Born on:  23 April 1564                        place of birth:                         Stratford-on-Avon, Warwickshire

Died on: 23 April 1616                        place of death:            Stratford-on-Avon, Warwickshire

Information on:

His parents:                   Father John: respected middle-class trader;

Mother Mary Arden: from a family of local landowners

His education:               fair education at the local Grammar School

His family:                    married with 18 to Anne Hathaway (8 years older)

His further life:

1586:               left Stratford for London

1592:               ­­­­­popular actor and writer, jack-of-all-trades for an older dramatist

1598:               among the principal actors of the city

1599:               member of the company running the Globe Theatre with 1/10 interest in the profit.

1611:               bought property in Stratford and retired there

How was his popularity indicated?

1.                                  other fellow writers published their plays under Shakespeare's name, because that guaranteed a good sale

2.                                  an anthology of contemporary literature placed Shakespeare at the head of his contemporaries



1.     Apprenticeship: 1586-1592

First famous play:               Titus Adronicus (blood-soaked melodrama)

Early comedies:                  The Comedy of Errors, Two Gentlemen of Verona, The Taming of the Shrew,

Plays based "on real life stories": Henry VI, King John, Richard III

2.     Growing success: 1594-1599

1594:           Joined the Lord Chamberlain's Men (best theatrical company in England)

Successful plays of that time: The Merchant of Venice, Romeo&Juliet, A Midsummer's Night

    Dream, Much Ado About Nothing, As You Like It, Twelfth Night

3.     The tragic phase: 1599-1608

1599:                                   Shakespeare's company acquired the famous Globe Theatre  

Plays of that period:           Macbeth, Othello; King Lear, Hamlet, Julius Caesar,

Coriolanus, Antony and Cleopatra, Timon of Athens, Troilus

and Cressida, All's Well That Ends Well, Measure for Measure

4.     The last plays: 1608-1611

1608:                                   King's Men bought the Blackfriars

Plays of that time:              Henry VIII, Pericles, Cymbeline, The Winter's Tail,

The Tempest




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