|The First Folio|
One of the sections of the book in its earlier drafts that was way too long was the section on William Shakespeare. There was so much material to cover, so much biblical imagery, and so much interaction with the parables of Jesus--especially the parable of the prodigal son.
This blog allows me the freedom to include elements that didn't make it into the book, and over the next few days, I will post a few things about Shakespeare and the parables that I found the most interesting.
But first, for those who don't know, a bit of context about Shakespeare himself:
William Shakespeare was baptized at Holy Trinity Church in Stratford, England, on April 26, 1564. Like many details of his life, the exact date of his birth is unknown, but between his birth and his death on April 23, 1616, Shakespeare composed the greatest dramas ever crafted in the English language.
The next certain official record of his life (unless he is the “William Shakeshafte” in Sir Thomas Hesketh’s 1581 will; see Honan 1998: 61-2) is his marriage at the age of eighteen to Anne Hathaway in 1582. Except for the baptism of their children—Susanna, in 1583, and the twins Judith and Hamnet, in 1585—Shakespeare disappears from view for a number of years until he resurfaces in London as an actor and playright.
By 1594, Shakespeare had established himself as an actor, writer, and partner in the Lord Chamberlain’s Men (later the King’s Men), a successful acting company in London, a group that built the Globe Theatre (1599) and acquired the Blackfriar’s indoor theater (ca. 1608). Shakespeare published both plays and poetry (the first poem was published in 1593) and became wealthy enough to buy the second largest house in Stratford (the “New Place”) before returning to Stratford between 1611 and 1613. He thereafter spent most of his time in Stratford until his death in 1616.