Shakespeare Synopsis

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shakespeare

The Discrepancies of Shakespeare
Shakespeare is a world renowned playwright. Most people could describe at least of one of
his plays, poems, or sonnets. However, not many people can recall the details of his
personal life. Some may know that he was married, while others believe that he gay. Since
there are so many discrepancies concerning William Shakespeare, it can no longer be
determined what the facts are and what is fiction.

The discrepancies that involve Shakespeare start with his father. John Shakespeare had
come to live in Stratford-upon-Avon, working as a glove maker. However, John had a long
line of jobs. He was a wool dealer and was involved in money-lending
(www.shakespeare.org). Besides these he was a whittawer, which is a white-leather worker,
and a general agricultural dealer (Hunter WP). According to John Aubrey, an English writer
from Shakespeare's time, John was a butcher. To add to all of this, research shows that
John was a prominent citizen, and a "highly successful and respected man of high status"
(http:168.216.219.18). John held many public official positions. He served on the town
council for many years, maintained the position of justice of the peace, and became
Bailiff, the equivalent of a modern day mayor, in 1568, (www.shakespeare.org). Now, how
could a man who couldn't write, (http:168.216.219.18), hold so many different positions?
From butcher to a glove maker to being involved with money-lending to Bailiff, how can one
tell what is true and which is made up to improve the story of where William Shakespeare
came from?

John married Mary Arden in 1557 (Hunter WP). She came from a wealthy family who paid a
"handsome dowry to marry her off," (http:168.216.219.18). Now this increase in John's
funds could explain how he eventually went from glove maker to Bailiff. However, there
were numerous years that passed between his increase of funds and his honorable title,
that it is highly doubtful.

William Shakespeare was the third child that Mary bore John, but he was the first to live
past early childhood. Shakespeare was born in April of 1564, but the exact date of his
arrival is not known. Since the rate of infant mortality was high, babies were baptized
within two or three days of their birth. Shakespeare was baptized on the 26th of April
(Epstein, 22). So, it is assumed that Shakespeare was born on April 23, 1564. However, he
could have been born on the 24th or the 22nd. In fact, he could have been born on the 25th
and there just happened to be a baptismal on the 26th. There are so many possibilities
that one must wonder if it is right to assume a date.

Nobody knows if Shakespeare went to school or not. There are no records that Shakespeare
ever attended school. However, since no records of anyone's school attendance were
generally kept, there is no evidence against it. It is supposed, because he was the son of
a leading townsman, that he attended the King Edward VI Grammar School in Stratford. Here,
his education would have consisted of a thorough knowledge of Latin, logic and rhetoric
and also history, which would have been mainly classical, (http:168.216.219.18).This could
explain Shakespeare's knowledge of history for his plays. If William had attended school,
it is probable that he left at about the age of fourteen.

William had the example of his father's success and the standing of his mother as a
gentlewoman to ignite his own ambition, and it was while he was young that his father was
at the height of his influence.

Then, the fortunes of his father mysteriously failed as he appeared to fall into financial
difficulties which led him to default on his attendance at council meetings. As for
William, it is very likely that he became apprenticed to his father's business. This is
because it was the custom for young men, in those days, to follow in their father's
footsteps. The best way for a young man to learn his father's trade was to become an
apprentice to his father. John's business was in Stratford, which was a thriving market
town. The town attracted all sorts of travelers including the troupes of itinerant players
of the kind that he later became associated with in London. In 1572 and 1575 Queen
Elizabeth I passed close by to Stratford via Charlecote, on her visits to and from
Kenilworth and Shakespeare would have had the opportunity to see at close quarters the
manners of the court. (Hunter, WP)

Worcester records the marriage of Willelmum Shaxpere, in 1582. (Throughout his lifetime,
Shakespeare's name was variously spelt. Shaxpere was one of the ways his name is
recorded.) William was eighteen and his bride was either twenty-six or twenty-eight. There
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