William Shakespeare, undoubtedly one of the best playwrights of all time, was born in April of 1564 in Stratford-upon-Avon in Warwickshire. His parents were John Shakespeare, a whittawer, and Mary Arden Shakespeare. He was the third of eight children born to John and Mary and was their first son. They lived on Henley Street in Stratford. His baptism was on April 26 of that year at Stratford’s Holy Trinity Church. His date of birth is assumed to be April 23. He went to Stratford Grammar School from the age of seven to fourteen.
At the age of eighteen, on November 28, 1582, William was married by the bishop of Worcester, to Anne Hathaway of Shottery. Anne was seven or eight years older than him and was three months pregnant at the time of their marriage.
Their first child together, Susanna, was born on May 26, 1583. Two years after that, Hamnet and Judith were born together. Shakespeare and his family most likely lived in the house on Henley Street.
In 1592, Shakespeare’s theater career took off. Robert Greene referred to him as an “upstart crow”, and from that point on, everyone started paying attention to him. Other famous and notable literary critics also commented on Shakespeare. Shakespeare belonged to a number of acting companies in the beginning: The Queen’s Men, Pembroke’s Men, and Lord Strange’s Men.
But in January of 1593, a plague broke out and theaters all across London were closed. In December of 1594, Shakespeare has been noted to have started performing again. His new acting company was known as Lord Chamberlain’s Men.
The decade or so after that, was huge for Shakespeare. This was the time of The Great Globe theater where many of his best plays were performed. During this time, Shakespeare produced a steady line of hit plays, historical plays, comedies, and tragedies. In 1599 he finally became a part owner of the Globe. While all of this went on in London, Shakespeare’s family resided back in Stratford, about 100 miles northwest of London. It is suggested that he often made trips to see his family and deliver them money. In the August of 1596, his only son Hamnet died.
Shakespeare left the stage in 1611, right after his last play,”The Tempest”. He then returned home to live with his family at the old house on Henley Street. Both of Shakespeare’s daughters married. Susanna, the older of his two daughters, married a locally well-known doctor named John Hall. In his final days, Dr. Hall most likely attended to him in his sickness. William Shakespeare died at the age of 52 on April 23, 1616.