William Shakespeare was an English playwright, poet, and actor. Short stories Dick Whittington. [200] By the time of Romeo and Juliet, Richard II, and A Midsummer Night's Dream in the mid-1590s, Shakespeare had begun to write a more natural poetry. No original manuscripts of Shakespeare's plays are known to exist today. These include three operas by Giuseppe Verdi, Macbeth, Otello and Falstaff, whose critical standing compares with that of the source plays. [141] In Othello, the villain Iago stokes Othello's sexual jealousy to the point where he murders the innocent wife who loves him. [19], Although no attendance records for the period survive, most biographers agree that Shakespeare was probably educated at the King's New School in Stratford,[20][21][22] a free school chartered in 1553,[23] about a quarter-mile (400 m) from his home. Shakespeare’s fame largely rests on the pillars of some of the extraordinary plays that he wrote – Othello, Hamlet, King Lear, Macbeth, As You Like It, Romeo and Juliet, Julius Caesar, and a few others. [f] He died within a month of signing his will, a document which he begins by describing himself as being in "perfect health". Who was Shakespeare? That Is the Question", "Shakespeare and His Actors: Some Remarks on King Lear", Winston Churchill & Shakespeare - UK Parliament Living Heritage, Works by William Shakespeare set to music: free scores, Excavation finds early Shakespeare theatre, Records on Shakespeare's Theatre Legacy from the UK Parliamentary Collections, Newspaper clippings about William Shakespeare, The Angel of Vengeance – The Female Hamlet, The Complete Works of William Shakespeare (Abridged), To Be or Not to Be: That is the Adventure, Acting Hamlet in the Village of Mrdusa Donja, Friends, Romans, countrymen, lend me your ears, Shakespeare's Macbeth – A Tragedy in Steel, Othello Ballet Suite/Electronic Organ Sonata No. By 1592 he had become an actor and was becoming well known as a writer of plays. [2] He created over 1,700 English words. There is proof that people in Shakespeare's time thought highly of him. [234] For several decades, Rymer's view held sway; but during the 18th century, critics began to respond to Shakespeare on his own terms and acclaim what they termed his natural genius. [228][229] In 1598, the cleric and author Francis Meres singled him out from a group of English playwrights as "the most excellent" in both comedy and tragedy. Log in ... it is an interesting video about William Shakespeare ... Find an English course for your child; More about this topic. [15] This date, which can be traced to a mistake made by an 18th-century scholar, has proved appealing to biographers because Shakespeare died on the same date in 1616. The William Shakespeare Page at American Literature, featuring a biography and Free Library of the author's Novels, Stories, Poems, Letters, and Texts. In 1599, two early drafts of sonnets 138 and 144 appeared in The Passionate Pilgrim, published under Shakespeare's name but without his permission. [13], William Shakespeare was the son of John Shakespeare, an alderman and a successful glover (glove-maker) originally from Snitterfield, and Mary Arden, the daughter of an affluent landowning farmer. He also made some words more popular. "[165][166], The actors in Shakespeare's company included the famous Richard Burbage, William Kempe, Henry Condell and John Heminges. [11][12][d] His early plays were primarily comedies and histories and are regarded as some of the best work produced in these genres. [125][126] The wit and wordplay of Much Ado About Nothing,[127] the charming rural setting of As You Like It, and the lively merrymaking of Twelfth Night complete Shakespeare's sequence of great comedies. [32], After the birth of the twins, Shakespeare left few historical traces until he is mentioned as part of the London theatre scene in 1592. His father William was a successful local businessman, and his mother Mary was the daughter of a landowner. Few records of Shakespeare's private life survive; this has stimulated considerable speculation about such matters as his physical appearance, his sexuality, his religious beliefs, and whether the works attributed to him were written by others.[8][9][10]. [5], About 150 years after Shakespeare died, some writers began to say that the work called "Shakespeare" were not really written by William Shakespeare. Many of the plays are set in strange, distant places and times. ", credited as "the only begetter" of the poems. [227], Between the Restoration of the monarchy in 1660 and the end of the 17th century, classical ideas were in vogue. [159] When the company found themselves in dispute with their landlord, they pulled The Theatre down and used the timbers to construct the Globe Theatre, the first playhouse built by actors for actors, on the south bank of the Thames at Southwark. [43] By then, he was sufficiently known in London to be attacked in print by the playwright Robert Greene in his Groats-Worth of Wit: ... there is an upstart Crow, beautified with our feathers, that with his Tiger's heart wrapped in a Player's hide, supposes he is as well able to bombast out a blank verse as the best of you: and being an absolute Johannes factotum, is in his own conceit the only Shake-scene in a country. Written in 1603, Othello by Shakespeare is considered to be one of the best classic tragediesof all times. However, in 1623, two fellow actors and friends of Shakespeare's, John Heminges and Henry Condell, published a more definitive text known as the First Folio, a posthumous collected edition of Shakespeare's dramatic works that included all but two of his plays. Half a century later, John Ward, the vicar of Stratford, wrote in his notebook: "Shakespeare, Drayton, and Ben Jonson had a merry meeting and, it seems, drank too hard, for Shakespeare died of a fever there contracted",[84][85] not an impossible scenario since Shakespeare knew Jonson and Drayton. He is also the most famous playwright in the world, with his plays being translated in over 50 languages and performed across the globe for audiences of all ages. "[86][g], He was survived by his wife and two daughters. [37] John Aubrey reported that Shakespeare had been a country schoolmaster. [149][150][151], In his final period, Shakespeare turned to romance or tragicomedy and completed three more major plays: Cymbeline, The Winter's Tale, and The Tempest, as well as the collaboration, Pericles, Prince of Tyre. - 1616.) [204] The late romances, with their shifts in time and surprising turns of plot, inspired a last poetic style in which long and short sentences are set against one another, clauses are piled up, subject and object are reversed, and words are omitted, creating an effect of spontaneity. [99], Shakespeare was buried in the chancel of the Holy Trinity Church two days after his death. William Shakespeare was an English dramatist, poet, and actor considered by many to be the greatest dramatist of all time. April 23, 1616) was an English poet and playwright and is considered a key member of the English literature canon. His plays are still performed today. Less bleak than the tragedies, these four plays are graver in tone than the comedies of the 1590s, but they end with reconciliation and the forgiveness of potentially tragic errors. Shakespeare’s father, John, dabbled in farming, wood trading, tanning, leatherwork, money lending and other occupations; he also held a series of municipal positions before falling into debt in the late 1580s. [240] In the 19th century, critical admiration for Shakespeare's genius often bordered on adulation. / Blessed be the man that spares these stones, / And cursed be he that moves my bones. [253][254] In 1896, Frederick S. Boas coined the term "problem plays" to describe four plays: All's Well That Ends Well, Measure for Measure, Troilus and Cressida, and Hamlet. and one man in his time plays many parts ...", —As You Like It, Act II, Scene 7, 139–142[53], In 1599, a partnership of members of the company built their own theatre on the south bank of the River Thames, which they named the Globe. These included run-on lines, irregular pauses and stops, and extreme variations in sentence structure and length. Biographers suggest that his career may have begun any time from the mid-1580s to just before Greene's remarks. [224][225] Actor and theatre director Simon Callow writes, "this master, this titan, this genius, so profoundly British and so effortlessly universal, each different culture – German, Italian, Russian – was obliged to respond to the Shakespearean example; for the most part, they embraced it, and him, with joyous abandon, as the possibilities of language and character in action that he celebrated liberated writers across the continent. Shakespeare instructed by delighting. [100][101] The epitaph carved into the stone slab covering his grave includes a curse against moving his bones, which was carefully avoided during restoration of the church in 2008:[102], Good frend for Iesvs sake forbeare, was a great English and also world playwright. [204] In Macbeth, for example, the language darts from one unrelated metaphor or simile to another: "was the hope drunk/ Wherein you dressed yourself?" Some of the most deeply affecting productions of Shakespeare have been non-English, and non-European. [238][j], During the Romantic era, Shakespeare was praised by the poet and literary philosopher Samuel Taylor Coleridge, and the critic August Wilhelm Schlegel translated his plays in the spirit of German Romanticism. [117][118] Like The Two Gentlemen of Verona, in which two friends appear to approve of rape,[119][120][121] the Shrew's story of the taming of a woman's independent spirit by a man sometimes troubles modern critics, directors, and audiences. He was the oldest of eight children and he lived in a wealthy family. He is often quoted in modern writing. Grammar schools varied in quality during the Elizabethan era, but grammar school curricula were largely similar: the basic Latin text was standardised by royal decree,[24][25] and the school would have provided an intensive education in grammar based upon Latin classical authors. The literary critic A. C. Bradley described this style as "more concentrated, rapid, varied, and, in construction, less regular, not seldom twisted or elliptical". He is known for his sonnets. [91][92] The Halls had one child, Elizabeth, who married twice but died without children in 1670, ending Shakespeare's direct line. The next day, two of Hathaway's neighbours posted bonds guaranteeing that no lawful claims impeded the marriage. 26 April 1564 – 23 April 1616)[a] was an English playwright, poet, and actor. [174] Nor did Shakespeare plan or expect his works to survive in any form at all; those works likely would have faded into oblivion but for his friends' spontaneous idea, after his death, to create and publish the First Folio. [271][272][273] In 1606, the name of William's daughter Susanna appears on a list of those who failed to attend Easter communion in Stratford. [38] Some 20th-century scholars suggested that Shakespeare may have been employed as a schoolmaster by Alexander Hoghton of Lancashire, a Catholic landowner who named a certain "William Shakeshafte" in his will. [139] Unlike the introverted Hamlet, whose fatal flaw is hesitation, the heroes of the tragedies that followed, Othello and King Lear, are undone by hasty errors of judgement. He wrote 39 plays and two long poems in his lifetime. His reception in Germany was particularly significant; as early as the 18th century Shakespeare was widely translated and popularised in Germany, and gradually became a "classic of the German Weimar era;" Christoph Martin Wieland was the first to produce complete translations of Shakespeare's plays in any language. [187][188] Even before the two unauthorised sonnets appeared in The Passionate Pilgrim in 1599, Francis Meres had referred in 1598 to Shakespeare's "sugred Sonnets among his private friends". Shakespeare added new words and phrases to the English language. They are still popular today. A third narrative poem, A Lover's Complaint, in which a young woman laments her seduction by a persuasive suitor, was printed in the first edition of the Sonnets in 1609. [206] Like all playwrights of the time, he dramatised stories from sources such as Plutarch and Holinshed. William Shakespeare was indisputably among the top English-language poets and playwrights of all time. and all the men and women merely players: [122], Shakespeare's early classical and Italianate comedies, containing tight double plots and precise comic sequences, give way in the mid-1590s to the romantic atmosphere of his most acclaimed comedies. He encloses us because we see with his fundamental perceptions."[249]. Shakespeare produced most of his known works between 1589 and 1613. [235][236] By 1800, he was firmly enshrined as the national poet. Our indiscretion sometimes serves us well ... After Hamlet, Shakespeare varied his poetic style further, particularly in the more emotional passages of the late tragedies. [26], At the age of 18, Shakespeare married 26-year-old Anne Hathaway. Othello, the protagonist of the tragedy, the moor of Venice is trapped in the conspiracies of his competitors and subordinates. The Swiss Romantic artist Henry Fuseli, a friend of William Blake, even translated Macbeth into German. [251][252] No Shakespearean poems were included in the First Folio. … The blank verse of his early plays is quite different from that of his later ones. [233] Thomas Rymer, for example, condemned Shakespeare for mixing the comic with the tragic. Shakespeare's plays are written in poetic language. [189][188], "Shall I compare thee to a summer's day? That demand also led to the production of several fake portraits, as well as misattributions, repaintings, and relabelling of portraits of other people. Worse than the mutines in the bilboes. The Tragedy of Othello, the Moor of Venice is a tragedy by William Shakespeare, believed to have been written in approximately 1603, and based on the Italian short story "Un Capitano Moro" ("A Moorish Captain") by Cinthio, a disciple of Boccaccio, first published in 1565. However, Shakespeare soon began to adapt the traditional styles to his own purposes. [39][40] Little evidence substantiates such stories other than hearsay collected after his death, and Shakeshafte was a common name in the Lancashire area.[41][42]. [274][275], Few details of Shakespeare's sexuality are known. [177][178] In some cases, for example, Hamlet, Troilus and Cressida, and Othello, Shakespeare could have revised the texts between the quarto and folio editions. That would not let me sleep. [194] The poetry depends on extended, sometimes elaborate metaphors and conceits, and the language is often rhetorical—written for actors to declaim rather than speak. ), Some time before 1623, a funerary monument was erected in his memory on the north wall, with a half-effigy of him in the act of writing. Thomas was ordered by the church court to do public penance, which would have caused much shame and embarrassment for the Shakespeare family. Striding the blast, or heaven's cherubim, hors'd In the late 19th century, Edward Dowden classified four of the late comedies as romances, and though many scholars prefer to call them tragicomedies, Dowden's term is often used. London: Vintage. [104] In 1623, in conjunction with the publication of the First Folio, the Droeshout engraving was published. "We may, therefore, borrow a convenient phrase from the theatre of today and class them together as Shakespeare's problem plays. Shakespeare combined the two throughout his career, with Romeo and Juliet perhaps the best example of the mixing of the styles. The opening soliloquy of Richard III has its roots in the self-declaration of Vice in medieval drama. Sir, in my heart there was a kind of fighting In Shakespeare's late romances, he deliberately returned to a more artificial style, which emphasised the illusion of theatre. His plays are performed at a new Globe built nearby in 1997. There are histories, tragedies and comedies. There has never been a more tragic story than this one of Romeo and Juliet… It was a love at first sight, boundless and everlasting. Methought I lay [64], Throughout his career, Shakespeare divided his time between London and Stratford. It tells the story of a wizard who drives a ship to the island he lives on, in order to undo something that happened to him in the past.