William Shakespeare

William Shakespeare
April 23th, 1564 - April 23rd, 1616
The Family
Came from Farmers
Ambitious and Hardworking
Respected Merchant
Stratford Ruling Elite
Mayor (1568)
Removed from council due to
financial decline and decline in
Came from wealthy farmers
Capable, Strong-Minded and Quick-Witted
Not Known Whether She Could Read or Write
Youngest of 8 Daughters (Favorite)
Brought Property to Marriage
Mary Arden
John Shakespeare
Died from
Bubonic Plague
Infant Daughter
Died from Bubonic
Infant Daughter
Other Younger Siblings (Details Unknown)
Survives Bubonic
William Shakespeare
The Beginning
Stratford upon Avon, Warwickshire
Thriving market center
Influenced setting for many of his plays
Survives Bubonic Plague after 2 sisters
before him die
By age 4, the threat of the plague ends
Large Childhood home
2 buildings joined together with gardens and an orchard in the
Buildings devoted to family trade (glover) on the property
Lived next door to other tradesmen (tailor, blacksmith,
haberdasher, and shepherds)
Mother teaches him local folk tales
Feature fairies, goblins, ghosts, witches, and enchanted forests
These aspects are commonly seen in many of his plays
Father taught him about the glover trade
Learned about rural life (culture and language dialects)
Fascinated with birds
Learned hunting and falconry (referenced in plays)
Took part in some poaching
Received Free Education at the King’s
Dad is an alderman = free
Starts at age 6 or 7, ends at age 15
Learns Reading, Writing, and Basic
Attended Church Daily (as part of school)
Learned Latin
6 or 7am Until 5pm
Breaks for Breakfast and Lunch
6 days a week
Few Holidays
Learned about classic authors that
would later influence his work
Love and Marriage
Marries Anne Hathaway (Age 26)
who is already pregnant (Nov. 1582)
William was 18 (still considered a minor) and
needed his father’s permission to marry
By age 21, William has 3 children with Anne
(Susanna, and twins Hamnet and Judith)
William pursues theater career in
London to support family
Leaves his family in Stratford with his parents
and siblings
To visit his family, it would take 2 days on
horse or 4 walking
Hamnet dies in 1596
Shakespeare buys “New Place” in
This is where he dies in 1616
Later Knocked Down
April 23, 1616
Receives Little Public
Did Not Interest Scholars for
Many Years
His will is the Only Surviving
Document He Wrote
No personal letters or diaries
were saved
Shakespeare the man is a bit
of a mystery
Theater Career Pre-Fame
Joins an Acting Company from London
Starts as an actor, but the company quickly learns he is a
great writer and director
Moves Between Several Acting Companies
Shakespeare Organized
Take Out your Literature Notebook and Draw a Vertical Line and
a Horizontal Line to Create 4 Boxes on a Page.
Title one box Tragedies
Title one box Comedies
Title one box History Plays
Title one box Romance Plays
Write Characteristics of Each Category of Play in each box as we
discuss them
Copy down at least 5 Shakespeare plays from each category as we
discuss them
Types of Plays
History Plays
Romance Plays
Most Often Performed
Some Considered Among the Greatest Masterpieces of All
Dark Plots and Themes
Conflicted and Flawed Heroes
Experience Intense Suffering
Often end in all Characters Dying
Titus Andronicus (1593-1594)
Romeo and Juliet (1594-1595)
Julius Ceaser (1599)
Hamlet (1600)
Troilus and Cressida (1601)
Othello (1603)
King Lear (1604-1605)
Macbeth (1606)
Antony and Cleopatra (1606)
Timon of Athens (1606-1609)
Coriolanus (1608)
Witty Wordplay and Humorous Situations
Often involve mistaken identities
Most End in Characters Married
“Happy Ending”
3 Main Stages
Confusion and Trouble
2. Social Reconciliation
3. Harmony
The Two Gentlemen of Verona (1590-1591)
The Comedy of Errors (1592)
The Taming of the Shrew (1592)
Love’s Labor’s Lost (1594-1595)
A Midsummer Night’s Dream (1594-1595)
The Merchant of Venice (1596-1597)
The Merry Wives of Windsor (1597 or 1600)
As You Like It (1598)
Much Ado About Nothing (1598)
Twelfth Night (1601-1602)
All’s Well That Ends Well (1604-1605)
Measure for Measure (1604)
Detailed Representation of Elizabethan History (For
Elizabethan People)
Insight Into Power Politics and Human Nature (Modern
Named After Kings
Shows turbulent medieval and early Renaissance England
Ambition of Nobles
Downfall of Kings
Bloody Chaos of War
History Plays
Henry VI, Part 1 (1592)
Henry VI, Part 2 (1591)
Henry VI, Part 3 (1591)
Richard III (1592-1593)
Richard II (1595)
King John (1595-1596)
Henry IV, Part 1 (1596)
Henry IV, Part 2 (1597)
Henry V (1599)
Henry VIII (1612)
Written at the End of Career
Filled with Improbable Incidents
Focus on Family Relations/Reconciliation
Especially between parents and children
Problems Resolved By “The Healing Power of Art”
In previous works, would have ended in death
Romance Plays
Pericles (1606-1609)
Cymbeline (1609-1610)
The Winter’s Tale (1610)
The Tempest (1610)
The Two Noble Kinsmen (1613-1614)
Shakespeare Create!
Create a timeline of Shakespeare’s life
Should include birth and death (One Color)
Should include at least 3 plays from each
category (One Color for each Category)
Should include at least 3 relevant historical
events (One Color)
Should include at least 3 interesting facts (One
Should include a Key That States What Each
Color Represents