AS YOU LIKE IT
HISTORICAL BACKGROUND OF THE PLAY
Introduction to Shakespeare
When I read Shakespeare I am struck with wonder
That such trivial people should muse and thunder
In such lovely language.
D. H. Lawrence Quote (1885 - 1930)
William Shakespeare (1564-1616) was born in Startford-on-Avon, in the country of Warwick. The third child and first son, William was christened on 26th April, 1564 in the parish chruch. His father, John Shakespeare, was a prosperous businessman. William got his education in a good grammer school. His father’s business failed due to neglect so William could not attend the University. At the age of eighteen, he married Anne Hathaway, the daughter of an old family friend and they had three children. The date of his arrival in London is not known but he was said to have been arrived there around 1592. A theatre company, ‘Lord Chamberlain’s Men’, refounded in 1594, developed into London’s leading company. Shakespeare became an important member in it and this group later got the name, ‘King’s Men’. From 1599, this occupied the Globe Theatre and later in 1608 took over the Blackfriar’s monestry. Shakespearean plays performed here show the change in the stage conditions, having more scenery and lighting effects. Shakespeare, by his Venus and Adonis and Rape of Lucerce, had earned considerable fame in 1594. The revival of classical drama brought about a change in the attitude of noblemen of that time. The theatre began to be attended by and the quality of the plays improved. In 1597, Shakespeare purchased ‘New Place’, an outstanding residential property. After acquiring a lot of property in Stratford, he retired to his house ih New Place. His career as a dramatist was over and The Tempest was his last play, written in 1611. On 23rd April, 1616, Shakespeare died and was buried in the altar of Stratford Church. As You Like It is a pastoral comedy by William Shakespeare believed to have been written in 1599 or early 1600 and...
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