William Shakespeare
William Shakespeare, English playwright and poet recognized in much of the world
as the greatest of all dramatists. Shakespeare’s plays communicate a profound
knowledge of human behavior, revealed through portrayals of a wide variety of
characters. His use of poetic and dramatic means to create a unified artistic
effect out of several vocal expressions and actions is recognized as a singular
achievement, and his use of poetry within his plays to express the deepest
levels of human motivation in individual, social, and universal situations is
considered one of the greatest accomplishments in literary history. William

Shakespeare was born in 1564 in Stratford-on-Avon. No knows the exact date of

William’s birth, although we do know that he was baptized on Wednesday, April

26, 1564. His father was John Shakespeare, tanner, glover, dealer in grain, and
town official of Stratford. William’s mother, Mary, was the daughter of Robert

Arden, a prosperous gentleman. On November 28, 1582, William Shakespeare and

Anne Hathaway entered into a marriage contract. The baptism of their eldest
child, Susanna, took place in Stratford in May 1583. One year and nine months
later their twins, Hamnet and Judith, were christened in the same church. In

1593, William found a patron, Henry Wriothgley, to sponsor him. During this
time, he wrote two long poems. His first long poem, "Venus and Adonius", was
written in 1593. In 1594 he wrote his second long poem, "Rape of Lucrece".

In London, Shakespeare established himself as an actor who began to write many
plays. Shakespeare worked "Lords Chamberlain’s Men" company which later
became "The King’s Men" in 1603 after King James I took over. This company
became the largest and most famous acting company, only because Shakespeare
worked for them, writing all the plays they performed. They performed these
plays by Shakespeare in a well known theater which was called "The Globe"
because of it s circular shape. Shakespeare left London in 1611 and retired. On

March 25, 1616, Shakespeare made a will and, shortly after he died on April 23,

1616 at the age of 52. Many people believed that Shakespeare knew he was dying;
however he didn’t want anyone to know that he was. Certainly there are many
things about Shakespeare’s genius and career which the most diligent scholars
do not know and can not explain, but the facts which do exist are sufficient to
establish Shakespeare’s identity as a man and his authorship of the
thirty-seven plays which reputable critics acknowledge to be his. Since the 19th
century, Shakespeare’s achievements have been more consistently recognized,
and throughout the Western world he has come to be regarded as the greatest
dramatist ever. ACT I The play’s opening lines signal a mood of tension, and
they portend disaster for Egeon, a middle-aged merchant from the ancient city of

Syracuse on the island of Sicily. The cities of Syracuse and Ephesus are openly
hostile toward one another. Captured in Ephesus, Egeon has been condemned to
death by the Duke, who urges him to tell the sad story of how he has come to
this state. Along with his wife Emilia, identical twin sons both named

Antipholus, and identical twin slaves both named Dromio, Egeon some years ago
suffered a shipwreck. One son and slave survived with the father; the others, he
hoped, survived with the mother. Neither group knew of the other’s survival,
however, nor of each other’s whereabouts, but when Antipholus of Syracuse
turned eighteen, his father gave him permission to search for his brother. The
worried Egeon then set out after his second son, and after five years of
fruitless wandering, he came to Ephesus. Moved by this tale of sadness, the Duke
of Ephesus gave Egeon a day, within which time Egeon must raise a thousand marks
ransom money. Antipholus of Syracuse takes his leave of a friendly merchant and
tells his servant Dromio of Syracuse to take the 1,000 marks he has with him to
their lodging for safekeeping. Meanwhile, he tells Dromio he’s going to look
around the town. Soon Dromio of Ephesus, an exact look-alike of the other Dromio,
enters and tells Antipholus of Syracuse, thinking he is Antipholus of Ephesus,
to come home for dinner that his wife has been waiting. In no mood for joking
around with the servant, Antipholus hits the uncomprehending Dromio on the head,
as he walks off. Antipholus then groans with the thought that a bondsman has
just cheated him out of 1,000 marks. ACT II Antipholus of Ephesus’ wife,

Adriana, debates with her sister Luciana on the proper conduct of authority