William Shakespeare. William Shakespeare was an English poet, playwright and actor, widely regarded as the greatest writer in the English language and the world's pre-eminent dramatist.
William Shakespeare was the son of John Shakespeare, an alderman and Mary Arden, the daughter of an affluent landowning farmer. He was born in Stratford - upon-Avon.His actual date of birth is unknown, but is traditionally observed April 23, 1564.
This design of Sir Nathaniel Curzon, dated 1708, should represent Anne Hathaway.
It is not known exactly when Shakespeare began writing, but contemporary allusions and records of performances show that several of his plays were on the London stage by 1592.
The plots of Shakespeare's tragedies often hinge on such fatal errors or flaws, which overturn order and destroy the hero and those he loves. In Othello, the villain Iago stokes Othello's sexual jealousy to the point where he murders the innocent wife who loves him.
Othello and Desdemona in Venice by Théodore Chassériau
Hamlet with Yorick's skull
In 1593 and 1594, when the theatres were closed because of plague, Shakespeare published two narrative poems on erotic themes, Venus and Adonis and The Rape of Lucrece.
He preserved aspects of his earlier style in the later plays, however. In Shakespeare's late romances, he deliberately returned to a more artificial style, which emphasised the illusion of theatre.
Title page from 1609 edition of Shake-Speares Sonnets.
Title page of the First Folio, 1623. Copper engraving of Shakespeare byMartin Droeshout.
Shakespeare died on 23 April 1616 and was survived by his wife and two daughters.
Shakespeare's funerary monument in Stratford-upon-Avon.
And yet by heaven, I think my love as rare
As any she belied with false compare.
Red=repetitions light blue=assonance
The sonnet is generally considered a humorous parody of the typical love sonnet. Petrarch, for example, addressed many of his most famous sonnets to an idealized woman named Laura, whose beauty he often likened to that of a goddess. In stark contrast Shakespeare makes no attempt at deification of the dark lady.
Shall I compare thee to a summer's day? Thou art more lovely and more temperate:Rough winds do shake the darling buds of May,And summer's lease hath all too short a date:
Sometime too hot the eye of heaven shines,And often is his gold complexion dimm'd; And every fair from fair sometime declines,By chance, or nature's changing course, untrimm'd;
But thy eternal summer shall not fadeNor lose possession of that fair thou ow'st;Nor shall Death brag thou wander'st in his shade,When in eternal lines to time thou grow'st;
So long as men can breathe or eyes can see,So long lives this, and this gives life to thee.
Red: a question blue:the answer green:the justification to the answer orange:a promise violet:the result of the promise