What did Shakespeare do until his entry into the theatre?

            For about seven years, there is no trace of what Shakespeare did. Records start after the birth of his twins. The last official record of Shakespeare’s presence in his village is the event of their baptism. Then there is no news of him. This period is known as ‘Shakespeare’s Lost Years’. In 1592, Shakespeare reappeared on the scene. We see him as an actor and playwright in London. However, we do not have any idea when he left Stratford-upon-Avon, why he went to London, or what he was doing before becoming a professional actor and dramatist in the capital. There is so much speculation as to what our great writer was up to during these years in oblivion.

            What was Shakespeare doing all those mysterious years? Maybe, Shakespeare was living quietly in his village, helping his family business. Some, however, say that Shakespeare had some troubles with a local landowner in Stratford-upon-Avon called Sir Thomas Lucy. He was caught poaching deer from Sir Thomas’ estate and was facing a disgraceful prosecuted. He may have fled to London in order to escape the punishment.

            Another account says that Shakespeare worked as a schoolmaster in his village. Some others say that he was a clerk of a lawyer. There are also stories that he became a soldier and fought in wars. A probable explanation is that he joined one of the drama companies that visited his village in the late 1580s. He became an actor and learned the art of writing plays. It is highly unlikely that Shakespeare became a playwright without some initiation and training in it. Whatever be the truth, it is quite natural to find gaps in the records of the lives of people who lived in the distant past.

            Unlike the present day, people did not find it essential to keep records intact. Many official documents may have been destroyed due to negligence or passage of time as well.  Inquisitive minds, however, have built a cult around Shakespeare’s missing years because the magnitude and diversity of human lives Shakespeare portrayed in his plays is testimony to his knowledge and experience of different walks of life, variety of professions and kinds of people.

Pictures Credit : Google