The birth of Shakespeare
A complete, authoritative
Shakespeare’s life is
relatively few facts. His
day of birth is
traditionally held to be
April 23 in Stratfordupon-Avon,
Warwickshire. The third
of eight children, he was
the eldest son of John
Shakespeare, a locally
prominent merchant, and
Mary Arden, daughter of
a Roman Catholic
member of the landed
Place of Shakespeare’s birth
Shakespeare goes to school
He was probably educated
at the local grammar
school. As the eldest son,
would have been
apprenticed to his father’s
shop so that he could learn
and eventually take over
the business, but according
to one apocryphal account
he was apprenticed to a
butcher because of
reverses in his father’s
Religion and Politics
Elizabethan England. In recent years, it has more
convincingly been argued that he was caught up in the
secretive network of Catholic believers and priests who
strove to cultivate their faith in the inhospitable conditions
Shakespeare in love
In 1582 he married Anne Hathaway, the daughter of a farmer.
He is supposed to have left Stratford after he was caught
poaching in the deer park of Sir Thomas Lucy, a cottage justice
Anne Hathaway’s local
of the peace. Shakespeare and Anne Hathaway produced a
daughter, Susanna, in 1583 and twins—a boy and a girl—in
1585. The boy died 11 years later
Timeline of Shakespeare Works
Although the precise date of many of Shakespeare’s plays is
in doubt, his dramatic career is generally divided into four
periods. These divisions are necessarily arbitrary ways of
viewing Shakespeare’s creative development, since his
plays are notoriously hard to date accurately, either in terms
of when they were written or when they were first performed.
Click on the timeline to learn more
Shakespeare’s first period
was one of experimentation.
His early plays, unlike his
more mature work, are
characterized to a degree by
formal and rather obvious
construction and often
period includes his most
concerned with English
history, his so-called
joyous comedies, and
two major tragedies. In
this period, his style and
approach became highly
The Globe was built in 1599 using timber from
an earlier theatre.
The Globe was owned by many actors.
Shakespeare owned a single share, or 12.5%.
The stage measured approximately 43 feet
(13.1m) in width, 27 feet (8.2m) in depth.
On this stage, there was a trap door for use by
performers to enter from the "cellarage" area
beneath the stage.
The Chamberlain's Men
performed most of their
plays on the multi-leveled spaces of the Globe
Shakespeare gave sets, props and costumes his
audiences almost entirely through language.
there are no trees or battlements or roaring surf but
only a bare stage jutting out among the spectators.
Visual spectacle, though not unimportant, was
secondary to dialogue; we speak of going to "see" a
play where audiences up to the nineteenth century
spoke of "hearing" one.
1.Only men and boys.
2. Young boys whose voices had not changed play
3. Would have been considered indecent for a
woman to appear on stage.
Protagonist (main character)
Antagonist (main character)
Flat characters: One-dimensional, embodying only a
single trait. Shakespeare often uses them to provide
comic relief even in a tragedy.
Static Characters: Characters within a story who remain
the same. They do not change. They do not change
their minds, opinions or character.
Dynamic Characters: Characters that change somehow
during the course of the plot. They generally change for