The Works of William Shakespeare

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Cambridge Scholars Publishing, 2011 - 196 Seiten
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Purchase of this book includes free trial access to www.million-books.com where you can read more than a million books for free. This is an OCR edition with typos. Excerpt from book: now shown as the Birth-Place, and the other situated in Greenhill Street, a road afterwards called More Towns End. In the year 1557, however, his fortunes underwent an important change through an alliance with Mary, the youngest and fondly-loved daughter of Robert Arden, a wealthy farmer of Wilmecote, near Stratford-on-Avon, who had died a few months previously. A wealthy farmer, indeed, for those days, and one who would have been specially so distinguished in the contemporary provincial estimate. He possessed two farm-houses with a hundred acres or more of land at Snittcrfield, as well as another one with about fifty acres at Wilmecote, the former being occupied by tenants and the latter by himself. In addition to these he owned a copyhold estate in the last-named parish, the extent of which has not been ascertained. But with all these advantages he was a farmer, and nothing more, ?a worthy fellow whose main anxiety, as fully appears from the records, centered in the welfare of his family, and who had no desire to emulate, however remotely, the position of a country gentleman. The appointments of his dwelling were probably, however, superior on the whole to those which were to be found in other residences of the same class, including no fewer than eleven painted-cloths, a species of artistic decoration that was in those days a favorite substitute for the more expensive tapestry. Pictures of the kind that are now familiar to us were then very rarely indeed to be seen, excepting in palaces or in the larger mansions of the nobility. These painted-cloths were generally formed of canvas upon which were depicted the Seven Ages of Man, the Story of the Prodigal, and such like; grotesque accompaniments, in one or more of the rooms, to the bacon in the roof. The inventory of Rober..

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William Shakespeare, 1564 - 1616 Although there are many myths and mysteries surrounding William Shakespeare, a great deal is actually known about his life. He was born in Stratford-Upon-Avon, son of John Shakespeare, a prosperous merchant and local politician and Mary Arden, who had the wealth to send their oldest son to Stratford Grammar School. At 18, Shakespeare married Anne Hathaway, the 27-year-old daughter of a local farmer, and they had their first daughter six months later. He probably developed an interest in theatre by watching plays performed by traveling players in Stratford while still in his youth. Some time before 1592, he left his family to take up residence in London, where he began acting and writing plays and poetry. By 1594 Shakespeare had become a member and part owner of an acting company called The Lord Chamberlain's Men, where he soon became the company's principal playwright. His plays enjoyed great popularity and high critical acclaim in the newly built Globe Theatre. It was through his popularity that the troupe gained the attention of the new king, James I, who appointed them the King's Players in 1603. Before retiring to Stratford in 1613, after the Globe burned down, he wrote more than three dozen plays (that we are sure of) and more than 150 sonnets. He was celebrated by Ben Jonson, one of the leading playwrights of the day, as a writer who would be "not for an age, but for all time," a prediction that has proved to be true. Today, Shakespeare towers over all other English writers and has few rivals in any language. His genius and creativity continue to astound scholars, and his plays continue to delight audiences. Many have served as the basis for operas, ballets, musical compositions, and films. While Jonson and other writers labored over their plays, Shakespeare seems to have had the ability to turn out work of exceptionally high caliber at an amazing speed. At the height of his career, he wrote an average of two plays a year as well as dozens of poems, songs, and possibly even verses for tombstones and heraldic shields, all while he continued to act in the plays performed by the Lord Chamberlain's Men. This staggering output is even more impressive when one considers its variety. Except for the English history plays, he never wrote the same kind of play twice. He seems to have had a good deal of fun in trying his hand at every kind of play. Shakespeare wrote 154 sonnets, all published on 1609, most of which were dedicated to his patron Henry Wriothsley, The Earl of Southhampton. He also wrote 13 comedies, 13 histories, 6 tragedies, and 4 tragecomedies. He died at Stratford-upon-Avon April 23, 1616, and was buried two days later on the grounds of Holy Trinity Church in Stratford. His cause of death was unknown, but it is surmised that he knew he was dying.

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