A Study On William Shakespeare English Literature Essay

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William Shakespeare was an amazing author and playwright. His work is great. Shakespeare's plays are amazing stories and many of them are classics. Every child knows Romeo and Juliet! The way Shakespeare creates and tells his tales are fantastic. William Shakespeare is the topic of my paper.

Shakespeare's ancestry is described by Amanda Mallibard. During the sixteenth century Shakespeare was a common name in and around Stratford. The name Shakespeare can be spelled many different ways. There are few records that tell us of Shakespeare's relationship to the many other Shakespeare's living in Stratford. Genealogists discovered one man who was hanged in Gloucestershire for theft in 1248, who was related to William Shakespeare. A record was found of an application for a coat of arms by William's father, claiming that his grandfather was a hero in the War of the Roses and was granted land in 1485 by Henry VII. (Mallibard 1)

Information has been found on Shakespeare's maternal and paternal grandfathers. William's paternal grandfather was Richard Shakespeare, who died in 1561. Richard was a farmer in Snitterfield, a village four miles north of Stratford. He was a tenant farmer, who had two sons (and possibly more), John and Henry. Shakespeare's maternal grandfather was Robert Arden of Wilmecote, who once employed Richard Shakespeare. Robert had many children, and was from a wealthy, aristocratic family. When Robert died he left his daughter Mary, William's mother, a portion of his money and land. (Mallibard 1)

Shakespeare's parents were John and Mary Shakespeare. John and Mary were both illiterate and used symbols as their signatures. John Shakespeare was an important member of the community of Stratford. John was elected to a multitude of civic positions. Due to Stratford's long-reaching reputation for its brewing, in 1557, John was elected ale-taster for the borough. John moved through the ranks and in 1561, he became chamberlain of the borough, and alderman in 1565. Eventually, John Shakespeare became the high bailiff, or mayor, by 1568 and chief alderman in 1571.

By 1578 John, somehow, lost track of his life. He was behind in taxes and stopped paying the statutory aldermanic subscription for poor relief. Mary's estate, Asbies, had to be sold in 1579 to pay his debts. He was removed from the board of alderman in 1586. However, in 1596, his life turned back around and he got his coat-of-arms. The motto on it was "Non sanz droict" or "Not without right." This coat-of-arms is on Shakespeare's tomb, located in Stratford. John Shakespeare was accepted back into the town council in 1599. John passed away in 1601, and Mary died in 1608. She was buried on September 9th. (Mallibard 1)

The actual date of William Shakespeare's birth is not known. It is traditionally celebrated on April 23, St George's Day. Shakespeare was baptized in the Holy Trinity parish church, in Stratford, on April 26, 1564. William's birthplace is accepted to be the house on Henley Street, in Stratford, owned by his father, John Shakespeare. No one truly knows about Shakespeare's birthday, and it will likely remain a mystery forever. (Mallibard 1)

Shakespeare's education is thought to have begun at the age of six or seven. He first attended the Stratford Grammar school, which still stands right by his house on Henley street. Due to his father's social standings, William most likely received a free education. Shakespeare learned his basic reading and writing skills from an ABC, or horn-book. All of the great poets and dramatists of the time learned this way. Shakespeare was likely removed from school at thirteen because of his father's financial and social difficulties. (Mallibard 1)

William Shakespeare grew up in Stratford, England during Elizabethan England. William went to school in Stratford for a while, then, found some work. He worked for a butcher and helped run his father's business. Little is known about Shakespeare's life after he left school at the age of thirteen to fourteen. (Mallibard 1-2)

William Shakespeare left the Stratford Grammar school in 1578. During the time William left little is known about him. His marriage to Anne Hathaway, in 1582, is the next record of Shakespeare's life. Again, in 1585 and until 1592, there is no information on Shakespeare's life. It is commonly believed that he was perfecting his dramatic skills and collecting sources for the plot of his plays. These two periods of Shakespeare's life are known as his "Lost Years". (Mallibard 1)

William Shakespeare got married to Anne Hathaway, but there is some controversy. It is said that Shakespeare may have wanted to marry another Anne.

"Recordings in the Episcopal register in Worcester on the dates November 27 and 28, 1582 reveal that Shakespeare desired to marry a young girl named Anne. There are two different documents regarding this matter, and their contents have raised a debate over just whom Shakespeare intended to wed. Were there two Annes? Was Shakespeare in love with one but in lust with the other? Was Shakespeare ready to join in matrimony with the Anne of his dreams only to have an attack of conscience and marry the Anne with whom he had carnal relations? To discuss the controversy properly we should look at the documents in question." (Mallibard 1)

There are many theories to what may have happened. The Annes could have been the same person, they could be two completely different couples, or Shakespeare wanted to marry another… (Mallibard 2-3)

William Shakespeare ended up marrying Anne Hathaway. Anne was twenty-six and several months pregnant. Anne lived in her father's cottage with her brother Bartholomew on Hewland Farm. After they became married, Anne left Hewland Farm to live in the Shakespeare house on Henley Street. (Mallibard 4)

Shakespeare wrote his last three plays, in cooperation, with the King Men's new dramatist, John Fletcher. They wrote Henry VIII in 1613, Two Noble Kinsmen in 1613 or 1614, and Cardenio. These are not Shakespeare's most popular plays. The Cardenio is now a lost play. It is thought that Shakespeare went into retirement during the final years of his life. (Gray 1)

William Shakespeare had three children. Susanna was born in May, 1583. Two years later the twins Hamnet and Judith Shakespeare were born in 1585. Shakespeare's son, Hamnet, died at the age of eleven, from the bubonic plague. Susanna Shakespeare grew up and married Dr. John Hall. Judith Shakespeare married Richard Quiney and had three children. All of which died fairly young. Susanna had one child, Elizabeth, who married Thomas Nashe. Elizabeth had no children of her own. (Biography of William Shakespeare 1-2)

The cause of Shakespeare's death is a mystery. One story is that Shakespeare drank too hard one night and died of a fever that he contracted. This was a time when a serious outbreak of typhus happened. Another theory is that Shakespeare died of a cerebral hemorrhage or apoplexy that became fatal. Shakespeare's death, in 1616 at the age of fifty-two, will remain a mystery. (Mallibard 1) Shakespeare was an incredible writer and will forever be remembered.