Hamlet calls the ghost "boy", "truepenny", and "old mole",and says to his friends, "You hear this fellow in the cellarage."It seems to me that Shakespeare is parodying the older play,and even making fun of the idea of ghosts, and that he's saying,"Don't take this plot seriously, but listen to the ideas."Horatio comments how strange this all is, and Hamlet (who likes puns) says thatthey should welcome the ghost as a stranger in need.
Contemporary readers who are puzzled by thisshould remember that inHamlet's era (and Shakespeare's), a father wouldprobably get less money from his futureson-in-law if his daughter was not a virgin.
Horatio (who seems more inclined tofaith in God than do the other characters) agrees: "That ismost certain." Since this doesn't make perfect sensewith the plot, Shakespeare probably placed it here forphilosophic reasons, especially given what is about to happen --coincidences ("Providence"?)are going to work events out for Hamlet's cause.
Shakespeare's "Hamlet" was a remake of an already popularplay, based in turn on historical fiction, basedin turn on an episode from the Dark Ages, the lawless,might-makes-right era that followed the collapseof Roman-era civilization.The Historical Hamletwas the son of aDanish "King of the Jutes",who lived during the Dark Ages.
(In Shakespeare's era, a monarch was called by the name of his countryfor short.) Shakespeare's heroes all develop as people, andmany people (myself included) dislike Hamlet's attitudetoward women as evidenced in the first half of the play.
The next documented event in Shakespeare's life is his marriage to on November 28, 1582. William was 18 at the time, and Anne was 26—and pregnant. Their first daughter, Susanna, was born on May 26, 1583. The couple later had twins, Hamnet and Judith, born February 2, 1585 and christened at Holy Trinity. Hamnet died in childhood at the age of 11, on August 11, 1596.
For the seven years following the birth of his twins, William Shakespeare disappears from all records, finally turning up again in London some time in 1592. This period, known as the "," has sparked as much controversy about Shakespeare's life as any period. Rowe notes that young Shakespeare was quite fond of poaching, and may have had to flee Stratford after an incident with Sir Thomas Lucy, whose deer and rabbits he allegedly poached. There is also rumor of Shakespeare working as an assistant schoolmaster in Lancashire for a time, though this is circumstantial at best.
It is estimated that Shakespeare arrived in London around 1588 and began to establish himself as an actor and playwright. Evidently Shakespeare garnered some envy early on, as related by the critical attack of Robert Greene, a London playwright, in 1592: "...an upstart crow, beautified with our feathers, that with his Tiger's heart wrapped in a player's hide, supposes he is as well able to bombast out a blank verse as the best of you: and being an absolute , is in his own conceit the only Shake-scene in a country."
Greene's bombast notwithstanding, Shakespeare must have shown considerable promise. By 1594, he was not only acting and writing for the Lord Chamberlain's Men (called the King's Men after the ascension of James I in 1603), but was a managing partner in the operation as well. With Will Kempe, a master comedian, and Richard Burbage, a leading tragic actor of the day, the Lord Chamberlain's Men became a favorite London troupe, patronized by royalty and made popular by the theatre-going public.
Shakespeare's accomplishments are apparent when studied against of this age. His company was the most successful in London in his day. He had plays published and sold in octavo editions, or "penny-copies" to the more literate of his audiences. Never before had a playwright enjoyed sufficient acclaim to see his works published and sold as popular literature in the midst of his career. In addition, Shakespeare's ownership share in both the theatrical company and itself made him as much an entrepeneur as artist. While Shakespeare might not be accounted wealthy by London standards, his success allowed him to purchase New House and retire in comfort to Stratford in 1611.
William Shakespeare , bequeathing his properties to his daughter Susanna (married in 1607 to Dr. John Hall). To his surviving daughter Judith, he left £300, and to his wife Anne left "my second best bed." William Shakespeare allegedly died on his birthday, April 23, 1616. This is probably more of a romantic myth than reality, but Shakespeare was interred at Holy Trinity in Stratford on April 25. In 1623, two working companions of Shakespeare from the Lord Chamberlain's Men, John Heminges and Henry Condell, printed the edition of his collected plays, of which half were previously unpublished.
Shakespeare is renowned as the English playwright and poet whose body of works is considered the greatest in history of English literature.