Amaluna is a touring show by Cirque du Soleil and directed by Diane Paulus. It premiered in Montréal, Canada, on April 19, 2012. Loosely inspired by William Shakespeare's The Tempest, the story takes place on an island governed by goddesses. During a storm, a group of men are washed up on shore; the queen's daughter falls for one of the young men, the trials of their love are the basis of the show's main narrative through-line. The show is notable for having a cast, 70% female; the title, Amaluna, is the combination of two words. "Ama" which refers to mother in many languages, "luna" which means moon. The moon is a symbol of femininity, part of the reason it was chosen for this production. Scott Pask created a set, inspired by nature, using branches resembling bamboo that frame the set and reach out to the audience; the set is immersive at the same time. Trees tower near the edge of the central stage and lower, denser flora are visible further upstage; the trees are not treated to look like wood, yet still suggest a natural look.
The principal colors seen throughout the stage are those found in peacock feathers. Lighting is used to create a sense of danger and heightened awareness, using the set to cast shadows; the center stage in Amaluna has a mechanism allowing it to revolve, as can the carousel suspended above the stage. The set design has few moving parts; this allows for greater attention to the performers. There are 174 branches in 534 sections making a total of 1.7 kilometres. There are three models of 35 in the upstage; the 25-foot -diameter carousel weighs 6,000 pounds. The grid weighs 8,600 pounds and includes three acrobatic winches, each able to lift loads up to 400 pounds at 10 feet per second; the acrobatic winch in the centre of the carousel can lift up to 1,000 pounds at 10 feet per second. The waterbowl is 5 feet 5 inches tall, 7 feet 3 inches in diameter, weighs 5,500 pounds when filled with water. Magic Pageant - The Goddess Prospera calls all the people of the island together to celebrate her daughter Miranda's journey into womanhood through this opening dance sequence.
Unicycle: Two artists would perform tricks on short unicycles together, tossing each other and the unicycles around. Aerial straps - The Storm Goddess soar over the stage and the audience in a solo act while Prospera conjures a storm that brings a group of men to the island, including Romeo, Miranda's new love. Peacock Dance - The Peacock Goddess meets Romeo in the forest, does a gentle yet haunting dance that symbolizes the purity of love. Clowns: Mainha, Miranda's childhood nanny, Papulya, Romeo's manservant, fall in love throughout the show. Cerceau and Waterbowl - The Moon Goddess appears to Miranda riding a Cerceau, bestowing her blessing with a haunting song. Romeo watches as Miranda plays in the waterbowl, discovering her own physicality and expressing her sinuous sexuality as she performs a challenging hand-balancing routine before diving and snaking through the water. Uneven Bars - The Amazons, the fierce warriors of the island, show off their skills when flipping and jumping amongst four bars of uneven height Teeterboard - The men have been captured, they use a Teeterboard to propel themselves upward, escaping gravity and their prison.
Balance Goddess - The Balance Goddess emerges and balances palm fronds of various sizes on one another, before removing the smallest stick and everything tumbles down. This represents the delicacy of trust in a relationship. 1000 arms and sticks: During this transition/dance sequence, a line of performers move in sync but at different intervals to create the effect of peacock feathers. Chinese Pole - Romeo performs feats of strength to impress Miranda on a single upright pole whilst other men dance around the base holding bamboo sticks. Juggling - Cali, Miranda's pet lizard sheds his skin and performed an amazing act of juggling balls which are at times on fire, all whilst on top of the water bowl. Banquine - An Italian acrobatic tradition going back to the Middle Ages that combines gymnastics and ballet. Showcasing the agility of the human body; the artists perform a sequence of feats and human pyramids with their synchronized movements. Cyr wheel: An acrobat performs tricks within a large metal ring known as a Cyr wheel.
Tightrope: Four artists would jump and dance across a series of tight ropes strung just above the stage floor, using peacock feathers as fans. Hula hoop: An artist would manipulate LED hula hoops all across her body simultaneously. Fixed Trapeze Duo: Two artists would perform stunts, using each other for support on a still trapeze over the stage. Water Meteors/Icarian Games: Whilst balancing on the feet of an artist lying back on the specially designed chairs, another artist would spin and juggle water meteors. Hoop Diving - The lizards dive and do backflips through hula hoops held out by one member before a finale where they jumps through fixed rings, with up to 6 hoops being stack on top of each other. Icarian Games - Prospera invites the male troop to celebrate love and harmony. Artists flip and throw each other into the air using only their hands and feet whilst lying on their backs. Diabolo: The peacock goddess manipulates diabolos, which are two sticks linked by a string on which a wooden spool balances.
Babies - Mainha and Papulya have baby footballs. Hula hoop: A variation on the prior hula hoop act, the peacock goddess juggles and manipulates hoops around her body; the music in Amaluna is contemporary. Bass, cello, vocals and percussion support the guitars in de
In general, a rural area or countryside is a geographic area, located outside towns and cities. The Health Resources and Services Administration of the U. S. Department of Health and Human Services defines the word rural as encompassing "...all population and territory not included within an urban area. Whatever is not urban is considered rural."Typical rural areas have a low population density and small settlements. Agricultural areas are rural, as are other types of areas such as forest. Different countries have varying definitions of rural for administrative purposes. In Canada, the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development defines a "predominantly rural region" as having more than 50% of the population living in rural communities where a "rural community" has a population density less than 150 people per square kilometre. In Canada, the census division has been used to represent "regions" and census consolidated sub-divisions have been used to represent "communities". Intermediate regions have 15 to 49 percent of their population living in a rural community.
Predominantly urban regions have less than 15 percent of their population living in a rural community. Predominantly rural regions are classified as rural metro-adjacent, rural non-metro-adjacent and rural northern, following Ehrensaft and Beeman. Rural metro-adjacent regions are predominantly rural census divisions which are adjacent to metropolitan centres while rural non-metro-adjacent regions are those predominantly rural census divisions which are not adjacent to metropolitan centres. Rural northern regions are predominantly rural census divisions that are found either or above the following lines of parallel in each province: Newfoundland and Labrador, 50th; as well, rural northern regions encompass all of Northwest Territories and Nunavut. Statistics Canada defines rural for their population counts; this definition has changed over time. It has referred to the population living outside settlements of 1,000 or fewer inhabitants; the current definition states that census rural is the population outside settlements with fewer than 1,000 inhabitants and a population density below 400 people per square kilometre.
84% of the United States' inhabitants live in suburban and urban areas, but cities occupy only 10 percent of the country. Rural areas occupy the remaining 90 percent; the U. S. Census Bureau, the USDA's Economic Research Service, the Office of Management and Budget have come together to help define rural areas. United States Census Bureau: The Census Bureau definitions, which are based on population density, defines rural areas as all territory outside Census Bureau-defined urbanized areas and urban clusters. An urbanized area consists of a central surrounding areas whose population is greater than 50,000, they may not contain individual cities with 50,000 or more. Thus, rural areas comprise open country and settlements with fewer than 2,500 residents. USDA The USDA's Office of Rural Development may define rural by various population thresholds; the 2002 farm bill defined rural and rural area as any area other than a city or town that has a population of greater than 50,000 inhabitants, the urbanized areas contiguous and adjacent to such a city or town.
The rural-urban continuum codes, urban influence code, rural county typology codes developed by USDA’s Economic Research Service allow researchers to break out the standard metropolitan and non-metropolitan areas into smaller residential groups. For example, a metropolitan county is one that contains an urbanized area, or one that has a twenty-five percent commuter rate to an urbanized area regardless of population. OMB: Under the Core Based Statistical Areas used by the OMB, a metropolitan county, or Metropolitan Statistical Area, consists of central counties with one or more urbanized areas and outlying counties that are economically tied to the core counties as measured by worker commuting data. Non-metro counties are outside the boundaries of metro areas and are further subdivided into Micropolitan Statistical Areas centered on urban clusters of 10,000–50,000 residents, all remaining non-core counties. In 2014, the USDA updated their rural / non-rural area definitions based on the 2010 Census counts.
National Center for Education Statistics revised its definition of rural schools in 2006 after working with the Census Bureau to create a new locale classification system to capitalize on improved geocoding technology. Rural health definitions can be different for establishing under-served areas or health care accessibility in rural areas of the United States. According to the handbook, Definitions of Rural: A Handbook for Health Policy Makers and Researchers, "Residents of metropolitan counties are thought to have easy access to the concentrated health services of the county's central areas. However, some metropolitan counties are so large that t
Shakespeare: The Animated Tales
Shakespeare: The Animated Tales is a series of twelve half-hour animated television adaptations of the plays of William Shakespeare broadcast on BBC 2 and S4C between 1992 and 1994. The series was commissioned by the Welsh language channel S4C. Production was co-ordinated by the Dave Edwards Studio in Cardiff, although the shows were animated in Moscow by Soyuzmultfilm, using a variety of animation techniques; the scripts for each episode were written by Leon Garfield, who produced truncated versions of each play. The academic consultant for the series was Professor Stanley Wells; the dialogue was recorded at the facilities of BBC Wales in Cardiff. The show was both a critical success; the first series episode "Hamlet" won two awards for "Outstanding Individual Achievement in Animation" at the 1993 Emmys, a Gold Award at the 1993 New York Festival. The second-season episode "The Winter's Tale" won the "Outstanding Individual Achievement in Animation" at the 1996 Emmys; the episodes continue to be used in schools as teaching aids when introducing children to Shakespeare for the first time.
However, the series has been critiqued for the large number of scenes cut to make the episodes shorter in length. The series was conceived in 1989 by Christopher Grace, head of animation at S4C. Grace had worked with Soyuzmultfilm on an animated version of the Welsh folktale cycle, the Mabinogion, he turned to them again for the Shakespeare project, feeling "if we were going to animate Shakespeare in a thirty-minute format we had to go to a country that we knew creatively and artistically could deliver, and in my view, there was only one country that could do it in the style that we wanted, that came at it from a different angle, a country to whom Shakespeare is as important as it is to our own." Grace was very keen to avoid creating anything Disney-esque. This style went with comic panache. Actors were hired by Leon Garfield who had written a series of prose adaptations of Shakespeare's plays for children called Shakespeare Stories in 1985, to recite abbreviated versions of the plays written.
According to Garfield, editing the plays down to thirty minutes whilst maintaining original Shakespearean dialogue was not easy. Garfield explains, "lines that are selected have to carry the weight of narrative, that's not always easy, it meant using half a line, skipping twenty lines, finding something that would sustain the rhythm but at the same time carry on the story. The most difficult by far were the comedies. In the tragedies, you have a strong story going straight through, sustained by the protagonist. In the comedies, the structure is much more complex." Garfield compared the task of trying to rewrite the plays as half-hour pieces as akin to "painting the ceiling of the Sistine Chapel on a postage stamp." To maintain narrative integrity, Garfield added non-Shakespearean voice-over narration to each episode, which would introduce the episode and fill in any plot points skipped over by the dialogue. The use of a narrator was employed by Charles Lamb and Mary Lamb in their own prose versions of Shakespeare's plays for children, Tales from Shakespeare, published in 1807, to which Garfield's work is compared.
However, fidelity to the original texts was paramount in the minds of the creators as the episodes sought "to educate their audience into an appreciation and love of Shakespeare, out of a conviction of Shakespeare as a cultural artifact available to all, not restricted to a narrowly defined form of performance. Screened in dozens of countries, The Animated Tales is Shakespeare as cultural educational television available to all." The dialogue was recorded at the sound studios of BBC Wales in Cardiff. During the recording, Garfield himself was present, along with literary advisor, Stanley Wells and the Russian directors. All gave input to the actors during the recording sessions; the animators took the voice recordings back to Moscow and began to animate them. At this stage, the project was overseen by Dave Edwards, who co-ordinated the Moscow animation with S4C. Edwards' job was to keep one eye on the creative aspects of the productions and one eye on the financial and practical aspects; this didn't make him popular with some of the directors, but his role was essential for the series to be completed on time and under budget.
According to Elizabeth Babakhina, executive producer of the series in Moscow, the strict rules brought into play by Edwards helped the directors. In the past, directors thought "If I make a good film, people will forgive me anything." Now they've begun to understand that they won't be forgiven if they make a great film. It has to be a great film, be on time." There was considerable media publicity prior to the initial broadcast of the first season, with Prince Charles commenting "I welcome this pioneering project which will bring Shakespeare's great wisdom and all-encompassing view of mankind to many millions from all parts of the globe, who have never been in his company before." An article in the Radio Times wrote "as a result of pre-sales alone, tens of millions of people are guaranteed to see it and Shakespeare is guaranteed for his best year since the First Folio was published in 16
The Essays of Michel de Montaigne are contained in three books and 107 chapters of varying length. They were written in Middle French and were published in the Kingdom of France. Montaigne's stated design in writing and revising the Essays over the period from 1570 to 1592 was to record "some traits of my character and of my humours." The Essays were first cover a wide range of topics. Montaigne wrote in a rather crafted rhetoric designed to intrigue and involve the reader, sometimes appearing to move in a stream-of-thought from topic to topic and at other times employing a structured style that gives more emphasis to the didactic nature of his work, his arguments are supported with quotations from Ancient Greek and Italian texts such as De rerum natura by Lucretius and the works of Plutarch. Furthermore, his Essays were seen as an important contribution to skepticism; the name itself comes from the French word essais, meaning "attempts" or "tests", which shows how this new form of writing did not aim to educate or prove.
Rather, his essays were exploratory journeys in which he works through logical steps to bring skepticism to what is being discussed. Montaigne's stated goal in his book is to describe himself with utter frankness and honesty; the insight into human nature provided by his essays, for which they are so read, is a by-product of his introspection. Though the implications of his essays were profound and far-reaching, he did not intend, nor suspect his work to garner much attention outside of his inner circle, prefacing his essays with, "I am myself the matter of this book. Montaigne wrote at a time preceded by Protestant ideological tension. Christianity in the 15th and 16th centuries saw protestant authors attempting to subvert Church doctrine with their own reason and scholarship. Catholic scholars embraced skepticism as a means to discredit all reason and scholarship and accept Church doctrine through faith alone. Montaigne never found certainty in any of his inquiries into the nature of man and things, despite his best efforts and many attempts.
He mistrusted the certainty of both human experience. He reasoned. Though he did believe in the existence of absolute truth, an attribute which distinguishes him from a pure skeptic, he believed that such truth could only be arrived at by man through divine revelation, leaving us in the dark on most matters, he finds the great variety and volatility of human nature to be its most basic features, which resonates to the Renaissance thought about the fragility of humans. According to the scholar Paul Oskar Kristeller, "the writers of the period were keenly aware of the miseries and ills of our earthly existence". A representative quote is "I have never seen a greater monster or miracle than myself." He opposed European colonization of the Americas, deploring the suffering it brought upon the natives. Citing the case of Martin Guerre as an example, Montaigne believes that humans cannot attain certainty, his skepticism is best expressed in the long essay "An Apology for Raymond Sebond", published separately.
Montaigne posits that we cannot trust our reasoning because thoughts just occur to us: we don't control them. Further, he says, he is skeptical of confessions obtained under torture, pointing out that such confessions can be made up by the suspect just to escape the torture he is subjected to. In the middle of the section entitled "Man's Knowledge Cannot Make Him Good," he wrote that his motto was "What do I know?". The essay on Sebond defended Christianity. Montaigne eloquently employed many references and quotes from classical Greek and Roman, i.e. non-Christian authors the atomist Lucretius. Montaigne considered marriage necessary for the raising of children, but disliked the strong feelings of romantic love as being detrimental to freedom. One of his quotations is. In education, he favored concrete examples and experience over the teaching of abstract knowledge, expected to be accepted uncritically. Montaigne's essay. English journalist and politician J. M. Robertson argued that Montaigne's essays had a profound influence on the plays of William Shakespeare, citing their similarities in language and structures.
The remarkable modernity of thought apparent in Montaigne's essays, coupled with their sustained popularity, made them arguably the most prominent work in French philosophy until the Enlightenment. Their influence over French education and culture is still strong; the official portrait of former French president François Mitterrand pictured him facing the camera, holding an open copy of the Essays in his hands. Montaigne edited Essays at various points in his life. Sometimes he would insert just one word. Many editions mark this with letters as follows: A: passages written 1571–1580, published 1580 B: passages written 1580–1588, published 1588 C: passages writte
In a modern sense, comedy refers to any discourse or work intended to be humorous or amusing by inducing laughter in theatre, film, stand-up comedy, or any other medium of entertainment. The origins of the term are found in Ancient Greece. In the Athenian democracy, the public opinion of voters was influenced by the political satire performed by the comic poets at the theaters; the theatrical genre of Greek comedy can be described as a dramatic performance which pits two groups or societies against each other in an amusing agon or conflict. Northrop Frye depicted these two opposing sides as a "Society of Youth" and a "Society of the Old." A revised view characterizes the essential agon of comedy as a struggle between a powerless youth and the societal conventions that pose obstacles to his hopes. In this struggle, the youth is understood to be constrained by his lack of social authority, is left with little choice but to take recourse in ruses which engender dramatic irony which provokes laughter.
Satire and political satire use comedy to portray persons or social institutions as ridiculous or corrupt, thus alienating their audience from the object of their humor. Parody subverts popular genres and forms, critiquing those forms without condemning them. Other forms of comedy include screwball comedy, which derives its humor from bizarre, surprising situations or characters, black comedy, characterized by a form of humor that includes darker aspects of human behavior or human nature. Scatological humor, sexual humor, race humor create comedy by violating social conventions or taboos in comic ways. A comedy of manners takes as its subject a particular part of society and uses humor to parody or satirize the behavior and mannerisms of its members. Romantic comedy is a popular genre that depicts burgeoning romance in humorous terms and focuses on the foibles of those who are falling in love; the word "comedy" is derived from the Classical Greek κωμῳδία kōmōidía, a compound either of κῶμος kômos or κώμη kṓmē and ᾠδή ōidḗ.
The adjective "comic", which means that which relates to comedy is, in modern usage confined to the sense of "laughter-provoking". Of this, the word came into modern usage through the Latin comoedia and Italian commedia and has, over time, passed through various shades of meaning; the Greeks and Romans confined their use of the word "comedy" to descriptions of stage-plays with happy endings. Aristotle defined comedy as an imitation of men worse than the average. However, the characters portrayed in comedies were not worse than average in every way, only insofar as they are Ridiculous, a species of the Ugly; the Ridiculous may be defined as a deformity not productive of pain or harm to others. In the Middle Ages, the term expanded to include narrative poems with happy endings, it is in this sense that Dante used the term in the title of La Commedia. As time progressed, the word came more and more to be associated with any sort of performance intended to cause laughter. During the Middle Ages, the term "comedy" became synonymous with satire, with humour in general.
Aristotle's Poetics was translated into Arabic in the medieval Islamic world, where it was elaborated upon by Arabic writers and Islamic philosophers, such as Abu Bischr, his pupils Al-Farabi and Averroes. They disassociated comedy from Greek dramatic representation and instead identified it with Arabic poetic themes and forms, such as hija, they viewed comedy as the "art of reprehension", made no reference to light and cheerful events, or to the troubling beginnings and happy endings associated with classical Greek comedy. After the Latin translations of the 12th century, the term "comedy" gained a more general meaning in medieval literature. In the late 20th century, many scholars preferred to use the term laughter to refer to the whole gamut of the comic, in order to avoid the use of ambiguous and problematically defined genres such as the grotesque and satire. Starting from 425 BCE, Aristophanes, a comic playwright and satirical author of the Ancient Greek Theater, wrote 40 comedies, 11 of which survive.
Aristophanes developed his type of comedy from the earlier satyr plays, which were highly obscene. The only surviving examples of the satyr plays are by Euripides, which are much examples and not representative of the genre. In ancient Greece, comedy originated in bawdy and ribald songs or recitations apropos of phallic processions and fertility festivals or gatherings. Around 335 BCE, Aristotle, in his work Poetics, stated that comedy originated in phallic processions and the light treatment of the otherwise base and ugly, he adds that the origins of comedy are obscure because it was not treated from its inception. However, comedy had its own Muse: Thalia. Aristotle taught that comedy was positive for society, since it brings forth happiness, which for Aristotle was the ideal state, the final goal in any activity. For Aristotle, a comedy did not need to involve sexual humor. A comedy is about the fortunate rise of a sympathetic character. Aristotle divides comedy into three categories or subgenres: farce, romantic comedy, satire.
On the contrary, Plato taught. He believed that it produces an emotion that overrides ra
Sycorax is an unseen character in William Shakespeare's play The Tempest. She is a vicious and powerful witch and the mother of Caliban, one of the few native inhabitants of the island on which Prospero, the hero of the play, is stranded. According to the backstory provided by the play, while pregnant with Caliban, was banished from her home in Algiers to the island on which the play takes place. Memories of Sycorax, who dies several years before the main action of the play begins, define several of the relationships in the play. Relying on his filial connection to Sycorax, Caliban claims ownership of the island. Prospero reminds Ariel of Sycorax's cruel treatment to maintain the sprite's service. Scholars agree that Sycorax, a foil for Prospero, is related to the Medea of Ovid's Metamorphoses. Postcolonialist writers and critics see Sycorax as giving voice to peoples women, recovering from the effects of colonisation. Versions of The Tempest, beginning with William Davenant's eighteenth-century adaptation, have given Sycorax a vocal role in the play, but maintained her image as a malevolent antagonist to Prospero.
In The Tempest, Prospero describes Sycorax as an ancient and foul witch native to Algiers, banished to the island for practising sorcery "so strong / That could control the Moon". Prospero further relates that many years earlier, sailors had brought her to the island, while she was pregnant with her bestial son and abandoned her there, as by some ambiguous reason, she was spared being put to death, she proceeded to enslave the spirits there, chief among them Ariel, whom she imprisoned in a pine tree for disobedience. Sycorax taught him to worship the demonic god Setebos, she dies long before his daughter, Miranda. Caliban grows to hate Prospero's presence and power on the island, claiming that the land belongs to him since it was his mother's before Prospero appeared. Scholars have unearthed few facts about Shakespeare's sources for Sycorax. In fact, other than her connection to the magical sorceresses Medea and Circe of Greek mythology, nothing conclusive has been proposed. Several competing linguistic theories have been put forth.
Some scholars argue that her name may be a combination of the Greek korax. Another rough translation produces the phrase "the Scythian raven", an etymological description of Medea Also, may be a play on the Greek word psychoraggia. One critic searched for a connection to Sycorax's North African heritage, found a parallel in Shokereth שוקרת, a Hebrew word meaning "deceiver". Another recent idea suggests that, for thematic as well as historical reasons, the name is the reverberant combination of syllables in the name Corax of Syracuse, the acknowledged founder of rhetoric, the worthy, fictionalised rival of Prospero. An odd and early guess at a meaning by one critic was sic or rex, a Latin homophone alluding to Queen Elizabeth's pride; the general idea for Sycorax's character may have come from the classical literature familiar to many in Shakespeare's day. Sycorax is similar to Medea, a witch in Ovid's Metamorphoses, in that both are powerful, magical female figures. Scholars have pointed out that Sycorax resembles the magical Circe from Greek mythology as well as a version of Circe found in the mythology of the Coraxi tribe in modern-day Georgia.
Sycorax draws on contemporary beliefs regarding witches. For example, she may embody the belief; the character may be a reference to a specific historical personage. According to Romantic literary critic Charles Lamb, a witch, whose name has been lost to history, had been banished from North Africa about half a century before the time Shakespeare was writing the play. Lamb's claims, remain unverified. Sycorax's silent role plays an important part in postcolonial interpretations of The Tempest; because she is native to Algiers and her story is only heard through others, she is championed by some scholars as a representation of the silenced African woman. Postcolonial authors have claimed her. In an attempt to give voice to unspoken indigenous cultures, Brathwaite's poems outline the history of the Caribbean through Sycorax's eyes. Sycorax is presented as Brathwaite's muse, possessing him and his computer to give full voice to the history of the silenced, who in Brathwaite's philosophy are not only Caribbean natives, but any culture under-represented during the colonial period.
Other postcolonial scholars have argued that Shakespeare's audiences would have connected Sycorax with the threat of Islamic expansionism. Islam had conquered and colonised much of the Middle East and some of southern Europe during the Middle Ages; the Algerian Sycorax may represent Christian Europe's fear of its growing political power. This interpretation inverts the traditional postcolonial interpretations of The Tempest, however. If Sycorax is viewed as an Islamic expansionist she herself is the coloniser, not Prospero. However, Sycorax's portrayal as an absent, silent woman still allows the play to solidify the idea of European over Islamic power. Interpretations of Sycorax as silenced focus not only on her race but her gender as well. Most of what i
William Shakespeare was an English poet and actor regarded as the greatest writer in the English language and the world's greatest dramatist. He is called England's national poet and the "Bard of Avon", his extant works, including collaborations, consist of 39 plays, 154 sonnets, two long narrative poems, a few other verses, some of uncertain authorship. His plays have been translated into every major living language and are performed more than those of any other playwright. Shakespeare was raised in Stratford-upon-Avon, Warwickshire. At the age of 18, he married Anne Hathaway, with whom he had three children: Susanna and twins Hamnet and Judith. Sometime between 1585 and 1592, he began a successful career in London as an actor and part-owner of a playing company called the Lord Chamberlain's Men known as the King's Men. At age 49, he appears to have retired to Stratford. Few records of Shakespeare's private life survive; such theories are criticised for failing to adequately note that few records survive of most commoners of the period.
Shakespeare produced most of his known works between 1589 and 1613. His early plays were comedies and histories and are regarded as some of the best work produced in these genres; until about 1608, he wrote tragedies, among them Hamlet, King Lear, Macbeth, all considered to be among the finest works in the English language. In the last phase of his life, he collaborated with other playwrights. Many of Shakespeare's plays were published in editions of varying quality and accuracy in his lifetime. However, in 1623, two fellow actors and friends of Shakespeare's, John Heminges and Henry Condell, published a more definitive text known as the First Folio, a posthumous collected edition of Shakespeare's dramatic works that included all but two of his plays; the volume was prefaced with a poem by Ben Jonson, in which Jonson presciently hails Shakespeare in a now-famous quote as "not of an age, but for all time". Throughout the 20th and 21st centuries, Shakespeare's works have been continually adapted and rediscovered by new movements in scholarship and performance.
His plays remain popular and are studied and reinterpreted through various cultural and political contexts around the world. William Shakespeare was the son of John Shakespeare, an alderman and a successful glover from Snitterfield, Mary Arden, the daughter of an affluent landowning farmer, he was born in Stratford-upon-Avon and baptised there on 26 April 1564. His actual date of birth remains unknown, but is traditionally observed on 23 April, Saint George's Day; this date, which can be traced to a mistake made by an 18th-century scholar, has proved appealing to biographers because Shakespeare died on the same date in 1616. He was the third of eight children, the eldest surviving son. Although no attendance records for the period survive, most biographers agree that Shakespeare was educated at the King's New School in Stratford, a free school chartered in 1553, about a quarter-mile from his home. Grammar schools varied in quality during the Elizabethan era, but grammar school curricula were similar: the basic Latin text was standardised by royal decree, the school would have provided an intensive education in grammar based upon Latin classical authors.
At the age of 18, Shakespeare married 26-year-old Anne Hathaway. The consistory court of the Diocese of Worcester issued a marriage licence on 27 November 1582; the next day, two of Hathaway's neighbours posted bonds guaranteeing that no lawful claims impeded the marriage. The ceremony may have been arranged in some haste since the Worcester chancellor allowed the marriage banns to be read once instead of the usual three times, six months after the marriage Anne gave birth to a daughter, baptised 26 May 1583. Twins, son Hamnet and daughter Judith, followed two years and were baptised 2 February 1585. Hamnet died of unknown causes at the age of 11 and was buried 11 August 1596. After the birth of the twins, Shakespeare left few historical traces until he is mentioned as part of the London theatre scene in 1592; the exception is the appearance of his name in the "complaints bill" of a law case before the Queen's Bench court at Westminster dated Michaelmas Term 1588 and 9 October 1589. Scholars refer to the years between 1585 and 1592 as Shakespeare's "lost years".
Biographers attempting to account for this period have reported many apocryphal stories. Nicholas Rowe, Shakespeare's first biographer, recounted a Stratford legend that Shakespeare fled the town for London to escape prosecution for deer poaching in the estate of local squire Thomas Lucy. Shakespeare is supposed to have taken his revenge on Lucy by writing a scurrilous ballad about him. Another 18th-century story has Shakespeare starting his theatrical career minding the horses of theatre patrons in London. John Aubrey reported; some 20th-century scholars have suggested that Shakespeare may have been employed as a schoolmaster by Alexander Hoghton of Lancashire, a Catholic landowner who named a certain "William Shakeshafte" in his will. Little evidence substantiates such stories other than hearsay collected after his death, Shakeshafte was a common name in the Lancashire area, it is not known definitively when Shakespeare began writing, but contemporary allusions and records of performances show that several of