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William Shakespeare 1564-1616 IINTRODUCTION English playwright and poet recognized in much of the world as the greatest of all dramatists Shakespeares plays communicate a profound knowledge of the wellsprings of human behavior revealed through portrayals of a wide variety of characters His use of poetic and dramatic means to create a unified aesthetic effect out of a multiplicity of vocal expressions and actions is recognized as a singular achievement and his use of poetry within his plays to express the deepest levels of human motivation in individual social and universal situations is considered one of the greatest accomplishments in literary history IILIFE A complete authoritative account of Shakespeares life is lacking and thus much supposition surrounds relatively few facts It is commonly accepted that he was born in 1564 and it is known that he was baptized in Stratford-upon-Avon Warwickshire The third of eight children he was probably educated at the local grammar school As the eldest son Shakespeare ordinarily would have been apprenticed to his fathers shop so that he could learn and eventually take over the business but according to one account he was apprenticed to a butcher because of declines in his fathers financial situation According to another account he became a schoolmaster In 1582 Shakespeare married Anne Hathaway the daughter of a farmer He is supposed to have left Stratford after he was caught poaching in the deer park of Sir Thomas Lucy a local justice of the peace Shakespeare and Anne Hathaway had a daughter in 1583 and twinsa boy and a girlin 1585 The boy did not survive Shakespeare apparently arrived in London about 1588 and by 1592 had attained success as an actor and a playwright Shortly thereafter he secured the patronage of Henry Wriothesley 3rd Earl of Southampton The publication of Shakespeares two fashionably erotic narrative poems Venus and Adonis 1593
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