Presentation on theme: "The Life of William Shakespeare"— Presentation transcript:
1 The Life of William Shakespeare DRA 111Steve WoodTCCC
2 A Life of MysteryDespite being the most famous and influential writer in the English language and despite the critical attention of thousands of historians and scholars, many aspects of Shakespeare’s life remain a mystery.
3 Early LifeWilliam Shakespeare was born in 1564, to John and Mary Shakespeare. His birthday is celebrated on April 23 because records indicate his christening on April 26.At the time of Shakespeare’s birth, his father was a successful glover in Stratford-upon-Avon. Over the next few years, his father would be successful in local politics, becoming bailiff (1568) and alderman (1571).Shakespeare was the oldest son of 8 children, the oldest to survive infancy.
4 EducationDue to his father’s position, Shakespeare probably attended grammar school for free.His education, or a perceived lack of education, is the reason that a number of elitist critics (called the Anti-Stratfordians) have tried to claim that someone other that Shakespeare was the author of his plays. The list of other claimants includes: Christopher Marlowe, Edward de Vere, Francis Bacon, and even Queen Elizabeth.
5 MarriageIn November 1582, a marriage license was obtained by Shakespeare and Anne Hathaway (who was 26 at the time).In May 1583, six months after their marriage, Shakespeare and Anne had a daughter Susanna.In February 1585, Shakespeare and Anne had twins: Judith and Hamnet.
6 Lost YearsThe birth of his twins in 1585 is the last public record of Shakespeare until 1592.In 1592 the deathbed pamphlet of Robert Greene (a rival dramatist) mentions Shakespeare as an “upstart crow.” Thus, most critics assume that Shakespeare had moved to London and entered the theater business at some point before 1592 (The usual guesses are 1589 or 1590).
7 His Dramatic CareerAlthough the exact date of his arrival in London is unknown, Shakespeare’s career in the London theater lasted for 20 years, fromMost of his most famous plays were written in the decade from 1600 to 1610.
8 The Dating GameMost of the dates assigned to his plays are educated guesswork, based upon entries in the Stationer’s Register, the publication of the quatro editions of some plays, and other miscellaneous records.One of the most universally accepted set of dates is the one found in the Riverside edition of his plays.
9 Dates 1590 Henry VI, Part 1 1590 Henry VI, Part 2 1592 Richard III1592 The Comedy of Errors1593 Titus Andronicus1593 The Taming of the Shrew1594 The Two Gentlemen of Verona1594 Love’s Labors Lost1594 King John1595 Richard II1595 Romeo and Juliet1595 A Midsummer Night’s Dream1596 The Merchant of Venice1596 Henry IV, Part 11597 Merry Wives of Windsor1598 Henry IV, Part 21598 Much Ado About Nothing1599 Henry V1599 Julius Caesar
10 Dates 1599 As You Like It 1600 Hamlet 1601 Twelfth Night 1601 Troilus and Cressida1602 All’s Well That Ends Well1604 Measure for Measure1604 Othello1605 King Lear1606 Macbeth1606 Antony and Cleopatra1607 Coriolanus1607 Timon of Athens1607 Pericles1609 Cymbeline1610 The WInter’s Tale1610 The Tempest1612 Henry VIII (Collaboration with John Fletcher)1612 Cardenio(Collaboration with John Fletcher)1613 The Two Noble Kinsmen (Collaboration with John Fletcher)
11 The Beginning of His Success In 1594, after a bout of plague closed the theaters, many of the companies are reorganized. Shakespeare’s career took an important step forward as the Lord Chamberlain’s Men was formed, with Shakespeare as a full member.
12 Official RecognitionIn 1596, Shakespeare was granted a coat of arms; the motto translates as “Not Without Right.”Unfortunately, this success comes at the same time as a tragedy: Shakespeare’s son Hamnet, to whom he would have passed along his coat of arms, dies.
13 Meanwhile, Back in Stratford … In 1597, Shakespeare bought the second largest house in Stratford, New Place.
14 The GlobeIn 1599 Shakespeare was made a principal shareholder in the newly built Globe Theater. Legend has it that the Globe was built from the timbers of the first permanent theater in London, built by James Burbage in 1576.
15 The Great DecadeWith the succession of James I to the throne after the death of Queen Elizabeth, Shakespeare’s company became The King’s Men. This assured them of a certain number of royal performances each year.
16 Family Shakespeare father died in 1601. Shakespeare’s daughter Susanna was married in 1607.In 1608, Susanna had a daughter, thus making Shakespeare a grandfather.In 1609, Shakespeare’s mother died.
17 1610Shakespeare retired from the theater business in London and returned to Stratford. Except for a few collaborations with John Fletcher, his dramatic career is done.Many regard the farewell speech by Prospero in The Tempest to be Shakespeare’s farewell to his life as a playwright.
18 Prospero’s Farewell“Our revels now are ended. These our actors, As I foretold you, were all spirits, and Are melted into air, into thin air; And, like the baseless fabric of this vision, The cloud-capped towers, the gorgeous palaces, The solemn temples, the great globe itself, Yea, all which it inherit, shall dissolve, And, like this insubstantial pageant faded, Leave not a tack behind. We are such stuff As dreams are made on, and our little life Is rounded with a sleep.”
19 Last DaysIn 1613, the Globe Theater burned down during a performance. It was rebuilt, but then was closed by the Puritans in 1642 and razed in Its foundations are unearthed in the 1980s, and a new Globe replica theater is built in 1997.In February of 1616, Shakespeare’s remaining daughter Judith is married.On April 23, Shakespeare died.
20 Epitaph“Good friend for Jesus sake forbear/ To dig the dust enclosed here:/ Blest be the man that spares these stones, / And curst be he that moves my bones.”
21 The First FolioIn 1623, seven years after his death, some of Shakespeare’s friends published what came to be called The First Folio. This authorized edition features the texts of most of his plays.