Summary of BBC In Search of Shakespeare 1of4

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The BBC investigates the life and work of William Shakespeare, looking at theories about his authorship and connections to Elizabethan England. They find that he may have married Anne Hathaway in 1582, but little is known about their relationship. His family had connections to the Ardens, who were arrested for plotting to assassinate Elizabeth I. Shakespeare wrote plays about their story.

  • 00:00:00 The video explores the mystery behind Shakespeare's life and work, examining theories about his authorship. It also takes us to Elizabethan England, where we can follow Shakespeare's connections to warwickshire, lancashire, London, and more.
  • 00:05:00 William Shakespeare was born in Stratford-upon-Avon, England in 1564. He was the son of John and Mary Shakespeare, and his baptism record lists him as "William the son of John and Mary Shakespeare." At the time of his birth, England was in the midst of a religious revolution; Henry VIII had started the Protestant Reformation in 1534. The Tudors, Henry's family, were dysfunctional and the revolution had been started by one of the most repellent kings, Henry VIII. However, it was the children of Henry VIII who would drive the protestant reformation to its fullest extent. Shakespeare's teenage half-brother, Edward VI, was the most ardent Protestant of the Tudors. His successor, his half-sister, Mary I, was a Catholic. She executed and persecuted protestants, and during her childhood, she had been declared illegitimate just as Mary Shakespeare had been. Elizabeth I was raised in a very tumultuous time, and during her youth, her mother had been executed, her mother's family had been wiped out by the Norman conquest, and she had been raised in a nunnery. As a result, it is no surprise that three changes of the national religion occurred during her reign: from Protestant to Catholic
  • 00:10:00 This video discusses William Shakespeare's family and their history. It explains that his maternal grandfather, Robert Arden, was a well-to-do farmer who died just before Queen Elizabeth came to the throne, and at that point the family was still loyal to the old faith. We can see this from the wording of Robert's will, which is a Catholic will. Stories, beliefs, and traditions about William Shakespeare's ancestors are explored, including the fact that his great aunt, Jane Arden, was a prioress at the Shakespeare's family church. Granddad Richard Shakespeare was bailiff, and he sat in these stalls all his life. When William was born, his parents bought themselves a brand new house in Henley Street with the last word in Tudor interior design. This is what Mrs. Shakespeare would have had this would have been her pride and joy. William was brought up in quite a while to do house, and his father, John Shakespeare, was elected a town councillor in 1565. John Shakespeare also became a master glover.
  • 00:15:00 This video discusses how the justice of the peace (JP) system in Shakespeare's time worked together with the aldermen to enforce the queen's laws. The council was forced to deface religious paintings in their guild chapel in order to "erase their own past," but this didn't happen overnight. In 1569, when William was four years old, his father was elected mayor of Stratford-upon-Avon and became the queen's chief officer in Stratford. At this time, loyalty to the queen or to religion was not yet a matter of life and death. The English people were undergoing an educational revolution at this time, with 160 new schools being established in Elizabeth's reign. William's generation was expected to be the most literate in history, and he and his classmates were taught grammar and Protestant Christianity in school. GoodDoc william Shakespeare would have spent six days a week in this room starting at age seven and going until 5:30 PM.
  • 00:20:00 William Shakespeare was born in Stratford-upon-Avon, England, in 1564. He attended a grammar school where he learned plays and religious lessons. At the age of 18, he began working as an actor and playwright. His plays were popular with his contemporaries, and he is credited with creating the modern theatre. Shakespeare's works were often censored by the government, and he died in 1616.
  • 00:25:00 In this video, John Tuft of Trees explains how Elizabethan England was a confusing, dangerous time, full of wars between merchants and the monarchy, and with a thriving black market. He also discusses a document that has recently been discovered that reveals how Shakespeare's father had a thriving wool business.
  • 00:30:00 In this video, historian and author Tom Schilling discusses the life and work of William Shakespeare, discussing his childhood memories of seeing the Coventry Mystery Plays. When Shakespeare was 15, his childhood ended when his father's business collapsed. That year, he entered the school system and met a poet named Ovid. He also learned about the Latin translation of Ovid's English book, which was very popular at the time. Schilling talks about how this book was a pivotal moment in Shakespeare's development as a poet and as a storyteller.
  • 00:35:00 In 1580, Jesuit missionaries led by Edmund Campion landed in England and attempted to convert English Catholics to Protestantism. The Catholic population was alarmed, and Elizabeth I moved to suppress the missionaries. In the summer of 1580, the government arrested nearly 200 people, including John Shakespeare's business partners and friends.
  • 00:40:00 The video discusses the possible connections between John Shakespeare and various people involved in his life. The main points are that John Shakespeare (the son of Will Shakespeare) was likely in London on June 22nd, 1582, and that Anne Hathaway was pregnant when they met. However, little is known about their relationship or Anne Hathaway herself.
  • 00:45:00 In this YouTube video, the BBC investigates whether William Shakespeare ever married Anne Waitley. They examine documents from the time period to try to determine the answer. They find that the two may have married on St. Andrew's Day, 1582. However, the license for the ceremony was issued on November 30th, which was outside of the six-week window during which marriages were not allowed during the Christmas season. They also find that John Frith, an old Catholic priest, may have conducted the ceremony without readings of the marriage bands three times, which would have made it illegal. Finally, they explore a sonnet that William wrote to Anne shortly after they married, in which he references hating her. However, after five months of marriage, Anne gave birth to their first child, Susanna.
  • 00:50:00 In 1583, 19-year-old William Shakespeare was indicted for poaching deer near his home in Stratford-upon-Avon. Queen Elizabeth I summoned Thomas Lucy, her friend and advisor, to help investigate the matter. Lucy discovered a plot by the Ardens to assassinate Elizabeth, and helped detain the family. Shakespeare's family connections to the Ardens may have played a role in his arrest. Shakespeare may have been familiar with the Ardens due to his mother's friendship with Edward Arden.
  • 00:55:00 The first part of this video tells the story of how Edward Arden and his friends Francis Throgmorton and Lucy were arrested and put in the torture chamber known as "Little ease." On the same day, Arden's wife and daughter were also arrested and brought to the tower. Arden was severely tortured on the rack, but still there was no proof of his treason. On the 23rd of November, Arden's wife and daughter were also tortured on the rack, but still there was no proof of Arden's treason. Arden and Somerville and their wives were sentenced to death on the eve of their execution, and Arden was executed. William never forgot what he had seen, and he wrote Shakespeare's plays.

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