Interesting quotes by William Shakespeare

Hell is empty and all the devils are here.

If music be the food of love, play on.

Love is a smoke made with the fume of sighs.

Teach not thy lip such scorn, for it was made For kissing, lady, not for such contempt.

If you have tears, prepare to shed them now.

God has given you one face, and you make yourself another.

Give every man thy ear, but few thy voice.



A brief biography of William Shakespeare

William Shakespeare was baptized on April 26, 1564 in Stratford Upon Avon in Warwickshire, England. He is known as the greatest playwright. Shakespeare was also a poet and actor. His greatest works are Hamlet, Macbeth and, Romeo and Juliet. His plays surrounded love, death, jealousy, revenge, grief, magic and mystery. The well executed combination of all these themes made William Shakespeare’s plays tremendously successful. The plays were translated into pretty much every language and are still performed today, more than any other playwright’s work.

The information on William Shakespeare’s earlier life is scant. It is uncertain when his date of birth was, but is believed to be April 23, 1564—he was baptized three days later. There’s no record of his education but there is a speculation that he attended King’s New School in Stratford, where the school’s curriculum was based in Latin and grammar was taught through the classical literature of Latin authors. When Shakespeare was eighteen, he married his twenty-six year old wife, Anne Hathaway. Together, they had three children—Susanna born in 1583 and twins Judith and Hamnet born in 1585. Their son, Hamnet, died in 1596 when he was eleven years old, the cause is unknown.

In 1592, Shakespeare became known when his plays were in production in London. By 1594, the plays were solely being performed by the Lord Chamberlain’s Men. It was a company owned by the actors, including William Shakespeare. In 1603 when Queen Elizabeth I died, the Lord Chamberlain’s Men was bestowed a royal patent by King James I and the company was renamed the King’s Men. It is uncertain when Shakespeare began writing his plays, but between 1594 and 1598 his namesake became a brand and appeared on title pages. In 1599, the Lord Chamberlain’s Men built The Globe, a theater located on the south bank of the River Thames. After achieving fame from his plays, Shakespeare continued to act in his productions. After 1610, William Shakespeare slowed down with writing plays. Supposedly the last three plays he wrote were a collaborative effort with John Fletcher—playwright and following house playwright for the King’s Men after Shakespeare.

With hardly any records of Shakespeare’s life, it created many speculations such as his appearance, his personal opinions and if Shakespeare was even real and wrote the plays that are associated with him. There is no written or documented evidence to Shakespeare’s appearance, not even a trace of a portrait. The earliest evidence of Shakespeare was created after his death, the Droeshout portrait. In 1623, the portrait was done by Martin Droeshout and appeared on the title page in the First Folio, a compilation and collection of William Shakespeare’s plays. Some two-hundred years after Shakespeare’s death, people began to doubt his existance. Some believe “Shakespeare” was simply just a pseudonym and was comprised of other various authors, or that the name existed to conceal the true identity of the real playwright. There’s also the Oxfordian Theory, where some believe that the seventeenth Earl of Oxford, Edward de Vere, wrote the plays and poems.

William Shakespeare died on April 23, 1616 in Stratford Upon Avon, Warwickshire, England a month after he signed his will. It is uncertain what Shakespeare’s cause of death was, but, through another round of speculation, he is rumored to have died from a fever after a night of drinking. He is believed to be buried in the chancel at Holy Trinity Church in Stratford Upon Avon, though no name is present at this spot. Shakespeare’s supposed epitaph is carved onto the stone slab resting on top of this grave—a curse forbidding moving his bones: “Good frend for Iesvs sake forbeare, To digg the dvst encloased heare. Bleste be yͤ man yͭ spares thes stones, And cvrst be he yͭ moves my bones.” In modern English: “Good friend, for Jesus’ sake forbear, To dig the dust enclosed here. Blessed be the man that spares these stones, And cursed be he that moves my bones.”

Shakespeare was incredibly influential. The way he crafted the English language in his plays aided the shaping of modern English. Since his death, the his works continue to influence and inspire. His plays are still performed and have been made into movie adaptations numerous times. Shakespeare inspired many great novelists, including Herman Melville’s Captain Ahab, which was inspired by Shakespeare’s King Lear. Charles Dickens bought the house, Gad’s Hill Place, where Henry IV was performed, and had aspired to own the house since he was a child. Dickens’ would also quote Shakespeare in his works. John Keats, English Romantic poet, was enamored by Shakespeare, and while writing he would keep copies of Shakespeare’s works next to him for guidance and inspiration. Even Sigmund Freud was influenced by his works—particularly Hamlet—when creating his theories of human nature and the mind.

William Shakespeare has been honored in countless monuments, statues and memorials all over the world, including a monument in the Poets’ Corner in Westminster Abbey.


Works by William Shakespeare

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