Q:

What factors influenced William Shakespeare?

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Quick Answer

Factors that influenced William Shakespeare include the study of classical literature and London culture as well as the people he associated with throughout his lifetime. Writers such as Chaucer and Plutarch also greatly inspired Shakespeare's work.

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Full Answer

William Shakespeare, known as England's national poet, was born in the small market town of Stratford-upon-Avon to a tradesman and his wife. The third of eight children, Shakespeare is believed to have attended the village's local grammar school where he studied Latin and classical literature.

At the age of 18, he married Anne Hathaway, a woman several years his senior. Although the couple had three children, Shakespeare spent most of his time in London pursuing his career while Anne remained in Stratford with their children.

Shakespeare's time in London exposed him to a wide variety of personalities and cultures. His comprehensive knowledge of politics, the royal court and European affairs is evidenced in his writings. In addition to his own works, some historians believe Shakespeare may have collaborated with other playwrights. He established himself as both an actor and a writer of comedy and drama, and his work is characterized by strong imagery and complex characters.

Shakespeare's work garnered the attention of the royal court, and he performed for Queen Elizabeth on several occasions. His legacy remains as the most influential, English-speaking playwright.

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Related Questions

  • Q:

    Why did William Shakespeare write "Romeo and Juliet?"

    A:

    William Shakespeare was inspired to write "Romeo and Juliet" by a poem titled "Romeus and Juliet" by Arthur Brooks. In fact, Shakespeare's play shares many of the details of Brooks' poem. The story, however, was a commonly told one throughout Europe and was not unique to Brooks either.

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  • Q:

    How many kids did William Shakespeare have?

    A:

    William Shakespeare had three children with his wife. Their names were Susanna, Hamnet and Judith. It is possible that he had other illegitimate children, but if they existed, their identities are unknown.

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  • Q:

    How has William Shakespeare influenced the English language?

    A:

    Shakespeare influenced the English language by devising new ways to use words, creating numerous words and phrases still used today and inspiring countless titles in popular media. Shakespeare is one of the most influential English-language writers, and he is estimated to have contributed over 1,700 words to the language.

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  • Q:

    When did William Shakespeare start writing?

    A:

    The exact date of when William Shakespeare began to write is unknown, but the first publication and performance of his work is estimated to be between 1589 and 1594. There is not much information about Shakespeare's early years with the exception of his marriage and the birth of his children.

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