The Beginnings of William Shakespear’s Career
William Shakespeare is considered to be one of the most influential writers in literary history, writing plays, sonnets, and poems that have shaped the English language for centuries. But how did Shakespeare’s career begin? We take a look at the early stages of Shakespeare’s career.
Part One: Early Influences
Though almost nothing is known about William Shakespeare’s early life, it is likely that he encountered literature and plays at an early age. He was likely exposed to plays through touring troupes throughout the region and could have been exposed to plays at the local chapel. It is speculated that he traveled to London some time in his late teens or early twenties, where he would have seen a variety of works by established playwrights.
Part Two: Getting Started
In 1592, Shakespeare’s first documentation in the theatre appears when he is mentioned as an actor in London. It wasn’t until 1594 that his career is documented on paper with the publication of Venus and Adonis. This spurred his career forward and by 1597, his plays were being performed at London’s premier theatre, The Globe.
Part Three: Writing for the Globe
Shakespeare partnered with the lord chamberlain’s men, a prominent theatre troupe at the time. This collaboration brought overwhelming success for both parties. Shakespeare wrote the troupe’s plays and acted in them, in addition to running the business side of the theatre. Perhaps some of his most well-known plays, Hamlet, Macbeth, and Romeo and Juliet were written during this period.
Part Four: The End of an Era
Around 1611, Shakespeare’s collaboration with Lord Chamberlain’s Men ended. He retired to his hometown of Stratford-upon-Avon where he devoted himself to writing, likely producing works such as The Tempest and The Winter’s Tale. He continued writing until 1613 when he retired for the last time.
William Shakespeare is one of the most influential writers to ever live and is still studied and celebrated even today. His career began with early exposure to literature and was propelled forward with the publication of his poem Venus and Adonis. He worked with the Lord Chamberlain’s men to produce some of his most popular plays, before retiring in 1613.