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Transcript of Shakespeare
His mother, Mary Arden, was the daughter of a respected and wealthy landowner.
William was the oldest of seven sons (4 girls and 3 boys) many of whom died young.
William' s birth
He was born on April 23rd 1564, which is said to be also the date of his death , in Stratford-upon-Avon, England.
We know his date of birth with precision because he was baptized on Wednesday, April 26th at Holy Trinity Church.
His familiar background
John Shakespeare was able to send all his sons to school. In particular, William attended the local grammar school which gave him a complete grounding in the use of language and classical authors. He had to leave school when he was 14 because his father started to have financial problems.
In November 1582 he married Anne Hathaway, the daughter of a farmer, when he was only 18 and she was 26 and pregnant with their daughter.
He might have been homosexual even if no recorded event in real life can prove this theory. They had 3 children together: Susanna, Hamnet (he died when he was 11) and Judith.
He played for Queen Elizabeth I and he became very rich and famous. With this large amount of money he bought an expensive house in Stratford because he had to travel alone between his hometown and London.
In 1611 he stopped writing and moved permanently to his house in Stratford.
He died on April 23rd 1616 when he was 52 years old and he was buried in the local church, the Holy Trinity Church.
English poet, playwright and actor, widely regarded as the greatest writer in the English language.
Tragedies (written between 1585 and 1605)
Troilus and Cressida
Romeo and Juliet
Timon of Athens
Antony and Cleopatra
Historical dramas ( mainly written between 1590 and 1596)
Henry IV, Part 1
Henry IV, Part 2
Henry VI, Part 1
Henry VI, Part 2
Henry VI, Part 3
Comedies (put on stage between 1593 and 1600)
The two gentleman of Verona
The Merry Wives of Windsor
Measure for Measure
The Comedy of Errors
Much Ado About Nothing
Love's Labour's Lost
A Midsummer Night's Dream
The Merchant of Venice
As You Like It
The Taming of The Shrew
All's Well That Ends Well
The Winter's Tale
Pericles, Prince of Tyre
The Two Noble Kinsmen
the plays are divided into the genres of tragedy,history and comedy
In 1584 he left Stratford and went to London. It was at that time that he first experienced the playhouse. His admirable intelligence soon distinguished him, if not as a great actor, as an excellent writer.
In 1593 Shakespeare needed the support of a private patron when the London theaters were closed because of the plague. He got such support from Earl of Southampton to whom he dedicated most of his poems. The year that the Globe theatre was built (1599) William was the main playwright of the most successful company of actors, the Lord Chamberlain's Men.
Style of the sonnets
It is characterized by a rich and vivid descriptive language and the absence of classical references gives the impression that Shakespeare's speech is "naked and immediate". Shakespeare's sonnets often owe much to is "constant writing for oral delivery on the stage" in the effective use of rhyme and in the adaptation of stress to the movement of emotions.
The sonnets can be divided into two sections. The first is addressed to a "fair youth", probably Shakespeare's young patron, the Earl of Southampton. The second section is addressed to a "dark lady" or "black woman" who, though physically unattractive, is irresistible and desirable. Therefore there is a reversal of the traditional themes of love sonnets. For instance, the traditional love poems praising the woman's worth and beauty are addressed by Shakespeare to a young man, while those devoted to a woman are negative.
Shakespeare's sonnets were published in 1609, although they were probably written in the 1590s. The collection includes 154 sonnets in decasyllables.
In his sonnets he employed three quatrains and a final couplet. Besides these sonnets he wrote 2 long narrative poems on erotic themes, "Venus and Adonis", "The Rape of Lucrece".
Themes and addresses
This is a period of great change. Humanist thought triumphed over medieval scholasticism. The physical extent of the known world was expanded by voyages of discovery. The breaking down of the Christian church into Protestant and Catholic radically changed personal and public life. As to England, Humanist educators wished to make their students literate in Latin and Greek, so that they could read theology for their faith and the classics as guides to public life. Grammar schools were set up to educate boys in towns. Printers and booksellers became more and more numerous. The merchant fleet and navy, set up to defend England, expanded trade beyond northern Europe across the Atlantic to the Spanish dominions. The most important ruler of the Tudor dynasty was Elizabeth I. Her main achievement was settlement of the religious question. Catholics considered her illegitimate and preferred Mary Queen of Scots, who became focus of rebellions. Elizabeth's spies always found them out. With careful diplomacy, she balanced the rival powers of France and Spain, using her possible marriage as a weapon. After the victory over the Spanish Armada trade expanded even further making England a commercial power.
What you don't know about William...
He wrote so many plays because at the time theaters were like the modern television. Viewers are not going to watch the same show week after week, so they need new material all the time.
Some say that his real name was Guglielmo Spaccalancia whose mother was a wealthy lady from Sicily... this would underline his love for Italy and explain why lots of his plays are set in our beloved country!
All the world's a stage, and all the men
and women merely players: they have their exits and their entrances; and one man in his tie plays many parts, his acts ing seven ages.
If music be the food of love, play on.
Cowards die many times before their death;
the valiant never taste of death but once
To be or not to be, that is the question.
Love me or hate me,
both are in my favour...
if you love me
I'll always be in your heart
if you hate me
I'll always be in your mind
O Romeo, Romeo! Wherefore art thou Romeo?
Joking with Willy
To drink or not to drink that is the question.