1. Most authors are influenced by events in their lives. Research William Shakespeare of Stratford-on-Avon—what parts of his life may have influenced his writing?
  • William Shakespeare may have started writing when son died.
  • It turned out that worked out very well and started to write plays and poetry

  • Find out about William Shakespeare's family and early life in Stratford-on-Avon.
William Shakespeare's family:
Outline:
John Shakespeare-The Father
John Shakespeare was the father of William Shakespeare.
He was born in 1531.
His father was Richard Shakespeare who was a tenant farmer.
He worked on many sections on land that was owned by Robert Arden
John worked with his dad on the farm until 1551.He then moved then to Stratford for a business trading in wool, malt and corn.
He was skilled in leatherworking and making leather.
He bought a house in Henley Street, Stratford near the market.
He then started a money lending business.
Then he bought another house in Greenhill Street, Stratford in 1552.
He then married Mary five years later.

Mary Arden-The Mother
Mary Arden was the mother of William Shakespeare.
She was born in 1540.

She was a member of the noble Catholic Family of the Ardens of Park Hall.
The family’s forebears were given from William the conqueror.
The Arden’s family could trace back their ancestry back to the Norman Conquest.
Mary was the favorite among the eight daughters.
Her mother had died.
Her father was Robert Arden.
His second marriage was in April 1548 to Agnes Hill, who was also a widow to another rich farmer.
She had four children with her at the time.
Their home was called Glebe Farm
Mary was sixteen when her father died and was left some money from his will as well as land.


How They Met-
John’s father worked on the land that was owned by Mary’s father.
This land was located in Snitterfield.
The John moved to Stratford.
This place was where Mary lived and so had many times to meet each other.
John however, did not come from a great and rich ancestry like Mary did and so there were probably problems.
But Mary’s father died in 1556 and the convention said that there would be no marriage in the Arden family until one year. This was supposed to be a mourning period.
Then they married in 1557.

The Marriage of John and Mary-
It was probably a little shocking to see them marry because John was from Yeoman stock when Mary was a member of the aristocratic Arden family.
However, they were both catholic.
During those time catholics and protestant’s disapproved of each other and even hated them.
John was a very hard working man and gained a lot of fame and wealth.
This was extremely surprising because John was illiterate.
His signature was a glovers compass.
Mary was also illiterate and so used a running horse as her signature.
John was 26 and Mary was 17 when they married.
And so Mary was rich and started a good life for Shakespeare.


Shakespeare’s brothers and sisters-
Mary and John Shakespeare had eight children giving the Bard seven brothers and sisters, large families were essential during the Tudor era due to the high mortality rates amongst children. The Baptism of children was undertaken quickly during Shakespeare's time as the life expectancy for children was so low. There was pestilence and repeated outbreaks of the plague (Black Death). Life must have been terrifying for the families of babies and young children. The following diverse lifespan, of Shakespeare's brothers and sisters, would have been an all too common pattern and reflected the dangerous times to which they were born. The details of some of his brothers and sisters can be attributed to the deadly disease.

1558 September 15 Joan ( sister of the Bard ), the first child of John and Mary was baptised (only survived two months)
1562 December 2 Margaret ( sister of the Bard ) was baptised - she died one year later
1564 April 26 William was baptised (died 1616 aged 52 )
1566 October 13 Gilbert ( brother of the Bard ) was baptised (died 1612 aged 46)
1569 Another daughter, also called Joan ( sister of the Bard ) was born (died 1646 aged 77)
1571 September 28 Anne was baptised ( sister of the Bard ) (1579 died aged 7)
1574 March 11 Richard ( brother of the Bard ) was baptised (died 1613 aged 39)
1580 May 3 Edmund ( brother of the Bard ) was baptised (died 1607 aged 27)


  • How did Shakespeare make his living in London? What sort of life did he lead?
-Father was a glover and leather merchant.
-It is believed that Shakespeare went to a free grammar school
-made a living by acting, till theaters were closed.
-after theaters closed, he made book long poetry and sonnets
-continued writing plays when theaters opened again in 1594. no longer wrote poetry.
-he lived a cautious life to avoid jail time
-he made plays neutral in opinions of succession and favoritism in the court


The Final Draft:
The life of Shakespeare’s parents
Even Shakespeare at one point in time was a child and had parents. So who were they? These mysterious people gave birth to one of the greatest poets and playwrights in the history of the world. But these people were not always famous. These people were just ordinary humans who faced troubles and hardships just like all of us. In fact, these people probably had more hardships than we do! The mysterious people are called John Shakespeare, a hard working man, and Mary Arden, and beautiful and rich woman.
John Shakespeare was born in 1531 and his father was Richard Shakespeare. Richard Shakespeare was a tenant farmer who worked on sections of land owned by Robert Arden. John Shakespeare was a very hardworking boy and when he was old enough, he moved to Stratford to start up a business and traded wool, malt, and corn. He was also skilled in leather working and making. Due to his hard efforts and work, he was able to buy a house in Henley Street near the market. Then he started a money lending business. He became successful in this business as well that he bought another house in Greenhill Street, Stratford in 1552. Finally, he married Mary Arden.


Mary Arden was born in 1540 and was a member of the noble Catholic Family of the Arden’s of Park Hall. The family’s forebears were given from William the conqueror, and they could trace back their ancestry back to the Norman Conquest. Due to this, the Arden family had always been rich. Her father, Robert Arden, was a rich landowner whose wife had died when Mary was young. Even though Mary was among eight daughters, she had always been the favorite. Her father’s second marriage was in April 1548 to Agnes Hill, who was also a widow to another rich farmer. She also had four children and so there were 12 children in all. Their home was called Glebe farm. Unfortunately, Mary’s father died when she was 16 but of course Mary was left some money and land because she was the favorite. Then, in 1552, Mary married John.

But how did they meet? As mentioned earlier, John’s father worked on the land that was owned by Mary’s father. This land was located in Snitterfield. When John moved to Stratford, he was able to meet Mary because this is where she also lived. There is a possibility that there were problems because John didn’t come from a good ancestry when Mary did. But Mary’s father died in 1556 so this probably ended any conflicts. However, the funeral convention decreed that there would be no marriage within the Arden family for one year which was supposed to be a mourning period. And so in the year of 1557, John and Mary were married.

Even though some of the conflicts may have ended, not all had. It was very shocking to the audience to see them marry because John was from Yeoman stock when Mary was a member of the aristocratic Arden family. But they were both catholic so this eased the conflicts a little. During those times, Catholics and Protestants disapproved and even hated each other. But the marriage went on very well. John was a hard working man who gained a lot of fame and wealth. This was also a surprising fact because John was illiterate. Because of this, his signature was a picture of a Glover’s compass. Of course Mary was not very helpful because she was also illiterate. She used a running horse as her signature. And so the beautiful outcome of a marriage blossomed when John was 26 and Mary was 17. And fortunately, Mary was rich and so started a good beginning for William Shakespeare himself.


Of course Shakespeare himself was not an only child at the time. He had seven total brothers and sisters but only five survived past the age of ten. Due to the high mortality rate at that time because of the plague, many of the children were baptized early, in hope of allowing them to live longer. This is a list of all of the children in order from oldest to youngest:
1558 September 15 Joan ( sister of the Bard ), the first child of John and Mary was baptised (only survived two months), 1562 December 2 Margaret ( sister of the Bard ) was baptised - she died one year later, 1564 April 26 William was baptised (died 1616 aged 52 ), 1566 October 13 Gilbert ( brother of the Bard ) was baptised (died 1612 aged 46), 1569 Another daughter, also called Joan ( sister of the Bard ) was born (died 1646 aged 77), 1571 September 28 Anne was baptised ( sister of the Bard ) (1579 died aged 7), 1574 March 11 Richard ( brother of the Bard ) was baptised (died 1613 aged 39), and1580 May 3 Edmund ( brother of the Bard ) was baptised (died 1607 aged 27). And although these children’s lives were short, they were able to prosper very well with the little time that they had.

external image shakespeare3.jpgexternal image mother_child_79.jpg
    • Who was Ann Hathaway? Find out about Shakespeare's marriage to her.
    • Ann Hathaway was born in 1556. She lived in shottery. While on a little stroll of straford it is likely that the 18-year-old Ann Hathaway met the 26-year-old William on such a stroll. She shared the house with her brother after the death of her parents. In the rural communtiy which she lived in women tended to marry earlier, and it is likely that the village gossip turned her unmarried state into an issue when william came along. And in 1582 she became pregnant.In november they married before the pregnancy was too advanced, it was probably a catholic service. After William turned 21 there would be no more kides for Ann and him. Instead there would be long absences as Her husband toured the country. There would be affairs and head-turning passions for the poet, and he would see much more of the world than Ann would ever see. And finially when William would return to Stratford, and unpon her death Ann would ask to be buried with him.
      exterior of Hathaway Cottage
      exterior of Hathaway Cottage
      (Hathaway Cottage)
      sketch of Anne Hathaway
      sketch of Anne Hathaway
      (sketch of Ann Hathaway)

      ----
      Essay
      Enfants2.jpg
      Susanna and Hamnet Shakespeare

      Outline

    • Shakespeare had three children, Susanna, the eldest, and Hamnet and Judith, twins. There are no records of any of the children ever attending school. They were all raised predominantly by their mother, Anne, in their grandfathers house.
    • Shakespeare ended up giving the bulk of his fortune to his daughter Susanna when he died.
    • Susanna- The first history hears of Susanna is when she is named a recusant, or someone who refues to attend church services in England, when she does not attend the Easter Day service. She married an esteemed physician named John Hall when she was 24. Shakespeare and his wife, Ann, approved of this marriage. She had a baby girl with Dr. John Hall one year later. Susanna and John were named excecutors of Shakespeares will. He obviously had a lot of respesct and love for Susanna.
    • Hamnet- He was the only son and middle child. Not much is known about him becuase he died at the age of eleven from the Bubonic Plague.
    • Judith- The youngest daughter of Shakespeare. She was betrothed to a man named Thomas Quiney, a tavern owner. At first, Shakespeare would approve of the marriage but scandal ensued. Thomas was found to have made another woman pregnant. They got married anyway. On Lent, Thomas did not recieve a marriage license, which was a problem. Eventually, Thomas and Judith were excommunicated, or not allowed to participate in the sacraments of the Elizabethian Protestant Church. Shakespeare had to change his will multiple times during this whole process. He ended up sending Judith a little money when he died.

    • The sadness of hearing that his son had died probably made him write things with a bleak connotation.
    • When his daughter, Susanna, got married, he probably was having mixed feelings about giving his daughter away. He liked the man she was marrying, but it was still hard to give her away. These feelings probably made an impact on his writings.
    • When his daughter, Judith was excommunicated, he was probably feeling angry and sad. These feelings probably were reflected in his poems and sonnets.

    • How did Shakespeare make his living in London? What sort of life did he lead?
William Shakespeare first started out by getting an education at a free grammar school in Stratford. He made his living by being an actor and play writer, until 1593, when theatres were closed down because of the Bubonic plague. While they were closed, Shakespeare wrote book long poems, such as “Venus and Adonis”. In 1594, when theatres were opened once again, Shakespeare began writing plays. He no longer wrote poems (besides sonnets). These sonnets were published without his permission. Shakespeare also lived a cautious life to avoid jail time. He made everything about him neutral, even in plays, when it came to succession in monarchy and favoritism in court.

Shakespeare Acting
Shakespeare Acting
Streets of Elizabethan London
Streets of Elizabethan London

http://www.william-shakespeare.info/william-shakespeare-biography-mother-and-father.htm
http://www.william-shakespeare.info/william-shakespeare-biography-brothers-and-sisters.htm
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http://www.william-shakespeare.info/william-shakespeare-anne-hathaway.htm
http://www.william-shakespeare.org.uk/children-william-shakespeare.htm
http://www.william-shakespeare.info/william-shakespeare-children-and-grandchildren.htm
http://www.shakespeares-sonnets.com/Images/Enfants2.jpg
http://www.bardweb.net/man.html
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