Works & his life –
How did he do this?
Genius & training
Genius – 2 influences – little village of
Stratford, the great city of London.
Stratford – he learned natural man & his
London- artificial man & his unnatural
Baptized on April 23rd 1564.
Parents - John Shakespeare , Mary Arden.
He learnt a little at the grammar school at
Stratford & his ‘real teachers’ were natural
surroundings and people around him.
Age of 14- his father fell into debt – he
stopped his studies to support his family.
No evidence of his early occupation.
1582, he was married to Anne Hathaway – 8
yrs older than him – soon he left his family
and went to London.
1587 – London – stealing the deer in Sir
Thomas Lucy’s park – Nicholas Rowe in “first
life of Shakespeare” claimed that no evidence
of park in that place.
1587-1611 – life in London – period of
tremendous literary activity.
1592- first authentic reference of him –
Greene’s Pamphlet – important position
among the playwrights.
Started working with other men in London
He revised older plays before writing his own.
Henry VI – 3 parts – loosely strung English
Titus Andronicus, Richard III – Marlowe &
Soon broke away from his apprenticeship –
Love’s Labour’s Lost, Comedy of Errors, Two
Gentlemen of Verona,
First English Chronicle plays – Henry VI, Richard
III, Richard II, King John.
A Midsummer Night’s Dream, Romeo and Juliet.
Poems – “Venus and Adonis” – dedication to Earl
of Southampton – immense success.
Invested money – became partners of Globe &
1597 – his family got released from debt – New
Place- finest house at Stratford.
Continued to visit his house – in 1611 – returned
to his village from London.
Coriolanus, Cymbeline, Winter’s Tale, Pericles
1609 – English ship disappeared
A year later the sailors returned – wrecked in
Bermudas – 10 months with mysterious noises.
Robinson Crusoe – The Tempest.
1611- lost interest in Globe &Blackfriars
After a simple life, he died on April 23, 1616.
First printed collection of his plays – First Folio
(1623)- actors – Heming & Condell.
It contained 36 plays.
Full of typographical errors and uncertain dates
1. Period of early experimentation
2. Period of rapid growth
3. Period of gloom & depression
4. Period of restored serenity.
Period of early experimentation
1595-Marked by youthfulness & wide
imagination, lavishness of language, rimed
Love’s Labour’s Lost
Two Gentlemen of Verona
Period of rapid growth & development
Dated from 1595-1600.
Careful and artistic work, better plot, increase
in knowledge of human nature.
The Merchant of Venice
Midsummer Night’s Dream
As You Like It
Period of gloom & depression
Dated from 1600-1607.
Full maturity of his powers.
Cause of the sadness is unknown – probably because
of personal experience & political misfortunes of his
friends Essex & Southampton.
Othello & Julius Caesar
Period of restored serenity
Last years of poet’s literary works.
Second period of his experimentation.
The Winter’s Tale
Classification - source
Macbeth, King Lear, Julius Caesar.
Romeo and Juliet, The Merchant of Venice.
Historical material – Holinshed’s Chronicle of
England, Scotland and Ireland.
North’s translation of Plutarch’s Lives.
Love’s Labour’s Lost & Merry Wives of Windsor –
Henry VI, Comedy of Errors, Hamlet, The Tempest
– made over the older plays.
• Merchant of Venice, Midsummer
Night’s Dream, As You Like It,
Winter’s Tale, The Tempest, Twelfth
• Romeo and Juliet, Macbeth, Hamlet,
King Lear, OthelloTragedies
• Julius Caesar, Richard III, Henry VI,
Henry V, Coriolanus, Antony and
Titus Andronicus & HenryVI (1st part)
HenryVI & Richard III –Marlowe & Shakespeare.
Taming of the Shrew,Timon & Pericles – partly
HenryVIII – Fletcher and Shakespeare.
Two Noble Kinsmen – Fletcher
Edward III – anonymous – credited to
Long poems – “Venus and Adonis” & “The
Rape of Lucrece”.
Sonnets – 154 – 1609
Reference to his friend and woman.
“Mr.W.H”, “Fair lady”, “Dark lady”
Homer & Dante – narrow limits
William Herbert, Earl of Pembroke