Speech on Shakespeare's Life

William Shakespeare. When I say this name most of the tragedies, comedies, histories and sonnets flow into the mind of many individuals. On April 23rd 1564, in the streets of Stratford, England, a famous playwright and poet was born, and was destined to leave and impact on literature and theatre. Shakespeare was the third of seven children born to John and Mary Arden Shakespeare. John was a glove maker and Mary was known to be wealthier than John.

William Shakespeare attended a superb grammar school in Stratford and all his instructors were known to be oxford graduates aiding him in his studies, primarily in Latin.

At the age of eighteen, Shakespeare married Anne Hathaway, a woman of twenty-six years. Within the next year of their marriage, their first daughter Susanna was born. Twins named Judith and Hamnet followed two years later but to Shakespeare’s devastation, Hamnet died at the age of eleven in 1596 due to the bubonic plague. This inspired Shakespeare’s play Hamlet in his later years.

At the age of twenty-one it was said that William Shakespeare left his family and moved to London to begin an acting career but he was still thought to have an active role in his children’s and wife’s lives and visited them when he could.

Being an actor was thought to be risky in the Elizabethan era as actors were seen as a threat to society and held a bad reputation. Playwrights were also kept under close suspicion as they could write about religious or political elements. If writers did write about these forbidden elements in society, they could be severely punished and even executed.

By 1592 Shakespeare was an established actor and playwright, sometimes performing in his own plays, such as King Duncan in Macbeth and the ghost in Hamlet. The plague on England kept the theatres closed most of the time and it was during these times that Shakespeare wrote his earliest sonnets and poems.

Shakespeare wrote 154 sonnets mainly in the 1590’s. They were fairly short...