William Shakespeare is arguably the most famous author and poet of all time. His works are studied in grade school classrooms, college courses focus on his life and works, and professional authors look to him for inspiration. We know a great deal about the Bard注1 himself, but there is still much we do not know. The mysteries surrounding his life keep us interested and looking for more.
William Shakespeare was born in April of 1564 in Stratford-upon-Avon, on or around the 23rd day of the month. The exact date of his birth is unknown. Based on documents stating that he was baptized on the 26th of April, a rite that was traditionally conducted about three days following birth, we can assume that Shakespeare was born on the 23rd.
Very little is known about Shakespeare's education. It is thought he began grammar school in Stratford around age six, but it has been suggested that the school's records were intentionally destroyed, so there is no definitive proof. We do not know how long he remained a student, but missing records also suggest that Shakespeare never attended university. The question of education is cited by many claiming that Shakespeare did not write his now famous works.
人们对莎士比亚接受教育的情况也知之甚少。一般认为他在6岁左右开始在斯特拉福读文法学校，但据称学校记录被人蓄意毁坏，所以没有确凿证据证明这点。我们不知道他当了多少年学生，但缺失的记录同时显示莎士比亚没上过大学。有关其教育的问题被很多人引用，以说明莎士比亚没有写下如今这几部名作。 Shakespeare's Personal and Professional Life 个人生活及事业生涯
In 1582 at the age of 18, Shakespeare married Anne Hathaway, a woman eight years his senior. The couple had three children, including a son named Hamnet, who many believe was the inspiration for the name Hamlet in his famous play, Hamlet, Prince of Denmark. Susanna, the first of his children, was born just five months after their wedding, an event which at the time would have raised some eyebrows.
Shakespeare was not only a playwright, but an actor as well, and served as a member of the acting troupe The Lord Chamberlain's Men (later known as the King's Men). By 1598, it became necessary for the group to build their own theater. Pooling their money, they built the Globe Theater (completed in 1599), and were financially rewarded for their investment thanks to high ticket sales. The Globe attracted lower and upper class citizens alike, and as a result Shakespeare's fame grew.
There are two distinct periods of time in which little to no documentation on Shakespeare exists. These periods have been called the Lost Years. The first period of missing years is from 1578 to 1582 when Shakespeare was married, and the second stretched from 1582 to 1592. Some suggest that during these lost years, Shakespeare may have dabbled in a variety of professions, including teacher or law clerk, or he may have been assisting his father with the family business of leather working and trade. Others believe Shakespeare was using these years to conduct extensive research, travel, and establish himself as a playwright in the theater industry.
Shakespeare died in 1616 at the age of 52. During his life, he collected numerous pieces of property and had a substantial bit of money to his name. In his will, he bequeathed most of his properties to Susanna, his eldest daughter, and some actors from the King's Men. Famously, he left his wife his “second best bed注2” before he died on April 23rd, 1616 (this date is an educated guess because we only have a record of his burial two days later). This indicated she was to be given their marriage bed. Traditionally, the best bed was reserved for guests of a household.