Sunday, March 27, 2011

Shakespeare Extra Credit

I had a very hard time trying to think of something good to write about. I read about four detailed articles about Shakespeare's life. While reading, I found myself focusing on specific parts of Shakespeare's life: his childhood and his missing years. I tried to connect the two together while reading; I wondered if maybe it was something that happened in his childhood that caused him to disappear for over seven years, and also if either of those could have been what inspired him to write. After doing research on specifically those two parts in Shakespeare's life, I ended up with answers, but even more questions.
William Shakespeare was born on April 23, 1564.  His father was a leather merchant, his mother was a local land heiress. They were both well respected.  Shakespeare attended a grammar school in Stratford, where the majority of his lessons learned there involved Latin: everything from Latin authors to writing Latin-like stories and compositions. When Shakespeare was 18, he married Anne Hathaway, who soon after gave birth to three children.  The little information known about his childhood makes his childhood appear to good; he got at least some part of an education, his parents were respected, he grew up, got married, and had a family.
Not long after his children were born, 21 year old Shakespeare disappeared, then reappeared in London seven years later. No one was exactly sure where he went, or what he was doing in that time, though some people say (and I completely agree) that perhaps he was seeking out adventure. He was still basically a kid when he got married (18 years old.) He had most likely not even been out of his hometown yet. It is likely that Shakespeare, one of the greatest writers of all time, was scared that he would be stuck in Stratford with his family forever.
In 1616, a man named Richard Davies offered a theory of where Shakespeare was in the seven years he was missing. He claims that Shakespeare hunted for animals like rabbits and deer on property that belonged to Thomas Lucy. It is rumor that Lucy, after many times of catching Shakespeare on his property, grew angry and tormented him by having him imprisoned and whipping him. This made me think that maybe some of Shakespeare's work/story ideas came from all of those days he was being tormented. Maybe some of his tragedies were based off of the long days he spent in prison. This lead me to another idea: Shakespeare wrote hundreds of sonnets, and many stories too. Maybe some of them are based off of the experiences Shakespeare had in his missing years. Maybe his inspiration to write came from the adventures young Shakespeare look for, and most likely found. Though the story Davies told is most likely false, these theories about his inspiration are very possibly true.
Today, many centuries later, people still try to uncover mysteries about William Shakespeare and his life. Learning about Shakespeare's life really made me think about his writing in a very different way.

1 comment:

  1. I did not know about most of this it is so intresting.