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Introduction to William Shakespeare. The Bard of Stratford-upon-Avon. Quick Shakespeare Stats. WRITER IN THE ENGLISH LANGUAGE. Young Life. Born in 1564 Baptized Apr 26, 1564 Father: John Shakespeare: glove maker and alderman Married Anne Hathaway He was 18; she was 26

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introduction to william shakespeare

Introduction to William Shakespeare

The Bard of Stratford-upon-Avon

quick shakespeare stats
Quick Shakespeare Stats



young life
Young Life
  • Born in 1564Baptized Apr 26, 1564
  • Father: John Shakespeare: glove maker and alderman
  • Married Anne Hathaway
    • He was 18; she was 26
    • They had 3 children together: Susanna, Hamnet, and Judith
  • Acted in his own plays as well as the plays of contemporaries like Ben Jonson
  • No one really knows when he started acting or writing his own plays…
  • One of the first known mentions of Shakespeare was actually in a criticism
  • He was a respected playwright in his day…


  • He did not rise to prominence until the 19th century… 300 years after the time he was actually writing.
  • He wrote 37 plays and 154 sonnets—that we know of
  • Was a writer an actor in London, but a respected businessman in Stratford
  • The idea of a “poor starving actor/writer” is not a new one
  • Shakespeare, and many playwrights of his day, had patrons to please
  • Specifically, the head honchos: the monarchs of England
  • Elizabeth I (Elizabethan Age)
  • James I (Jacobean Age)
  • Shakespeare’s theaters were not quite as sophisticated as ours are today
  • They did not have modern lighting; plays were put on only during the day to utilize sunlight
  • Theaters were open, for the same reason as above
  • There was only “seating” for those who were wealthy enough to afford it
  • Farmers and peasants stood during shows and were called “groundlings”
  • Shakespeare wrote for EVERYONE!
  • The Theatre: second theater built in London
  • The Globe: Built from the timbers of The Theatre after a dispute with the landlord
comedies tragedies histories
Comedies, Tragedies, Histories
  • Shakespeare’s plays can be categorized into these three main genres
  • Comedies
    • Usually about a misunderstanding; ends with a (or many) wedding(s)
  • Tragedies
    • Pretty much everyone dies; tragic flaw/hero
  • Histories
    • Based on real events and/or people
  • Shakespeare’s plays are still relevant today!
  • Romeo & Juliet (2013)

Much Ado About Nothing (2013)

were you paying attention
Were You Paying Attention?
  • When was Shakespeare born?
  • What was his father’s profession?
  • Who was his wife?
  • Who were his two most important patrons?
  • What was the Globe Theatre made from?
  • What were the people called who stood and watched the play?
  • What were the 3 genres of plays he wrote?
  • Who did Shakespeare write for?