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King Lear; English Classics
William Shakespeare, Brainerd Kellogg
Clark & Maynard, 1882
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William Shakespeare, the third of eight children, was born on April 23, 1564 in the English market town of Stratfordupon- Avon. His father became the mayor of Stratford in 1568 and worked as a glovemaker and a moneylender. Four years after leaving school at approximately the age of fourteen, Shakespeare married Anne Hathaway in November of 1582; their first child Susannah was born in May of the following year. Two years later, Anne gave birth to twins, Hamnet and Judith. Between 1585 and 1592, a period called “the lost years,” there is almost no evidence about Shakespeare’s life, nor is there any solid evidence about how or why he made his way to London to become a dramatist. By 1592, however, Shakespeare’s reputation as a playwright and poet had begun to grow. In 1594, he helped found a new theater company, the Lord Chamberlain’s Men, and became the company’s dramatist. Shakespeare’s success increased, and by 1598, the year he registered The Merchant of Venice, he had already purchased one of the biggest residences in Stratford. Some of Shakespeare’s richest dramatic work was written after the founding of the Globe Theater by the Lord Chamberlain’s Men in 1599, including Julius Caesar, Hamlet, Othello, King Lear, and Macbeth. After 1611, Shakespeare largely retired from the theater to spend more time in Stratford. He died in 1616 on his birthday, April 23, when he was fifty-two years old.
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