Shakespeare’s family, early marriage, obscurity. First mentioned as a London player and playwright at the age of 28, he came in on the crest of a wave of new poetic drama. Kyd and Marlowe died, leaving the stage to him. He averaged two plays a year for twenty years: first comedy and history (a form he perfected), then tragedy, and finally romance. Half of his plays survive only in the First Folio, introduced by his successor, Jonson.
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