a) On what date, and where, was Shakespeare born? Shakespeare? s birthday is unknown, but his baptism was on Wednesday, April 26th, 1564. April 23, 1564 is the day that most believe to be his birthday, but there are no records that state what day he was born. b) Describe Shakespeare’s education. Scholars believe that Shakespeare studied at Stratford Grammar School. There are no records to prove this, but Shakespeare’s knowledge of Latin and Classical Greek supports this theory.
It’s unknown how long Shakespeare attended this school, but it is assumed that this is the only education he received. c) Who were his parents and what do you learn about them? Shakespeare’s father, John Shakespeare, was a town official of Stratford and a local businessman who dabbled in tanning, leatherwork and whittawering which is working with white leather to make items like purses and gloves. He came from a family of yeomen, and he gained many prestigious positions in the community. John was also a prominent man in Stratford.
By 1560, he was one of fourteen burgesses which formed the town council. He had a remarkable run of success as a merchant, alderman, and high bailiff of Stratford, during William? s early childhood. However, his fortune declined in the late 1570s. Shakespeare’s mother, Mary Arden, was a rich local heiress. She inherited most of her father? s landowning and farming estate when he died. She came from an ancient family of landed gentry. The whole family was Anglican. d) What do you learn about Shakespeare’s siblings? William was the third child of John and Mary Shakespeare.
The first two were daughters and William was followed by Gilbert who died in 1612 and Richard who died in 1613. Edmund (1580-1607), sixth in the line, and William’s oldest living sister was Joan who outlived him. Of William’s seven siblings, only Judith and four of his brothers survived to adulthood. e) What was Shakespeare’s childhood like? Did he have a happy childhood? Due to very little records, most of our information about Shakespeare’s childhood are assumptions.
Shakespeare’s first exposure to the theater probably happened when he was young. It is said that as a child his father probably took him to see plays when traveling troupes of actors came to town, although that was not often. The first time he saw a play was when he was 4. He didn’t understand the words but loved the sound of them and loved the costumes.
He also loved watching his father make gloves. This was one of his jobs later on. His school was very strict. They had very harsh punishments so he had to study a lot. Sometimes Will had to walk many miles to watch a play that traveling actors put on. And if no one came with him he would tell all about it when he got home.