Romeo and Juliet



William Shakespeare was born in the spring of 1564 and died on April 23, 1616. He is the most famous English-language writer, and his works, which include plays, sonnets, and poetry, are all ranked among the classics. However, Shakespeare did not intend to be a classical writer, and his works were not considered high works of literature when he was writing them. Instead, Shakespeare was both an actor and a playwright during his lifetime, and his works were written for a broad audience, not just for the upper-class or the well-educated. With his prolific writing, bawdy language, and use of the supernatural to move plot and create tension, Shakespeare would be better compared to the Stephen King of his time period than to any modern author of high literature. However, this commonness is not a detraction. Instead, his broad-based appeal helps explain why Shakespeare was well-received during his time period, as well as the renewal of interest in his works that came about during the Romantic period of the 19th century.

Not much is known with certainty about William Shakespeare. He was born in Stratford-upon-Avon. He married a woman named Anne Hathaway at the age of 18. The couple had three children, Susanna, Hamnet, and Judith. In his early 20s, he began acting and writing for a company known first as the Lord Chamberlain’s Men, and later the King’s Men. He was part owner of that company. He continued writing after that, but few details exist about what he else he was doing in his life. He apparently moved back to Stratford in 1613, and he died there in 1616.

Because so little is known about Shakespeare, people have speculated wildly about him. For example, many of his sonnets are written about a “Dark Lady,” which few believe to be his wife, Anne. Some of his sonnets suggest amorous feelings to another man, which have led to speculation that he may have been homosexual. Though he wrote for royalty, the subversive nature of many of his works, including the corrupt royal class, have led some to suggest that he was a spy or some type of...

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Essays About Romeo and Juliet