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William Shakespeare was born in April 1564. His father
was a rich citizen whose business was making and selling
leather gloves. His mother was the daughter of an important
farmer. When he was nineteen, William married Anne. She
was a farmer's daughter and she was some years older than
himself. During that years he may have helped his father in
the family business or he may have been a country schoolmaster
for a time, we don't know exactly.
Shakespeare had three children: Susannah, the eldest, then
twins — a son, Hamnet, and another girl, Judith. In 1587
Shakespeare went to work in London, leaving Anne and the
children at home.
Some years later Shakespeare began to write plays. The
parents did not even guess that their son would be such an
important figure in English poetry and drama and that his
plays would still be acted four hundred years later in England
and all over the world. By 1592 Shakespeare was an important
member of well-known company. In 1599 the famous Globe
Theatre was built on the south bank of the river Thames.
In that theatre most of his plays were performed. It was a round
building with the stage in the center, open to the sky. If it was
raining, the actors got wet; if the weather was too bad, there
was no performance at all.
By 1603 Shakespeare was the leading poet and dramatist of his time. He continued to write for the next ten years. In 1613 he finally stopped writing and went to live in Stratford where he died in 1616. He is buried in Stratford-on-Avon.
1. What was William's father business?
2. His mother was a farmer's daughter, wasn't she?
3. How many children did Shakespeare have?
4. When did he start to writeu»^
5. The Globe Theatre was built in 1599, wasn't it?
citizen — гражданин
gloves — перчатки
to guess — догадываться
play — пьеса
stage — сцена
Nowadays people seem to read newspapers mostly. Many
people are fond of reading detective stories or spy thrillers. I
myself prefer books about politics, history, travel-books and
biographies. It is my dream to become a student of the
department of foreign languages and to be able to read the
books by my favourite English and American writers in the
As for the American writers, I like to read books by Mark
Twain and O'Henry.
I enjoy reading books by such English writers as Charles
Dickens, Robert Stevenson, Walter Scott. My favourite English
writer is William Shakespeare, one of the most outstanding
personalities in the world literature.
William Shakespeare was born in Stratf ord-upon-Avon not
far from London. His father, John Shakespeare, came to
Stratford from a village and opened a shop there. He never
became a rich man but at one time he was an important official
in the city. William Shakespeare lived in Stratford until he
was twenty-one. He got married and had three children. At
the age of 21 William left Stratford for London to join a
company of actors. He was a very good actor and an excellent
William Shakespeare lived and worked in London for 25 years. By the end of the 16th century William Shakespeare and his friends had enough money to build their own theatre — the Globe.
In all Shakespeare wrote 37 plays, 2 long poems, a sonnet
cycle of 155 small pieces.
William Shakespeare had a natural gift for comedy. In his
comedies "Two Gentlemen of Verona", "As you Like It", "The
Twelfth Night" William Shakespeare describes the adventures
of young men and women,their love,friendship,happiness.
Shakespeare's tragedies "King Lear", "Othello", "Romeo
and Juliet" depict noblemen who opposed evil in the world.
Since they were written there has never been a time when at
least some of Shakespeare's plays were not staged.
In England and other countries it is the highest honour
for an actor to be invited to play in a comedy or a tragedy by
Shakespeare. In the last 35 years all the plays by W.
Shakespeare have been filmed. Since 1879 Shakespeare's
Festival has been held every year at Stratf ord-upon-Avon.
1. What are many people fond of nowadays?
2. Why do you want to become a student of the department
of foreign languages?
3. Where was William Shakespeare born?
4. How long did he live and work in London?
5. What did William Shakespeare have a natural gift for?
6. What do Shakespeare's tragedies depict?
7. What is the highest honour for an actor in England?
thriller — сенсационный роман
spy — шпион
detective story — детективный рассказ
official — чиновник
to get married — жениться
to be held — проводиться
to film — снимать фильм
William Shakespeare was one of the greatest and famous
writers of the world. Many people know and like his works
but many facts of Shakespeare's life are still unknown.
William Shakespeare was born in 1564 in Stratford-on-
Avon, a small English town. He studied at local grammar
school because his father wanted his son to be an educated
person. While studying at school, William didn't have much
free time but he liked to go to the forest and river Avon.
Young William liked to watch actors and actresses who
visited Stratford-on-Avon. He was fond of actor's profession
and decided to become an actor. With this purpose he went to
London. There he played and wrote plays as well. In his works
he described the events of England's contemporary life. His
plays that were staged in many theatres and which were then
translated into many languages made Shakespeare a very
In all Shakespeare wrote thirty seven plays. He cooperated
with the best English theatres during twenty five years. His
best and the most famous plays are "Othello", "King Lear",
"Hamlet", "Romeo and Juliet".
Besides plays Shakespeare wrote a lot of poetry, which is
translated into many languages and is well-known throughout
William Shakespeare died in 1616. But his creations are
still popular now and millions of people still admire them.
1. Where was William Shakespeare born?
2. Where did he study?
3. What did he like to do when he was young?
4. What was William Shakespeare?
5. How many plays did he write?
6. What plays by William Shakespear do you know?
unknown — неизвестный
purpose — цель
play — пьеса
to describe — описывать
contemporary — современный
to cooperate — сотрудничать
creation — творение
to admire — восхищаться