Shakespeare's life in London can be acted from 1592 onwards, first as
an actor then as a reviser and writer of days. When he came to London
it was the most exciting time. Mary Queen of Scots had just been
executed, Phillip II of Spain was building up the Armada as father
Raleigh and Francis Drake, the sea pirates represented constant danger
for the Spanish ships.
The theatres were very popular being the only places where people could hear honest comments about life.
Shakespeare and his fellow players were lucky enough to be able to win
the patronage of the Lord Chamberlain, and the company came to be
called the Lord Chamberlain‘s Men.
The company was made up of about a dozen actors (no actresses at all).
Each actor played 2-3 roles in a single play. Very little time was
given to group rehearsals and actors were given only the words of their
When Shakespeare was working in London, he did not leave his family for
good. He would often return home to Stratford enjoying the pleasures of
His plays may well have been popular with Queen Elizabeth I, who loved
music and drama. When James I (the son of Mary Stuart) came to the
throne after Elizabeltľs death, he recognizeed Shakespeare's company as
the leading group of actors and from then on they were known as the
In those times Shakespeare made enough money to build a comfortable life.
In an age when few men lived past 60. Shakespeare, now nearly 52, made
his will. It was compleled in March 1616. Almost exactly a month later,
after spending an enjoyable evening with his friends. Shakespeare fell
ill with a temperalure. He did not recover and died on 23 April 1616 -
the same day as his birth. He was exactly 52 years old. Two days later,
his funeral service took place in Holy Tnnity Church, where he had been
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William Shakespeare: Life
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