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William Shakespeare Biography

William Shakespeare (23 April 1564 – 23 April 1616) was an English poet, poet, playwright and actor. His plays have been translated into almost all major languages.

Shakespeare had a creative talent of a very high order and at the same time he had an intuitive knowledge of the laws of art. As if he had received a boon from nature, so whatever he touched turned into gold. His creations are not only a matter of pride for the British race, but are also immortal figures of Vishwavanmaya. As intense as Shakespeare’s imagination was, so was his life experience. Therefore, while on the one hand there is an achievement of joy from his plays and his poems, on the other hand, we also get serious life philosophy from his works. In the history of world literature, poets are rarely found to be placed on par with Shakespeare.


Shakespeare was the third child of John Shakespeare, a leather merchant, and Mary Arden, the local heiress. Shakespeare had two older sisters, Joan and Judith, and three younger brothers, Gilbert, Richard and Edmund. Before Shakespeare was born, his father had become a successful businessman and held official positions that resembled a mayor and as bailiffs. However, records indicate that John’s fortunes declined in the late 1570s.


William Shakespeare was the eldest son and third child of John Shakespeare and Mary Arden. He was born in Stratford upon Avon. As a child, he was educated at the local free grammar school. Due to the increasing financial difficulties of his father, he had to leave the school and engage in small business. He decided to move to London for a living. There was another reason for this determination. Perhaps he had to leave his birthplace for fear of legal proceedings for theft of a deer from the garden of Sir Thomas Lucy, the landowner of Charles Kot. He was married to Ann Hathaway in 1582. Shakespeare came to London around 1585.

At first he worked on a small job in a theater, but after a few days he became a member of Lord Chamberlain’s company and began to take part in acting from time to time in major London theaters. After eleven years, he returned to Stratford upon Avon in 1596 and now he strengthened the financial system of his family. In the year 1597, he gradually renovated and expanded. In this building after 1610 he started spending most of his time and there he died in 1616.


There is considerable difference of opinion regarding the date of Shakespeare’s works. In 1930, the famous scholar Sir E.K. The table of dates presented by Chambers is generally accepted today. Even then, from the discovery of the previous years, some new assumptions have been made regarding dates. On the basis of these new discoveries, Mr. Mac Manway has prepared a new table, which Sir E.K. Chambers’ list differs somewhat.

Shakespeare’s creative genius continued to develop over a literary career spanning nearly 20 years. Generally four different stages are seen in this development. The initial stage ended in 1595. Almost all the works of this period are experimental. Shakespeare had not yet determined his path, so he was consolidating his composition by implementing various popular composition systems, in the hilarious style of the ancient happy plays, he did ‘The Comedy of Errors’ and ‘The Taming of the Sue’ Created. Subsequently, in ‘Love’s Labor’s Lost’, he adopted the tradition of Lilly’s courtly pleasure plays. The atmosphere of the court has been presented in it, which is full of interesting conversations of clever characters. ‘The Two Gentlemen of Verona’ follows Green’s romantic pleasure plays. Sad dramas are also imitative. Malone in ‘Richard III’ and Kidd in ‘Titus Andranicus’ have been imitated but in ‘Romeo and Juliet’ the degree of originality is relatively high. The two famous poems ‘The Rape of Lucris’ and ‘Venus and Adonis’, both written in the same period, have the impression of Italian eroticism of the time.

The second stage of development ended in the year 1600. In this Shakespeare presented many mature works to the world. Now he had set his own path and earned his confidence. ‘A Mid Summer Night’s Dream’ and ‘The Merchant of Venice’ are interesting and popular happy dramas, but even more important than these are Shakespeare’s masterpieces ‘Much Ado About Nothing’, ‘As You Like It’ and ‘Twelveth Night’. written in the period. In these plays, the poet’s imagination and the joy of his mind have been best published. The best historical plays were also written during this time. ‘Richard II’, influenced by Marlowe, is far more successful in composition than the earlier work ‘Richard III’ of the same category. Both the parts of ‘Henry IV’ and ‘Henry V’ which is a well-known historical drama, are works of this period. Almost all of Shakespeare’s sonnets, unique for their exquisite expression, were written between 1595 and 1607.

The third stage, which ended in about 1607, is of particular importance in Shakespeare’s life. During these years, the poet’s mind was restless due to family calamities and health problems. Therefore, most of the writings of these days are sad. The world famous tragedy plays Hamlet, Othello, King Lear and Macbeth and the Roman tragedy plays Julius Caesar, Antony and Cleopatra and Coriolanus were written and starred in this period. In ‘Travilles and Cressida’, ‘All’s Well That Ends Well’ and ‘Major for Major’, there is a complex expression of happiness and sorrow, yet only the sad part has priority.

In the late stages of development, Shakespeare created the plays Pericles, Sinveline, ‘The Winter’s Tale’, ‘The Tempest’, which, though happy, are full of sad possibilities and create an evening atmosphere. These happy-sad plays are called romances or Shakespeare’s last plays.

Compositional Features

Shakespeare’s happy plays have their own characteristics. Although Platus is followed in ‘The Comedy of Errors’, other happy dramas are quite different from the ancient classical plays. Their purpose is not to remove the ugliness and to rectify the errors by skit, but to entertain the people through interesting story and characterization. The theme of almost all such plays is such an intense feeling of love which automatically arises in the minds of young men and women in the form of natural attraction. At first, obstacles arise in the path of lovers, but by the end of the play, the difficulties are destroyed and their result is accomplished. In these compositions, there has been a poetic and imaginative expression of life and the whole atmosphere is filled with joy. Shakespeare was introduced to certain upper-class families and the kind of life he saw in them is reflected in these plays.

In the sad dramas, the serious problems of human life have been highlighted. The noble born heroes of these plays, after being on the path of success and progress for some time, become victims of torture and destruction. Shakespeare’s view on the subject of what are the causes of his suffering and death is clearly expressed. The hero’s misfortune partly stems from unfavorable destiny and circumstances, but a greater reason lies in his character weakness. In ancient Greek tragedy, the protagonist would perish only because of a faulty judgment or a flawed approach, but, perhaps influenced by Christianity and moralism, Shakespeare in his plays placed the main responsibility of the hero’s downfall on his character weakness.

Hamlet, Athello, Lear and Macbeth – they all have such a deficiency in their nature or character that causes their suffering and death. A double duality has been reflected in these sad dramas, the inner conflict and the outer conflict. The inner conflict arises in the hero’s mind, his thoughts and feelings and because of its intensity not only makes the decision difficult but also disturbs the hero’s principles for some time. Due to this type of internal conflict, psychological subtlety and interestingness have emerged in the plays. External conflict arises from the competition and conflict of external forces, such as mutual opposition of two opposing political parties or armies.

Due to the embodiment of bloody and horrific scenes in Shakespeare’s major tragedy plays, a very panicky atmosphere has been created. Similarly, with the inclusion of scenes of murder and vengeance, the tinge of depression has also deepened. All these features and devices were taken by Shakespeare from some old plays and playwrights like Seneca, Kidd, Marlow and used them in his plays keeping in mind the contemporary folk interest. The features of the tragedy that we have mentioned here are found not only in Hamlet, Athello, King Lear, and Macbeth, but also partially in Romeo and Juliet and in tragic plays based on the history of England and Rome. Huh.

Many of the historical plays that Shakespeare composed are on Roman history. In the writing of these Roman plays, Shakespeare has slightly changed the facts of history and at some places it appears that the picture of life presented is not of ancient Rome but of England of Elizabethan times. Despite this, these plays have always been popular, especially Julius Caesar and Antoine and Cleopatra. Antoine ad Cleopatra is full of poetic passages and Cleopatra’s characterization is very impressive. The events of Greek history are represented in the Timon of Athens and Pericles.

Among the plays based on English history, there are some that are only partly written by Shakespeare, but both parts of Henry IV and Henry V are entirely inspired by Shakespeare. The poet has got great success in all these three plays. In these, there is a very attractive rendering of bravery and respect and the character of Falstaff is very interesting and covetable. Marlowe is successfully imitated in Richard III and Richard II. Most of the English historical plays before Shakespeare had inanimate depictions of facts and events and were monotonous due to the sheer chronicle. Shakespeare has made such plays wonderful by giving them a lively form.

A mature biography of Shakespeare is found in the final plays. The great poet had various experiences in his life, whose glimpses are visible in his works. There is a luxury of imagination in the romantic dramas and the poet’s mind is engrossed in the luxury of opulence and youth. Tragic plays express such sad experiences that make life toxic. Shakespeare’s work culminated in the creation of such plays, in which his due intellect has been rewarded. The poet now sees from his prudent point of view that both happiness and sorrow are involved in life, so both are momentary. Both sorrow are involved in life, so both are momentary. Happiness comes after sorrow in life, so equality in thought and behavior is desirable. From these final plays it is concluded that mercy and forgiveness are more retributive than violence and vengeance. These plays have special significance because of their serious moral message.

Shakespeare’s plays are Romantic and differ from the tradition of ancient Greek and Latin plays. Therefore, it is not appropriate to find in them the classical features of objectification. Only in his last play ‘The Tempest’ he has performed all the three Anvitis. In almost all other plays, care has been taken only for the implementation, in terms of time and place, they are absolutely essays. There is always enough detail in the plot and usually many stories are involved in it. For example we can take A Mid Summer Night’s Dream, The Merchant of Venice, As You Like It or King Lear. In all these, object creation has been accomplished by mixing many stories. But this does not mean that the structure of Shakespeare’s plays is flawed. The inter-narratives have been beautifully woven in the theatre, and the whole plot gives a sense of unity. In spite of the absence of Anvitis in the classical sense, there has been emotional and imaginative integration in these Romantic plays.

Shakespeare has had even greater success in the characterization. In his plays, he has created many fascinating characters who come before us in their alive form. Over time the process of characterization became more and more subtle and artistic. For example, we can take Rosaline, Porcia, Viartrus, Rosalind, Viola Prabhriti Pragalbha women included in happy plays who constantly show their sharp intelligence and eloquence. There are those women of the second category, whose unique beauty and distressing experiences evoke compassion in the mind. The prominent among such women are Juliette, Ophelia, Desdimona, Cardilia, Imogen, etc. Characterization is of utmost importance in sad dramas. For example we can take Hamlet.

All the events of the play are centered on the character of the protagonist and the story develops with the influence of his personality. Partly the same is true for other tragic plays as well. Many memorable characters are found in ancient Greek plays, but Shakespeare’s main characters, depicted with the help of moral and psychological devices, are far more interesting and attractive. The use of internal conflict has made the characterization of tragic plays all the more wonderful. Some other characters in Shakespeare’s plays are also notable, such as the clown and the villain. Among the clowns, Falstaff Touchstone, Feste and King Lear’s proprietary clown are important. Among the villains are Richard III, Iago, Edmund Iashis, etc. As Hazlitt wrote, Shakespeare’s power is revealed by the fact that not only do his important characters distinguish themselves, but the majority of his minor characters have their own personal significance.

Although prose is used in some of Shakespeare’s plays, they are still poetic in origin. Most of them are rhymed. Not only this, almost all theatrical compositions are full of poetic qualities. Shakespeare has created a mesmerizing effect through the publication of imagery, figurative expression, musical cadence and expression of soft feelings. Since ancient times, plays were considered only a distinction of poetry and Shakespeare accepted the ancient notion. Sometimes prose is used for a special purpose. But in general we can call Shakespeare’s plays as poetry. Poetry was excessive in the beginning but gradually its form became moderate and it was controlled by the idea of ​​purpose.

Similarly, it made constant efforts to incorporate Shakespeare’s style; As a result, early plays are full of elaborate descriptions and beautiful allegories. In the primary stage, expression was more important and ideas less. But in this middle age there has been a proper coordination of thoughts, feelings and means of expression. This balanced arrangement focused Shakespeare’s attention on ideas and moral patterns in the late years, and he neglected stylistic miracles. That’s why the style of the final plays has become somewhere unkempt.

Shakespeare wrote his plays mainly for stage performance, although we also get pleasure from reading them because of their poetic qualities. The structure of the then theater, the system of acting, the public interest of the audience, all these had an impact on Shakespeare’s theatrical production. Two examples will suffice. At that time dyed curtains were not used, so many descriptive parts have been included in the plays. The place, time and circumstance were indicated by these descriptions. The continuous use of swagat and self-language in plays was made possible because the front triangular part of the theater continued to move between the spectators. Shakespeare created many male and female characters simply because actors suitable for them were available. For the entertainment of the audience, many scenes have been embodied in which provocative and entertaining situations have been performed on the stage. Like today’s realistic theatre, the Elizabethan era theater was bound by abundant means and fixed arrangements. Both the acting and the performance were relatively free, so Shakespeare’s plays get a fair amount of finesse.

In almost all types of plays, the great poet has embedded lyrical verses, which are unique in their beauty and melody. Apart from these, there are extensive poems of Shakespeare, in which mention is necessary of ‘Vinus and Adonis’, ‘The Rape of Lucris’ and Sanets. All these works date back to the last decade of the 16th century, when Shakespeare’s mind was filled with the influence of beauty and love. An ancient love story is described in a very poetic manner in ‘Vinus and Adonis’. In ‘The Rape of Lucrece’, the story of the misfortune and death of a supremely beautiful Roman woman. There are some in the sannets that relate to a friend of the poet who had decided not to marry. Shakespeare, discussing his form and qualities, urged him to change his decision. The second sequence of sanetas is related to a black woman who had developed a strong attraction towards the poet, but who did not respect that affection and gave her love to that friend of the poet, keeping in mind the first order of sanetas was written. The question of whether Shakespeare expressed his inner feelings in these verses or whether they were merely traditional works is highly disputed.


Bradley, AC. : Shakespearean Tragedy (1952),
Nicole, Allardice: Studies in Shakespeare (1927),
Harrison, GV, Shakespeare’s Tragedies (1951),
Barcht, Granville: Prefaces Shakespeare.



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