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How did Shakespeare become famous?

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Quick Answer

Within two years of writing his first play, "Henry VI, Part One," which put him on London's theatrical map, Williams Shakespeare was so famous that established playwright Robert Greene referred to him as an "upstart crow" in a critique of his work. Shakespeare wrote "Henry VI, Part One" while still living in his native Stratford. Shortly thereafter, he moved to London to continue writing plays as well as acting.

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How did Shakespeare become famous?
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Full Answer

Shakespeare's plays and other written works are known for their wit, clear language, vivid characters and universal themes. These qualities, which have allowed his work to stand the test of time, were appreciated during the writer's own time as well as they are today.

King James regularly invited Shakespeare to appear in court, as he enjoyed the writer's performances and story-telling abilities.

In 1594 and 1595, Shakespeare received positive reviews for his play "Lucrece." By 1598, his work was so sought-after that publishers began attaching his name to printed copies of his poetry and prose in hopes of selling more of them, a custom not common in times when readers cared less about the identity of authors.

In 1605, British historian William Camden wrote that Shakespeare was among the best contemporary writers of his time.

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Related Questions

  • Q:

    Where did Shakespeare perform his plays?

    A:

    William Shakespeare's plays were performed in London, England, at the Theatre and at the royal court before 1599 and at the Globe Theatre after 1599. Many of the plays, especially the later plays, were performed by the Lord Chamberlain's Men, a theatre company to which Shakespeare belonged.

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  • Q:

    Where did William Shakespeare live?

    A:

    English playwright William Shakespeare was born and died in Stratford-upon-Avon, a countryside town approximately 100 miles northwest of London, but spent most of his time in London. Shakespeare was born in 1564, likely April 23, and went to grammar school in Stratford, which is located in the county of Warwickshire.

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  • Q:

    What was the name of the theater that Shakespeare worked in?

    A:

    William Shakespeare worked in and performed his plays at the Globe Theater in London. The theater opened in 1599 and was financed by the acting troupe, Lord Chamberlain's Men. The theater was three stories high, and its stage sat 5 feet above the first floor.

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  • Q:

    What genres did Shakespeare's work cover?

    A:

    William Shakespeare's 38 plays covered three major genres: tragedy, history and comedy. He wrote 10 histories, 10 tragedies, and 18 comedies. His plays contain Elizabethan plots, tropes and themes consistent with their specific genre.

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