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Biography of William Shakespeare William Shakespeare was born in 1564 supposedly on 22 or 23 April in Stratford-upon-Avon His father John who was a prosperous glover there preparing and selling soft leather became alderman and later high bailiff Shakespeare was educated at Stratford Grammar School When he was eighteen he married Anne Hathaway - eight years older than he and already she was pregnant Six months later their daughter Susanna was born They had twins a boy Hamnet and a girl named Judith two years later There are no records of Shakespeares life during the seven years that followed the lost years But by 1592 he was already an established actor and playwright in London He joined the Lord Chamberlains Men in 1594 working as a leading actor and dramatist By 1599 this all-male company of experienced and talented players - no women appeared on the stage until the Restoration - had built their own theatre the Globe Its owners were seven member of the company including Shakespeare himself who shared in its profits For the next decade the Globe on the Thames at Bankside was to be Londons chief theatre and the home of Shakespeares work Many of his greatest plays were written during these ten years and were acted there Both Queen Elizabeth and after her James I showed the company many favors In 1613 during a performance of Henry VIII the Globe was destroyed by fire But the Lord Chamberlains men by now called the Kings Men had four years earlier leased a second smaller playhouse the Blackfriars This was an indoor theatre unlike the Globe which was open to the sky and it had the technical facilities for scenic effects - a fact which probably accounts for the spectacular element in Shakespeares late plays In 1612 Shakespeare it seems went home His son Hamnet had died when only
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