Review of Biography: William Shakespeare - A Biography by A.L.Rowse:
A.L.Rowse is one of the famous English historians and writers of 20th century. He was a renowned writer
of Elizabethan era. He wrote several biographies on English historians and literal figures, the most
notable one is his controversial Biography on William Shakespeare and his complete works.
In the biography, as a scholar and a historian Rowse followed strict historical method. He mentioned all
the historical happenings of that particular time and era to analyze and review the works of
Shakespeare. It is presented in chronological, thematic structural method based on the social customs,
laws including ...view middle of the document...
At the age of 18, he was married to
Anna Hathway, they had three children. He began a successful career in London as an actor, writer,
part owner of a playing company called the Lord Chamberlain's Men, later known as the King's Men.His
surviving works consists of 38plays and 154 poems, two long narrative poems. His early works are
“Venus and Adonis” (1593) and “The Rape of Lucrece” (1594). Shakespeare wrote wide range of plays
from histories, comedies, tragedies and tragicomedies. With an exception of Romeo and Juliet,
Shakespeare early plays are all on historical figures, Richards II, Henry VI, Henry V their era and how a
corrupt and weak rulers can affect the country.
Shakespeare wrote several comedies such as the romantic comedy Merchant of Venice, A Midsummer
Nights Dream, the Witty Much Ado About Nothing, As you like it , Twelfth Night and The Comedy of
Errors. His comedy plays have become an inspiration to many playwrights and authors in the coming
His tragedies are timeless and universal , he wrote hamlet, King Lear, Othello, and Macbeth. These
explore all the negative and positive emotions in a human being from betrayal, sorrow, Moral failure,
retribution etc. One of the first playwrights to use tragicomedy genre, Shakespeare produced the
famous Tempest, The Winter’s Tale, Cymbeline. The tone of tragicomedies is lighter and end in
forgiveness. He appears to have retired to Stratford around 1613 at age 49, where he died three years
Rowse drew much of the information for the biography from Shakespeare’s collection of works. His
close reading of the texts of the plays and sonnets have produced a monumental work, making the
reader enthralled with his revelation and interpretations of Shakespeare secrets such as a the
Identification of his gay rival poet as “Christopher Marlowe” , in the second biography he stated to have
revealed that “The Dark Lady “ as one Emilia Bassano Lanier, the daughter of an Italian court musician.
As per the recent scholarly work, finding and insisting the irrefutable evidence that Shakespeare was a
“a strongly sexed heterosexual” and a man ''more than a little interested in women -- for
Rowse used authoritarian tone in the biography, but he failed to acknowledge other Shakespearean
scholarly works which came under much criticism. His work was criticized also for lack of documentary
evidence and passing of...