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The greatest playwright of all time, Shakespeare, did not exist

The greatest playwright of all time, Shakespeare, did not exist

30 Sep 23
01 Oct 23
01 Apr ’21

One of eight children of a poor Stratford glover, a poacher, a private tutor, a soldier, the owner of a barber shop, a law firm, and a prisoner - William Shakespeare's (1564-1616) road to successful playwriting was a bumpy one.

A young, impoverished William, at the age of eighteen, entered into an affair with Anna Hathaway, six years older, whom he married when the woman became pregnant. Conflicting accounts of the later years of Shakespeare's life report that he poached, was a private tutor, enlisted in the army, opened a barber shop, ran a law firm, and even served time in prison.

Theatrical success

In 1599, Shakespeare co-founded The Globe theater in London, where he wrote plays and performed on stage as an actor. Because in those days, theater served a role similar to television today, and audiences were willing to make many sacrifices (e.g. standing places or open-air stages), to watch a play - Shakespeare's suspenseful works quickly brought him fame and secured his reputation as London's greatest playwright. Not only were they repeatedly exhibited and published, but they were also copied and published illegally. This practice, however, did not significantly affect the material situation of the playwright, who made a considerable fortune. After the fire at The Globe theater, in 1613, Shakespeare returned to Stradford, where he died on his fifty-second birthday

Did William Shakespeare really exist?

The source material on Shakespeare's life is rather sparse. And the lack of reliable information on the life and career of the writer has even led to the theory that William Shakespeare never existed, and his name was a pseudonym. The philosopher Francis Bacon, Queen Elizabeth I, her alleged son Edward de Vere, and the Spanish writer Miguel de Cervantes, among others, have been mentioned as possible authors behind Shakespeare's name.
But even such controversies have not harmed the timeless fame of Shakespeare, who still ranks high among the most performed playwrights and whose plays are staged as well as screened around the world. And the role of Hamlet still remains the dream of many young actors.

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