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William Shakespeare was a great English playwright, dramatist and poet who lived
during the late sixteenth and early seventeenth centuries. Shakespeare is considered
to be the greatest playwright of all time. No other writer's plays have been produced so
many times or read so widely in so many countries as his.
Shakespeare was born to middle class parents. His father, John, was a Stratford
businessman. He was a glove maker who owned a leather shop. John Shakespeare was
a well known and respected man in the town. He held several important local
governmental positions. William Shakespeare's mother was Mary Arden. Though she was
the daughter of a local farmer, she was related to a family of considerable wealth and
social standing. Mary Arden and John Shakespeare were married in 1557.
William Shakespeare was born in Stratford in 1564. He was one of eight children. The
Shakespeare's were well respected prominent people. When William Shakespeare was
about seven years old, he probably began attending the Stratford Grammar School with
other boys of his social class. Students went to school year round attending school for
nine hours a day. The teachers were strict disciplinarians.
Though Shakespeare spent long hours at school, his boyhood was probably fascinating.
Stratford was a lively town and during holidays, it was known to put on pageants and
many popular shows. It also held several large fairs during the year. Stratford was a
exciting place to live. Stratford also had fields and woods surrounding it giving William
the opportunity to hunt and trap small game. The River Avon which ran through the
town allowed him to fish also. Shakespeare's' poems and plays show his love of nature
and rural life which reflects his childhood.
On November 28, 1582, Shakespeare married Anne Hathaway of the neighboring village
of Shottery. She was twenty-six, and he was only eighteen at the time. They h...
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