Who is William Shakespeare?
- He was born April 26, 1564, Stratford-upon-Avon, during the Elizabethan era in England
- He died April 23, 1616 at the age of 52
- As a boy he attended a grammar school of good quality, and the education there was free.
- The boy’s education would consist mostly of Latin studies—learning to read, write, and speak the language fairly well and studying some of the Classical historians, moralists, and poets.
- Shakespeare did not go on to the university
- At age 18 he married Anne Hathaway who was 26.
- His daughter Susanna, was born on May 26, 1583.
- On February 2, 1585, twins were baptized, Hamnet and Judith. (Hamnet, Shakespeare’s only son, died 11 years later.)
After the birth of the twins, there are few historical traces of Shakespeare until he is mentioned as part of the London theatre scene in 1592.
How Shakespeare spent the next eight years or so, until his name begins to appear in London theatre records, is not known
-Because of this gap, scholars refer to the years between 1585 and 1592 as Shakespeare’s “lost years”.
Why Read Shakespeare today?
- He wrote 38 plays, invented the wrote Shakespearean sonnets and 5 other poems and used about 21,000 different words.
- Shakespeare is credited by the Oxford English Dictionary with the introduction of nearly 3,000 words into the language.
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