Ancient history

An overview of the life of poet and playwright William Shakespeare

William Shakespeare was a remarkable English poet and playwright who was considered one of the best poets and playwrights. He is also the most famous playwright globally, with his works translated into over 50 languages. In addition, Shakespeare, often known as "The Bard" or "The Bard of Avon", was an actor and the founder of the Globe Theater, a historical theater that attracts hundreds of thousands of tourists each year.

He probably studied at the King Edward VI Grammar School in Stratford, where he learned Latin, little Greek and also read the Roman playwrights. His parents were John Shakespeare and Mary Arden. He married Anne Hathaway, a woman who was seven or eight years older when he was eighteen. Susanna, born in 1583, and Judith, born in 1585 (whose twin brother died as a child), were their two daughters.

William Shakespeare has a unique position in international literature. Other poets and novelists, such as Homer and Dante, have crossed national boundaries. Yet no living author's reputation can be compared to Shakespeare's, whose plays, written for a small repertoire in the late 16th and early 17th centuries, are now played and read more often and in more countries than ever before. Shakespeare fulfilled the prophecy of his great contemporary, poet and playwright Ben Jonson, that he "was not of an age, but of all times."

Characteristics of a great man

He is an author with extraordinary intellectual speed, insight and poetic power. Other writers have these abilities, but Shakespeare's sharp minds were for humans and their full range of emotions and conflicts, not obscure or distant themes. Other writers have used their sharp minds in this way. Yet William Shakespeare is extraordinarily gifted with words and images so that his mental energy finds full and memorable expression in understandable human circumstances.

As if that were not enough, the art form he channeled his creative impulses was neither distant nor bookish, but rather involved a dramatic stage imitation of people, evoked sympathy and inspiring deputy participation. Shakespeare's virtues can withstand translation into languages ​​and civilizations other than Elizabethan England.

He has written tragedies, comedies and historical works in poetry and prose. And despite being the most famous author globally, nothing is known about his life. Shakespeare is a man of extraordinary genius and mystery, since no known autobiographical writings or journals have survived to this day, and he has no living descendants.

This has resulted in a multitude of interpretations of his life and work. It made him a legend about a regular from Stratford-upon-Avon who became famous and created many of the basic works that serve as the basis for the modern English language.

Before the Stage

William Shakespeare's date of birth is unknown, but it is generally believed that he was born in Stratford-upon-Avon, Warwickshire, England, in April 1564 and baptized in the same month. He was the son of a mayor named John Shakespeare and Mary Arden, a famous farmer's daughter of the family's landlord. He was the eldest of eight children and the family's eldest surviving son.

Shakespeare attended King's New School in Stratford, a free chartered grammar school. He learned the introductory Latin text and grammar there, most of which had been standardized throughout the country by royal resolution. He was also known for participating in the school's theater, as was usual. However, Shakespeare's education as a general at the elementary school level ceased.

In the year 1582, an 18-year-old Shakespeare married Anne Hathaway, who was 26 years old and already pregnant at their wedding. Six months later, Hathaway gave birth to Susanna, the couple's first child, with the twins Hamnet and Judith, two years later in 1585. Unfortunately, Hamnet's son died of obscure causes when he was 11 years old.

William Shakespeare disappeared from the public eye after the birth of the twins in 1585. This was the case until his works began to reappear on the London stage in 1592. The seven years together are called "Shakespeare's Lost Years", they have triggered a number of unfounded years. rumors, including one about Shakespeare who escaped Stratford's punishment for deer hunting. This story, like others, is purely for entertainment purposes and is not considered part of the playwright's canon.

Globe Theater Career and Creation

Around 1592, William Shakespeare first appeared on the London stage, where his plays would be written and performed, although the exact date is unknown. He was nevertheless known enough to be criticized in newspapers by critics and was therefore seen as a well-established playwright.

Shakespeare's play was first produced after 1594 by Lord Chamberlain's Men, a company owned by a group of actors who became London's leading company. The company was granted a royal patent after the death of Queen Elizabeth in 1603, and renamed it King's Men after King James I.

In 1599, Shakespeare and a group of actors who appeared in his play built their theater on the Thames, which they named the Globe Theater. After that, an overview of Shakespeare's property purchases and investments revealed that the author had amassed a considerable fortune. He bought homes in London and Stratford for himself and his family, and spent most of his time in London.

Shakespeare's fame was cemented in 1598 when his name became the selling point in new works when the first known quarters of his plays were produced. As a result, he became a successful theater performer and playwright, with his name on the title pages of his works.

William Shakespeare continued to work at the Globe Theater with his company of men until about 1610 when he retired from the stage. After that, however, he continued to support the Globe Theater. It includes the purchase of apartments near the theater for playwrights and actors to live in.

Death and Retirement

William Shakespeare withdrew from public life in 1610, just as the siege of London began to subside. It was a rare behavior at the time, although he was far from inactive. The playwright continued to visit London regularly, working with other playwrights such as John Fletcher and spending time with his son-in-law John Hall, who married his eldest daughter Susanna in 1607.

Until 1613, after the last great works were completed, the playwright was still active as a playwright and writer. Shakespeare spent the rest of his life in Stratford-upon-Avon, where he had bought the city's second largest home for the family.

On April 23, 1616, William Shakespeare died and was buried after two days in Holy Trinity Church in Stratford. A curse was placed on his tombstone to keep those who would disturb his bones in check. He was 52 years old when he died, and his wife, Anna, and their two children survived him. Unfortunately, Shakespeare's family has no direct descendants because both daughters had children who did not live to adulthood.

The works of William Shakespeare

William Shakespeare was known for both poetry and acting, where each medium served a different purpose. There were plays related to today's theater fashion. On the other hand, his poetry served to tell stories in erotic or romantic ways, resulting in a canon of work that was as diverse in language as the questions of human nature that the works depict.

Between 1589 and 1613, Shakespeare wrote the majority of his acclaimed works. His early plays were mostly comedies and stories, and they are considered to be among the best in these genres. Until 1608, Shakespeare wrote primarily tragedies, including Hamlet, Romeo and Juliet, Othello, King Lear and Macbeth, all of which are considered among the best works in English. He composed tragicomedy (sometimes known as romance) and collaborated with other playwrights in his later years.


Researchers believe William Shakespeare composed at least 37 plays, most of which are classified as comedies, stories or tragedies. The "King Henry VI" trilogy is the earliest play directly credited to Shakespeare, with Richard III produced at about the same time, between 1589 and 1591. The last play, "The Two Noble Kinsmen", was a collaboration, perhaps with John Fletcher.

Shakespeare's plays began with the story, including the works mentioned above, as well as "Pericles", "King John" and the twin volumes of both "Henry IV" and "Henry V", which were written later. Shakespeare moved into comedies in the late 1580s and early 1590s, defined by comic moments and pairs of intertwined narratives. Some of the popular ones are:

  • A Midsummer Night's Dream
  • Merchant of Venice
  • Much Ado About Nothing
  • As You Like It
  • Twelfth Night

Two tragedies, the remarkable Romeo and Juliet and Julius Caesar, end Shakespeare's comedy era. The Romeo and Juliet play was written in the early 1590s, while Julius Caesar was written at the end.

William Shakespeare devoted the last part of his writing career to tragedies and "problem" plays. He wrote works such as Hamlet, Othello, King Lear, Coriolanus and Macbeth during this period, which were considered the playwright's best. These are the works that are now being produced on stage and in film.

Looking at a timeline of Shakespeare's plays, it is clear that as he became prominent, he changed the subjects of his plays and then returned to a more peaceful life. Shakespeare's progress as a man and a writer is clear, moving from historical questions to a more straightforward side and finally into plays with narratives that conclude in the sense of forgiveness and calm. In fact, top academic academics have written fascinating dissertations on the playwright's connection to and opposition to the English language.

Sonnets and poems

William Shakespeare is credited with two volumes of poetry and more than 150 sonnets. Although Shakespeare was a poet all his life, it is believed that he turned to poetry in 1593 and 1594, when the plague forced the theaters of London to close.

Shakespeare published two volumes of narrative poems during these years, Venus and Adonis and The Rape of Lucrece. Both volumes dealt with the questions of overwhelming desire and the guilt that comes with it, and they were well accepted during his lifetime, in part because of their sensual tone. In addition, Shakespeare wrote A Lover's Complaint in a similar manner, which was included in the first edition of Shakespeare's sonnets, published in 1609.

Shakespeare's sonnets were a collection of more than 150 poems published late in life without any indication of when each piece was written. The sonnets are usually believed to be part of a private diary that was never intended to be read publicly, but was nevertheless published.

The poet's longing for a married woman of dark complexion, known as The Dark Lady, is chronicled in one set of sonnets, while the other tells of a conflict-filled or confused love for a young man, known as "the righteous youth." Although unknown or confirmed, many in the literary world feel that Shakespeare's sonnets correctly portray the poet's heart, leading the audience to speculate about his thoughts on religion, sex, marriage, and life.

Critics have praised the sonnets for being very personal and considering the principles of love, lust, procreation and death. Along with Emily Dickinson, Robert Frost and Walt Whitman, Shakespeare is now considered one of the most prominent English poets in history.

The Shakespeare Connection

William Shakespeare's influence on art, literature, language and other creative arts has long been recognized. He is the most widely read playwright in the Western Hemisphere, with lines and phrases from his works littering the English language. Shakespeare is also credited with inventing the iambic pentameter, a type of poetry that is still popular today.

He is also one of the most important figures in English literature, having influenced everyone from Herman Melville and Charles Dickens to Agatha Christie and Anthony Burgess. But many of his beliefs about human nature on Hamlet. Moreover, his influence can be seen in painting and opera, especially in Giuseppe Verdi's operas and the whole society of romantic and pre-Raphaelite painters.

Shakespeare was and continues to be the most important figure in the English language. "Breaking the ice" and "heart of gold" are now common phrases, but they are believed to have originated in Shakespeare's plays and sonnets. In addition, over seventy examples from everyday life can be explicitly attributed to Shakespeare, indicating that much of how people communicate now has a history dating back to the 17th century.

Apart from phrases, it is well known that the playwright contributed more than 1,700 new words to the English language, which was not standardized during the 16th and 17th centuries. William Shakespeare, who changed English to the populist language today, is responsible for concepts such as lonely, frugal, declining and many others.

the conclusion

We do not know everything about William Shakespeare's life because he lived almost 400 years ago, and many records from that period have been lost or never existed in the first place. Fans of William Shakespeare have imagined and reinvented him according to their interests, even without knowing everything about his life.