·  SHAKESPEARE – Identity – William Shakespeare of Stratford-upon-Avon – Biography


- Info:

  - This article is based on http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/William_Shakespeare

  - "William Shakespeare of Stratford-upon-Avon" was an English poet and playwright.


- Birth:

  - His father was John Shakespeare, an alderman and a successful glover.

  - His mother was  Mary Arden, the daughter of an affluent landowning farmer.

  - He was born in Stratford-upon-Avon and baptized there on 26 April 1564.

  - His actual birthdate remains unknown, but is traditionally observed on 23 April, St George's Day.

  - This date, which can be traced back to an 18th-century scholar's mistake, has proved appealing to biographers, since

    Shakespeare died 23 April 1616.

  - He was the third child of eight and the eldest surviving son.


- Marriage:

  - At the age of 18, Shakespeare married the 26-year-old Anne Hathaway.

  - Six months later Anne gave birth to a daughter, Susanna, baptised 26 May 1583.

  - Twins, son Hamnet and daughter Judith, followed almost two years later and were baptized 2 February 1585.

  - Hamnet died of unknown causes at the age of 11 and was buried 11 August 1596.


- Lost years:

  - After the birth of the twins, Shakespeare left few historical traces until he is mentioned as part of the London theatre

    scene in 1592, and scholars refer to the years between 1585 and 1592 as Shakespeare's "lost years".


- Greene's attack:

  - Greene's attack is the earliest surviving mention of Shakespeare’s career in the theatre:

    "...there is an upstart Crow, beautified with our feathers, that with his Tiger's heart wrapped in a Player's hide, supposes

    he is as well able to bombast out a blank verse as the best of you: and being an absolute Johannes factotum, is in his

    own conceit the only Shake-scene in a country"

  - Scholars differ on the exact meaning of these words.

  - Most agree that Greene is accusing Shakespeare of reaching above his rank in trying to match university-educated

    writers such as Christopher Marlowe, Thomas Nashe and Greene himself (the "university wits").

  - The italicized phrase parodying the line "Oh, tiger's heart wrapped in a woman's hide" from Shakespeare's Henry VI,

    Part 3, along with the pun "Shake-scene", identifies Shakespeare as Greene's target.

  - Here Johannes Factotum—"Jack of all trades"— means a second-rate tinkerer with the work of others, rather than the

    more common "universal genius".

   - More on Greene's attacks can be found at http://www.fbrt.org.uk/pages/enigma/greene.html.


- Investments:

  - In 1599, company members built their own theatre on the south bank of the River Thames, called the Globe.

  - In 1608, the partnership also took over the Blackfriars indoor theatre.

  - Records of Shakespeare's property purchases and investments indicate that the company made him a wealthy man.

  - In 1597, he bought the second-largest house in Stratford, New Place, and in 1605, he invested in a share of the parish

    tithes in Stratford.


- Authorship:

  - Around 150 years after Shakespeare's death, doubts began to be expressed about the authorship of his works.

  - Proposed alternative candidates include:

    - Francis Bacon,

    - Christopher Marlowe,

    - Edward de Vere, 17th Earl of Oxford

    - several "group theories".

  - Only a small minority of academics believe there is reason to question the traditional attribution.