Who was William Shakespeare? Where was he born? Where did he go to school? How did William Shakespeare live his life from the beginning to the ending? William Shakespeare’s life became a great mystery with lack of evidence to support any findings. His schooling, his family and parents will be revealed in my paper.
Who were William Shakespeare’s parents? The parents of Mr. Shakespeare were John Shakespeare and Mary Arden Shakespeare. Mary Arden married William Shakespeare in 1557. Mary was the favorite of eight daughters of the widowed Robert Arden (Absolute Shakespeare, 2000-2005). William Shakespeare’s parents were both uneducated. John Shakespeare had become the Mayor of Stratford were William Shakespeare was born; which I will go into that later in my paper.
Mary was never taught to read or write even though she came from a well prominent family (Life Story of William,1999 ). John Shakespeare was born in 1531 while Mary Arden was born in 1540 with a nine year age difference between the both of them. Mary Arden was from a catholic family, while John Shakespeare lived a life as a farmer. The marriage between John and Mary Arden was much of a talked about event (William Shakespeare Site-Map,2005 ). Both came from two different lifestyles with John as a farmer and Mary from a wealthy family it was not likely that the two would grow to love each other the way they did.
William Shakespeare was born in 1564, eight years after his mother and father were married. He was born in Stratford, a town south of Warwickshire, England. As nobody really knows his place of birth was at his family home supposedly. William Shakespeare’s education is somewhat of a mystery. There are no records of him attending school, but we know from archives that he did. William Shakespeare started school at the age of seven and stopped going to school at the age of fourteen. He attended King Edward IV grammar school and received very little education there. The school is also known as “ The Kings New School” (William Shakespeare Site-Map,2005).
There are also rumors that at the age of eleven William Shakespeare went to grammar school in Stratford, which I assume would be “The Kings New School”. He studied theatre, acting, as well as Latin literature and history. When Shakespeare left school, which the age is still unknown, he went to work with his father and there is talk that he did take up teaching, but there are no known documentaries of that happening (Literature Network,2006).
William Shakespeare met Anne Hathaway in Stratford, England. Shakespeare being eighteen years of age, and Anne Hathaway being twenty-six years old, an eight year difference existed between the two, similar to William Shakespeare’s parents with an age difference of nine years. Anne’s parents were both deceased and she lived with her brothers.
Around the time she met Shakespeare she became pregnant, which caused an uproar back then and was talked about. Not being married and bringing a child into this world out of wedlock was not looked upon as something great. On November twenty-seventh 1582 the court issued a marriage license to Shakespeare and Hathaway and they were married on November twenty-eighth 1582, William being eighteen and Hathaway twenty-six years of age. It is believed that Anne Hathaway was William Shakespeare’s first love, but with the pregnancy he was forced into a marriage that he was not ready for.
With William Shakespeare being a “teenage father” he may have felt the pressure of doing right and feeling somewhat overwhelmed with pressure from his family, wife and society to be married. He was out of work with no money to support his wife and child and now unable to attend a University of his choice (In search of Shakespeare,2003 ). Shakespeare and Hathaway went on to have three children in total.
A girl named Susanna, and two years later twins: a boy and a girl named Hamnet and Judith. What occurred in Shakespeare’s life between 1583 and 1592, is unknown. It was and still is a mystery. But as archives do reveal Shakespeare was in London in 1592 and was known as the greatest playwright anyone had ever known of. The nine years between is just another mystery that nobody can figure out(Shakespeare Online, Actor and Playwright,1999-2010 ).
There is no doubt as of today that William Shakespeare is the greatest writer of English Literature. His plays have been made into movies, books have been written, music has been conducted and published, and if your real lucky you might even be able to see a play of one of his greatest stories ever told; in which I have seen many movies and read many books.
Here are some of my favorite stories ever written; Othello, The Moon of Venice, The Taming of the Shrew, Twelfth Night or What You Will, Julius Caesar, Richard III, Macbeth (which was a favorite in high school), Midsummer Night’s Dream ( I have read that book), Henry V, Hamlet, which I might add Mel Gibson did very well playing that part, and my most favorite love story of all time, Romeo and Juliet. As you can see the title says it all. His mind went to the extreme and with such little education he just knew what his passion was and went for it.
William Shakespeare’s children, as mentioned earlier, Susanna, Hamnet and Judith had a much different life of the great English Poet. William Shakespeare’s first born, Susanna, was raised by her mother, Anne. When Susanna turned twenty-four she was to marry a prosperous medical doctor. The wedding was held on June 5th 1607.
Susanna had a baby girl eight months after her wedding, so this was William and Anne’s first grandchild (Children and Grandchildren,2005). Shakespeare and Hathaway’s son Hamnet was also raised by his mother. Little is known on the life of Hamnet since it was cut so short. There are no records that he ever attended school, which with his family background, I’m sure there was some type of education.
In the late 1500’s an outbreak of the Bubonic Plague occurred, otherwise known as “Black Death or Black Plague.” Hamnet contracted this deadly disease of unknown sources and died at the age of eleven years old. He was buried where Shakespeare was born, in Stratford, England on the eleventh day of August in 1596 (Children and Grandchildren,2005). Judith the twin of Hamnet was to marry Thomas Quiney who came from a good family. Judith was thirty-one and Thomas was twenty-seven. They were married in Stratford, England on the tenth of February of 1616.
A scandalous breakout occurred after the marriage that Quiney had made another girl pregnant. On March 12th the marriage was excommunicated (Children and Grandchildren,2005). The grandchildren of Shakespeare and Hathaway were many. Judith had three children, and Susanna had one daughter. Judith’s sons all died tragically, and very young.
All of them boys, first son died at six months old, second son died at the age of twenty-one from the Black Plague, and her other son died the same month from the Black Plague, which would of been in January of 1639. On Judith’s side nobody survived the Shakespeare line. Susanna’s daughter Elizabeth was the only grandchild William Shakespeare ever knew (Children and Grandchildren,2005).
William Shakespeare died on the twenty-third of April in 1616 of an illness that to this very day is still a mystery. He was buried on April twenty-fifth at the Holy Trinity Church in Stratford, England. Shakespeare just weeks before his death made his last will and testament. This will involved many people in his life. It started with his daughter Judith, sister Joan, Joan’s three sons, which were his nephews, his granddaughter Elizabeth, to the poor of Stratford, his friends, and his wife Anne. To his first born Susanna and son-in-law Dr. John Hall he left the most of his assets too.
Dr. John Hall was the only one who oversaw his final days and treated Mr. William Shakespeare (The Last Will and Testament,2005). I believed he knew he was going to die, maybe just had a sense or a feeling so that is why he started his will weeks before his death, but never told anyone.
After all of my research conducted on William Shakespeare I believe he was a great man. He had a hard start at life but with little to no education to having a child with an older woman at the young age of eighteen and being out of work and with very little hope of his future he managed to beat the odds that were against him. With his knowledge, determination and confidence he overcame all of his setbacks to become one of the world’s greatest English poet. To this very day his poems and stories are still taught in middle schools, high schools and college.
References Absolute Shakespeare.200-2005. Shakespeare’s Biography. Website: http://absoluteshakespeare.com/trivia/biography/shakespeare_biography.htm The Early Life Story of William Shakespeare Stratford, England, 1564-1569. Who was William Shakespeare’s parents. 1999.
The Parents of William Shakespeare. 2005. William Shakespeare Site-Map. Website: http://www.william-shakespeare.info/william-shakespeare-biography-mother- and-father.htm
The Literature Network. 2006. William Shakespeare. Website: http://www.online-literature.com/shakespeare/
In Search of Shakespeare. 2003. William marries Anne Hathaway. Website: http://www.pbs.org/shakespeare/events/event92.html
Shakespeare Online. 1999-2010. Shakespeare the Actor and Playwright. Website: http://www.shakespeare-online.com/biography/shakespeareparents.html
William Shakespeare His Children & Grandchildren.2005. William Shakespeare Site-Map. Website: http://www.william-shakespeare.info/william-shakespeare-children-and- grandchildren.htm
The Last Will and Testament of William Shakespeare. 2005.William Shakespeare Site-Map. Website: http://www.william-shakespeare.info/william-shakespeare-the-will.htm