We do not know much about Shakespeare’s life. He comes from the small provincial town Stratford that lies on the Avon. His father was a workman, and he was a member of the town council; and he was also the mayor of the town for three years. Shakespeare most likely went to Stratford Grammar School, which can still be seen in the town, however we do not know much about what he learned in school. In 1582, when he was 18 years old, he married Ann Hathaway who was 7-8 years older; she was the oldest daughter of a wealthy farmer.
Their first child was born the year after, only six months after the wedding; later they also had twins. There are several explanations as to why Shakespeare traveled to London, but most explanations are anecdotes from recent times. Some researchers believe that he became a member of a theatrical company that was visiting Stratford. The first time we here about him again is in 1592, and at that time he is a well-known person in London. He is mostly known as an actor and as a playwright, but he was also the owner of The Globe Theatre.
Shakespeare wrote 37 plays: comedies, tragedies and historical dramas. His plays have something to fit everyone’s tastes; there are exciting plots, strong emotions, colors and comedy. Shakespeare’s themes are love, nature, power and the responsibilities that come with it. The central theme is humans and, especially after 1600, the bitterness towards the humans is most definitely felt.
Around 1611 he returned to Stratford, possibly the same year as he wrote The Tempest, which can be read as his goodbye to the theater. He lived his last years in his home town, and died in 1616. He is buried in the Church of the Holy Trinity, and above his grave on the left side of the church, lies his epitaph.
Courtney from Study Moose
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