To Thine On Self Be Interesting Rare Shakespeare Facts

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On April 23, 2564 William Shakespeare was baptized in Stratford-upon-Avon, three days before their was an outbreak of plague recorded by their local paper the Parish Register. Because his birth occurred during the old Julian Calender, April 23 was actually May 3.

Shakespeare's father John was a leather worker who became a high bailiff, which was at the time, the highest elected office in Stratford. During that time he was prosecuted, and/or threatened prosecution four times for lending money and trading wool illegally. He married Anne Whatelely which historians now believe (her name) was a scribal error and it was actually Anne Hathawy on November 39, 1582. She was pregnant at the time.

Between 1585 and 1592, as productive as Shakespeare was at the time, there is no record of anything he did. Many scholars believe it could have been writers block and he went into seclusion. Though he is known today as playwright, he listed himself on documents, now known as resumes as "an actor", taking bit roles in plays, such as the ghost in Hamlet, giving him time for writing plays.

The first definite reference to Shakespeare as a playwright is in a pamphlet by Robert Greene, who wrote, "There is an upstart Crow, beautified with our feathers, that with his Tiger's heart wrapped in a Player's hide, supposes he is as well able to bombast out a blank verse as the best of you: and being an absolute Johannes fac totum, is in his own conceit the only Shake-scene in a country." "Tiger's heart wrapped in a Player's hide" is an allusion to a line from Henry VI, Part 3. Although Shakespeare is usually considered an Elizabethan playwright, much of his greatest work was produced after James I took the throne. Thus, Shakespeare could be more accurately considered Jacobean.

Most of Shakespeare's plays are based on his diaries and poems which was commonplace during that period. During his time, theaters did not use curtains and had nothing but a bare stage. The playwright's responsibility was to "set up the scenery through the actor's script by describing what the setting should be. Ticket-buyers to Elizabethan plays, including Shakespeare's were allowed to buy and eat pears and apples during the show. If they were not satisfied with the performance, they more often than not threw them at the actors.

Shakespeare leased a theater for 31 years, The Globe, which burned to the ground on June 29, 1613, set fire by a cannon shot during a performance of Shakespeare's Henry VIII.d In 1603, Shakespeare's company became the official player for King James I and renamed the troupe The King's Men.

In 1608, The King's Men opened the Blackfriar's Theater, the template on which all later indoor theaters are based.

On May 20, 1609, Thomas Thorpe published Shakespeare's sonnets in a quarto volume, apparently without the poet's permission. It was one of the first known copyright violations. Almost nothing is known about when the 154 sonnets were written, to whom they were addressed, or whether they are assembled in the correct order. Sonnets are typically love poems, but Shakespeare's are often self- loathing, bitter, and even homo-erotic.

Rick London is a writer, cartoonist, and Internet entrepreneur. He and his fiance founded the full service web company Pen And Ink Inc. London also founded and is the designer of Shoes That Amuse, the world's only shoes featuringfamous love quotes and graphics of the poet or philosopher who penned it (featured in USA Today).

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