Page images
PDF
EPUB
[graphic][subsumed][ocr errors][ocr errors][ocr errors][subsumed]

'I crave the law, the penalty and forfeit of my bond.'-ACT IV. Sc. I.

SHAKESPEARE'S

MERCHANT OF VENICE

WITH

INTRODUCTION, NOTES, EXAMINATION PAPERS
AND AN APPENDIX OF PREFIXES

AND TERMINATIONS

[merged small][merged small][merged small][graphic][merged small][merged small][ocr errors][subsumed][ocr errors][merged small][merged small][merged small][merged small][ocr errors]

LONDON: PRINTED BY SPOTTISWOODE AND CO., NEW-STREET SQUARE

AND PARLIAMENT STREET

INTRODUCTION.

SECTION 1.

1. Shakespeare's Life and Writings.--William Shakespeare was born at Stratford-on-Avon, Warwickshire, the 23rd April, 1564. At the time of his birth his father, John Shakespeare, was a well-to-do tradesman, and in 1568 he was Mayor of Stratford. His mother, whose maiden name was Mary Arden, brought her husband a small landed estate. As a boy, William Shakespeare probably attended the Stratford Free Grammar School ; but, his father becoming involved in money difficulties, early took him from school to assist in his business. Some time later, probably in 1579, his father apprenticed him to a butcher. About 1586 he removed to London, leaving behind his wife and three children. Arrived in London, he became an actor, play-writer, and shareholder in the Blackfriars Theatre, and subsequently in the Globe, where he was patronised by Queen Elizabeth, James I., and the Earl of Southampton. He saved money, with which he assisted his father, as well as purchased houses and land in his native town. Year by year he visited his family, until about 1604 he left the stage and retired to Stratford. He continued to write, and, during the few quiet years that followed, produced some of the grandest of his works. He died on the 23rd April, 1616, and was buried in the chancel of Trinity Church, Stratford, where soon afterwards å bust was erected to his memory. He had two daughters and a son, and several grandchildren ; but the latter all died childless.

There are extant thirty-six plays and various minor poems attributed to Shakespeare. Some of these were not originally written by Shakespeare, but were more or less edited, recast, and refurbished by him. His best-known writings are : (1) Tragedies : Hamlet, Lear, Macbeth, Othello, Julius Cæsar, Romeo and Juliet. (2) English Histories : King John,

« PreviousContinue »