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The Life of William Shakespeare. The River Avon and Trinity Church, Stratford-Upon-Avon, England. Shakespearean Factoids. Born April 23, 1564 (baptized April 26) 3rd of 8 children Son of a tradesman and Alderman. Mother’s family = land, large farm Typical (if had

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the life of william shakespeare

The Life of William Shakespeare

The River Avon and Trinity Church,

Stratford-Upon-Avon, England.

Shakespearean Factoids
  • Born April 23, 1564 (baptized April 26)
  • 3rd of 8 children
  • Son of a

tradesman and


Mother’s family =

land, large farm

Typical (if had

opportunity) early

schooling --Latin,

Greek, & classics

no attend University

IQ: Why is Shakespeare’s education important?

Shakespearean Factoids

life in stratford upon avon
Life in Stratford-Upon-Avon
  • Married Anne Hathaway, 26, (1582) against her family’s wishes
  • 1 daughter (1583) and 1 set of twins (1585), only son died young.

IQ: Why might her

parents be unhappy with

the marriage?

life in london 1588
Life in London, 1588
  • Disappears from history

c.1585- c.1592

  • Believed moved to London

(1588) at 24

  • Successful businessman/

playwright by 1592

  • Wrote Romeo and Juliet at age 30!
  • IQ: Why do historians note that he “disappeared from history”?
Worked with several acting companies (like guilds or unions): The Queens Men, Pembroke’s Men, Lord Strange’s Men
  • 1594acting/writing/manager for Lord Chamberlain’s Men (James Burbridge)—eventually owned 1/8 of theater
success in london
Soon shared profits in an acting company, and 2 theaters (Globe)

Performed for Royalty (Elizabeth I and James I) more than any of his contemporaries

IQ: What is the timeline of Shakespeare’s success so far?

Success in London
published works

Published Works

Only playwright to have plays published during lifetime for literate class/audiences in “penny-copies”

First folio (publication/book) of plays by two companions after he died, 1616

retirement and death
Retirement and Death
  • Retired moderately wealthy in Stratford-upon-Avon, 1608/1611
  • Bought coat of arms
  • Lived in wealthy home, New Place
  • Became “leading citizen”
shakespeare s death
Shakespeare’s Death
  • Died April 23, 1616
  • Buried at Trinity Church, Stratford-upon-Avon
  • IQ: Why was he buried IN the church instead of the churchyard?
shakespeare s curse
Shakespeare’s Curse

William Shakespeare


Good friend, for Jesus' sake forebeareTo digg the dust enclosed heare; Bleste be the man that spares thes stones, And curst be he that moves my bones

shakespeare remembered
Shakespeare Remembered
  • At his death, a friend said,
    • “He was not of an age, but for all time.”
the birthday weekend
The Birthday Weekend.
  • Each year, on the Saturday closest to St. George's Day, Holy Trinity plays host to a marvellous pageant as thousands process through the town to lay flowers on Shakespeare's grave. The procession is led by the boys of the King Edward VI Grammar School (where he was educated). It includes children from the other local schools, representatives from just about every other organisation in the town, members of the company of the RSC, ambassadors from dozens of countries and perplexed tourists who have just stumbled upon it! All file through the church with their floral tributes, to the ringing of the bells and music from the organ. The following day, many of them re-assemble to remember William Shakespeare and to give thanks to God for his life and work at the annual Shakespeare Service.
the playwright
The Playwright
  • Wrote sonnets (poems) and more than 38 plays, 1593-1613
  • Wrote history, drama, comedies, tragedy, erotica, and romance
  • “borrowed” ideas from Roman & Medieval historians & poets (and contemporaries)
the playwright1
The Playwright

Universal themes

Wrote about social

events & social roles,

the human condition/


Wrote history plays to

support the Tudor’s

right to the throne

(“king” plays)

the playwright2
The Playwright

Created over 2000 new words & Expressions














School boy
















Fair play







the playwright3
The Playwright

Created over 2000 new words & Expressions

For goodness’ sake

Wild goose chase

Not to budge an inch

One fell swoop

Tower of strength

Sorry sight

In my mind’s eye

In my heart of hearts

Milk of human kindness

The be all and end all

Good riddance

We’ve seen better days

Eaten out of house and home

shakespeare s works
Shakespeare’s Works

1589-1594 (5 years): 8 plays

Henry VI, Pts. 1, 2, 3 (1589-91)

The Taming of the Shrew (1593)

Richard III (1592)

Comedy of Errors (1592)

Titus Andronicus (1593-94)

Two Gentlemen of Verona (1594)

shakespeare s works1
Shakespeare’s Works

1595-1599 (5 years): 13 plays

King John (1595-96)

Love Labour’s Lost (1595)

Richard II (1595)

Romeo & Juliet (1595-96)

A Midsummer Night’s Dream (1595-96)

The Merchant of Venice (1596-97)

Henry IV, Pt. 1(1596-97), Pt. 2 (1598)

The Merry Wives of Windsor (1597)

Much Ado About Nothing (1598)

As You Like It (1599)

Henry V (1599)

Julius Caesar (1599)

shakespeare s works2
Shakespeare’s Works

1600-1606 (6 years): 8 plays

Hamlet (1600-01)

Twelfth Night (1600-01)

Troilus and Cressida (1601-02)

All’s Well That Ends Well (1602-03)

Measure for Measure (1604)

Othello (1604)

King Lear (1605-06)

Macbeth (1606)

shakespeare s works3
Shakespeare’s Works

1607-1613 (7 years): 8 plays

Antony & Cleopatra (1607)

Coriolanus (1607-08)

Timon of Athens (1607-08)

Pericles (1607-08)

Cymbeline (1609-10)

The Winter’s Tale (1610-11)

The Tempest (1611)

Henry VIII (1613)