in disgrace with fortune and men's eyes,
I all alone beweep my outcast state,
And trouble deaf heaven with my bootless cries,
And look upon myself, and curse my fate,
Wishing me like to one more rich in hope,
Featur'd like him, like him with friends possess'd,
Desiring this man's art, and that man's scope,
With what I most enjoy contented least;
Yet in these thoughts myself almost despising,
Haply I think on thee, -- and then my state,
Like to the lark at break of day arising
From sullen earth, sings hymns at heaven's gate;
For thy sweet love remember'd such wealth brings
That then I scorn to change my state with kings.
Shakespeare was born on April 23, 1564 in Stratford-on-Avon to John
Shakespeare and Mary Arden. William had seven siblings and attended
Stratford Grammar School, studying classics written in Greek and Latin.
His father was unable to write, yet he was a highly successful and
respected man. However, in 1576, when William was 12, his businnes
went under and John Shakespeare withdrew from society.
On November 27, 1582 William married Ann Hathaway, who was 28 years
old(you do the math). In 1583, the couple had their first child and
two years later, a set of twins was born to them. Between 1585 and
1592, there is no evidence of Shakespeare being anywhere and many
rumors abound as to his whereabouts. In 1592, William resurfaced in
London, establishing his presence as an actor, and began writing plays.
He worked for "Lord Chamberlain's Men", a theater company
that later became "The King's Men" in 1603 when King James
I came to power. The fame of this company is mainly due to Shakespeare's
presence. In 1609, all of Shakespeare's sonnets were published. In
1611, he left london and retired a wealthy man, dying five years later
on April 23, 1616 at the age of fifty-two.