What we know for shure...
left Stratford-on-Avon in 1587, and settled in London, where
he started being a writer and an actor, appearing in Ben
His first publication was
a tale, Aebes And Adonis. Then followed the Rape of Lucrece,
and, in 1594, he performed at the Court of Queen
In 1598, Francis Meres, a French
writer, published Palladis Tamia, translated as A Wit's
Treasury, and listing William Shakespeare as a playwright,
together with twelve of his plays.
from an illiterate father and mother - and so were his wife
and daughters -Shakespeare's vocabulary , with more than
17,000 words, is considered as one of the richest, and he
brought a good number of new words into the English
This is of course a source for
the Oxfordians to argue that without any literary
apprenticeship, it is hard to conceive that a man could
produce writings of the quality of Shakespeare's. Indeed,
although Stratford had one of the most famous grammar
schools of the Kingdom, there is no evidence that the young
William attended that school.
less, we know many famous autodidactic
The young Charles Dickens was put to hard work
at Warren's Blacking factory to refund his father's debts
and is far from having a brilliant curriculum as a pupil or
London was stealing oysters in the bay of San Francisco
while his contemporary schoolmates were attending their
At the age of seventeen, Joseph Conrad went to Marseilles,
where he served in French merchant vessels, before he became
a famous novelist.
William Faulkner left the school at
the age when London came back to it , and ended up as a
laureate of the Nobel Prize in 1949.
Shakespeare wrote 10 plays taking place in Italy, such as
Romeo and Juliet, Othello, The Merchant of Venice. With an
incredible accuracy, he described the manners, customs and
habits of the Italian ruling families of his time. Unlike Chaucer, who spoke Italian fluently
too, Shakespeare never went to Italy and didn't understand a
word of Italian, at times where translations were not
existing, and this is, of course, an argument raised up by
On the other hand, if the
literature's canon was only consisting of autobiographies of
authors, we wouldn't have much to read.
public records, specific theatre documents, and related
texts of his contemporaries, it has been possible to
reconstruct a reliable framework of the life of Shakespeare,
and it is very natural that controversy arises when genius
reaches the very uncommon level of Shakespeare's.