born in April 23, 1564 in Stratford-upon-Avon, about 100 miles
northwest of London.
died 52 years later on April 23, 1617.
PARENTS AND FAMILY:
Shakespeare's parents were John and Mary Shakespeare.
had in all eight children with John Shakespeare. William was the
third child and the first son.
was a whittawer: a maker, worker and seller of leather goods such
as purses, belts and gloves.
was a solid, middle class citizen at the time of William's birth, and a
man on the rise.
1577 John Shakespeare's fortunes began to decline for unknown reasons.
There are records of debts. In
1592 John was reprimanded for not coming to church for fear of being
imprisoned for his debts.
November 28, 1582 William Shakespeare married Anne Hathaway.
years later, twins were born to them, Hamnet and Judith.
was well established in the London theater world by the end of 1592.
chief rival among early Elizabethan playwrights was Christopher
Marlowe. Wrote Tamburlain
plays, Dr. Faustus and The Jew of Malta. Had
Shakespeare died in the same year as Marlowe, his accomplishment would
have been thought remarkable, but Marlowe would undoubtedly have been
given the precedence as the better of the playwrights by subsequent
critics. Marlowe was murdered in 1593.
January 1593 the theaters in London were closed on
account of the plague.
December 1592 until December 1593 10,675 plague deaths were reported in a
city of approximately 200,000.
remained closed until spring 1594.
December 1594, listed by the Treasurer of the Queen's Chamber along with
Will Kemp and Richard Burbage, the great clown and tragedian of the
company. They were known as the Lord Chamberlain's men.
years 1594-1599 were momentous for Shakespeare.
1599, he became part owner in the most prestigious public
playhouse in London, the Globe.
The Chamberlain's Men.
Over the years 1594-1599 the Chamberlain's Men had become the most
popular acting company in London, being invited to perform at court
far more often than any other group. Shakespeare must have done a
great deal of acting.
The Construction of The Globe:
During the years before 1599 the Chamberlain's Men performed publicly
primarily at The Theatre.
In 1597 the lease expired, and
the Chamberlain's men were forced to move to The Curtain, another public
playing house near The Theatre.
They took The Theatre apart,
transporting its timbers across the Thames to the Bankside where they were
used to build The Globe.
The Globe was certainly the most
magnificent Theater London had ever seen.