William Shakespeare (biography)


William’s father, John Shakespeare, moved to Strat­ford-on-Avon about 1550 and became a tradesman. His wife, the writer’s mother, Mary Arden, was the daughter of a rich farmer.

John Shakespeare and his wife lived in a two-storey house in Hanley Street. Simple and ordinary ­looking, this house is still one of the most famous places in the world. For here, in a small room on the second floor, William Shakespeare was born on April 23, 1564.

The future poet attended a free grammar school in Stratford where he studied Latin. By nature William was a boy of remarkable powers of observation.

When Shakespeare was only eighteen, he married Anna Hathaway, the daughter of a farmer from a village not far from Stratford.

Within three years three children were born to them, and soon after the young father left his native town for London.

Being determined to become an actor Shakespeare made his way quickly to one of the biggest playhouses in London. But he soon found that it was much easier to want to become an actor than to have this wish fulfilled. Something had to be done to earn a living. He noticed that the Londoners, who came to see the play, rode up to the theatre on horse-back. Here was his chance! He held their horses for them while they watched the performance, and did Ms Job so well that, after a time, the riders would have nobody but him to look after their horses.

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