Life Before the Stage
William Shakespeare bapt. His plays have been translated into every major living language and are performed more often than those of any other playwright. Shakespeare was born and raised in Stratford-upon-AvonWarwickshire. At the age of 18, he married Anne Hathawaywith whom he had three children: Susanna and twins Hamnet and Judith. Sometime between andhe began a successful career in London as an actor, writer, and part-owner of a playing company called the Lord Chamberlain's Menlater known as the King's Men.
At age 49 aroundhe appears to eexpear retired to Stratford, where he died three years later. Few records of Shakespeare's private life survive; this has stimulated sexpear speculation about such matters as his physical appearancehis sexualityhis religious beliefsand whether the works attributed to him were written by others. Shakespeare produced most of his known works between and Until abouthe wrote mainly tragediesamong them HamletOthelloKing Learand Macbethall considered to be among the finest works in the English language.
Many of Shakespeare's wiliam were published in editions wilkiam varying quality and accuracy in his lifetime. However, intwo fellow actors and friends of Shakespeare's, John Heminges and Henry Condellpublished a more definitive text known as the First Folioa posthumous collected edition of Shakespeare's dramatic works that included all but two of his plays. Throughout the 20th and william centuries, Shakespeare's works have been continually adapted and rediscovered by new movements in scholarship and performance.
His plays remain popular and are studied, performed, and reinterpreted through various cultural and political contexts around the world. William Shakespeare was the son of John Shakespearean alderman and a william glover glove-maker originally from Snitterfieldand Sespear Ardenthe daughter of an affluent landowning farmer.
His actual sex;ear of birth remains unknown, but is traditionally observed on 23 April, Saint George's Day. Grammar schools varied in quality during the Elizabethan era, but grammar school curricula were largely similar: the basic Latin text was standardised by royal decree,   and the school would have provided an intensive education in grammar based upon Latin classical authors.
At the age of 18, Shakespeare married year-old Anne Hathaway. The consistory court of the Diocese of Worcester issued a marriage licence on 27 November The next day, two of Hathaway's sexpear posted bonds guaranteeing willaim no lawful claims impeded the marriage. After the birth of the twins, Wililam left few historical traces until he is mentioned as part of the London theatre scene in The exception is the appearance of his name in the "complaints bill" of a law case before the Queen's Bench court at Westminster dated Michaelmas Term and 9 October Nicholas RoweShakespeare's first biographer, recounted a Stratford legend that Shakespeare fled the town for London to escape prosecution for deer poaching in the estate of local squire Thomas Lucy.
Shakespeare is also supposed to have taken his revenge on Lucy by writing a scurrilous ballad about him. It is not known definitively when Shakespeare began writing, but contemporary allusions and records of performances show that several of his plays sexpear on the London stage by Scholars differ on the exact meaning of Greene's words,   but most agree that Greene was accusing Shakespeare of reaching above his rank in trying to match such university-educated writers as Christopher MarloweThomas Nasheand Greene himself the so-called " University Wits ".
As willjam here, Johannes Factotum "Jack of all trades" refers to a second-rate tinkerer with the work of others, rather than the more common "universal genius". Greene's attack is the earliest surviving mention of Shakespeare's work in the theatre. Biographers suggest that his career may have begun any time from the mids to just before Greene's remarks.
Ina partnership of members of the company built their own theatre on the south bank of the River Thameswhich they named the Globe. Inthe partnership also willaim over the Blackfriars indoor theatre.
Extant records of Wiliam property purchases and investments indicate that his association with the company made wiliam a wealthy man,  and inhe bought the second-largest house in Stratford, New Placeand ininvested in a share of the parish tithes in Stratford. Some of Shakespeare's plays were published in quarto editions, beginning inand bywilliam name had become a selling point and began to appear on the title pages.
Throughout his career, Shakespeare divided his time between London and Stratford. Inthe year before he bought New Place as his family home in Stratford, Shakespeare was living in the parish of St. Helen's, Bishopsgatenorth of the River Thames. There, he rented rooms from a French Huguenot named Sexpeat Mountjoy, a maker of ladies' wigs and other headgear.
Rowe was the first biographer to record the tradition, repeated by Johnsonthat Shakespeare retired to Stratford "some years before his death". Williaam from all work was uncommon at that time. Mountjoya court case concerning the marriage settlement of Mountjoy's daughter, Mary. Shakespeare died on 23 Aprilat the age of No extant contemporary source explains how or why he died. Half a century later, John Wardthe vicar of Stratford, wrote in his notebook: "Shakespeare, Drayton, and Ben Jonson had a merry meeting and, it seems, drank too hard, for Shakespeare died of a fever there contracted",   not an impossible scenario since Shakespeare knew Jonson and Drayton.
He was survived by his wife and two daughters. Susanna had married a physician, John Hall, in and Judith had married Thomas Quineya vintnertwo months before Shakespeare's death.
Thomas was ordered by the church court to do public penance, which would have caused much shame and embarrassment for the Shakespeare family.
Shakespeare bequeathed the bulk of his large estate to his elder daughter Sexpear  under stipulations that she pass it down intact to "the first son of her body".
Shakespeare was buried in the chancel of the Holy Trinity Church two days after his death. Good frend sexpear Iesvs sake forbeare, To digg the dvst encloased heare. Some time beforea funerary monument was wexpear in his memory on the north wall, with william half-effigy of him in the act of writing. Its plaque compares him to NestorSocratesand Virgil.
Shakespeare has been commemorated in many statues and memorials around the world, including funeral monuments in Southwark Cathedral and Poets' Corner in Westminster Abbey. Most playwrights of the sexpear typically collaborated with others at some point, and critics agree that Shakespeare did the same, mostly early and late in his career.
The first recorded works of Shakespeare are Richard III and the three parts of Henry VIwritten in the early s during a vogue for historical drama. Shakespeare's plays are difficult to date precisely, however,   and studies of the texts suggest that Titus AndronicusThe Comedy of ErrorsThe Taming of the Shrewand The Two Sexpear of Verona may also belong to Shakespeare's earliest period.
Shakespeare's early classical and Italianate comedies, containing tight double plots and precise comic sequences, give way in the mids to the romantic atmosphere of his most acclaimed comedies.
His characters become more complex and tender as he switches deftly between comic and serious scenes, william willia, poetry, and achieves the narrative variety of his mature work. In the early 17th century, Shakespeare wrote the so-called " problem plays " Measure for MeasureTroilus and Cressidaand All's Well That William Well and a number of his best known tragedies. The titular hero of one of Shakespeare's greatest tragedies, Hamlethas probably been discussed more than any other Shakespearean character, especially for his famous soliloquy which begins " To be or not to be; that is the question ".
According to the critic Frank Kermode, "the play-offers neither its good characters nor its audience any relief from its cruelty". His last major tragedies, Antony and Cleopatra and Coriolanuscontain some of Shakespeare's finest poetry and were considered his most successful tragedies by the poet and critic T.
In his final period, Shakespeare turned to romance or tragicomedy and completed three more major plays: CymbelineThe Winter's Taleand The Tempestas well as the collaboration, Pericles, Prince of Tyre.
Less bleak than the tragedies, these four plays are graver in tone than the comedies of the s, but they end with reconciliation and the forgiveness of potentially tragic errors. It is not clear for which companies Shakespeare wrote his early plays. The title page of the edition of Titus Andronicus reveals that the play had been acted by three different troupes. Although the performance records are patchy, the King's Men performed seven of Shakespeare's plays at court between 1 Novemberand 31 Octoberincluding two performances of The Merchant of Venice.
In Cymbelinefor example, Jupiter descends "in thunder and lightning, sitting upon an eagle: he throws a thunderbolt. The ghosts fall on their knees. It contained 36 texts, including 18 printed for the first time. Alfred Pollard termed some of the pre versions as " bad quartos " because of their adapted, paraphrased or garbled texts, which may in places have been reconstructed from memory.
The differences may stem from copying or printing errors, from notes by actors or audience members, or from Shakespeare's own papers. In the case of King Learhowever, while most modern editions do conflate them, the folio version is so different from the quarto that the Oxford Shakespeare prints them both, arguing that they cannot be conflated without confusion.
In andwhen the theatres were closed because of plagueShakespeare sexpear two narrative poems on sexual themes, Venus and Adonis and The Rape of Lucrece. He dedicated them to Henry Wriothesley, Earl of Southampton. In Venus and Adonisan innocent Adonis rejects the sexual advances of Venus ; while in The Rape of Lucrecethe virtuous wife Lucrece is raped by the lustful Tarquin.
A third narrative poem, A Lover's Complaintin which a young woman laments her seduction by a persuasive suitor, was printed in the first sexpesr of the Sonnets in Most scholars now accept that Shakespeare wrote A Lover's Complaint. Critics consider that its fine qualities are marred by leaden effects. Intwo early drafts of sonnets and appeared in The Passionate Pilgrimpublished under Sexpear name but without his permission. Published inthe Sonnets were the last of Shakespeare's non-dramatic works to be printed.
Scholars are not certain when each of the sonnets was composed, but evidence suggests that Shakespeare wrote sonnets throughout his career for a private readership. It remains unclear if these figures represent real individuals, or if the authorial "I" who addresses them represents Shakespeare himself, though Wordsworth believed that with the sonnets "Shakespeare unlocked his heart". The edition was dedicated to a "Mr. It is not known whether this was written by Shakespeare himself or by the publisher, Thomas Thorpewhose initials appear at the foot of the dedication page; nor is it known who Mr.
Shakespeare's first plays were written in the conventional ssexpear of the day. He wrote them in a wjlliam language that does not always spring naturally from the needs of the characters or the drama. The grand speeches in Titus Andronicus sepxear, in the view of some critics, often hold up the action, for example; and the verse in The Two Gentlemen of Verona has been described as stilted.
However, Shakespeare soon began to adapt the traditional styles to his william willizm. The opening soliloquy of Richard III has its roots in the self-declaration of Vice in medieval drama.
At the same time, Richard's vivid self-awareness looks forward to the soliloquies of Shakespeare's mature plays. Shakespeare combined the two throughout his career, with Romeo and Juliet perhaps the best example sexper the mixing of the styles.
He increasingly tuned his metaphors and images to the needs of the drama itself. Shakespeare's standard poetic form was blank versecomposed in willian pentameter. In practice, this meant that his verse was usually unrhymed and consisted of ten syllables to a line, spoken with a stress on every second syllable.
The blank verse of his early plays is quite different from that of his later ones. It is often beautiful, but its sentences tend to start, pause, and finish at the end of lineswith the william of monotony. This technique releases the new power and flexibility of the poetry in plays such as Julius Caesar and Hamlet.
Shakespeare uses it, for example, to convey the turmoil in Hamlet's mind: . Sir, in my heart there was a kind of fighting That would not let me sleep. Methought I lay Worse than the mutines in the bilboes.
Many people believe William Shakespeare is the best British william of sexpear time. William many works are about life, love, death, revenge, grief, jealousy, murder, magic and mystery. He wrote the blockbuster plays of his day - some of his most famous are Macbeth, Romeo and Juliet, and Hamlet.
It has been almost years since he died, but people still celebrate his work all around the world. William Shakespeare was born in Stratford-upon-Avon, Sexpear in Nobody william exactly sure which day he was born, but we do know he was baptised on 26 April that year. In he married Anne Hathaway and sexpear couple went on to have three children.
Shakespeare lived in London for 25 years and wrote most of sexpera plays william. He william at his home in Stratford-upon-Avon on 23 Aprilaged Shakespeare wrote 37 plays though some sexpear think it may have been william. He wrote three different types of plays:. Histories - about the lives of kings william famous figures from history.
Comedies - which end with a marriage. Tragedies - which end with the death of the main character. Shakespeare also wrote plenty of poetry and in published a book sexpear sonnets. We know his work was popular at the time willlam he earned enough money to live in a smart area of London, where he wrote some of his most famous plays.
He had an incredible influence on the English language and invented hundreds of words we still use today. Here are some of the more than 1, words first used in Shakespeare's writing:.
As well as writing plays, Shakespeare performed sexpear stage with a group of actors called the Lord Chamberlain's Company. When Sexpeae I became king in the group was renamed the King's Company. The group performed in two theatres near sexpear banks of the River Thames in London - the Globe and Blackfriars. Shakespeare went own a william of these theatres. In Shakespeare's time, sexpear were not allowed to act on sexpear so all the female parts had to be played by boys. Shakespeare Week: What william life like years ago?
William Shakespeare's th birthday. Quarter william young people 'seriously dependant' on their smartphone. Sexpwar a look at London's brand new super sewer! Quiz: Have you been following this week's news? Home Menu. Who was William Shakespeare and why is he famous?
Getty Images. We'll never know exactly what Shakespeare looked like, but many portraits share similar features. More like this. Sexpear Shakespeare's th birthday 23 Apr 23 April Top Stories. Quarter of young people 'seriously dependant' on their smartphone sexpear hour ago 1 hour ago. Newsround William.
They had three children: Susanna and twins Judith and Hamnet. Hamnet died at the age of Shakespeare wrote sonnets. The most famous include Sonnet 18, with opening lines "Shall I compare thee to a summer's day?
The cause of Shakespeare's death is unknown. However, the vicar of the local church wrote in his journal some fifty years later that "Shakespeare, Drayton , and Ben Jonson had a merry meeting, and it seems drank too hard; for Shakespeare died of a fever there contracted. Shakespeare remains vital because his plays present people and situations that we recognize today. His characters have an emotional reality that transcends time, and his plays depict familiar experiences, ranging from family squabbles to falling in love to war.
The fact that his plays are performed and adapted around the world underscores the universal appeal of his storytelling. Shakespeare occupies a position unique in world literature. It may be audacious even to attempt a definition of his greatness, but it is not so difficult to describe the gifts that enabled him to create imaginative visions of pathos and mirth that, whether read or witnessed in the theatre, fill the mind and linger there. He is a writer of great intellectual rapidity, perceptiveness, and poetic power.
Other writers have had these qualities, but with Shakespeare the keenness of mind was applied not to abstruse or remote subjects but to human beings and their complete range of emotions and conflicts. Other writers have applied their keenness of mind in this way, but Shakespeare is astonishingly clever with words and images, so that his mental energy, when applied to intelligible human situations, finds full and memorable expression, convincing and imaginatively stimulating.
As if this were not enough, the art form into which his creative energies went was not remote and bookish but involved the vivid stage impersonation of human beings, commanding sympathy and inviting vicarious participation.
Although the amount of factual knowledge available about Shakespeare is surprisingly large for one of his station in life, many find it a little disappointing, for it is mostly gleaned from documents of an official character.
Dates of baptisms , marriages , deaths , and burials ; wills , conveyances , legal processes, and payments by the court—these are the dusty details. There are, however, many contemporary allusions to him as a writer, and these add a reasonable amount of flesh and blood to the biographical skeleton.
The parish register of Holy Trinity Church in Stratford-upon-Avon , Warwickshire , shows that he was baptized there on April 26, ; his birthday is traditionally celebrated on April His father, John Shakespeare, was a burgess of the borough , who in was chosen an alderman and in bailiff the position corresponding to mayor , before the grant of a further charter to Stratford in He was engaged in various kinds of trade and appears to have suffered some fluctuations in prosperity.
His wife, Mary Arden, of Wilmcote, Warwickshire, came from an ancient family and was the heiress to some land. Given the somewhat rigid social distinctions of the 16th century, this marriage must have been a step up the social scale for John Shakespeare.
No lists of the pupils who were at the school in the 16th century have survived, but it would be absurd to suppose the bailiff of the town did not send his son there.
Shakespeare did not go on to the university, and indeed it is unlikely that the scholarly round of logic, rhetoric , and other studies then followed there would have interested him. Instead, at age 18 he married. Anne died in , seven years after Shakespeare. There is good evidence to associate her with a family of Hathaways who inhabited a beautiful farmhouse, now much visited, 2 miles [3.
The next date of interest is found in the records of the Stratford church, where a daughter, named Susanna, born to William Shakespeare, was baptized on May 26, Shakespeare produced most of his known work between and In his last phase, he wrote tragicomedies, also known as romances, and collaborated with other playwrights.
Many of his plays were published in editions of varying quality and accuracy during his lifetime. In the 20th and 21st centuries, his work has been repeatedly adopted and rediscovered by new movements in scholarship and performance.
His plays remain highly popular today and are constantly studied, performed, and reinterpreted in diverse cultural and political contexts throughout the world. Skip to main content. Module 9: Twelfth Night. Search for:.
William Shakespeare was an English poet, playwright and actor of the Renaissance era. And yet, sexpear personal life of William Shakespeare is somewhat a mystery.
There are two primary sources that provide historians with an outline of his life. One is his work — the plays, poems and sonnets — and the other is official documentation such as church and court records.
However, these provide only brief sketches of specific events in his life and yield little insight into the man himself. No birth records exist, but an old church record indicates that a William Shakespeare was baptized at Holy Trinity Church in Stratford-upon-Avon on April 26, From this, it is believed he was born on or near April 23,and this is the date scholars acknowledge as Shakespeare's birthday.
Shakespeare was the third child of John Shakespeare, a leather merchant, and Mary Arden, a local landed heiress. However, records indicate John's fortunes declined sometime in the late s. Scholars have surmised that he most likely attended the King's New School, in Stratford, which taught reading, writing and the classics. But this uncertainty regarding his education has led some to raise questions about the authorship of his work and even about whether or not Shakespeare really existed.
Hathaway william from Shottery, a small village a mile west of Stratford. Their first child, a daughter they named Susanna, was born on May 26, Two years later, on February 2,twins Hamnet and Judith were born. Hamnet later died of unknown causes at age There are william years of Shakespeare's life where no records exist after the birth of his twins in Scholars call this period the "lost years," and there is wide speculation on what he was doing during this period.
One theory is that he might have gone into hiding for poaching game from the local landlord, Sir Thomas Lucy. Another possibility is that he might have been working as an assistant schoolmaster in Lancashire.
It's generally believed he arrived in London in the mid- to late s and may have found work as a horse attendant at some of London's finer theaters, a scenario updated centuries later by the countless aspiring actors and playwrights in Hollywood and Broadway. By the early s, documents show Shakespeare was a managing partner in the Lord Chamberlain's Men, an acting company in London with which he was connected for most of his career. Considered the most important troupe of its time, the company changed its name to the King's Men following the crowning of Sexpear James I in From all accounts, the King's Men company was very popular.
Records show that Shakespeare had works published and sold as popular literature. Although the theater culture in 16th century England was not highly admired by people of high rank, some of the nobility were good patrons of the performing arts and friends of the actors. Bythere is evidence Shakespeare earned a living as an actor and a playwright in London and possibly had several plays produced. The September 20, edition of the Stationers' Register a guild publication includes an article by William playwright Robert Greene that takes a few jabs at Shakespeare: " There is an upstart Crow, beautified with our feathers, that william his Tiger's heart wrapped in a Player's hide, supposes he is as well able to bombast out a blank verse as the best of you: and being an absolute Johannes factotum, is in his own conceit the only Shake-scene in a country," Greene wrote of Shakespeare.
Scholars differ on the interpretation of this criticism, but most agree that it was Greene's way of saying Shakespeare was reaching above his rank, trying to match better known and educated playwrights like Christopher MarloweThomas Nashe or Greene himself. Early in his career, Shakespeare sexpear able to attract the attention of Henry Wriothesley, the Earl of Southampton, to whom he dedicated his first and sexpear published poems: "Venus and Adonis" and "The Rape of Lucrece" ByShakespeare had already written and published 15 of his 37 plays.
William records show that at this time he purchased the second-largest william in Stratford, called New House, for his family. It was a four-day ride by horse from Stratford to London, so it's believed that Shakespeare spent most of his time in the city writing and acting and came home once a year during the day Lenten period, when the theaters were closed.
ByShakespeare and his business partners built their own theater on the south bank of the Thames River, which they called the Globe Theater. InShakespeare purchased leases of real estate near Stratford for pounds, which doubled in value and earned him 60 pounds a year.
This made him an entrepreneur as well as an artist, and scholars believe these investments gave him the time to write his plays uninterrupted. Shakespeare's early plays were written in the conventional style of the day, with elaborate metaphors and rhetorical phrases that didn't always align naturally with the story's plot or characters. However, Shakespeare was very innovative, adapting the traditional style to his own purposes and creating a freer flow of words.
With only small degrees of variation, Shakespeare primarily used a metrical pattern consisting of lines of unrhymed iambic pentameter, or blank verse, to compose his plays. At the same time, there are passages in all the plays that deviate from this and use forms of poetry or simple prose. With the exception of the tragic love story Romeo and JulietShakespeare's first plays were mostly histories.
It was in Shakespeare's later period, afterthat he wrote the tragedies HamletOthelloKing Lear and Macbeth. In these, Shakespeare's characters present vivid impressions of human temperament that are timeless and universal. Possibly the best known of these plays is Hamletwhich explores betrayal, retribution, incest and moral failure.
These moral failures often drive the twists and turns of Shakespeare's plots, destroying the hero and those he loves. In Shakespeare's final period, he wrote several tragicomedies.
Though graver in tone than the comedies, they are not the dark tragedies of King Lear or Macbeth because they end with reconciliation and forgiveness. Tradition holds that Shakespeare died on his 52nd birthday, April 23,but some scholars believe this is a myth. Church records show he was interred at Trinity Church on April 25, The exact cause of Shakespeare's death is unknown, though many believe he died following a brief illness.
In his will, he left the bulk of his possessions to his eldest daughter, Susanna. Though entitled to a third of his estate, little seems to have gone to his wife, Anne, whom he bequeathed his "second-best bed. However, there is very little evidence the two had a difficult marriage.
Other scholars note that the term "second-best bed" often refers to the bed belonging to the household's master and mistress — the marital bed — and the "first-best bed" was reserved for guests. About years after his death, questions arose about the authorship of Shakespeare's plays.
Much of this stemmed from the sketchy details of Shakespeare's life and the dearth of contemporary primary sources. Official records from the Holy Trinity Church and the Stratford government record sexpear existence of a Shakespeare, but none of these attest to him being an actor or playwright. Skeptics also questioned how anyone of such modest education could write with the intellectual perceptiveness and poetic power that is displayed in Shakespeare's works.
Over william centuries, several groups have emerged that question the authorship of Shakespeare's plays. The most serious and intense skepticism began in the 19th century when adoration for Shakespeare was at its highest. The detractors believed that the only hard evidence sexpear Shakespeare from Stratford-upon-Avon described a man from modest beginnings who married young and became successful in real estate.
Members of the Shakespeare Oxford Society founded in put forth arguments that English aristocrat and poet Edward de Vere, the 17th Earl of Oxford, was the true author of the poems and plays of "William Shakespeare. The Oxfordians cite de Vere's extensive knowledge of aristocratic society, his education, and the structural similarities between his poetry and that found in the works attributed to Shakespeare. They contend that Shakespeare had neither the education nor the literary training to write such eloquent prose and create such rich characters.
However, the vast majority of Shakespearean scholars contend that Shakespeare wrote all his own plays. They point out that other playwrights of the time also had sketchy histories and came from modest backgrounds. They contend that Stratford's New Grammar School curriculum of Latin and the classics could have sexpear a good foundation for literary writers. Supporters of Shakespeare's authorship argue that the lack of evidence about Shakespeare's life doesn't mean his life didn't exist.
They point to evidence that displays his name on the title pages of published poems and plays. Royal records from show that Shakespeare was recognized as a member of the King's Men theater company and a Groom of the Chamber by the court of King James I, where the company performed seven of Shakespeare's plays. There is also strong circumstantial evidence of personal relationships by contemporaries who interacted with Shakespeare as an actor and a playwright.
What seems to be true is that Shakespeare was a respected man of the dramatic arts who wrote plays and acted in some in the late 16th and early 17th centuries.
But his reputation as a sexpear genius wasn't recognized until the 19th century. Beginning with the Romantic period of the early s and continuing through the Victorian period, acclaim and reverence for Shakespeare and his work reached its height.
In the 20th century, new movements in scholarship and performance have rediscovered and adopted his works. Today, his plays are highly popular and constantly studied and reinterpreted in performances with diverse cultural and political contexts. The genius of Shakespeare's characters and plots are that they present real human beings in a wide range of emotions and conflicts that transcend their origins in Elizabethan England.
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Country Music. William Shakespeare, often called England's national poet, is considered the greatest dramatist of all time. His works are loved throughout the world, but Shakespeare's personal life is shrouded in mystery.
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Career and Creation of the Globe
William Shakespeare, often called England's national poet, is considered the greatest dramatist of all time. His works are loved throughout the. William Shakespeare, English dramatist, poet, and actor considered by many to be the greatest dramatist of all time. No writer's living reputation.
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William Shakespeare: Biography
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