- William Shakespeare
- Greatest writer in English
- His work
- Personal life
- Shakespeare’s tragedies
- Acclaim throughout the world
- Shakespeare’s death
Shakespeare was born and raised in Stratford-upon-avon. At the age of 18, he married Anne Hathaway, with whom he had three children. Between 1585 and 1592, he began a successful career in London as an actor, writer and part-owner of a playing company called the Lord Chamberlain’s Men, later known as the King’s Men. He appears to have retired to stratford around 1613, where he died three years later.
Shakespeare produced most of his known work between 1589 and 1613. His early plays were mainly comedies and histories, genres he raised to the peak of sophistication and artistry by the end of 16th century. He then wrote mainly tragedies until about 1608, including hamlet, king Lear, othelo, and Macbeth, considered some of the finest work in the English language. And in his last phase, he wrote tragicomedies, also known as romances, and collaborated with other playwrights.
Shakespeare was a respected poet and playwright on his day, but his reputation did not rise to its present heights until the 19th century. The Romantics, in particular, acclaimed Shakespeare’s genius and the Victorians worshiped Shakespeare with a reverence. In the 20th century, his work was repeatedly adopted and rediscovered by new movements in scholarship and performance. His plays remains highly popular today and are constantly studied, performed and reinterpreted in diverse cultural and political context throughout the world.
William Shakespeare died on 23 April, 1616 according to his monument, and lies buried in the chancel of the Holy Trinity Church in Stratford-upon-Avon.
While there is little known of her life, Anne Hathaway outlived her husband by seven years, dying in 1623 and is buried beside him. It is not clear as to how or why Shakespeare died. Local tradition has it that Shakespeare became ill after a bout of hard drinking with his fellow playwrights Ben Johnson and Michael Drayton, possible as a result of having caught a chill. But there is a good cause to believe that Shakespeare was ill for some time prior to his death. His tombstone is inscribed with the following epitaph;
“Good friend for Jesus’ sake forbear
To dig the dust enclosed here.
Blessed be the man that spares these stones,
And cursed be he that moves my bones.”