Globe Education William Shakespeare Biography & Facts
William Shakespeare was an actor, playwright, poet, and theatre entrepreneur in London during the late Elizabethan and early Jacobean eras. He was baptised on 26 April 1564 in Stratford-upon-Avon in Warwickshire, England, in the Holy Trinity Church. At the age of 18 he married Anne Hathaway with whom he had three children. He died in his home town of Stratford on 23 April 1616, aged 52. Though more is known about Shakespeare's life than those of most other Elizabethan and Jacobean writers, few personal biographical facts survive, which is unsurprising in the light of his social status as a commoner, the low esteem in which his profession was held, and the general lack of interest of the time in the personal lives of writers. Information about his life derives from public rather than private documents: vital records, real estate and tax records, lawsuits, records of payments, and references to Shakespeare and his works in printed and hand-written texts. Nevertheless, hundreds of biographies have been written and more continue to be, most of which rely on inferences and the historical context of the 70 or so hard facts recorded about Shakespeare the man, a technique that sometimes leads to embellishment or unwarranted interpretation of the documented record.
William Shakespeare was born in Stratford-upon-Avon. His exact date of birth is not known—the baptismal record was dated 26 April 1564—but has been traditionally taken to be 23 April 1564, which is also the Feast Day of Saint George, the patron saint of England. He was the first son and the first surviving child in the family; two earlier children, Joan and Margaret, had died early. Then a market town of about 2000 residents approximately 100 miles (160 km) northwest of London, Stratford was a centre for the marketing, distribution, and slaughter of sheep; for hide tanning and wool trading; and for supplying malt to brewers of ale and beer.
His parents were John Shakespeare, a successful glover originally from Snitterfield in Warwickshire, and Mary Arden, the youngest daughter of John's father's landlord, a member of the local gentry. The couple married around 1557 and lived on Henley Street when Shakespeare was born, purportedly in a house now known as Shakespeare's Birthplace. They had eight children: Joan (baptised 15 September 1558, died in infancy), Margaret (bap. 2 December 1562 – buried 30 April 1563), William, Gilbert (bap. 13 October 1566 – bur. 2 February 1612), Joan (bap. 15 April 1569 – bur. 4 November 1646), Anne (bap. 28 September 1571 – bur. 4 April 1579), Richard (bap. 11 March 1574 – bur. 4 February 1613) and Edmund (bap. 3 May 1580 – bur. London, 31 December 1607).Shakespeare's family was above average materially during his childhood. His father's business was thriving at the time of William's birth. John Shakespeare owned several properties in Stratford and had a profitable—though illegal—sideline of dealing in wool. He was appointed to several municipal offices and served as an alderman in 1565, culminating in a term as bailiff, the chief magistrate of the town council, in 1568. For reasons unclear to history he fell upon hard times, beginning in 1576, when William was 12. He was prosecuted for unlicensed dealing in wool and for usury, and he mortgaged and subsequently lost some lands he had obtained through his wife's inheritance that would have been inherited by his eldest son. After four years of non-attendance at council meetings, he was finally replaced as burgess in 1586.
Boyhood and education
A close analysis of Shakespeare's works compared with the standard curriculum of the time confirms that Shakespeare had received a grammar school education. The King Edward VI School at Stratford was on Church Street, less than a quarter of a mile from Shakespeare's home and within a few yards from where his father sat on the town council. It was free to all male children, and the evidence indicates that John Shakespeare sent his sons there for a grammar school education, though no attendance records survive. Shakespeare would have been enrolled when he was 7, in 1571. Classes were held every day except on Sundays, with a half-day off on Thursdays, year-round. The school day typically ran from 6 a.m. to 5 p.m. (from 7 a.m. to 4 p.m. in winter) with a two-hour break for lunch.Grammar schools varied in quality during the Elizabethan era, but the grammar curriculum was standardised by royal decree throughout England, and the school would have provided an intensive education in Latin grammar and literature—"as good a formal literary training as had any of his contemporaries". Most of the day was spent in the rote learning of Latin. By the time he was 10, Shakespeare was translating Cicero, Terence, Virgil and Ovid. As a part of this education, the students performed Latin plays to better understand rhetoric. By the end of their studies at age 14, grammar school pupils were quite familiar with the great Latin authors, and with Latin drama and rhetoric.Shakespeare is unique among his contemporaries in the extent of figurative language derived from country life and nature. The familiarity with the animals and plants of the English countryside exhibited in his poems and plays, especially the early ones, suggests that he lived the childhood of a typical country boy, with easy access to rural nature and a propensity for outdoor sports, especially hunting.
On 27 November 1582, Shakespeare was issued a special licence to marry Anne Hathaway, the daughter of the late Richard Hathaway, a yeoman farmer of Shottery, about a mile west of Stratford (the clerk mistakenly recorded the name "Anne Whateley"). He was 18 and she was 26. The licence, issued by the consistory court of the diocese of Worcester, 21 miles west of Stratford, allowed the two to marry with only one proclamation of the marriage banns in church instead of the customary three successive Sundays.Since he was under age and could not stand as surety, and since Hathaway's father had died, two of Hathaway's neighbours – Fulk Sandalls and John Richardson – posted a bond of £40 the next day to ensure: that no legal impediments existed to the union; that the bride had the consent of her "friends" (persons acting in lieu of parents or guardians if she was under age); and to indemnify the bishop issuing the licence from any possible liability for the wife and any children should any impediment nullify the marriage. Neither the exact day, nor place, of their marriage is now known.
The reason for the special licence became apparent six months later with the baptism of their first daughter, Susanna, on 26 May 1583. Their twin children – a son Hamnet and a daughter Judith (named after Shakespeare's neighbours Hamnet and Judith Sadler) – were baptised on 2 February 1585, before Shakespeare was 21 years of age.
After the baptism of the twins in 1585, and except for bein.... Discover the Globe Education William Shakespeare popular books. Find the top 100 most popular Globe Education William Shakespeare books.