Shakespeare's Context

Topics: Elizabeth I of England, Black Death, William Shakespeare Pages: 3 (1082 words) Published: August 17, 2013
Year 11 Elizabethan English research task
Research the context of Shakespeare's 'King Lear' (including personal, social, historical, personal and workplace context) and write a 1500 word report. In your report you may use sub-headings. For each element of context, identify the similarities and differences between Shakespeare's context and your context. E.g. During Shakespeare's lifetime the stability of Queen Elizabeth's rule was threatened, just like the stability of our prime ministers' is threated.

William Shakespeare is one of the most successful and well-known playwrights in the world. His plays even though from a way back in the past have still survived today and are still held in very high esteem. The context of William Shakespeare’s King Lear proposes many differences from our world today.

Personal Context
William Shakespeare is suspected to be born on approximately 23th April 1564 in Stratford-upon-Avon, England. Being brought up in a wealthy middle class family, Shakespeare attended stratified grammar school but didn’t continue with his schooling after that. Anne Hathaway aged 26 at the time became Shakespeare’s (aged 18) wife in 1582 and later went on to have 3 children together. Their first child, born six months into their marriage was named Susanna. The pair went on to have twins two years later named Hamnet and Judith. Hamnet unfortunately died in 1596 after catching the bubonic plague at age 11. After 8 years of marriage, Shakespeare left his family and set off for London to try his luck in the entertainment industry as an actor and playwright. Shakespeare quickly became successful to the point where he was a favorite playwright of both Elizabeth James I. Ironically Shakespeare and passed away at age 52 on his birthday in 1616 due to unknown causes.

Social Context
The attitudes and values of the people from Shakespeare’s time are extremely different to ours of the present. The attitudes towards woman were much more restrictive then...
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