William Shakespeare was born in April 1564 in Stratford-Upon-Avon, England. He went to grammar school and married young at the age of 18. His wife Anne Hathaway was 26. They had three children. One day Shakespeare decided to leave his hometown and move to London. There he tried to perform as an actor but he was not considered very good on stage. That is the reason why he was noticed for his writing. Soon he became very famous and talented playwright. During the plague in Europe he needed a private patron and he found one – Earl Southampton. In 1599 William Shakespeare’s company called the Lord Chamberlain’s Men built the well-known Globe Theatre. Few people know that there is an exact replica of the Globe theatre in Rome!!! You can see it in one of its beautiful parks!
Shakespeare’s theatre is very important part of the history of English playhouses because it was one of the first to allow poor, lower class pleople to attend a play!
William Shakespeare retired and went back to his birthplace, the town of Stratford. He died in 1616 at the age of 52. What he left to the world is a marvellous collection of plays and sonnets. Seven years after his death his actor friends published 36 of his plays in one volume named First Folio.
Shakespeare’s sonnets are 154 and they differ in structure from the classical Italian sonnet. In them the genius playwright talks about love, youth and time.
The plays he wrote could be divided into three major groups: tragedies comedies and historical plays. In his comedies there are often misunderstandings, mistaken identities and love. Usually in the end of them all the main characters get married. On the contrary, typical ending of his tragedies is the death of the main characters. Shakespeare’s historical plays are famous for the fact that they describe well the historical period in which they take place. Some of his best works that everyone should know of are: Hamlet, Romeo and Juliet, Macbeth, A Midsummer Night’s Dream, The Comedy of Errors, King John and Richard III.
Most of his plays are still being filmed simply because they are masterpieces and are always appreciated.
playwright – a writer of plays; dramatist;
plague – a highly infectious, epidemic disease;
Globe Theatre – a theatre in London associated with some actors (William Shakespeare included) whose company built it
replica – an exact reproduction of a painting or a building for example
plays – written dialogue between characters, intended for theatrical performance