Here are our notes on Shakespeare. This is a quick overview; click the links for further information.
William Shakespeare (1564-1616) is regarded as one of the greatest poets and playwrights that ever lived. He grew up in Stratford-upon-Avon where he married at 18 before moving to London to start a very successful career as actor, poet, and playwright. He also became part-owner of a playing company and became a fairly wealthy landowner.
The Elizabethan era
Shakespeare’s historical context was the Renaissance and particularly the part that coincided with the long reign of Queen Elizabeth I (reigned 1558-1603). This part of the English Renaissance is called the Elizabethan era.
The Elizabethan world picture was a mixture of old medieval ideas and new Renaissance ideas. According to medieval belief, every...