William Shakespeare the Actor
Interesting information about the life and times of William Shakespeare the Actor and the
Globe Theatre of Elizabethan London, England
Short Biography of the life of William Shakespeare the Actor and the Globe Theatre
The following biography information provides basic facts about the life William Shakespeare the Actor:
- Nationality - English
- Lifespan - William Shakespeare (1564 - 1616)
- Family - Father was John Shakespeare and mother was Mary Arden. He married Anne Hathaway and had three children - Susannah, Judith and Hamnet
- Acting Troupes: From 1594 on, the plays of William Shakespeare were performed exclusively by the acting company known as the Lord Chamberlain's Men (1594-1603) and the King's Men
- Career - Actor, theatrical entrepreneur and playwright
- The following six men agreed to become the joint owners of the Globe Theatre:
- Cuthbert Burbage (25%)
- Richard Burbage (25%)
- William Shakespeare (12.5%)
- John Heminges (12.5%)
- Augustine Phillips (12.5%)
- Thomas Pope (12.5%)
The reputation of the early Elizabethan Actors was not good and any were viewed as no better than rogues and vagabonds - actors were not trusted. The standing of actors improved when the purpose-built theatres were introduced and some Elizabethan actors became the equivalent of today's superstars.
Facts, Timeline & History of the life of William Shakespeare the Elizabethan Actor
The following are additional facts, in a timeline, about the life and history of William Shakespeare the Actor:
- 1564 April 23 William Shakespeare was born
- 1564 April 26,William Shakespeare's baptism
- 1582 November 28, A Marriage Bond on the episcopal register records issue to William Shagspeare and Anne Hathwey of Shottery, Stratford
- 1583 May 26, The baptism of Susanna Shakespear. Susanna was the Shakespeares' first child, born six months after the wedding of her parents
- 1585 William's twins, Hamnet and Judith Shakespeare, were born
- 1594 The Lord Chamberlain's Company (formally known as 'Lord Stranges Men' was formed
- 1598 Shakespeare and other members of the company financed the building of the Globe Theatre
- 1599 The Globe is built on Bankside
- 1603 James the VI of Scotland, the son of Mary Queen of Scots, became the new monarch, known in England as King James I
- 1603 May 19, The King's Men acting troupe forms
- 1608 Shakespeare is mentioned as one of "the mens' players" (The King's Men)
- 1608 King's Men buy the Blackfriars Theatre Shakespeare, became part owner in the theatre
- 1613 June 29, Fire at the Globe Theatre
- 1614 Globe Theatre was rebuilt
- 1614 Shakespeare wrote his final play - The Two Noble Kinsmen
- 1616 March 25, William Shakespeare signs his will
- 1616 April 23, William Shakespeare dies
- 1616 April 25, Burial of William Shakespeare in the chancel of Holy Trinity Church in Stratford
- 1623 'The First Folio' is published
The Performances of William Shakespeare the Elizabethan Actor
It is not known exactly how many roles Shakespeare played himself but we do know that Shakespeare had began his career on the stage by 1592, because there is reference to this in Robert Greene's Groatsworth of Wit. It is probable that Shakespeare played the title role in Edward I (a play by Edward Peele) in 1593. It is also assumed that he played smaller roles in a variety of his own plays, including As You Like It (Adam), Macbeth (King Duncan), Henry IV (King Henry), and Hamlet (Hamlet's father). Shakespeare's first biographer, Nicholas Rowe, referred to a role by William Shakespeare as "the Ghost in his own Hamlet" and that he was "the top of his performance"
The Chamberlain's Men Acting Troupe
The Chamberlain's Men, of which William Shakespeare was a founder member, were the most important company of players in Elizabethan England and led by the Burbage family and William Shakespeare. Initially known as known as Hunsdon's Men, whose patron was Henry Carey the first Lord Hunsdon. Hunsdon then took office as the Lord Chamberlain. The Chamberlain's Men were taken under the royal patronage of James I in March 1603 and were then known as the King's Men. The main rivals of the Chamberlain's Men were the Admiral's Men Acting Troupe led by Edward Alleyn and Phillip Henslowe.
Documented facts about William Shakespeare - Elizabethan actor
The following documented facts are related to William Shakespeare and his life as an Elizabethan actor together with details of his relationship with fellow actors.
The Lord Chamberlain's Men were licensed as the King's Men on 19 May 1603. The document lists "Lawrence Fletcher, William Shakespeare, Richard Burbage, Augustyne Phillippes, Iohn Heninges, Henrie Condell, William Sly, Robert Armyn, Richard Cowly" as members of the troupe.
On 15 March 1604 King James, Queen Anne, and Prince Henry rode through the City of London in a royal entry postponed from the previous summer because of the plague. An account by Sir George Home, who was Master of the Great Wardrobe, lists the names of "Players" who were each given four yards of red cloth apiece for the investiture of King James in London on 15 March 1604. The actors who were named were "William Shakespeare, Augustine Phillipps, Lawrence Fletcher, John Hemminges, Richard Burbidge, William Slye, Robert Armyn, Henry Cundell, and Richard Cowley."
On 15 March 1595,the Treasurer of the Queen's Chamber paid "William Kempe William Shakespeare & Richarde Burbage servants to the Lord Chamberleyne" for their performances at court in Greenwich on 26th and 27th December 1594
The cast list for Jonson's Sejanus, performed in 1603, includes "Ric. Burbadge, Aug. Philips, Will. Sly, Ioh. Lowin, Will. Shake-Speare, Ioh. Hemings, Hen. Condel, and Alex. Cooke."
The will of Augustine Phillips who died on 4 May 1605 bequeathed "to my Fellowe William Shakespeare a thirty shillings peece in gould, To my Fellowe Henry Condell one other thirty shillinge peece in gould..."
The 1616 Folio of Ben Jonson's Works contained cast lists for his plays. The cast list for Jonson's Every Man in His Humor, which was performed in 1598, includes "Will Shakespeare, Aug. Philips, Hen. Condel, Will. Slye, Will. Kempe, Ric. Burbadge, Ioh. Hemings, Tho. Pope, Chr. Beeston, and Ioh. Duke.". The cast list for Jonson's Sejanus, performed in 1603, includes "Ric. Burbadge, Aug. Philips, Will. Sly, Ioh. Lowin, Will. Shake-Speare, Ioh. Hemings, Hen. Condel, and Alex. Cooke."
The account of Sir George Home, Master of the Great Wardrobe, lists the names of "Players" who were given four yards of red cloth apiece for the investiture of King James in London on 15 March 1604. They are "William Shakespeare, Augustine Phillipps, Lawrence Fletcher, John Hemminges, Richard Burbidge, William Slye, Robert Armyn, Henry Cundell, and Richard Cowley." Here Shakespeare appears first among his fellows.
In his will, William Shakespeare of Stratford-upon-Avon left a bequest "to my ffellowes John Hemynge Richard Burbage & Henry Cundell a peece to buy them Ringes."
William Shakespeare the Actor
Interesting Facts and information about the History, Life & Times of the famous Elizabethan actor, William Shakespeare the Actor. Additional details, facts and information about the Globe Theatre and other actors can be accessed via the Globe Theatre Sitemap.