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Shakespeare - Reverend BD Nielson Wedding Ministry

William Shakespeare

William Shakespeare

Born in 1564 to John and Mary Arden in Stratford, England

In 1582, at age 18, he married Anne Hathaway, eight years his senior. Their  daughter, Susanna, was born six months later in 1583 and their twins, Judith and Hamnet, were born in 1585.

By age 25, Shakespeare was working as an actor and playwright. He began his career with a London theatrical company around 1589. Shakespeare apparently wrote and acted for a number of theater groups including Pembroke’s Men and Strange’s Men, which later became the Chamberlain’s Men,   with whom he worked for most of his of his career.

In 1592, when the Plague closed the theaters, Shakespeare began to writing longer  narrative poetry such as Venus and Adonis and The Rape of Lucrece, both of which were dedicated to the Earl of Southampton, who was thought to be  Shakespeare’s friend and benefactor.

It was during this time that he wrote his sonnets about love and relationships. In 1594 with the reopening of the theaters, Shakespeare returned to writing plays and stopped writing poetry. In 1609, without his consent, his sonnets were published

In 1599, he became one of the partners in the new Globe Theater, built by the theatrical group,  Chamberlain’s Men, later to become King's Men after the death of Queen Elizabeth in 1603. Later he purchased, with his partners, the Blackfriars Gatehouse theater.

His final play was Henry VIII, two years before his death in 1616.

William Shakespeare died on April 23, 1616, and was buried two days later in the chancel of Holy Trinity Church where he had been baptized exactly 52 years earlier.

Sonnets by William Shakespeare

Sonnet 39, by William Shakespeare

O! how thy worth with manners may I sing,
When thou art all the better part of me?
What can mine own praise to mine own self bring?
And what is't but mine own when I praise thee?
Even for this, let us divided live,
And our dear love lose name of single one,
That by this separation I may give
That due to thee which thou deserv'st alone.
O absence! what a torment wouldst thou prove,
Were it not thy sour leisure gave sweet leave,
To entertain the time with thoughts of love,
Which time and thoughts so sweetly doth deceive,
And that thou teachest how to make one twain,
By praising him here who doth hence remain.

Sonnet 63, by William Shakespeare

Against my love shall be as I am now,
With Time's injurious hand crush'd and o'erworn;
When hours have drain'd his blood and fill'd his brow
With lines and wrinkles; when his youthful morn
Hath travell'd on to age's steepy night;
And all those beauties whereof now he's king
Are vanishing, or vanished out of sight,
Stealing away the treasure of his spring;
For such a time do I now fortify
Against confounding age's cruel knife,
That he shall never cut from memory
My sweet love's beauty, though my lover's life:
His beauty shall in these black lines be seen,
And they shall live, and he in them still green.

Sonnet 68, by William Shakespeare

Thus is his cheek the map of days outworn,
When beauty lived and died as flowers do now,
Before these bastard signs of fair were born,
Or durst inhabit on a living brow;
Before the golden tresses of the dead,
The right of sepulchres, were shorn away,
To live a second life on second head;
Ere beauty's dead fleece made another gay:
In him those holy antique hours are seen,
Without all ornament, itself and true,
Making no summer of another's green,
Robbing no old to dress his beauty new;
And him as for a map doth Nature store,
To show false Art what beauty was of yore.


Sonnet 105, by William Shakespeare

Let not my love be call'd idolatry,
Nor my beloved as an idol show,
Since all alike my songs and praises be
To one, of one, still such, and ever so.
Kind is my love to-day, to-morrow kind,
Still constant in a wondrous excellence;
Therefore my verse to constancy confin'd,
One thing expressing, leaves out difference.
'Fair, kind, and true,' is all my argument,
'Fair, kind, and true,' varying to other words;
And in this change is my invention spent,
Three themes in one, which wondrous scope affords.
Fair, kind, and true, have often liv'd alone,
Which three till now, never kept seat in one.