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Shakespeare Essay: Discussion of the Writer’s Life and Works

William Shakespeare was an English dramatist baptized in the year 1564 in a place called Stratford-upon-Avon, England (Alexander 3). His major focus in his drama was poetry and playwriting and his talent earned him the recognition of being considered one of the greatest in the field. The prowess of Shakespeare in drama can be attested where his works are the most widely quoted, with other works being performed for many centuries to come. This is an accomplishment that has not been matched by any other dramatist in history.

Shakespeare’s date of birth is unknown but it is well known that he was the eldest son and third born of John Shakespeare—a glove-maker and wool merchant—and Mary Arden his mother. In his early years, Shakespeare joined Stratford Grammar School, which had a rigorous curriculum focusing on classical writers and Latin. This is seen in his works that had Latin poetry such as Ovid and other works such as comedies by Plautus and Terence—well known Roman playwrights (Scheil and Holderness 2). Just after school, at 18 years he married 26 year old Anne Hathaway and together they had three children: Susanna, and twins Judith and Hamlet.

Shakespeare left Stratford for London in 1588 marking the onset of his career in writing. Several theories have been put forward as to why he left Stratford, with the most notable one being that he was caught poaching deer in the park of Sir Lucy Thomas; a justice for peace (Alexander 23). In London, success was realized four years later in 1592 that ultimately resulted in rivalry with other playwrights. For instance, English dramatist Robert Green in his play Groat’s Worth of Wit sneered at “an upstart crow, beautified with our feathers, that with his ‘Tiger’s heart wrapped in a player’s hide’ supposes he is as well able to bombast out a blank verse as the best of you; and, being an absolute Johannes factotum [jack of all trades], is in his own conceit the only Shake-scene in a country (Scheil and Holderness 5).” This was indeed a target to Shakespeare according to the press of that time which resulted in Shakespeare publishing a play after the remark.