Wednesday 29 August 2012

Shakespeare's Stratford Upon-Avon

Stratford Upon-Avon is a very old market town located in the charming Cotswold countryside.  No matter which road one takes to reach the town there are attractive villages around every bend. It is a major tourist destination as the birth place of one of the greatest English writers William Shakespeare.  Within the last several years, the city built the Royal Shakespeare Theatre on the banks of the River Avon with a public square and river walkway enhancing the experience of visitors. The square outside the theatre is filled with performers, musicians, and travelers from all parts of the globe.

Globe Theatre still siShakespeare was born in a house on Henley Street in 1564. He returned to Stratford after many years in London to live and eventually die there in 1616. During his lifetime he wrote 37 plays, 154 sonnets as well as poetry. His plays are considered to be some of the most brilliant work ever done. As a young man Shakespeare moved to London where he worked as an actor, producer, and author. He was one of the owners of the Globe Theatre where his plays were produced and  still performed today on its stages.

There has been a scholarly dialogue for the last 200 years whether or not this person from a small provincial town and modest family background could have been the author of such great works. Fourteen of his early plays are set in Italy where he never traveled. However there is no definitive evidence that anyone but Shakespeare was in fact the playwright. So his place in history and art remains unparalleled and people continue to make the journey to see where it all began.

Stratford Upon-Avon offers everything visitors would expect to find. There is plenty to do for all ages, not to mention outstanding productions in the city’s theatres. If all the world is indeed a stage this is certainly an interesting act to see.

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