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Word Count: 766
William Shakespeares father John Shakespeare moved to the idyllic town of Stratford-upon-Avon in the mid-sixteenth century where he became a successful landowner moneylender wool and agricultural goods dealer and glover In 1557 he married Mary Arden John Shakespeare lived during a time when the middle class grew and became wealthier and wealthier thus allowing its members increasing freedoms luxuries and voice in the local government He took advantage of the opportunities afforded him through this social growth and in 1557 became a member of the Stratford Council an event which marked the beginning of an illustrious political career By 1561 he was elected one of the towns fourteen burgesses where he served as constable one of two chamberlains and alderman successively In these positions he administered borough property and revenues In 1567 he was made bailiff the highest elected office in Stratford and the equivalent of a modern day mayor The town records indicate that William Shakespeare was John and Marys third child His birth is unregistered but legend places it on April 23 1564 partially because April 23 is the day on which he died 52 years later In any event his baptism was registered with the town on April 26 1564 Not much is known about Williams childhood although it is safe to assume that he attended the local grammar school the Kings New School which was staffed with a faculty who held Oxford degrees and whose curriculum included mathematics natural sciences Latin language and rhetoric logic Christian ethics and classical literature He did not attend the university which was not unusual at this time since university education was reserved for prospective clergymen and was not a particularly mind-opening experience However the education he received at grammar school was excellent as evidenced by the numerous classical and literary references in his plays His early works especially drew on such Greek and Roman greats as Seneca and Plautus What is more impressive
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