[Ravensfort] Born On This Day - William Shakespeare - 04-23-02

jacinth jacinth at mail.ev1.net
Tue Apr 23 08:56:02 PDT 2002

A little learnin' from the Biography Channel:


             April 23...Born on This Day:
              ++ William Shakespeare ++
                    1564 - 1616

Playwright and poet. Born in 1564, in Stratford-upon-Avon,
Warwickshire, England (historians believe Shakespeare was
born on April 23, the same day he died in 1616). The son of
John Shakespeare, a glover, and Mary Arden.

Much uncertainty surrounds Shakespeare's early life. He was
the eldest of three sons, and there were four daughters. He
was educated at the local grammar school, and married Anne
Hathaway, from a local farming family, in 1582. She bore him
a daughter, Susanna, in 1583, and twins, Hamnet and Judith,
in 1585.

Shakespeare moved to London, possibly in 1591, and became an
actor. From 1592 to 1594, when the theatres were closed for
the plague, he wrote his poems "Venus and Adonis" and "The
Rape of Lucrece." His sonnets, known by 1598, though not
published until 1609, fall into two groups: 1 to 126 are
addressed to a fair young man, and 127 to 154 to a "dark
lady" who holds both the young man and the poet in thrall.
Who these people are has provided an exercise in detection
for numerous critics.

The first evidence of his association with the stage is in
1594, when he was acting with the Lord Chamberlain's company
of players, later "the King's Men." When the company built
the Globe Theatre south of the Thames in 1597, he became a
partner, living modestly at a house in Silver Street until
c.1606, then moving near the Globe. He returned to Stratford
c.1610, living as a country gentleman at his house, New
Place. His will was made in March 1616, a few months before
he died, and he was buried at Stratford.

The modern era of Shakespeare scholarship has been marked by
an enormous amount of investigation into the authorship,
text, and chronology of the plays, including detailed
studies of the age in which he lived, and of the Elizabethan
stage. Authorship is still a controversial subject for
certain plays, such as "Titus Andronicus," "Two Noble
Kinsmen," and "Henry VI, part I." This has involved detailed
studies of the various editions of the plays, in particular
the different quarto editions, and the first collected
works, "The First Folio" of 1623. It is conventional to
group the plays into early, middle, and late periods, and to
distinguish comedies, tragedies, and histories, recognizing
other groups that do not fall neatly into these categories.


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