What experiences did Shakespeare go through while he wrote his literature?

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sesmith5 | High School Teacher | (Level 3) Adjunct Educator

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Shakespeare experienced much both personally and as an observer of world events. His family was reasonably well off, though it did have its financial ups and downs. He married early, being only eighteen when he married Anne Hathaway. They had three children, Susanna, Hamnet, and Judith. He left his wife for London where he became an actor and eventually playwright in residence for the actors troupe "The King's Men." As England was pivotal in many world events at the time, he was witness to many influential events. He lived in London during several outbreaks of the Bubonic Plague. One of those outbreaks took the life of his son, Hamnet. He witnessed the political intrigue of the monarchy with its many assassination plots against Queen Elizabeth I, culminating with the execution of Mary, Queen of Scots, for complicity in one of these assassination attempts. He was surely privy to news of much of the political intrigue in Europe and the Middle East as well. All of these historical events, and many others as well, influenced the writing of his plays. Particularly, his experience of political intrigue certainly helped to make more vivid his depiction of the plights of Hamlet, King Lear, and MacBeth to name a few.

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Jamie Wheeler | College Teacher | eNotes Employee

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This question is very broad, but I can try to give you some ideas about what you might like to pursue, if you are writing a paper.

As a boy, Shakepeare ws sent to a "petty" (now, "pre-k") school to learn early reading skills and the catechism, then to a Latin-based grammar school in Stratford, where he became familiar with great works of literature. He is reported to have loved the myths of Ovid.

"National and local tensions," historian Peter Thomson explains, "were having their effect in Stratford during Shakespeare's boyhood and youth." The years 1580-1590 are known as "the crisis," a time of the "Papist challenge to the Puritan onslaught."

There is not much actually known of Shakespeare's early years. But by 1592, he was already a well-known playwright.

In 1594, Shakespeare and his company performed at the pleasure (and expense) of his patron, Lord Chamberlain. While serving for Chamberlain, Shakespeare allegedly wrote two of his most popular works, "Romeo and Juliet" and "A Midsummer Night's Dream."

However, even with all of his successes, his life was not without trouble. In 1594, his only son, Hamnet, died at age 11.

1n 1599, Shakespeare was performing with his company at "The Globe," their first permanent home; the first play put on was "As You Like It."

Thomson, Peter
"Shakespeare's Professional Career"
Cambridge: Cambridge UP, 1992


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