William Shakespeare: A Renaissance Man William Shakespeare was an actor and playwright during the Renaissance period whose plays are some of the most well-known plays of all times. Some people even say that he was able to eclipse all writers who proceed and follow him. William Shakespeare has influenced all kinds of people including artists, poets, philosophers, and thinkers. Shakespeare wrote four different types of plays: Comedies, Tragedies, Histories, and Romances. Some of the most famous plays are Romeo and Juliet, The Tempest, and A Midsummer Night’s Dream. Shakespeare wrote 38 successful plays in only 25 years. His plays were not short little stories but they were long, complex plays that required background notes for the reader. Along with writing these plays, Shakespeare also starred in his own plays but took on the smaller roles. He also wrote poems and sonnets as well as plays.
Shakespeare was born in Stratford-upon-Avon on April 23, 1564 which is the Feast Day of St. George who is the patron Saint of England. In 1576 when Shakespeare was 12, the first purpose-built theater was built (the first theater built for only theater productions and no other cause). This theater, built in England, was constructed by James Burbage whose son, Robert, eventually starred as a major actor in Shakespeare’s plays. Burbage had an influence on Shakespeare because he inspired him to become an actor and a playwright. Other people who inspired Shakespeare to be a playwright are Tomas Kyd and Christopher Marlow who wrote Tragedies and John Lyly who wrote comedies. All three of these men attended a university unlike Shakespeare who didn’t attend a university.
William Shakespeare’s parents were Mary Arden and John Shakespeare. Shakespeare was one of eight children, four girls and four boys. When John Shakespeare got a new job, the family had to make the adjustment from being farmers to being higher class. The Shakespeare family was Christian so William Shakespeare was baptized. At the time that Shakespeare lived, there were no formal birth certificates so the certificate at Baptism was the only record of Shakespeare’s real name. On his certificate from Baptism, it shows Shakespeare’s name to be Giliemus Filius Johannes Shakspere. This translates from Latin to William Son of John Shakespeare.
When Shakespeare was 18 years old, he married Anne Hathaway who was 26 years old. They had a child five months after their wedding and named her Susanna. Shakespeare then had boy and girl twins, Hamnet and Judith. The Shakespeare family lived in Stratford still but William Shakespeare lived his professional life in London.
When Shakespeare started his acting career, there was a demand for theater and the theater was changing too. Special effects were becoming more advanced for playwrights and actors. During this time, plays were so popular that even Queen Elizabeth herself supported them. Without Queen Elizabeth’s help, the plays would have never lived on and survived. Sadly, Shakespeare was not very successful and his plays were not being produced. His plays were not being produced because at this time, English dramas were mysteries which were based off of religious themes and allegories. Soon Shakespeare’s role models Tomas Kyd, Christopher Marlow, and John Lyly died and people began to take interest in Shakespeare’s plays which were surprisingly good.
Shakespeare had to deal with some obstacles in his life time. A man named Robert Greene deeply resented Shakespeare. He resented Shakespeare so much because he was uneducated but highly successful. Greene was joined in this attack against Shakespeare by other university educated people. Most of this hatred towards Shakespeare was formed out of jealousy that Shakespeare could be so successful without an education and the training that they had to do themselves. With their complaints, these university educated protesters went and told the whole world that Shakespeare didn’t even write his own plays since he didn’t even have an education from a university. This has a huge impact on Shakespeare because people started to see Greene’s point and considered their theory that Shakespeare didn’t even write his own plays.
Shakespeare’s plays dominated the theater stages in London making those 25 years when his plays were playing the best plays during the Renaissance period. These plays are so successful because the three major playwrights died and opportunities for new playwrights opened up. Shakespeare took one of those spots and people started to acknowledge how great his plays were. Below are some of the most famous plays that Shakespeare wrote.
- A Mid-Summer Night’s Dream
- Much Ado about Nothing
- The Merchant of Venice
- All’s Well That Ends Well
- Measure for Measure
- All of the King Henry plays
- The Life and Death of King John
- All of the King Richard plays *Romeo and Juliet
- Julius Caesar
- King Lear
- Antony and Cleopatra *The Tempest
- The Winter’s Tale
Shakespeare was what some people call a Renaissance Man. A Renaissance Man is a man of the Renaissance period who made great achievements in multiple areas. Shakespeare was a Renaissance Man because he was an actor and a playwright as well as a poet. Shakespeare also wrote so many complex plays in such a short amount of time.
Shakespeare is admirable because of his great achievements. He wrote 38 complex plays in 25 years as well as acting in them. He also wrote poems and sonnets on top of writing plays. Shakespeare is also admirable because of his perseverance when all of the university educated people said terrible things about him.
Overall, Shakespeare had a huge impact in History and the people who live at the same time as or after William Shakespeare. He truly deserved the title The Renaissance Man because he was such a talented man. He really did eclipse all writers before and after him and he deserves to be recognized. — Preceding unsigned comment added by 188.8.131.52 (talk) 04:58, 2 December 2013 (UTC)