Shakespeare repeatedly returned to the place of his birth; he purchased New Place after gaining literary success. Shakespeare was baptized and buried at Holy Trinity Church. His parents experienced the Reformation.
Glove Maker and Whittawer (04:08)
At the time of Shakespeare's birth, Stratford was a market town. Plague outbreaks were common and death rates were high in 1564. Shakespeare's mother came from a well-established family; his father rose from humble beginnings to become the mayor of Stratford.
Targeted by the Wool Merchants Guild (02:53)
See a clip from Henry V. John Shakespeare's name was on a recusancy list; his wool was confiscated and he incurred heavy debt. In 1592, he received a coat of arms.
King Edward School (02:26)
Shakespeare attended challenging classes and read Latin classics. Prof. Stanley Wells discusses Shakespeare's ability to argue both sides.
Shakespeare's Romantic Life (04:01)
In 1582, at the age of 18, Shakespeare married Anne Hathaway; they had three children. See clips from "Romeo and Juliet."
Start of Shakespeare's Stage Career (04:55)
Historians know little about Shakespeare's life from 1585 to 1592; many theories consider how and why he began his career on stage. In 1587, traveling players arrived in Stratford. See clips from "Henry V" and "Hamlet."
Shakespeare in London (04:40)
London was a walled cosmopolitan city with playhouses for theatrical performances. In 1592, the playhouses closed because of the plague; Shakespeare wrote "Venus and Adonis." After the playhouses reopened, Shakespeare immersed himself in the role of playwright; see clips from "Henry IV" and "Henry V."
Sir John Falstaff (02:15)
See a clip from "Henry IV." Falstaff was such a popular character that Shakespeare cast him as the main character in "The Merry Wives of Windsor." Shakespeare and his colleagues established The Globe.
Globe Theater (04:36)
The Globe inspired Shakespeare's creativity; Richard Burbage and Will Kemp played key characters. Shakespeare often entertained royalty at court. The Globe burned down in 1613; "The Tempest" was the last play Shakespeare wrote on his own.
Return to Stratford (02:27)
Shakespeare invested his wealth in Stratford; Prof. Stanley Wells describes Shakespeare as a "Stratford man." Shakespeare died April 23, 1616.
Shakespeare's Legacy (03:30)
Shakespeare's colleagues gathered 36 of his plays and published the "First Folio" in 1623. John Nettles reflects on the impact of Shakespeare's works on historical perception. The funerary monument in the Holy Trinity Church and the Droeshout portrait were the only known images intended to depict Shakespeare; the Cobbe family revealed an image in 2009.
Shakespearean Language (02:14)
Shakespeare coined many words and phrases used today. Many of his phrases became titles for the works of other authors.
Shakespeare's Influence (02:05)
Shakespeare's works influence music, theatrical productions, films, ballets, operas, and more. John Nettles reads a quote from Shakespeare.
Credits: Shakespeare: The Legacy (00:0-2571)
Credits: Shakespeare: The Legacy
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