William Shakespeare was born in 1564 and died in 1616. He was the son of a successful leather businessman, John Shakespeare. In 1582, he married Anne Hathaway and his wife was pregnant when they married. They had three children, a set of twins and a single birth. Susanna was born in 1583 and the twins Hamnet and Judith were born in 1585. In 1594 Shakespeare became an actor and playwright for the Lord Chamberlin's Men. Shakespeare wrote his plays on blank verse. This was unrhymed lines consisting of ten syllables, alternately stressed and unstressed. The technical term for this form is called iambic pentameter. When Shakespeare first began to write for the stage, it was fashionable to maintain the disregular beat from the first line of the play till the last. Some of his early plays contained whole scenes.
On stage music played an important role. Sometimes music would be played on the stage and there was also a special gallery for the musicians above the stage. Sometimes the music would be played under the stage to create an eerie effect. Only some of the music set by Shakespeare have survived over the years. Certain instruments would be used to express certain moods. Early instruments fromn the oboe, called shawms, would be used to express love and tenderness. They were also considered mysterious.
Shakespeare was a play write of comedies, histories, and tragedies. His most notable
plays were his tragedies. These would include Romeo and Juliet, Ceaser, Hamlet,
Othello and Macbeth. Many of his plays were performed in London in the Globe
theater. His most notable histories would be Henry VIII, and his most notable
comedies are A comedy of errors and a mid summer nights dream. They have been
translated into every major living language, in addition to being continually
performed all around the world.
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Clark,G.William; Wright, A. William. The Unabriged William Shakespeare (1989) Running Press