Elizabethan Era 1558 - 1603

Tudors Times 1485 - 1603

Jacobean Era 1603 - 1625

Shakespeare in the Elizabethan England era

It is said that one of the gifts to England of the Elizabethan era is Shakespeare. The Renaissance that began in Italy only made its way to England during the Elizabethan era. Shakespeare was a huge example used by many to demonstrate how the Renaissance came to be in England.

Childhood:

William Shakespeare was the third child of and Mary Shakespeare and was born on their family house in Henley Street in Stratford. Although plague struck when he was on his infancy, the household was spared from the worst. Parish records say that he was baptized April 26 1564 but no definite date of death can be given.

Much is written about John the glove-maker, noting that he held twenty public office positions including the highest possible position of mayor. However, little was known about his mother, Mary. The only information that survived was that her date of burial was September 9, 1608. Here are his siblings:

  • Joan
  • Margaret
  • Gilbert
  • Joan
  • Anne
  • Richard
  • Edmund

Education:

Since John held a good position in the public office, a benefit that he got to use was education for his child, William. It is speculated that in 1571 he attended King Edward IV Grammar School then left this institution by age 14.

Married Life:

It was said that 26 year old Anne Hathaway was impregnated by 18 year old William Shakespeare before their marriage. To avoid scandals and rumors, they were set to wed. Although William was 3 years below the age of consent, this is not entirely impossible as he may already have been treated as a working man due to financial problems that John faced.

Based on existing records, last November 28, 1582, two farmers from Stratford became sureties of the marriage between "William Shagspere" and "Anne Hathwey." Come May 26, 1583, Their first daughter, Susanna, was born. A mere two years later, twins Hamnet and Judit were born.

Lost Years (1585-1592):

This was the first undocumented years for William Shakespeare, having more information about John than about him. Around this point, John experienced a downfall in financial state, resulting to William's sudden stop in schooling.

A famous story on what William was doing between those years was that he left Stratford to run away from Sir Thomas Lucy who was persecuting him for poaching deer from his lands.

This story was started by Richard Davies. Less popular stories on what he has been doing on those gap years were about him holding horses in theaters in London, that he was employed by an attorney, about him visiting Italy where he learned of things Italian or that he was a runaway butcher.

His Works:

Most of his work was produced between 1590 and 1631. He began with comedies and histories, later shifting to tragedies and romances (also known as tragicomedies).

Here is a complete listing of his work:

Comedy:

All's Well That Ends Well
As You Like It
The Comedy of Errors
Cymbeline
Love's Labours Lost
Much Ado About Nothing
Pericles, Prince of Tyre
Taming of the Shrew
The Tempest
Troilus and Cressida
Twelfth Night
Measure for Measure
The Merry Wives of Windsor
The Merchant of Venice
A Midsummer Night's Dream
Two Gentlemen of Verona
Winter's Tale

History:

King John
Richard II
Richard III
Henry IV, part 1
Henry IV, part 2
Henry V
Henry VI, part 1
Henry VI, part 2
Henry VI, part 3
Henry VIII

Tragedy:

Antony and Cleopatra
Coriolanus
Romeo and Juliet
Timon of Athens
Titus Andronicus
Hamlet
Julius Caesar
King Lear
Macbeth
Othello

Poetry:

The Sonnets
The Rape of Lucrece
Venus and Adonis
A Lover's Complaint
Funeral Elegy by W.S.


   
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