William Shakespeare's father, John Shakespeare, had a number of occupations, including glover, tanner, business owner and civil servant. While he was born a commoner, he eventually managed to elevate himself and his family into the nobility.Continue Reading
John was the son of Richard Shakespeare, a farmer in Snitterfield. He moved to Stratford as an apprentice glover (one who makes gloves) and leather worker sometime before 1532. He bought numerous properties in the 1550s, including several houses, and he later inherited some farming real estate. Between rent collected from these lands and the profits made from selling timber and barley from the farms, John was far wealthier than the average glover.
The prestige and prosperity that came with John's many businesses also helped him attain numerous civil service positions, including ale-taster of the borough (the person in charge of enforcing various tavern regulations), constable, affeerer (the person in charge of establishing fines for laws without specified penalties), burgess, chamberlain, alderman (a member of the town council), high bailiff (a position similar to mayor but with additional duties, such as serving as the town coroner) and, later, chief alderman. All of these successes led to John applying for his own coat of arms and a rank in the gentry in 1569.
Later in life, John fell into debt for reasons that are unknown. He stopped paying his taxes, no longer fulfilled his alderman duties and was fined for skipping church, which he likely missed to avoid being arrested for defaulting on payments. He was also charged with illict lending and charging interest on money as well as illegally trading in wool. However, his son's theatrical successes helped mend his reputation, and before he died in 1601, he was reinstated on the town council and had his request for a coat of arms approved.Learn more about Literature
William Shakespeare does not have a middle name of record. His birth is not even recorded. The first record of his life is his baptismal record, dated April 26, 1564, in which there is no mention of a middle name.Full Answer >
Shakespeare did act in minor roles in some of his own plays. The First Folio has a listing of all of the actors' names to have performed in Shakespearean plays, and Shakespeare himself is on that list.Full Answer >
According to an article entitled "A Cultural Context for Othello" written by a theater historian for the Shakespeare Theater Company at the Harman Center for the Arts, in Shakespeare's day, Moors were generally regarded as being morally corrupt, jealous and sexually promiscuous and were spoken of as villains and devils. On the other hand, Venetians were regarded as counterparts of English society.Full Answer >
The English poet and dramatist, William Shakespeare, and his wife, Anne Hathaway Shakespeare, had three children. Their first child, a daughter named Susanna, was born in 1583. The twins, a boy and girl named Hamnet and Judith, were born in 1585.Full Answer >