23. William Shakespeare
William Shakespeare is considered to be the greatest of all dramatists all over the world. He was born on 23rd April 1564, at Stratford-upon-Avon in Henley Street as the oldest son of glovemaker John Shakespeare and his wife Mary Arden. He had one sister and one brother. William attended the local grammar school. When he was 18, he married Anne Hathaway from a nearby village Shottery. She was eight years older when he and already pregnant. They had two daughters – Susan and Judith and a son Hamnet. Hamnet and Judith were twins, but Hamnet died at the age of eleven. There are nearly no records of Shakespeare’s life during the seven years than followed except one mention that they probably still stayed at Stratford-upon-Avon. But in 1592 he came to London and joined a group of actors known as the Lord Chamberlain’s Man. Eight years later he bought his own theatre and named it the Globe Theatre, which was out door and actors played in the open air. It is also important to remind that in Shakespeare’s time here were no actresses and also women’s roles were played by men and one actor played more roles than one. First Shakespeare helped adapt or re-write older plays but later he started to write his own plays and he was very successful. Both the Queen Elizabeth I. and James I. liked him very much. One day, during a performance off Henry VIII was the Globe destroyed by fire. The Lord Chamberlain’s Men the King’s Men under the patronage of James I. His plays were first published in 1623. After his son’s death he went back to Stratford-upon-Avon and lived a quiet life with his family. Now he was a wealthy man and he bought a handsome house, the second largest in the town. The strange thing is that the died on the same day as he was born in the age of 52. The legend says that he died after a louder and noisier birthday celebration with his friends. He is buried at local Trinity Church. Here is buried also his wife and other members of this family. There are only two portraits of Shakespeare, which are authentic and one of them is the bust in Stratford-upon-Avon at Trinity Church. Today there is the Royal Shakespeare (or Swan) Theatre, which is visited by tourists from all over the world.