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THE text used in this play is that of the First Folio edition of 1623, with such omissions as are necessary to make the book suitable for classes of young students.

The chief sources from which information has been drawn in preparing the volume are given under "Bibliography"; acknowledgment must be made, however, of the editor's indebtedness to Dr. Kendric C. Babcock, President of the University of Arizona, who read the manuscript of the introduction and made valuable suggestions in regard to the material used.



WILLIAM SHAKESPEARE was born in St Warwickshire, England, April, 1564. He w tized April 26, and from this circumstan inferred that the date of his birth was A He was the first son and third child in a fa seven children. During the early years of th life, his father, John Shakespeare, a promin prosperous citizen of Stratford, did a business as trader in various agricultural p such as corn, wool, and leather. His whose maiden name was Arden, was descend one of the influential families of Warwi two members of which had held places in th of Henry VIII.

boys at the free grammar school, and it is probable that Shakespeare entered there when he was seven years old. The instruction furnished was chiefly Latin, though he may have learned French, Italian, and some Greek. The Latin authors then studied at schools of this grade were Cicero, Vergil, Ovid, Terence, Plautus, and Horace. Throughout Shakespeare's plays are evidences of an intimate acquaintance with Latin, both the language,' and its literature. Though he may have availed himself of translations, his use of words in many places proves beyond doubt a knowledge of their ultimate Latin sense. The knowledge of French and Italian which he displays in his dramas3 cannot be accredited wholly to the Stratford school, as "a boy with Shakespeare's exceptional alertness of intellect, during whose school days a training in the Latin

1 Cf. Note I., ii., 138; also Note III., i., 38. 2 Cf. Note V., i., 33-49.

3 The best instance of Shakespeare's ability to use French is perhaps that in Henry V., where in several places a dialogue is maintained in the French language. Othello is founded on an Italian novel written by Giraldi Anthio; no translation of this prior to the composition of Othello has been discovered.

classics lay within reach, could hardly lack i years all means of access to the literature of and Italy."

During the poet's early school days hi continued to prosper. He held successivel of the municipal offices of Stratford, and became bailiff, the highest official position village. In this position it was his duty to the actors who visited Stratford, and it is that the Queen's Company and the Earl of ter's Company were each thus officially we It is probable that Shakespeare saw the play were given from time to time in the town. Queen Elizabeth passed through Warwicks a visit to Kenilworth, the castle of the Earl o ter. Kenilworth is fifteen miles from S and John Shakespeare may have taken his s a schoolboy eleven years of age, to wit festivities which were given in honor of the It is, therefore, reasonable to suppose that speare during his most impressionable yea sionally saw dramatic performances1 and

1 The lines in Midsummer Night's Dream, II., i.,

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