William Shakespeare

......probably the greatest dramatist of England. He lived and worked in the 16th century in the period of the Renaissance.
Was born on 23 April 1564 in Stratford-upon-Avon. He was born at Henley Street and was one of eight children of Mary Arden and John Shakespeare. John Shakespeare was a successful tradesmen working with leather. He also sold wool and barley, important products in the England of those times. His father was a respected man who took part in civic life.

William Shakespeare went to the local grammar school in Stratford. The „grammar“ schools were the most common form of education, and they were free. He would also have learnt the Catechism and studied the Bible. Although he was brought up with these orthodox Protestant teachings, he managed to remain open-minded and a free-thinker. The Bible was a constant source of inspiration to him.

In 1582 he married Anne Hathaway from Shottery. He was only eighteen, Ann was eight years older. They had three children together – Susanna and the twins – Hamnet and Judith. In spite of his love for his family, he went to London in 1587 as it was only there that a man with his talents could get ahead and make a career for himself.

Shakespeare’s life in London can be traced from 1592 onwards, first as an actor, then as a reviser and writer of plays. The theatres were very popular being the only places where people could hear honest comments about life. Shakespeare and his fellow players were lucky enough to be able to win the patronage of the Lord Chamberlain, and the company came to be called the Lord Chamberlain’s Men.

When Shakespeare was working in London, he did not leave his family for good. He would often return home to Stratford enjoying the Pleasures of family life. His plays may well have been popular with Queen Elizabeth I, who loved music and drama. When James I came to the throne after Elizabeth’s death, he recognized Shakespeare’s company as the leading group of actors and from then on they were known as the King’s Men. In those times Shakespeare made enough money to build a comfortable life.

He died on the same day as he was born. He was exactly 52 years old. He is buried at local Trinity Church, where he had been christened.

Shakespeare wrote ... :   37 plays and beautiful sonnets, comedies, history plays and tragedies:

Comedies: Comedy of Errors, A Midsummer-Night’s Dream, Much Ado about Nothing, As you like it e.g.
History plays: Henry IV, Henry V, Henry VI, Richard III Julius Caesar
Tragedies: Romeo and Juliet, Macbeth, Hamlet, King Lear, Othello.

ROMEO AND JULIET is about the unhappy love and death of Romeo and Juliet, the only children of two powerful houses of Verona – the House of Montague and the House of Capulet. These two houses hate each other and Romeo Montague meets Juliet at the ball. He fells in love with her although he knows that she is Capulet.
They love each other very much and ask Friar Laurence to marry them. Their love and marriage are secret and by an unfortunate coincidence Romeo kills Tybalt who is Juliet’s cousin. Prince of Verona sends Romeo to the exile outside Verona and young Juliet is forced to get married to a young nobleman called Paris. She asks Friar Laurence to help again and he gives her magic drops after which she fells asleep for several hours and looks as if she was dead.  Romeo learns about Juliet’s death in Mantua and hurries to the Capulet´s Monument in a churchyard. He does no know about the trick and kills himself. Soon after the Juliet wakes up and when she sees Romeo dead, she kills herself to. Both Montague and Capulet Houses reconciliate only after the death of their beloved children.

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