William Shakespeare Biography

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William Shakespeare

William Shakespeare was an English poet, actor, and playwright and is widely regarded as the greatest writer in the world. No birth record exists of William Shakespeare, but an old church record exists that says that he was baptized on 26 April 1564 at Holy Trinity Church in Stratford-upon-Avon. He is called the “Bard of Avon” and is often referred to as England’s National poet. William Shakespeare is considered to be the greatest dramatist of all time.

Throughout his career, he worked on 38 plays, 154 sonnets, and two long narrative poems. His plays are very famous and have been translated into every language present on this planet and are considered to be the most performed plays of any other playwright. William Shakespeare passed away on April 23, 1616, in Stratford-upon-Avon.

About Shakespeare Life

  • William Shakespeare Full Name: William Shakspere’s full name is the same only. He is also known as “the Bard of Avon”.

  • William Shakespeare Birth Date: April 26, 1564.

  • When did William Shakespeare Die: April 23, 1616

  • Age (at the Time of Death): 52

Who is William Shakespeare?

Who is William Shakespeare is a smaller question as he had a bigger contribution towards society.  William Shakespeare was the greatest English poet, actor, and playwright of the Renaissance era. He was baptized on 26 April 1564 at Holy Trinity Church in Stratford-upon-Avon. From 1594 onwards he was a very important member of the King’s Men company of theatrical players. For more than 450 years, Shakespeare’s writing is celebrated throughout the world as his writing captures human emotions perfectly. In spite of being known all around the world, William Shakespeare’s life has been a mystery.

The outline of his life has been provided through his work on various poems, sonnets and plays, and others. Other sources that provide information about his life are official documentation such as church and court records. However, seven years of his life have not been recorded as his work and the documents at the church only provide a brief sketch of specific events in his life and yield a little insight into the man himself.

William Shakespeare Birth Date

According to the church record, William Shakespeare was baptized at the Holy Trinity Church in Stratford-upon-Avon on April 26, 1564, but no official birth record exists on his name. Many scholars believe that he was born on April 23, 1564, and because of this reason, many scholars celebrate it as Shakespeare’s birthday.

John Shakespeare, a leather merchant was his father and a local landed heiress by the anime of Mary Arden was his mother. He was the third child of his father. Joan and Judith were the two older sisters of Shakspeare. He also had three younger brothers by the names Gilbert, Richard, and Edmund. John Shakespeare was a very successful merchant and held the position of alderman and bailiff, an office resembling a mayor. Records suggest that John Shakespeare’s fortune declined in the late 1570s. There is no official record of Shakespeare schooling but many scholars believe that he attended the King’s New School, in Stratford which helped him in learning reading and writing.

On November 28, 1582, Shakespeare married Anne Hathway in Worcester, in Canterbury Province. Shakespeare was 18 and Anne Hathway was 26 when they married each other and they had three children, their first daughter, Susanna, was born on May 26, 1583, Two years later they were blessed with twin daughters named Hamnet and Judith.

There are seven years of Shakespeare’s life where there is no record of his life after the birth of his twins. Many scholars call this period the “Lost years”.

Shakespeare as an Actor and a Playwright

In 1592, Shakespeare began his career as a playwright and an actor in London and also produced several plays.

He continued to write and perform plays and in 1593 Shakespeare was able to attract the attention of the Earl of Southampton, Henry Wriothesley to whom he dedicated to poems that were "Venus and Adonis" published in 1593 and "The Rape of Lucrece" in 1594. These poems showed the guilt and moral confusion that results from uncontrolled lust. Both of these poems were very popular and were reprinted many times during Shakespeare’s lifetime.

The third poem by the name of A Lover's Complaint also became very famous and was printed in the first edition of the Sonnets in 1609.

By 1597 Shakespeare had already written and published around 15 plays. In 1599, Shakespeare with the help of his friends built his own theatre on the south bank of the Thames River. The theatre was named as Globe Theatre.

The exact chronology of Shakespeare’s plays is very difficult to determine but many scholars believe that over the course of two decades, from about 1590 to 1613, he wrote a total of 37 plays based on themes such as tragedies, comedies, histories, and tragicomedies.

Shakespeare’s first plays were based on history. Plays like Henry V, Henry VI, and Richard II were dramas that portrait the destructive result of a corrupt ruler.

William Shakspeare also wrote the famous Roman political drama, Julius Caesar, through which Shakespeare wanted to give a message of how arrogance can have a deadly result.

Shakespeare is also very known to write many comedies during his early periods such as the romantic Merchant of Venice, The wit and wordplay of Much Ado About Nothing, The whimsical A Midsummer Night’s Dream,  The charming as you like it, and Twelfth Night.

Before 1600, he wrote several plays such as The Comedy of Errors, The Two Gentlemen of Verona, King John, The merry wives of Windsor, Henry V, and The Taming of the Shrew.

In 1600, William Shakespeare wrote many tragedies such as Hamlet, Othello, King lear, and Macbeth. Many people praise these plays as Shakespeare’s characters showed powerful impressions of human temperament that are considered to be timeless and universal.

The play that has stood the test of time is Hamlet, which explores retribution, incest, hatred, betrayal, and moral failure. The moral failure that the characters shown in his plays drives the twist and turns of his plots. Hamlet has been adapted into movies in many countries and is considered to be one of the best plays ever written.

In his final period, William Shakespeare turned towards tragic comedies and romantic dramas such as Cymbeline, The Winter's Tale, and The Tempest.

William Shakespeare Biography in Short

William Shakespeare was baptized on 26 April 1564 at Holy Trinity Church in Stratford-upon-Avon. He was a great poet, actor, and playwright. His life has been a mystery for many but one thing is for certain that he has the greatest contribution to Society. After his marriage to Anne Hathaway in 1582, he was blessed with three daughters. Susann was the firstborn and later after two years of marriage, he was blessed with two twin daughters by the name of Judith and Hamlet.

There are no records of Shakspeare’s life From the year 1582 to 1592, this year is called the “Lost Years''. From 1592, he got involved in writing and acting in the London theatre. Later in 1593, he published two poems, ’Venus and Adonis’’ and ‘’The rape of Lucrece’’, which made him a household name. He wrote a lot of plays and they were performed by many around the world. The fortune he earned and the popularity he had let him build the Globe theatre.

Shakespeare wrote 37 plays and they were divided into histories, comedies, romance, and tragedies. His most famous works are "Henry IV'', "Richard III", "Romeo and Juliet", "Taming of the Shrew", "The comedy of errors", "Two Gentlemen of Verona", "Hamlet", "Othello", "King Lear", "Measure for measure", "Winter’s Tale" and so on. In the last years of his life, he decided to go back to Stanford where he died in 1616. The reason for his death is unknown but many scholars believe that he was very ill at the time of his death.

William Shakespeare’s life has been a mystery to many, but his plays remain highly popular today and are constantly studied and performed all around the world.

When did William Shakespeare Die?

William Shakespeare died on his 52nd birthday. April 23, 1616, but few scholars believe that it’s a myth and according to a church report it is said that he was interred at the Trinity Church on April 25, 1616. The exact cause of his death is unknown but many believe that he died following a brief illness.

FAQs (Frequently Asked Questions)

Q1. Which is Shakespeare's Shortest Play?

Ans. The shortest play of William Shakespeare is The Comedy of Errors, which is the only play with fewer than fifteen thousand words.

Q2. Which is Shakespeare's Longest Play?

Ans. Hamlet is considered to be the longest William Shakespeare play with more than thirty thousand words.

Q3. What is the Hardest Shakespeare Play?

Ans. The most difficult play of William Shakespear to perform is Macbeth. As the plot of the story is complicated, it is considered to be the hardest play of Shakespeare.

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