William Shakespeare, Robert
William Shakespeare is the world's greatest poet and dramatist. Every
Englishman knows more or less the works of his country's greatest poet. Words
and phrases from Shakespeare's writings have become part of the English language
and are used by all.
Shakespeare made fuller use of the English language than any other writer. There
is no better way for a foreigner or an Englishman to understand the richness of
the English language than by studying how Shakespeare used it.
The last half of the 16th century and the beginning of the 17th century are
sometimes called the age of Shakespeare. By that time England had become a
powerful state, but there was not much change for the better in the life of the
English people and the power of money grew stronger.
Shakespeare saw these contrasts and showed them in his works. Although the name
of William Shakespeare is well-known in the world we know very little about his
life. He was born on April 23, 1564 in Stratford-upon-Avon. His mother, Mary
Arden, was a daughter of Robert Arden, a farmer. His father, John Shakespeare,
was a glover who had an office at Stratford-upon-Avon.
Little is known about William's childhood. He got his education at the Grammar
School. He got married in 1582 to Anne Hathaway and had three children, a boy
and two girls.
William lived in Stratford until he was about twenty-one, when he went to London.
There is a story that Shakespeare's first work in London was holding rich men's
horses at the theatre door. But nobody can say whether this story is true.
Later, Shakespeare became an actor and a member of one of the big acting
companies. Soon he began to write plays for this company and in a few years
be-came a well-known author.
Shakespeare's work as an actor (although he usually acted only small parts)
helped him greatly in the writing of his plays. He knew the stage and that
helped him to write the most wonderful plays ever written.
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