William Shakespeare was born on April 23, 1564, in Stratford-upon-Avon, Warwickshire. He was the son of a merchant named John Shakespeare, who also served as a city councilman, and of a wealthy Catholic woman named Mary Arden.
William Shakespere’s work is characterized by his mastery of the scenic structure and literary language, whether in prose or poetry; by the psychological penetration of his characters; and for its capture and understanding of human emotions.
This intellectual capacity in an apparently poorly educated man academically (no letter or manuscript is preserved) has caused a lot of ink to run on the true identity of the author of the works signed by Shakespeare, affirming some scholars that the person responsible for the works could have been the philosopher Francis Bacon or an Earl of Oxford named Edward De Bere.
On November 28, 1582, when he was 18 years old, Shakespeare married Anne Hathaway, 26, from Temple Grafton, a town near Stratford. Apparently she was in a rush to arrange the wedding, perhaps because Anne was three months pregnant. After his marriage, there are hardly any marks of William Shakespeare in the historical record, until he makes his appearance on the London theater scene. On May 26, 1583, the couple’s first-born daughter, Susanna, was baptized at Stratford. A son, Hamnet, and another daughter, Judith, born twins, were also baptized shortly after, on February 2, 1585; Hamnet died at the age of eleven, and only his daughters reached adulthood. Judging by the playwright’s will, which is somewhat dismissive of Anne Hathaway, the marriage was not a good fit.
He continued to write verses, hypnotized, attended the representations that the league’s comedy companies offered in the Stratford Guild Hall and did not miss the masquerades, fireworks, parades and theatrical performances with which the Queen’s visits to the castle were celebrated. Kenilworth, home of one of his favorites.
By 1592 Shakespeare was already in London working as a playwright, and he was well known enough. He would soon become an actor, a writer, and eventually a co-owner of the theatrical company known as Lord Chamberlain’s Men, which was named after him, like others of the time, from his aristocratic patron, the Lord Chamberlain. The company would reach such popularity that, after the death of Isabel I and the ascent to the throne of Jacobo I Stuart, the new monarch would take it under the protection of him, happening to denominate the King’s Men.
Parallel to his theatrical success, his economy improved. He became one of the shareholders of his theater, was able to help his father financially and even in 1596 he bought a noble title from him, whose shield appears on the monument to the poet built shortly after his death in the Stratford church. Shakespeare retired to his hometown in 1611, by the end of the century he was already wealthy enough and bought or had a house built in Stratford, which he called New-Place.