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William Shakespeare Essay

1716 words - 7 pages

William Shakespeare During the Elizabethan Age, named after the reign of Queen Elizabeth, the plague reached a small sleepy town called Stratford-upon-Avon. Whole households perished resulting in one-sixth of England's population being wiped out. Coming to power at the age of 25, Queen Elizabeth's first reigning year brought peace to a country which had been at war since the reign of her father. A child born during the Elizabethan Age had a difficult life ahead. William Shakespeare, born in Stratford-upon-Avon, grew up in a boisterous village town in Elizabeth's kingdom. The town was full of elm trees providing surroundings favoring a woodland forest. Around the corner from the local cattle ...view middle of the document...

A typical school day for William Shakespeare began with the study of grammar based on Lily Latin grammar. In Stratford before a child entered grammar school, he went to some form of elementary school where he learned to read and write. In elementary school, children learned their ABC's, numbers, the salutary truths of the Catechism and grace before and after meals and the psalms in metre. At the age of seven, William Shakespeare entered lower school under the usher Simon Hunt, however, William received the better part of this education from a man named Thomas Jenkins. Both men graduated from Oxford. William Shakespeare took naturally to the instruction of rhetoric. Learning the skill of rhetoric helped prepare him to be a great poet and dramaticist. History lessons of William Shakespeare's day were taught through the use of moral examples. The use of certain plays such as the War of the Roses and the trilogy of Henry VI and Richard III were used to illustrate particular points of the lesson.Equally important to the education of William Shakespeare was the pivotal role the church played in his development as a child. Church from the earliest age entailed catechizing, teaching, listening to sermons, singing the psalms, praying, and regularly attending church. A direct result of William Shakespeare's church attendance was his ability to quote numerous phrases from the Bible. William Shakespeare quoted the psalms in Prayer Book version, in the manner he had heard them on Sundays. Translating from English to Latin and Latin to English using the Geneva Bible, William Shakespeare's knowledge of the Bible was much improved in church. Unfortunately for William Shakespeare, school life soon came to an abrupt end.At the tender age of 15 or 16, William Shakespeare worked for his father. Even though William Shakespeare knew Latin well enough to have become a schoolmaster, he lacked other qualifications to warrant the position. Most boys who left school either helped their fathers or were contracted out, usually paying a fee to be seven-year apprentices and often had to leave Stratford. After William Shakespeare turned eighteen, the orphan Anne Hathaway showed pregnancy. At twenty-six, she was the eldest of three daughters of the late Richard Hathaway of Shottery. Richard Hathaway and John Shakespeare (William Shakespeare's father) became friends when John Shakespeare paid debts for him as his surety. Anne Hathaway's pregnancy bore a child named Susanna, born around May 23rd and baptized on May 26th, Trinity Sunday. William Shakespeare was a minor when he married resulting in two friends of the bride's family having to negotiate with the town's Bishop for a special license. The two friends had to give forty pounds each for surety that no impediment to the marriage would ever surface. A marriage license was granted on November 28th. On February 2nd 1585, Hamnet and Judith Shakespeare, twin children of William and Anne Shakespeare, were christened in Stratford....

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