William Shakespeare (1)
William Shakespeare is the greatest of all playwrights and poets of all times. Not much is known of his life. William Shakespeare was born 1564, in the town of Stratford-upon-Avon. His father, John Shakespeare, was a glove-maker and wool-dealer.
William went to the local free grammar school where he studied Latin. At the age of 18 Shakespeare married and had 3 children. Little is known of his life before 1592, when he appeared as a playwright in London. Soon he became an actor playing supporting roles like the ghost in "Hamlet". In 1599 Shakespeare became a part owner of the Globe Theatre in London.
Shakespeare wrote history plays such as "Henry IV" and "Richard III", comedies such as "A Midsummer Night's Dream" and "A Comedy of Errors". Shakespeare's early tragedy is "Romeo and Juliet".
Between 1600 and 1608 Shakespeare wrote his four great tragedies, "Hamlet" "Othello" "Macbeth" and "King Lear". It is the summit of Shakespeare's art.
"Hamlet" is probably the most popular, the best-known of all Shakespeare's plays. It is a very philosophical play. Hamlet, Prince of Denmark, is a highly intelligent person.
Hamlet's soliloquy is very famous: "To be, or not to be; that is the question..."
Queen Elizabeth I died in 1603 and was succeeded by James VI of Scotland, son of Mary Stuart. James, who became James I of England and Scotland, was a lover of the theatre.
Shakespeare wrote a tragedy "Macbeth" in which action passes in Scotland. In 1606 Shakespeare was a very mature and successful playwright. He had become a wealthy man.
In "King Lear" we see evil defeated. "King Lear" is the greatest of all Shakespeare's tragedies.
The story of an old king of England and his three daughters was not invented by Shakespeare. Shakespeare hardly ever invented the plot of his plays.
Between 1608 and 1613, Shakespeare wrote five plays: "Pericles" "Cymbeline" "The Winter's Tale" "The Tempest" and "Henry VIII" In "The Tempest" Shakespeare says farewell to the theatre, to his friends.
On June 29, 1613, the Globe theatre was destroyed in a fire. For Shakespeare and his colleagues it must have been a terrible time. The Globe was the greatest theatre in England.
Shakespeare died on April 23, 1616.
He wrote 38 plays and many poems.