Anonymous asked in Arts & HumanitiesBooks & Authors · 1 decade ago

Was William Shakespeare A Real Person?

14 Answers

  • Best Answer

    William was born in 1564. We know this from the earliest record we have of his life; his baptism which happened on Wednesday, April the 26th, 1564. We don’t actually know his birthday but from this record we assume he was born in 1564. Similarly by knowing the famous Bard's baptism date, we can guess that he was born three days earlier on St. George’s day, though we have no conclusive proof of this.

    William was the third child of John and Mary Shakespeare. The first two were daughters and William was himself followed by Gilbert who died in 1612 and Richard who died in 1613. Edmund (1580-1607), sixth in the line was baptized on May the third, 1580 and William's oldest living sister was Joan who outlived her famous playwright brother. Of William’s seven siblings, only Judith and four of his brothers survived to adulthood.

    From baptism records, we know William's father was a John Shakespeare, said to be a town official of Stratford and a local businessman who dabbled in tanning, leatherwork and whittawering which is working with white leather to make items like purses and gloves. John also dealt in grain and sometimes was described as a glover by trade.

    John was also a prominent man in Stratford. By 1560, he was one of fourteen burgesses which formed the town council. Interestingly, William himself is often described as a keen businessman so we can assume he got his business acumen from his father. In the Bard's case, the apple didn’t fall far from the tree at all...

    William's mother was Mary Arden who married John Shakespeare in 1557. The youngest daughter in her family, she inherited much of her father’s landowning and farming estate when he died.

    Since we know Stratford's famous Bard lived with his father, John Shakespeare, we can presume that he grew up in Henley Street, some one hundred miles northwest of London.

    Very little is known about literature’s most famous playwright. We know that the King’s New Grammar School taught boys basic reading and writing. We assume William attended this school since it existed to educate the sons of Stratford but we have no definite proof. Likewise a lack of evidence suggests that William, whose works are studied universally at Universities, never attended one himself!

    A bond certificate dated November the 28th, 1582, reveals that an eighteen year old William married the twenty-six and pregnant Anne Hathaway. Barely seven months later, they had his first daughter, Susanna. Anne never left Stratford, living there her entire life.

    Baptism records show that William’s first child, Susanna was baptized in Stratford sometime in May, 1583. Baptism records again reveal that twins Hamnet and Judith were born in February 1592. Hamnet, William's only son died in 1596, just eleven years old. Hamnet and Judith were named after William’s close friends, Judith and Hamnet Sadler. William's family was unusually small in a time when families had many children to ensure parents were cared for in later years despite the very high mortality rates of children and also their life expectancy in the 1500s.

    Evidence that the great Bard was also a poet comes from his entering his first poem Venus and Adonis in the Stationers’ Registrar on the 18th of April, 1593. The playwright registered his second poem The Rape of Lucrece by name on the 9th of May, 1594.

    In 1609, the Bard's sonnets were published without the Bard’s permission. It is considered unlikely that William wanted many of his deeply personal poems to be revealed to the outside world. It was not however the first time; in 1599, in a collection entitled "The Passionate Pilgrim" , two of his poems had been printed without William’s permission.

    Records with the College of Heralds, reveal William applied for a coat of arms. Despite a lack of proof, he was granted his request. Later in 1599 he applied for his mother’s coat of arms to be added to his own.

    At age 15, William purchased the New Place. This was one of the most prominent and desired properties in all of Stratford being the second largest house in town. Given his father's known financial hardship from 1576, William must either have used his own money to buy this expensive property or his father had placed money in his son’s name. It is possible William might have bought this prominent property with money from his plays. It is estimated that roughly fifteen of his 37 plays would have been written and performed by 1597!

    Court records of a dispute between William's landlord Christopher Mountjoy and his son-in-law Stephen Belott confirm that William was living in London around 1601. The playwright's name is recorded in the court records when he gave testimony in 1612 concerning Mountjoy and Belott’s dispute. Interestingly, in 1601, he bought roughly 107 acres of arable land with twenty acres of pasturage for 20 pounds in Old Stratford.

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    4 years ago

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  • 1 decade ago

    There are many theories that argue that Shakespeare didn't write many of the plays and poetry. Shakespeare "work" has more than 10,000 of different words in his vocab, a number higher than any other poet or writer. Some believe that Chistopher Marlowe wrote many of Shakerpeare's work. After looking at all of Shakerspeare work over the period time, it is easy to believe that Shakespeare was not "A Real Person."

  • 1 decade ago

    There is very little doubt that Shakespeare was a real person. He left a will, his baptism & death are recorded, his father was of considerable importance in Stratford, and William bought property in Stratford.

    Now the question is: Did Shakespeare write the plays attributed to him? Some alternates to Shakespeare are Marlowe, Bacon, the Earl of Essex, Ben Jonson, etc. I have managed to prove that I wrote Shakespeare by plotting the number of times the letters of my last name appear in The Sonnets. Don't laugh, that is one of the theories that tries to prove that Edward DeVere, Earl of Essex, wrote the plays. There is a whole side industry which tries to prove that Shakespeare did not write the plays.

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  • 3 years ago

    Was Shakespeare Real

  • 1 decade ago

    I believe William Shakespeare is a real person in UK who is well-known for his literary gift.There are four famous tragic dramas written by Shakespeare ,one of which is "Romeo and Juliea"

    It is a tragic love story between two feud Lord families.If you have read the Chinese drama"Students' Love: Liang shanbo&Zhu Yingtai" which shares the similar plots with the former.Shakespeare is one of the most talented writer from grassroot.He is also good at poem-composing ,Sonnet is a special form created by him which won great popularity among writes at that time.

    The famous sentence is from Sonnet 18 "Shall I compare thee to a Summer' Day"

    Also ,the drama of "Ullycess Ceasar" contained a famous speach made by a figure of it" Friends,Romans.countrymen.lean me your ears"

  • 1 decade ago

    yes, william shakespeare was a real person. i was just on a holiday in during which i saw the house he was born and grew up in. unless it was all a figure of my imagination, im pretty darn sure he existed... lol and also, all of those plays and poems he wrote like "a midsummer night's dream" and "twelfth night" and "romeo and juliet" and "the sonet" were all written by him. there is proof that he existed. omg, where were you in english class when most other people were learning about old english literature?

  • Jim P
    Lv 4
    1 decade ago

    Nobody really knows, that's the thing.

    One theory is that he was a nom de plume, a cover for a "real" person who did not want to have to take responsibility for his writings.

  • 1 decade ago

    Yes. There is an issue about his being the author of his plays, though.

  • Anonymous
    1 decade ago


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