Shakespeare was born on 23 April 1564, at stratford upon-Avon, a little town in the heart of England. He was educated at the local grammarschool but as his father's business went from bad to worse, he had to leave school and begin to earn his living. We next hear of him when were eighteen and a married man. At the age of twenty-one, he set off to seek his fortune in the gratuity of London. There, he was inturn a horse-keep, a stage-boy, a play mender and finally a play-Wright. Shakespeare spent the last years of his life at Stratford, where he died on the 23rd of April 1616.
William Shakespeare was a great humanist. His interes in the life and the people of his time made him watch with an observant eye the scenery of his native country, men and women in all walks of life, their appearance, habits and speech. He was familiar with the traditions of English folklore and showed deep concern for his people and his county's destiny.His work may be divided into three periods:
I. The first period is hat of poems the sonnets, the historical plays or "chronicles"(Richard II, Richard III, Henry IV Julius Caesar etc.) comedies (Twelfth Night, A Midsummer Night Dream, The Taming of the Shrew, The Merchant of Venice, etc) and a few tragedies (Romeo and Juliet, etc.). In general Shakespeare's writings in this period are full of optimism.
II. The second period includes the great tragedies (Hamlet, Othello, King Lear, and Macbeth) The disillusionment of the humanists is felt throughout.
III. The third period includes the "romance"plays (The Tempest, The Winter`s Tale, etc.) which are characterized
by a more serene... [continues]
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