Friday, 23 April 2010

On this day...

Well, of course, today could not go by without the mention of the great man himself; William Shakespeare was born in 1564. Born in Stratford-upon-Avon to a successful glove merchant, the playwright's actual birthdate is unknown, and is only assumed from his baptism, which tradition usually dictated happened three days after the birth. After marrying a preganant Anne Hathaway at 18, much of Shakespeare's life remains a mystery, until his reappearance on the London theatrical scene in 1592.

His subsequent career is so extensive that to summarise it is not to do it justice, however there are several aspects of his life which are worth mentioning specifically. A contemporary of playwrights such as Marlowe, Kyd and Fletcher, Shakespeare's works were performed by the Lord Chamberlain's Men under the reign of Elizabeth I, later called the Kings Men under James I. Also an author of sonnets, Shakespeare's 36 plays were collated in the 1623 First Folio, and include some of the most famous tragedies, comedies and histories of all time. Indeed, Shakespeare's influence has spread not only throughout the field of literature, but through the English language itself. Here are some of his more recognisable creations.

Shakespeare, who also died on April 23rd, despite questions surrounding authorship, religion, and even appearance, is still undoubtedly one of the greatest ever writers in world literature.

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