William Shakespeare. What We Know. William Shakespeare is known as one of the most influential writers in the English language. Strangely, much of his life is a mystery.
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Shakespeare was born in 1564 in Stratford, England. This fact is considered true because his infant baptism was documented as taking place on April 26th, 1564.
The exact day is unknown, but it is assumed that the year was 1564. It is SUPPOSED that his birthdate was April 23rd due to typical baptism traditions at the time, but there is no proof.
William Shakespeare’s parents were John and Mary Shakespeare, and he was the third child. The first two children were girls named Joan and Margaret, both of whom died before William was born
After William came Gilbert, who unfortunately died in 1612, and Richard who died in 1613.
Edmund followed, living from 1580-1607, being the sixth child. William's oldest sister Joan outlived her famous playwright brother. Out of his seven siblings, only one sister and four of his brothers survived to adulthood.
His father, John, was a very important man in Stratford. He was a businessman who dabbled in leather tanning and “whittawering,” which is working with white leather to make various items such as saddles and purses. He also bought and sold grain and is sometimes said to have been a glover (one who makes gloves).
Additionally, John Shakespeare was one of fourteen town council members.
About this, we do not know much. We do know that the sons of prominent members of the town attended King’s New Grammar School to learn reading and writing, so it is assumed that Shakespeare attended this school. Unfortunately, we have no certain proof.
The lack of evidence further indicates that William never attended a University.
No one knows exactly what William was doing during these undocumented years. Some believe he fled Stratford after being caught hunting illegally. Another legend says he cared for horses outside of playhouses in London.
Despite having published many plays by this time, William made his first great monetary gain in 1605 when he bought leases of real estate surrounding Stratford. His investment doubled in value and earned him an estimated 60 pounds income each year. Some believe that this money allowed him to focus on his playwriting alone.
Shakespeare died on April 23rd, 1616 at age 52 and was buried at the Holy Trinity Church in Stratford. He infamously left his wife with his “second-best bed” and nothing else. He gave most of his estate to his oldest daughter Susanna
The poet’s direct line of descendants ended 54 years later when Susanna’s daughter Elizabeth died in 1670.
Did Shakespeare Write His Plays? Shakespeare are accurate! The closest evidence we have is from a fellow playwright Ben Jonson, who said that a specific portrait of Shakespeare was a “fair likeness.”
Shakespeare came from a fairly average middle-class family, so many scholars think it is impossible that he could have written his plays.
For a long time, many believed that Sir Francis Bacon was the true author.
Sir Francis Bacon Shakespeare are accurate! The closest evidence we have is from a fellow playwright Ben Jonson, who said that a specific portrait of Shakespeare was a “fair likeness.”
Christopher Marlowe Shakespeare are accurate! The closest evidence we have is from a fellow playwright Ben Jonson, who said that a specific portrait of Shakespeare was a “fair likeness.”
Other theories include many Shakespeare are accurate! The closest evidence we have is from a fellow playwright Ben Jonson, who said that a specific portrait of Shakespeare was a “fair likeness.” other famous Elizabethan era poets and even a large group of people.
Most scholars today accept Shakespeare’s legitimacy. Whether he wrote them or not, the fact remains that these plays are among the greatest literature ever written.