William Shakespeare

William Shakespeare (* 23. April 1564 in Stratford upon Avon; † 23. April 1616 ebenda (date at that time of the Julian calendar, after dying date in the catholic countries, still valid in England, later also in England introduced Gregorian calendar would be the 3. May 1616)) is considered as one of the largest poets and a dramatist of the world literature.

The well-known Droeshout Porträt Shakespeares the years of 1,3 piece writers



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Shakespeares Geburtshaus
Shakespeares birth house

Shakespeares details date of birth is not delivered. The date of its baptism is in the baptismal registers of Holy Trinity Church in Stratford with that 26. April 1564 registered. Since it was generally usual in that time, the children three daysafter the birth to baptize, it is to be accepted that it to 23. April was born. This acceptance is besides for the reason delightfully that Shakespeare also at 23. April died, i.e. in the year 1616.

William Shakespeare is the son John Shakespeares and Mary Ardens; its nut/mother comes of to a wealthy family of the low aristocracy. William probably visited the latin school in Stratford upon Avon. One does not know that exactly, because no recordings or pupil lists are more present from that time, butfor the son successful of a citizen of the city probably hardly came something else in question as the best attainable education. Besides numerous quotations from school books witness grammar school from a probable attendance. It should have actually visited this school,it was informed in latin, history, moral teachings and Dichtkunst.

1582 he married by 8 years the older farmer daughter Anne Hathaway with 18 years. The exact date of the wedding is unknown, but the quantity became to 28. November orders.Six months after, to 26. May 1583, was born its daughter Susanna. All kinds of speculations attach to the fact that William married an older woman probably only because she expected a child of him. Also that it alreadysoon its family left, in order to go to London, and that it only second best later Anne in its will its bed (its secondarybest bed) left, it may point to a little lucky marriage. On the other hand the marriage cannot so badly beenits, because the Shakespeares had altogether three children (the twins Hamnet and Judith 2 came to. February 1585 to the world - Hamnet died 1596 at the age of only 11 years), and in later years he turned as if enrich man afterStratford and to its wife back, bought there a large house (new Place), and lived from now on with its family.

The lost years

after the birth of the twins Shakespeare from the official documents disappears, and probably from Stratford.About the following eight years of its life one knows to today nothing. This time therefore the draws years (the lost years) called. Over the questionable time there are all the more no fact realizations, but assumptions. So is Williamas Wilderer arrested its and a time in the prison spent. Or it is to have worked as Schulmeister. Then again it, it means fought as a mercenary in the Netherlands, or it has itself as a servant with a nobleFamily hires. Also one assumes, he spent longer time on a journey to the continent, - possibly important personalities know learned (Michel de Montaigne, Giordano Bruno). Perhaps most reliably is history that it itself a travelerTheatertruppe to London attached and at the theatre emergency services performed there.

The first written document, which proven that it in London was, comes from the poet Robert Greene, which diffamierte it 1592 in a lampoon as Emporkömmling, that itselfThings anmasste, which do not zustünden it, since he would not have learned like the outstanding poets of its time his art at the university:“There is upstart crow, beautified with our feathers, that with his tygers heart wrapt on in APlayers hide supposes he is as wave able tons bombast out A brightly verses as the best OF you; and, being to absolute Johannes Factotum, is in his own conceit the only Shake scene ones in A country ". - The wordplay Shake Scene is thereby obviously an allusion on Shakespeare.

This lampoon was published after death Greenes, and the publisher attached equal an apology, from which one can close that Shakespeare already admits, was perhaps also popular and influential sponsorshad. It was already at this time member of the troop lord Strange's Men, which called itself starting from 1594 lord Chamberlain's Men; Shakespeares play troop was one prominent elisabethanischen London. After its accession James I. makes short. it as King's Men to its own.

Piece writer and actor

Shakespeare worked as an actor in smaller roles, were partner in the Theatertruppe and thus in all profits involved. The still dominant opinion is that it for its troop of playswrote. These pieces were predominantly very successful and brought high incomes. If one considers the fact that London had at that time about 100,000 inhabitants, a theatre up to 3000 spectators seized, and several Schauspielhäuser in London gave it, then one can estimate, whatan important medium the theatre in elisabethanischen London was. One sees in addition, how many pieces were used, in order to place the public contently. If a play three to four times had been specified one behind the other, a new had, ago overto satisfy the maintenance need of the public.

Eugène Delacroix: Hamlet and Horatio on the cemetery

so were Shakespeare and many different than piece writers very desired. It was quite usual to rewrite and specify older pieces again again; Shakespeares Hamlet is onesuch modern adaptation of an older piece. Or one converted legends and fairy tales to dramas, as for instance king Lear. Pieces developed also after printed sources, Italian novella collections or chronicles. A likewise usual method was, of successful pieces continuations toowrite. Like that the figure of the Falstaff was so popular in Heinrich IV that Shakespeare let it revive into the merry women of Windsor again.

In the theatre the public success of a piece applied for this time as only criterion of its specifying barness. A “culture enterprise”in our sense or an artistic consciousness of the numerous authors did not give it. Earliest characteristics of the today's Unterhaltungsindustrie meet practice at that time. Pieces changed no other theatre into the possession of the respective play troops and were fearfully guarded, thusat the text to arrive and the piece likewise specify could, because there were not copyright regulations naturally. Unofficial reproductions of pieces developed nevertheless, because it prevailed an active demand.

More closely and businessman

Shakespeare was however more than only one piece writer. Ittried, particularly since the theatres of London because of the plague epidemic diseases occasionally to close had, also in the actual medium of the poets of that time, in the epischen poem and in the lyric poetry. It wrote the two verse narrations Venus and Adonis and Lucrece , those to 1593it its noble sponsor Henry Wriothesley, Earl OF Southampton appropriated. Also a cycle of 154 sonnets appeared 1609. Numerous secrets already surround this work outside of the text, because, who in a short publisher-link up, that is not clear usually as“Dedication” is read, with “the only more begetter” and “Mr. W.H. “is meant. Perhaps it concerns with this sonnet publication also a pirated edition.

London, Shakespeare's Globe (reconstruction)

1597 was Shakespeare already joint owners of the Londoner Globe Theatre, that its troopas a successor for the Theatre built, whose lease had run out. Chamberlain designated themselves the lord Chamberlain ' s Men after her Mäzen and sponsor, the lord, and they were gladly seen also at the yard of the queen Elizabeth. Later, under the Elizabeth's successors Jakob I. they were allowed to then call themselves even after the royal sponsor King' s Men.

As an actor, piece writer, but particularly as commercial partners of the successful Globe acquired itself Shakespeare a considerable fortune and influence, so that him 1596 for itsEarnings/services a family coat of arms one granted, which its father had already requested 1576 unsuccessfully. 1597 bought Shakespeare the second largest house in its birth city Stratford, new Place. From the year 1598 a letter is received, in that itself more certainly Smelling pool of broadcasting corporations Quiney with Shakespeare for a loan of 30 Pound thanks you. (Later William Shakespeares daughter Judith its son Thomas married 18 years.)

1596 built the theatre entrepreneur James Burbage the Blackfriars Theatre, in which also Shakespeare took part later,a theatre considered contrary to the Globe, in which its troop from now on played during the winter months. The public was more exclusive than in there the large free light stages. At all it gave among the Jakobs I.more strongly visible contrasts than before betweena cultivated public and the “people”.

The last years

with 46 years Shakespeare returned wealthy to Stratford and spent there its last Lebensjahre, whereby he let the connections to his former colleagues tear off however not completely, and stillunite theatre productions as a co-author were involved.

Shakespeares signature on its will

Shakespeare died in Stratford in the year 1616 and in the Holy Trinity Church was buried. The exact cause of death is not well-known. Thus all kinds of climb also around its deathRumors.

Shakespeares Grabstein
Shakespeares gravestone

in the case of a chemical investigation of fragments of pipes, which were found on Shakespeares property in Stratford, were to traces of marijuana and cocaine, in 16. Century was introduced for the first time from South America to Europe. Thiscause for speculations, Shakespeare gave drugs had possibly consumed; it also referred to the use of the expressions noted weed and compounds strand in sun 76. Speculations of this kind do not withstand however serious check.

1623 became from the citizensStratfords in the altar wall of the church Gedenkstein establishes, with a stone Büste and to latin an inscription. Shakespeares former theatre colleagues John Heminges and Henry Condell published its works under the title Mr William Shakespeare's Comedies, Histories and stretcher this in onelarge sized book, Folio mentioned, the first attempt of a total expenditure. The Folio edition contains not only the pieces, but also a preface and a praise poem at that time of the popular poet Ben Jonson, where Shakespeare is appreciated in such a way:

Triumph myBritain, thou has one tons show
Ton whom all scenes OF Europe homage owe.
He which emergency OF to age, but for all time! ...

(Triumphiere, my Britannien, you has one,
that all stages of Europe huldigen,
it was not forone era, but for all times.)

haven-guessed/advised, which decorates the title page the Folio edition, is the only picture Shakespeares, from which one can assume that the artist Martin Droeshout could have seen him still personal.

Shakespeares language

Shakespeares dramasnone were “look " play in the modern sense, but language plays. One did not go in the elisabethanischen England into the theatre, around a drama “sees”, but “hear” (“hear A play”), and much, which one would represent today, particularly in the film, with pictures,in Shakespeares pieces alone by words one represents. “Word scenery” means as much as “window blinds from words”.

A performance in the Globe took place in the afternoon in the open air, and so for example scenes, which played at the night, could not by switching offthe lighting will create, but by words. “There's husbandry into heaven, their candles acres all out” (it is thriftiness in the sky, their candles is all out) says Banquo in “Macbeth” and paints thereby in the conception of the listeners forthe murder at the king so suitable dark starless night.

Shakespeare was above all a Virtuose of the language. One counts 34,000 words in its works, about twice as much, how an educated Englishman needs nowadays in his whole life. The vocabularya normal German on the average no more does not amount to as 10,000, for most everyday life situations hands less than 1000 words.

There was a large liberty of the language to Shakespeares time, how one already sees at the fact that he its ownNames not always directly wrote. And it was much rather possible as today to invent new words if the necessity resulted. Shakespeare created more new words, than every other English poet and enriched so its language in overwhelming way.Many words, which are completely everyday today, were used for the first time in one of its pieces. (for example multitudinous, accomodation, premeditated, assassination, submerged, obscene, and many different).

Speculations around the authority of its works

a well-known joke reads: Shakespeares of workssind nicht von ihm geschrieben worden, sondern von einem anderen Mann gleichen Namens. Background for it is that again and again debates are led across the fact that the Shakespeare poet cannot be a simple man of small education from the province. Was thoseGrammar School in Stratford by no means a second-class training centre. The pupils learned Hebrew beside latin and Greek even and wrote already during the school time small dramas after the sample of the classical pieces, which were translated and analyzed. There are however noneOriginal handwriting apart from Shakespeare - from a few signatures. Too little in present research remains thereby perhaps considered that 1637 new Place, which was cleaned for private house Shakespeares in Stratford, of puritanischen councilmen i.e. it can be assumed thatalso handwriting of the verpönten theatre author Shakespeares was destroyed. In addition 1645 the Globe theatre in London were destroyed. It did not prevail a faith war between Anglikanern and catholics, also on Shakespeares to the family (those was possibly catholic) and its biography without effectsremained (see. Hammerschmidt Hummel, Honigman, Wilson etc.). Because of these circumstances 19 became starting from that. Century doubt to the author shank announced.

Christopher Marlowe

two more well-known candidates on „the genuine “Shakespeare Autorschaft are Edward De Vere, Earl OF Oxford, and the philosopher Francis Bacon. Even queen Elizabeth was included as an authoress of the works into the speculations.

When „actual “author of its works already since end of the 19.Jahrhunderts to be in the same year 1564 born contemporary Christopher Marlowe favored [1],brilliant dramatist of the elisabethanischen era. For the advancement of the Marlowe hypothesis the Monographie of Calvin Hoffman was influential:The of murder OF the one who which Shakespeare, Julian Messner Inc., New York 1955. In recent time the hypothesis of John becameBaker with new arguments supports [2]. There are arguments for the fact that Marlowe was threatened 1593 with an accusation because of shed they and atheism (temporary arrest to 20. May 1593), but with the help of its sponsors (e.g. Lord Walsingham) durably to submerge could,by its death with a “pub fight”, hardly more than one week later, to 30. May 1593 was pretended.[3] Into the thing the family of Eleanor bulletin, which had relational connections to the queen and lord Burghley, was complicated. Marlowes rapidlybegnadigter murderer (Frizer) was a close trusted friend lord of the Walsingham. It remains very remarkable that only after the alleged death of Marlowe the “literary” Shakespeare in one for conditions at that time no longer perfectly juvenile age from 29 years to firstTimes as an author into action went. Its works could be thus in reality work of Marlowe. Important auto+biographic parts of the sonnets could be explained by the acceptance of a lifelong internal exile [4]. In the text of the sonnets also Kryptogramme become assumed [5].

Also the countess Mary Pembroke was called in recent time of the American Hobbyforscherin Robin Williams as an author. A further theory means that several contemporaries wrote together under the alias Shakespeare.

For each of these hypothesesthere are certain indications, but no safe proofs. The Stratfordianer in such a way specified - the predominant majority the scholar shank - therefore holds further the opinion that Shakespeare is an exclusive author him attributed works [6].

On the point of issue around thoseAuthor shank is alluded also in the film Shakespeare in Love, when Viola wants their asks: “Answer ME only this: Acres you the author OF the plays OF William Shakespeare? “- in the German version: “Are you the author of the playsWilliam Shakespeares? “)

Rezeption in Germany

Shakespeare-Denkmal in Weimar
Shakespeare monument in Weimar

in Germany has the Shakespeare Rezeption an eventful history, in which the poet for the most diverse interests was taken in service, however always admired on the highest.

Is from greatest importance Shakespeare for those Literature theory of the clearing-up with Gotthold Ephraim Lessing (in 17. Literature letter 1759), for the dramatists storm and urge for instance with Heinrich William of Gerstenberg (letters over Merckwürdigkeiten of the Litteratur, 1766/67), with Johann Gottfried Herder (of German kindand art, 1773) and Johann Wolfgang von Goethe (speech to the Shäkespears day, 1771); however likewise for the German romance and the drama theory 19. Century. In early 18. Century still clay-indicating theoreticians Johann Christoph Gottsched,that the French classicism 17. Century was committed appropriate French pieces and therefore to the three Aristoteli units much rather assured, still - like Voltaire before it - quite adversely expressed themselves over Shakespeare. But now Shakespeare becameover the admiration of the new literary Wortführer to the prototype of the genius. The enthusiasts - to each serious poet in Germany between Lessing and Bertolt break was an Shakespeare enthusiast - celebrated „the Colossali size of “(Goethe) of the Shakespeare figures with large unanimityand the for the time being indescribable championship of the author. Goethe calls as a young man enthusiastically out: „[...] nature! Nature! nothing so nature as Schäkespears humans “.

That the Germans like a special affinity for Shakespeare and it, beside Goethe and Schiller, every now and thenwhen their „“stress third German classical author, leaves themselves also at that 1864 already took place establishment of the German Shakespeare society to read off.

Therefore the tide of the Eindeutschungen Shakespeares is indeterminable for over 250 years. Well-known transmissions of the dramas Shakespeares into German are thoseExpenditures Christoph Martin of how/as country, Eduard William they verse ', the Schlegel Tieck expenditure (August William Schlegel, wolf of Baudissin, Ludwig Tieck and Dorothea Tieck), as well as in more recent time the translations of Erich Fried and franc Günther; thoseSonnets found still far more translator. A repeating of individual works of Shakespeare, which addresses itself to children, gives it from Franz Fühmann.


history dramas

  • king Johann (King John, around 1595/96)

York Tetralogie

  • Heinrich VI.
    • Part 1 (KingHenry VI, part 1; approx. 1598-99)
    • Part 2 (King Henry VI, part 2; approx. 1590-92)
    • Part 3 (King Henry VI, part 3; approx. 1590-92)
  • Smelling pool of broadcasting corporations III. (King smelling pool of broadcasting corporations III; printed around 1593, 1597)

Lancaster Tetralogie

  • smelling pool of broadcasting corporations II. (King smelling pool of broadcasting corporations II; printed between 1590 and 1599, 1597)
  • Heinrich IV.
    • Part 1 (King Henry IV, part 1; printed around 1595/96, 1598)
    • part of 2 (King Henry IV, part 2; around 1597,printed 1600)
  • Heinrich V. (King Henry V; 1599, printed 1600 (pirated edition))
  • Heinrich VIII. (King Henry VIII or universe Is True, approx. 1612/13)


cheerful comedies

pieces of problem


  • Perikles, prince von Tyrus (Pericles, Prince OF Tyre; around 1607, first pressure 1609)
  • a winter fairy tale (The Winter's Tale; 1609, printed 1623)
  • Cymbeline (Cymbeline; 1610)
  • The storm (The Tempest; 1611, printed 1623)


early tragedies

Roman dramas

  • Julius Cäsar (The Tragedy OF Julius Caesar; 1599, printed 1623)
  • Antonius and Cleopatra (Antony and Cleopatra; printed around 1607, 1623)
  • Coriolanus (Coriolanus; printed around 1608, 1623)

later tragedies

  • Hamlet (Hamlet, Prince OF Denmark; printed around 1601, 1603, possibly. Pirated edition)
  • Othello (printed around 1604, 1622)
  • King Lear (King Lear; printed around 1605, 1608)
  • Timon of Athens (Timon OF of Athens; around 1606, first pressure 1623)
  • Macbeth (printed around 1608, 1623)

lyric poetry

  • Venus and Adonis (Venus and Adonis; 1593)
  • Lucretia (The Rape OF Lucrece; 1594)
  • The loving complaint (A Lover's Complaint; 1609)
  • The pilgrim fallen in love (The Passionate Pilgrim; 1609)
  • The Phoenix and the Turteltaube (The Phoenix and Turtle; printed 1601)

Filmografie (selection)

with beginning of film history emerges William Shakespeare also as a film script author in removes from films.Meanwhile far over 500 films after its pieces developed. The first filming decreases/goes back to the year 1899 and shows in a dreiminütigen film the death scene from King John with the large British theatre actor 19. Century Sir harsh oreBeerbohm Tree. In this list naturally only some few films worth seeing can be taken up. Films are probably mentioned nevertheless from all epochs.


  • Hildegard Hammerschmidt Hummel: WilliamShakespeare - its time its life - its work, Philipp of Zabern, Mainz 2003, ISBN 3-8053-2958-X
  • Ina T/plate ore (Hrsg.): Shakespeare manual. The time humans - the work - future generations, 4. Aufl., crowning he publishing house, Stuttgart 2000, ISBN 3-520-38604-6
  • Ulrich Suerbaum: Shakespeares dramas, UTB, Stuttgart 2001, ISBN 3-825-21907-0
  • John Michell: Who wrote Shakespeare?, Two thousand-unity, Frankfurt/Main 2001, ISBN 3-86150-368-9
  • Peter Dawkins: The Shakespeare Enigma, pole air publication., London 2004, ISBN 0-9545389-4-3 (English)
  • E.A. Honigman: The draws to Years, 1985 (English)
  • Ian Wilson: Shakespeare - The Evidence, 1993 (English)
  • Theo Reichenberger: “Rogues with Shakespeare and their victims”. Kassel, edition Reichenberger 1994. ISBN 3-928064-86-X
  • Theo Reichenberger: “Graphics to Shakespeares Venus and Adonis”. Kassel, edition Reichenberger2000.ISBN 3-935004-11-7
  • Andre Mueller: Shakespeare understand. Eulenspiegel, ISBN 3359014979
  • Andre Mueller: Shakespeare without secret. Reclam, 1980
  • Alan Posener: William Shakespeare. Revised New edition, Rowohlt paperback publishing house, Reinbek 2001. ISBN 3-499-50641-6

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