Of what leading London theatre company was Shakespeare the principal playwright? 

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mwestwood eNotes educator| Certified Educator

While some scholars believe that Shakespeare joined the London theatrical world in 1587, it is noted that in 1594 William Shakespeare joined the theatre troupe of Lord Chamberlain's Men. After the patron of this company, Henry Carey, Lord Hunsdon, the Queen's Chamberlain, died, his son, George Carey, Second Lord Hunsdon, assumed the patronage, and Shakespeare became a principal actor in the troupe.  Later, in 1599, Shakespeare and his troupe leased land on which they had the Globe Theatre constructed; this theatre opened the following year. After the death of Queen Elizabeth in 1603, James I awarded the London company a patent, and the theatre company's name was changed to The King's Men in order to honor King James.

William Shakespeare's knowledge of acting played a key role in his authorship of plays as he understood the dynamics of actors and the positioning of them strategically upon the stage.  Certainly, Shakespeare fulfilled his line from As You Like It that a man plays many parts in his life:

All the world's a stage,
And all the men and women merely players:
They have their exits and their entrances;
And one man in his time plays many parts (2.7) 


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