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Passions in PoetryWilliam Shakespeare
1564 - 1616

Little is known about Shakespeare's early years. His father, John Shakespeare, was a glover and dealer in commodities and was a man of some standing in the local community. His mother, Mary Arden, was of higher social class. Shakespeare seems to have attended the local grammar school at Stratford-upon-Avon, where he was born, but no records remain.

In 1582 Shakespeare married Anne Hathaway, who was eight years older than he was, and they had three children by 1585. His time from then until 1592 remains a mystery. In 1594, however, he became a leading member of the newly formed acting company the Lord Chamberlain's Men (who became the King's Men at the accession of James I) and he remained with them for the rest of his career. In 1599 the company occupied the Globe theatre in London and in 1608 took over Blackfriars as a winter house. Shakespeare lived and worked in London, but his family remained in Stratford. Shakespeare's plays are still performed with more regularity than those of any other playwright and film versions frequently appear.

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