Facts about Shakespeare s life and career

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A MAN FOR ALL AGES Facts about Shakespeare s life and career: William Shakespeare was born on the 26th of April 1564 in a half-timbered house in Henley Street, in Stratford-upon-Avon. He was the son of John, a glovemaker who had married Mary Arden, the youngest of eight daughters of a farmer. She was 24 when she bore William. Young Shakespeare was well-educated at the local grammar school, learning rhetoric and Erasmian philosophy. The adolescent Master Shakespeare was trained in civility as tutor to an aristocratic Catholic family. When he was 18, he married Anne Hathaway. She was three months pregnant and eight years senior. They had three children, Susanne and the twins Hamnet and Judith. Then he left them behind to find his fortune in Elizabethan London. First he was an actor, then a playwright. In 1596 his son died and he never seems to have recovered from it. Shakespeare became a metropolitan celebrity when in 1598 a book appeared that listed 12 plays by him. When plague closed the theatres he turned to poetry. He died in 1616 and it took another half century for the genius Shakespeare to be discovered. What is it that makes up Shakespeare s genius? What is he admired for? He did not make monkey around with the forces of nature, he wrote astonishing plays about characters who did. One gets acquainted with him without knowing how. It is a part of an Englishman s constitution. He was a timeless genius, whose work informs a universal imagination. He had a great imaginary ...

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