“Love all, trust a few, do wrong to none.”
“A fool thinks himself to be wise, but a wise man knows himself to be a fool.”
“Some are born great, some achieve greatness, and some have greatness thrust upon them.”
“To thine own self be true, and it must follow, as the night the day, thou canst not then be false to any man.”
These are but a few of quotes attributed to William Shakespeare. (and some of my favorites!)
Dramatist, actor, poet and theater manager, William Shakespeare wrote 38 play and 154 sonnets (among many other writings). He was born April 23, 1564 in Stratford-on-Avon and baptised 3 days later (birthdate is an approximate, but baptism record is correct). His parents were John, an alderman and successful glover and Mary Shakespeare. He was the third child of eight and the eldest surviving son. Most biographers agree that Shakespeare was probably educated at the King’s New School in Stratford. He was taught basic Latin and had an intensive education in grammar based upon classical authors.
At the age of 18 he married 26-year-old Anne Hathaway. Six months later their daughter Susanna was baptised May 26, 1583 and twins, Judith and Hamnet, baptised February 2, 1585 (Hamnet died at age 11).
Biographers refer to the years 1585 to 1592 as Shakespeare’s “lost years” as there are no traceable facts during this period. However, by late 1592 he seems to be a sufficiently well-known playwright. From 1594 his plays were performed by only the Lord Chamberlain’s Men, eventually becoming known as the King’s Men.
He became a well-to-do man and in 1597 he bought the second-largest house in Stratford. He died there April 23, 1616.
Shakespeare managed to create the most influential and lasting body of work in the English language. He contributed thousands of words and explored human nature with subtlety and compassion.