Shakespeare - Childhood and Adolescence.
August 13, 2007
Santa Cruz, California
Received by FAB
I am here, William Shakespeare.
My childhood was privileged because my parents had status in the Stratford community where I grew up.
I thoroughly enjoyed and absorbed my childhood classroom training. We were taught many things that were invaluable for my future career in theater. I absorbed it eagerly, and I always retained a deep gratitude for the way I was nurtured for my craft in that way.
When I was 13 years old, my preeminent father quit his responsibilities in the borough council because of the religious question of the time. My mother had connections to Catholicism, and he was secretly sympathetic to the Catholic way of life. But there was a crackdown on religious dissent (the dominant religion being the Church of England), so he felt it would be prudent to withdraw. Here, Mr. Ackroyd has guessed correctly.
This had a very profound effect on me. Again, Mr. Ackroyd’s detective work is true - I did resolve never to place myself in a similar position of failure.
Let me address the story of my poaching deer as a teenager. It is simply not true. There is no true basis for it.
My sister Anne died in 1579, when I was 15. This was my very first close experience with death. It altered my whole life and my whole way of thinking. When I was writing the famous “tomorrow, and tomorrow, and tomorrow” speech from Macbeth, I was thinking of my sister Anne, how she was cut off so early, at the age of eight. This experience opened my eyes to life. It was my coming of age. It burned into my soul, and I never forgot it.