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Shakespeare and the Four Humors

A Guide to accompany the traveling exhibit from the National Library of Medicine.

Who Wrote Shakespeare

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Who Was Shakespeare

Portrait of Shakespeare

"William Shakespeare was baptized on April 26, 1564, in Stratford-upon-Avon, England. From roughly 1594 onward he was an important member of the Lord Chamberlain’s Men company of theatrical players. Written records give little indication of the way in which Shakespeare’s professional life molded his artistry. All that can be deduced is that over the course of 20 years, Shakespeare wrote plays that capture the complete range of human emotion and conflict.

Mysterious Origins

Known throughout the world, the works of William Shakespeare have been performed in countless hamlets, villages, cities and metropolises for more than 400 years. And yet, the personal history of William Shakespeare is somewhat a mystery. There are two primary sources that provide historians with a basic outline of his life. One source is his work—the plays, poems and sonnets—and the other is official documentation such as church and court records. However, these only provide brief sketches of specific events in his life and provide little on the person who experienced those events."


Frame from YouTube video on Shakespeare Conspiracy Theories

William Shakespeare: The Conspiracy Theories

Published on Oct 17, 2014

There is so little known about the real William Shakespeare. It is hardly surprising therefore that plenty of theories about our most famous bard and his work have arisen. It was, after all, Mark Twain who said: “So far as anybody actually knows and can prove, Shakespeare of Stratford-on-Avon never wrote a play in his life.”
Not always as easily dismissed as Shakespeare champions would have you believe, here are the most widely known theories about the authorship of the plays.

Biographies of Shakespeare

The Bardolator: Who Was Shakespeare? (In under two minutes)
Published on May 13, 2015

This is a quick, fun look at who Shakespeare was and how we ended up with his works, originally created by Shakespeare Republic Director, Sally McLean, for her other business, The Shakespeare Shoppe. Remastered and represented here as part of "The Bardolator" fun facts series of Shakespeare Republic, here's a potted history of Who Was Shakespeare?

Ph.Detours Ep. 7: In Search of Shakespeare
Published on Apr 26, 2013
Will Shakespeare turns 449 years young this week, and the Ph.Detours gang travels to London to find out why he's still so fascinating after all these years.


Shakespeare's Contemporaries - Christopher Marlowe

Christopher Marlowe - Mini Biography
Published on Aug 29, 2013
Watch a short video biography of Christopher Marlowe, the Elizabethan dramatist most famous for "Doctor Faustus" and his influence on William Shakespeare.

Shakespeare's Contemporaries - Ben Jonson

"The Life and Trials of Ben Jonson"

Published on Oct 28, 2014

Everything you ever needed to know about the English playwright and poet, Ben Jonson (11 June 1572 – 6 August 1637).

Ben Jonson 
Published on Aug 20, 2013
ShaLT Project - The Shakespearean London Theatres