William Shakespeare-Brief Biography
William Shakespeare-Brief Biography
William Shakespeare, the emperor of English literature, was born on the 23rd of April 1564 at Stratford-on-Avon in the district of Warwickshire. His father John Shakespeare was only a tradesman. His mother Mary Arden was a woman of a religious mind.
At about the age of six, William Shakespeare was sent to a village Grammar school, where he learned the English language to read and write well. And more he learned something about Latin and Greek.
In the meantime, his father’s trade fell down for which he could not continue his schooling and against his will, he left school forever and began to help his father in the business. But in spite of their struggle, they could not prosper in their business.
In 1583, Shakespeare married Anne Hathaway, who was eight years senior in age to Shakespeare. The marriage was said to be a happy one.
When in 1587, his father fell into extreme poverty and was dipped in debt, Shakespeare went out of home and arrived in London, where he, fortunately, met the manager of a theatre company and was taken up by the manager first as a page-boy and then he was promoted to a minor actor.
During his day in the theatre, he had to travel all over London and even outside London and came into contact with various sorts of people with their varied cultures and thus gained a huge experience about dealings of people. Moreover, in the days of Shakespeare, the actors of the theatre had to memorize the dialogue of their roles, and thus they happened to acquire a lot of practical knowledge on the style, technique, and language of drama.
But during those days the number of English dramas was very limited, so the director or the manager of any theatre company frequently suffered from the problem of getting new dramas. One day noticing the manager sitting in melancholy, thinking about finding new dramas, Shakespeare took the responsibility to provide the manager with new dramas. Then he took up a quill and began to compose one. It is said that his first play was Titus Andronicus, a tragedy. After writing this tragedy, he submitted it to his manager, who went through every page of the manuscript and found the play a fine one. Then, with thanks and slapping Shakespeare’s shoulder, in affection and gratitude encouraged him to go on writing more plays. Thence Shakespeare’s literary life began.
During the rest of his life, he composed thirty-seven plays including both tragedies and comedies.
The themes and stories of his plays are mythological and historical. The main themes of his tragedies are the suffering of humans for their own fault. The element of melodrama, the tragic hero, the inner as well as outer conflict of the hero, the element of supernatural, the sense of moral order and the element of poetry are the main characteristics of Shakespeare’s tragedies.
His comedies are not pure comedies. They begin in a tragic vein and end in a comic union. Hence his comedies are called tragedy-comedies. Except for plays, Shakespeare was skilled in writing poems also. He had written a sequence of 154 sonnets in praise of the Earl of Southampton and the Dark Lady. Moreover, he had written two long narrative poems entitled ‘Venus and Adonis’ and ‘The Rape of Lucrece’.
Shakespeare’s works bear so much literary value and significance that his place in English literature is after none but at the top of all. But his genius and greatness were unknown to the world till Coleridge brought him out through his discriminating criticism and comment.
William Shakespeare, the greatest of all English playwrights and poets left this mortal world on 23rd April 1616. 0 0 0
N.B. The article ‘William Shakespeare-Brief Biography’ originally belongs to the book ‘The World Writers-Brief Biographies‘ by Menonim Menonimus.
Books of Composition by M. Menonimus:
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