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William Shakespeare(1)

   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

William Shakespeare(2)

   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 original.
   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 playwright.
   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(3)

   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 popular person.
   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 the world.
   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