Sample Scholarship Essays

Shakespeare

William Shakespeare
William Shakespeare was a great English playwright, dramatist and poet who lived during the late sixteenth and early seventeenth centuries. Shakespeare is considered to be the greatest playwright of all time. No other writer’s plays have been produced so many times or read so widely in so many countries as his. Shakespeare was born to middle class parents. His father, John, was a Stratford businessman. He was a glove maker who owned a leather shop. John Shakespeare was a well-known and respected man in the town. He held several important local governmental positions.


William Shakespeare’s mother was Mary Arden. Though she was the daughter of a local farmer, she was related to a wealthy family. Mary Arden and John Shakespeare were married in 1557. William Shakespeare was born in Stratford in 1564. He was one of eight children. The Shakespeare’s were well-respected prominent people. When William Shakespeare was about seven years old, he probably began attending the Stratford Grammar School with other boys of his social class. Students went to school year round attending school for nine hours a day. The teachers were strict disciplinarians. Though Shakespeare spent long hours at school, his boyhood was probably fascinating. Stratford was a lively town and during holidays, it was known to put on pageants and many popular shows. It also held several large fairs during the year. Stratford was an exciting place to live. Stratford also had fields and woods surrounding it giving William the opportunity to hunt and trap small game.

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The River Avon, which ran through the town, allowed him to fish also. Shakespeare’s’ poems and plays show his love of nature and rural life which reflects his childhood. On November 28, 1582, Shakespeare married Anne Hathaway of the neighboring village of Shottery. She was twenty-six, and he was only eighteen at the time. They had three children. Susana was their first and then they had twins, Hamnet and Judith. Hamnet, Shakespeare’s son, died in 1596. In 1607, his daughter Susana got married. Shakespeare’s other daughter, Judith, got married in 1616. In London, Shakespeare’s career took off. It is believed that he may have become well known in London theatrical life by 1592.


By that time, he had joined one of the city’s repertory theater companies. These companies were made up of a permanent cast of actors who presented different plays week after week. The companies were commercial organizations that depended on admission from their audience. Scholars know that Shakespeare belonged to one of the most popular acting companies in London called The Lord Chamberlain’s Men. Shakespeare was a leading member of the group from 1594 for the rest of his career. 1594 he had produced at least six of Shakespeare’s plays. During Shakespeare’s life, there were two monarchs who ruled England. They were Henry the eighth and Elizabeth the first.
On November 28, 1582, Shakespeare married Anne Hathaway of the neighboring village of Shottery. She was twenty-six, and he was only eighteen at the time. They had three children. Susana was their first and then they had twins, Hamnet and Judith. Hamnet, Shakespeare’s son, died in 1596. In 1607, his daughter Susana got married. Shakespeare’s other daughter, Judith, got married in 1616
Both were impressed with Shakespeare which made his name known. There is evidence that he was a member of a traveling theater group, and a schoolmaster. In 1594, he became an actor and playwright for Lord Chamberlain’s Men. In 1599, he became a part owner of the prosperous Globe Theater. He also was a part owner of the Blackfriars Theater as of 1609. Shakespeare retired to Stratford in 1613 where he wrote many of his excellent plays. There are many reasons as to why William Shakespeare is so famous. He is generally considered to be both the greatest dramatist the world has ever known as well as the finest poet who has written in the English language.
Many reasons can be given for Shakespeare’s enormous appeal. His fame basically is from his great understanding of human nature. He was able to find universal human qualities and put them in a dramatic situation creating characters that are timeless. Yet he had the ability to create characters that are highly individual human beings. Their struggles in life are universal. Sometimes they are successful and sometimes their lives are full of pain, suffering, and failure. In addition to his realistic view of human nature, Shakespeare had a vast knowledge of a variety of subjects. These subjects include music, law, Bible, stage, art, politics, history, hunting, and sports.
Shakespeare had a tremendous influence on culture and literature throughout the world. He contributed greatly to the development of the English language. Many words and phrases from Shakespeare’s plays and poems have become part of our speech. Shakespeare’s plays and poems have become a required part of education in the United States. Therefore, his ideas on subjects such as romantic love, heroism, comedy, and tragedy have helped shape the attitudes of millions of people. His portrayals of historical figures and events have influenced our thinking more than what has been written in history books. The world has admired and respected many great writers, but only Shakespeare has generated such enormous continuing interest.
Shakespeare’s plays are usually divided into three major categories. These are comedy, tragedy, and history. Three plays which are in the category of comedy are “The Comedy of Errors”, “The Taming of the Shrew”, and “The Two Gentlemen of Verone”. Three plays which are in the category of tragedy are “Romeo and Juliet”, “Titus Andronicus”, and “Julius Caesar”. In the category of history, three plays are “Henry V”, “Richard II”, and “Richard III”.
There are many reasons as to why William Shakespeare is so famous. He is generally considered to be both the greatest dramatist the world has ever known as well as the finest poet who has written in the English language. Many reasons can be given for Shakespeare’s enormous appeal. His fame basically is from his great understanding of human nature. He was able to find universal human qualities and put them in a dramatic situation creating characters that are timeless. Yet he had the ability to create characters that are highly individual human beings. Their struggles in life are universal. Sometimes they are successful and sometimes their lives are full of pain, suffering, and failure.


In addition to his understanding and realistic view of human nature, Shakespeare had a vast knowledge of a variety of subjects. These subjects include music, law, Bible, stage, art, politics, history, hunting, and sports. Shakespeare had a tremendous influence on culture and literature throughout the world. He contributed greatly to the development of the English language. Many words and phrases from Shakespeare’s plays and poems have become part of our speech.
Shakespeare’s plays and poems have become a required part of education in the United States. Therefore, his ideas on subjects such as romantic love, heroism, comedy, and tragedy have helped shape the attitudes of millions of people. His portrayal of historical figures and events have influenced our thinking more than what has been written in history books. The world has admired and respected many great writers, but only Shakespeare has generated such enormous continuing interest. My source states explanations rather than opinions on why Shakespeare’s contributions to literature are so vast. My source devoted thirty pages to William Shakespeare.

Shakespeare

William Shakespeare was born on April 23, 1564. He was baptized on April 24,
1564, in Stratford-upon-Avon, Warwickshire. He was the third of eight children born to
John Shakespeare and Mary Arden. John was a well-known merchant and Mary was the
daughter of a Roman Catholic member of the gentry. Shakespeare was educated at the
local grammar school. According to history, Shakespeare was the eldest son, and he
should have been the apprentice to his father’s shop so that he could be taught everything
his father knew and soon take over the business. But instead he was the apprentice to a
butcher because of the trouble in his father’s financial situation. Another story says that
Shakespeare was allowed a lot of free time when he was young. This was suggested
by historians that his plays show more ideas of hunting and hawking than do those of other
play writers. In 1582 he married Anne Hathaway, the daughter of a farmer. He was
thought to have left Stratford after he was caught poaching in the deer park of Sir Thomas
Lucy. he was a local justice of the peace. Shakespeare and Anne Hathaway had a
daughter in 1583 and twins- a boy and a girl- in 1585. The boy however, eventually did
Shakespeare apparently arrived in London around 1588 and by 1592 had gained
success as an actor and a playwright. Shortly after that, he secured the business of Henry
Wriothesley, 3rd earl of Southampton. The publication of Shakespeare’s two poems
Venus and Adonis (1593) and The Rape of Lucrece (1594) and some of his Sonnets
(published 1609), established a reputation for him as a talented and popular Renaissance
poet. The Sonnets describe the devotion of a character to a young man whose beauty and
charm he praises and to a mysterious and untrue woman with whom the poet is afraid.
The following triangular situation, resulting from the attraction of the poet’s friend to the
woman, is treated with passionate intensity and psychological insight. However,
Shakespeare’s modern reputation is based mainly on the 38 plays that he wrote, modified,
and collaborated on. When in his days, these plays frequently had little respect by his
educated friends, who considered English plays of their own to be only tasteless
Shakespeare’s professional life in London was marked by a number of financially
beneficial arrangements that allowed him to share in the profits of his acting company, the
Chamberlain’s Men, later called the King’s Men. The acting company had two theaters,
the Globe Theatre and the Blackfriars. His plays were given special presentation at the
courts of Queen Elizabeth I and King James I more frequently than those of any other
coexistent writer. It was known that he risked losing royal favor only once, in 1599, when
his company performed the play of the deposing and killing of King Richard II at the
request of a group of conspirators against Elizabeth. They were led by Elizabeth’s
unsuccessful court favorite, Robert Devereux, 2nd Earl of Essex, and by the earl of
Southampton. In the later study, Shakespeare’s company was cleared of dealing with the
After 1608, Shakespeare’s dramatic production lessened and it seemed that he spent
more time in Stratford. There he had secure family in an wealthy house called New Place.
Shakespeare had become a leading local citizen. He died on April 23, 1616, and was
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