Who would be the most popular writer during the 14th century and until now? Without any doubt, it would be William Shakespeare. Although Shakespeare had little, formal education, he became the most famous author of the Elizabethan Renaissance, writing several plays and sonnets. In order to figure out how he became so well known through all over the world, it is necessary to know about Shakespeare’s biography, his work, and success. Moreover, learning about his life, from his birth to death, gives a better understanding of his works, by finding out how his works and his life is combined and related.
In the small village called “Stratford Upon Avon”, where only had 200 houses and 1500 people, William Shakespeare was born. He was born in April 1564, middle of the Renaissance period (Packer 8). However, there is no specific date of birth, because only the date of baptism was important at that time. (His baptism date was April 26 1564) Shakespeare was born in a wealthy family. His father, John Shakespeare was a family of Yeomen, was a successful merchant and also high bailiff of Stratford. Mary Arden, his mother, was from an Anglican family, the family of landed gentry (Kniery, 1). About their children, Shakespeare’s biography states, “According to church register, William Shakespeare was the third of eight children in Shakespeare’s household – three of whom died in childhood.” (1). At that time, children did not know how to read and write, so like other normal children, Shakespeare went to a new public school and learned Latin (Packer 5). As he grew up, according to Lee Jamieson, the writer of Shakespeare’s Timeline, “Shakespeare attended King Edward IV Grammar school in Stratford Upon Avon between the age of 7 and 14.” (1).
As Shakespeare becomes 18, he gets marry with Anne Hathaway, in November 1582, who was 26 at the time. According to Maria Kniery and Ruthie Minor, the writer of William Shakespeare, “Anne Hathaway was the daughter of a respected Yeoman farmer.”(1). They had three children total, one daughter and twins. Their first child, Susanna was born in May 1583, and the twins, Judith and Hamnet, were born in February, 1585 (Jamieson 1). However, one of the twins, Hamlet, died at the age of 11, on August 11, 1596. Then after the birth of twins, around 1585, Shakespeare disappears from all the records.. During this time, William Shakespeare began to write his plays, also establish himself as an actor and playwright (Kniery 2). Finally by 1592, as Shakespeare becomes famous in the London, Queen Elizabeth, who was the queen of the England, often visited Shakespeare’s theater to watch the play. Furthermore, as written in Tales from Shakespeare, by Tina Packer, “Shakespeare’s company became known as “the King’s Men”, because King James I was their special patron.” (9). At that time, when Shakespeare’s success was on the climax, he was able to own both theatrical company and the Globe Theater. To success, he spent seven years writing plays without going back to home. This period, which nobody knows exactly what he did, but only could estimate, is called “Lost Years”. However, it was the most important time of William Shakespeare’s life, which was the first step of developing himself the most popular writer.
William Shakespeare is also well known for creativeness. According to Tina Packer, author of Tales from Shakespeare, “His topics ranged from comic romances to civil wars, from domestic romps to world shaking political events.” (11-12). Also, during the play, Shakespeare made up 1700 words that was not used commonly, but only by hm. For 25 years, Shakespeare wrote about 37 plays total, including 154 sonnets. Among those plays, A Midsummer Night’s Dream, Romeo and Juliet, and Hamlet are considered as the most famous and enduring plays. A Midsummer Night’s Dream, first shown in 1595 and published in 1600, was a comedy that showed both rough humor and the romantic fantasy which contains a serious side. Then the next year, Romeo and Juliet was performed, and published in 1597. Romeo and Juliet is still remembered as the world’s best play that was based on tragedy. Frank W. Wadsworth, the writer of ‘William Shakespeare’ in The World Book Encyclopedia states, “One of the main reasons of the popularity of Romeo and Juliet is Shakespeare’s sympathy for the young people in the play. He seemed to blame the tragic ending on the blind self-interest of the adults.” (282). Then in 1601, Hamlet was first played in the theater, which is a tragedy which happens to the main character Hamlet. In the play, Hamlet gets a deep internal conflict, between his emotions of anger, and his mind that wants to stop the skepticism (Wadsworth, 282-286). Moreover, it is strongly believed that the play Hamlet is written for Shakespeare’s son Hamnet, after his death. However, not only these, but all of William Shakespeare’s plays are considered as a masterpiece that must not be missed.
After getting a big financial success in by writing those plays, Shakespeare was enabled to retire, around 1610. After, he went back to his home town, Stratford Upon Avon, and bought the largest house in the town to live with the family. And six years later, in April 23, 1616, Shakespeare was dead. He was buried in Holy Trinity Church, two days later from his death. He wrote his will in 1611, according to Shakespeare’s Biography, “Shakespeare bequeathed all his properties to his daughter Susanna, who married to Dr. John Hail in 1607, and left £300 to his surviving daughter, Judith. Also he left his “second best bed” to his wife.”(2). In his tombstone, he engraved his last will; “Good friend for Jesus sake forbear, to dig the dust enclosed here. Blessed be the man that spares these stones, and cursed be he that moves my bones.” And his grave is still not moved from Holy Trinity Church, over 400 years.
One of reasons that William Shakespeare have issued so rapidly is because of his writing styles. He had a unique writing style that separates from others. And finally, it lead him to a great success. Every human beings born with a special talent, which others do not own. However, it takes a while to dig out this talent from ourselves. Even though William Shakespeare could not get a proper education in his childhood, the special talent of writing made him the most successful man as an author. With luck, Shakespeare could take out and show his talent through out all over the world at the young age. And today, several centuries after from his death, he is remembered as the father of English Literature, that no one can follow.
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