Shakespeare 1564 - 1616 (52)

To be, or not to be, that is the question.


excerpts from


King Lear



William Shakespeare was an English poet and playwright, one of the most important writers and playwrights in the world. He was born in April 1564 (probably on the 23rd as he was baptized on the 26th) in Strafford, west London. He was the third of eight children of a wealthy family; his father was a merchant and at times a city official, his mother was the daughter of a local landowner. There is no information about his childhood but due to their social status he would have received the best education for the season and region. At the age of 18 he married 26-year-old Anne Hathaway with whom they had a daughter in 1583 and twins in 1585; the boy died when he was 11. For seven years after the birth of the twins his traces disappeared and we do not know where he was and what did he do.

In 1592 he lived in London and worked in theaters, as an actor and as an assistant. In the years 1593 and 1594 appeared the first publications of his poems which were dedicated to the Earl of Southampton. In the late 1590s there are indications that Shakespeare had written about 15 of his 38 plays, performed with great success to the King's Men theater in London. In 1599, he and his associates set up their own theater company on the south bank of the Thames.

In 1605 he acquired a large estate in Stratford which provided him with a rich income, proof that in addition to being a genius artist he was also a clever businessman. Shakespeare's first works were historical and comedies, with the exception of "Romeo and Juliet". After 1600 he wrote his leading tragedies: "Hamlet", "King Lear", "Othello", "Macbeth". He died in 1616, his burial took place on April 5, 1616. He left behind 38 plays, 154 sonnets, and many other poems, an intellectual heritage that has not lost its glory until today.