Synopsis by John Patrick Sheehan
Part of the Biography television series from A&E, this documentary explores the career and personal life of author William Shakespeare. Shakespeare moved to London, possibly in 1591, and became an actor. From 1592 to 1594, when the theatres were closed for the plague, he wrote his poems "Venus and Adonis" and "The Rape of Lucrece." At the same time he worked on his sonnets which were not published until 1609. The first evidence of his association with the stage is in 1594, when he was acting with the Lord Chamberlain's company of players, later "the King's Men'. When the company built the Globe Theatre south of the Thames in 1597, he became a partner. He returned to Stratford c.1610, living as a country gentleman at his house, New Place. The modern era of Shakespeare scholarship has been marked by an enormous amount of investigation into the authorship, text, and chronology of the plays, including detailed studies of the age in which he lived, and of the Elizabethan stage. The video deals with this in depth. It is conventional to group his plays into early, middle, and late periods, and to distinguish comedies, tragedies, and histories, recognizing other groups that do not fall neatly into these categories. Many of his works including Romeo & Juliet, Hamlet, Macbeth, Othello, and others, are considered the quintessential works in the English language and are still thoroughly studied today.