William Shakespeare (1564-1616)

Om Shakepeares liv og teateret.
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There is not much we know about William Shakespeare, but one thing is shore. He is one of the world’s biggest play-writers and poets who lived during the late sixteenth- and early seventeenth centuries, and still have the most popular plays. His plays are fantastic and known all over the world.


William Shakespeare was born into a middle class well-respected family in Stratford on April 23 in 1564. His father, John, was a well-known man in the town. He held several local governmental positions, and he was a glove maker who owned a small leather shop, shortly said; a businessman, and on top of that he became a mayor in 1568. Mary Arden, his mother, was a daughter of the local farmer. Though she was related to a wealthy family. William was one of eight children. He was their third child, but their first son. William was going on the Latin school in the town, but in 1576 his father came in economic problems. Then his parents couldn’t afford the Latin school anymore, and William started at King Edward VI Grammar School with some of the other boys in his class. This school was the hole year round for nine ours a day. The teachers was very strict and disciplinarians. Even though he spent much time at school, he had a fascinating childhood. When William turned 15 years, he started working. He didn’t go to any university, but he did read a lot at home.


At 28th of November 1582 did William Shakespeare marry Anne Hathaway. At that time was William only 18, and Anne was twenty-six years old. The next year they got their firs born, Susanna Shakespeare. Two years after Susanna, they got the twins Judith and Hamnet. Hamnet, their little boy, didn’t have a long life. He died in 1596. At the time Shakespeare worked in London, but in 1597 he bought a large and expensive Stratford house to his wife and daughters. He didn’t want them to live in a small house when he was working. Susanna and Judith had a nice childhood. And in 1607 did Susanna get married, and in 1616 did Judith get married.


Shakespeare had six good friends. And in 1599 they bought a new outdoor theatre in London called The Globe. The Globe was one of the biggest theatres at that age. In 1601 there was a big changes on his plays. So far his plays were happy and optimistic, but no longer, now was his plays tragic and dramatic. The reason is unknown, but there aren’t few who think it was something with his personal life.


When Queen Elizabeth I died in 1603, was her cousin James I, the new king of England. King James I was very supportive to Shakespeare and his friends. And to show them that he gave them licence to call themselves The King’s Men. But they tough had to do one thing to return, they had to entertain the court regularly.


He moved back to his family in the Stratford house, where he died peacefully on his birthday 1616, only 52 years old.


The theatre

The theatre at Shakespeare’s age was a replacement of the religious theatre from the Catholic Church. It was now made out of the new tolerance, humanistic focus, partly the result of The Renaissance. This theatre was inspired the rediscovery of the antique writers. It was now usually that the actress was in travelling troupes. The troupes went different places whit different plays, and it all depended at witch kind of people there were. At this time they played outside, but as time went on, most of the troupes had a room they played in.


In the theatre you have three main categories. Those are tragedy, comedy and history. Tragedy is Shakespeare’s most popular category. Tragedies are sad, often complicated, disagreement, enemies and a bad ending were someone usually dies. If you have read or seen some of Shakespeare’s tragedies, will you see that he have some characteristic common stamps. There is often an up-class man, like a prince or a king. And this man is the tragic hero. In every play there is different complications, and the hero must solve these problem in different situations. One famous tragedy written of Shakespeare is "Romeo and Juliet". Romeo and Juliet are about a boy and a girl who are in love and want to get married. But there is one problem; Romeo and Juliet’s parents are family enemies. And Juliet’s parents have promised Count Paris they daughter. This brings out a lot of problems, and it all ends with bout Romeo and Juliet dies. The comedies are quite the opposite. They are often funny, shall make people laugh and they always have a happy ending. In comedy there are three main groups, and those are: happy comedies, romance and problem plays.


The happy comedies are supposed to make people laugh; they shall be funny, with lots of jokes. And the characters are known for not being realistic. The romance plays are more like the fairytales. They shall be filled with romantic scenes, often with a hero rescuing a girl or a princess. And then there are the problem plays. They are also funny, but more realistic. Shakespeare isn’t known for happy comedies, his comedies are more realistic. One of Shakespeare’s well-known comedies is "The Comedy of Errors". The play is one of Shakespeare’s earliest plays. It has striking resemblance to a play by the Roman playwright Plautus, so it seems that Shakespeare has adopted a great deal of his plot from that story. He added several key changes, while making a human content and even more dramatic elements. The category history is simply based on the history. The play "Richard III" is one of Shakespeare’s most popular history plays. Richard III is about Richard the duke of Gloucester, and brother of the king, Edvard IV, and he wants to be king. And the play takes story on how he is going to get the throne.


There are many respected writers and poets in the world, but Shakespeare is in his own class. No other writer is so popular and famous in so long time after his death, and still will be. No other writer has made that many people interested in the theatre. And he is still making people interested to his plays.

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