follow.

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 the firmament.

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