Romeo And Juliet

This essay has a total of 2258 words and 10 pages.

Romeo and Juliet




Romeo and Juliet, Hamlet, these amazing plays all originated from the
single mind of William Shakespeare. The plays in which Shakespeare wrote, he wrote out
of a very small educated mind a distinct love for the bible and of course, an imagination.
The plays in which Shakespeare wrote were all written as an adult to, leaving his past to
be misled into false claims. Shakespeare never wrote and autobiography and much is not
known about his childhood sense it was never a real corner stone for people who enjoyed
his plays and poems to think about, but as the saying goes, you can’t understand your
future till you understand your past. This strictly helps us interpret why each and every
persons childhood, famous or not, is important. Do you know what kind of childhood
Shakespeare had? Do you know where he started from?
William Shakespeare was born in Stratford-upon-Avon in the Province of
Warwickshire England in 1564 to John Shakespeare and Mary ( Arden ) Shakespeare.
Stratford was a relatively prosperous market town ( Loxton 13 ) in middle England, which
had a fairly large population. When William was three months old, the plague raged in
Stratford ( Lee 10 ) and took the lives of many, and killed one out of every seven that was
living in the town at that time. Lucky William and the Shakespeare family escaped the
plague, and as from records, no one in the Shakespeare family had contracted the awful
illness.
The Shakespeare family was a close-knit one, and they had to be in those days.
William Shakespeare’s family consisted of John, the father, Mary the mother, 3 brothers,
Gilbert, Edmund, Richard, 4 sisters, Joan, Ann, another Joan, and Margaret, along with
Shakespeare’s Grandfather and Grandmother( rarely heard of ). Although they could
escape the plague they could not escape the overwhelming commonness of the death of
infants in that time ( Lee 10 ). Mary the mother of William Shakespeare was the daughter
of Robert Arden and Had, In all, Eight Children with John Shakespeare ( Gray 3 ). The
first daughter of Mary and John was Joan, who died at birth in 1558. The second born to
the couple was the daughter Margaret, which was born in 1562 and died a year later in
1563. The third child born to John and Mary, in 1564 finally was William Shakespeare and
as we all know lived into adulthood ( Fido 11 ). April 1564 is the month in which
Shakespeare was baptized but no exact birth date was ever given, but since he died close
to his birthday which happened to fall on the 23rd of April, the same date as St. George’s
birthday, the people recognize this as his official birth date ( Loxton 10 ). The next
member of the Shakespeare family was William’s brother was Gilbert and he also lived
into adulthood. He was born in 1566 and later died in 1612, a fairly short life but this was
common back in his time ( Kay 17 ). The next born, the second Joan in the Shakespeare
family also lived to be an adult, as she was born in 1566 and later died in 1612. The 6th
born child, who was Anne, died at age 8, when William was only 15. The death of his
sister probably caused great pain to William and the whole family as most deaths do, and
was just another loss to add to the family at that time. She was born in 1571 and later died
in 1579. Richard Shakespeare, named after his grandfather, was the 7th born and also
lived into adulthood, but by no means was it a long adult life. I lived till 1613 and was
born in 1574. The last child, Edmund, like Richard was also named after a relative in the
family. He was named after his uncle Edmund on his mothers side. Edmund also like
Richard didn’t live a very long adult life, living only a mere 28 years. Richard lived from
1580 till 1608. This was the immediate family to William Shakespeare and undoubtedly
influenced his life a great deal, as all families do ( Lee 18-19 ).The most important figure
in Shakespeare’s childhood life was, undoubtedly his father, John Shakespeare.
In 1551, John Shakespeare left Snitterfield, which was his birthplace, to
seek a career in the neighboring town of Stratford-Upon-Avon ( Lee 4 ). At one point
John Shakespeare purchased 500 pounds of wool to start his new wool and glove selling
business which he brought to the Stratford markets every Thursday to sell ( Lee, 6-7)
By this time he had already married his wife Mary whom grew up in a tiny farm village of
Wilmcole, ( Wright 13 ) and was moving up the social and economic ladder. He was later
appointed as the towns tester to test the freshness of Ale and Bread ( Fido 12 ), was later
placed as alderman, and still moving up the ladder to finally being elected town bailiff
(essentially mayor) in 1568 ( Kay 7 ). He Bought 2 houses on Henley Street in Stratford
and they still stand to this day and some houses in Stratford with their projecting second
stories and small windows are medieval and still look much as they did in Shakespeare’s
time (Wright 11 ). This was undoubtedly the birthplace of William and many believe he
was conceived in the upstairs bedroom ( Wright 12 ). William grew up admiring his father
and the bible. ( the bible was a large part of life in those days ).The interaction between
father and son was evident.
John, William’s father, who could be considered wealthy at the time,
brought his son to fairs and together watched many plays (Wright 15 ). This is most likely
William got his taste for plays and poetry. The plays consisted of six or seven actors and
would be going from town to town to promote their plays ( Wright 14 ). Most of the plays
brought to towns and cities in provincial England were full of moral preachments and
lessons of richeousness ( Wright 19 ). If the children didn’t understand the message or
moral, they would be entertained by it nonetheless. The provincial theater left much
imagination to its audience and children were often stirred by its physical action ( Wright
19 ). One example of this physical action, was the involvement of violence in the plays.
Violence was an essential ingredient in sixteenth century plays ( Wright 19 ) and it was
used to convey messages better to children and to make the moral more believable or
realistic. Sometimes an actor would carry a concealed bladder of animal blood and to be
used to spurt forth at the critical moment in an axing or stabbing ( Wright 19 ). William no
doubt, got the best seat for these events, for his father was the most important official in
the town at that time. Violence and action that portrayed messages in these plays most
likely sculpted the mind of the young playwrite. Another interaction between father and
son was the sharing of the fathers wool business. William would help out his father as
would most men and boys would do, spend most of their time outside and working ( Levi
5 ). Apart from learning skills and gaining recognition from his father William attended
Kings new Grammar

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