William Shakespeare (1564-1616)

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William Shakespeare was born on April 23, 1564, in Stratford-upon-Avon. Williams’s father, John Shakespeare, was a prominent  alderman in Stratford and for this he was granted a coat of arms by the College of Heralds. William him self only attended Stratford Grammar School and did not proceed to any other school after that. In 1582 William Shakespeare married Anne Hathaway and in 1583 there daughter Susanna was born. The twins Judith and Hamnet came shortly after in 1585, Hamnet died when he was only 11 years old.


In 1592 William was recognized as an actor, poet and playwrighter, when a rival, Robert Greene, referred to him as “an upstart crow” in “A Groatsworth of Wit”.  A few years later William joined one of the most successful acting troupes in London:” The Lord Chamberlain’s Men”. In 1599 they lost the lease of the theatre where they performed (called “The Theatre”), they built their own theatre from the timbre of the old, across the Thames, south of London. Witch they called “The Globe”. The motto of “The Globe” was “Totus mundus agit histriomen” (A whole world of players).


When James 1. became king in 1603 the troupe was designated by the new king as the “King’s Men” (or “King’s Company”).


The company specifically charged Shakespeare and eight others "freely to use and exercise the art and faculty of playing Comedies, Tragedies, Histories, Interludes, Morals, Pastorals, stage plays ... as well for recreation of our loving subjects as for our solace and pleasure."


Shakespeare entertained the King and the people for another ten years until June 19, 1613, when a canon fired from the roof of the theatre for a gala performance of Henry8, set fire to the thatch roof and burned the theatre to the ground. The audience ignored the smoke from the roof at first, being too absorbed in the play, until the flames caught the walls and the fabric of the curtains. Amazingly there were no casualties, and the next spring the company had the theatre "new builded in a far fairer manner than before." Although Shakespeare invested in the rebuilding, he retired from the stage to the Great House of New Place in Stratford witch he had purchased in 1597, and some considerable land holdings, where he continued to write until his death on the 23 of April1616, his 52nd birthday.


Not every one believes that William wrote these plays and sonnets, and the reasons for this are:

1. All the originals burnt in the great London Fire of 1666. The people of London brought the originals of every book that was to be printed in Ludgate Street/Fleet Street in to the St. Paul’s Cathedral, in the belief that no fire could burn a cathedral of stone and metal. Well they were wrong! A led roof melts very fast in a fire of this size, and old books burn even better.  And stones explode in this type of heat.

2. Those who printed these books clamed that none of the manuscripts were signed in the same way; witch is a strong indicator that the person that wrote them wasn’t joust to write the name William Shakespeare.


People have since Williams death tried to find other people that can have written these plays. Some candidates are: Sir Francis Bacon (not likely because he wrote in Latin), Sir Walter Raleigh (would never use another mans name), Christopher Marlowe (kild in a bar-fight the year Shakespeare wrote his first play) and Queen Elizabeth1. (no, it can’t be her, Shakespeare was the only writer and poet that couldn’t find a nice word to say about Queen Elizabeth). When we now have gone thru this list we se that we are back to square one.


William Shakespeare a poet from Stratford- to be or not to be and could it have been someone else?



Plays and poems by William Shakespeare



Antony and Cleopatra
Julius Caesar
King Lear
Romeo and Juliet
Timon of Athens
Titus Andronicus

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