Shakespeare - Biography
by Maria Kniery and Ruthie Minor
"William Shakespeare was an English Poet and playwright widely regarded as the greatest writer of the English language, and as the world's preeminent dramatist. He wrote approximately 38 plays and 154 sonnets, as well as a variety of other poems." (2)
[He]was born in April of 1564. There is no specific date of birth because at that time the only date of importance was the date of baptism, though infants often were baptized when they were three days old. Shakespeare's baptismal date was April 26, 1564.
Shakespeare was born in the
Shakespeare's first exposure to the theater probably occurred when he was young. As a child his father probably took him to see plays when traveling troupes of actors came to town, although that was not often.
Shakespeare was married to Anne Hathaway in 1582, when he was 18; she was 26, eight years his senior. Anne was the daughter of a respected yeoman farmer. William and Anne had their first child, Susanna, in May of 1583. This was followed by the birth of twins, Hamnet and Judith, in January of 1585. Most historians believe that Shakespeare was not often in
The Hathaway cottage has been restored and is pictured at right. Itbelonged to the prosperous Hathaway family and was the pre-marital home of William Shakespeare's wife, Anne. Although referred to as a cottage, it is actually a substantial, twelve-roomed, Elizabethan farmhouse.
The first written reference to Shakespeare's existence in
With his two patrons, the Earls of South Hampton and Pembrooke, Shakespeare rose quickly in the theater as both an actor and an author. He joined the Lord Chamberlin's Men, an acting company which was protected by the Queen, becoming a shareholder and senior member in 1595. Because of his success in
In addition to his popularity as both an actor and playwright, Shakespeare became joint owner of the famous Globe Theater when it opened in 1599. His share of the company's management added heavily to his wealth. Shakespeare’s financial success in the
Sources: (1) The