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William Shakespeare
Date Issued: 1964-08-14
Postage Value: 5 cents

Commemorative issue
William Shakespeare 400th birth anniversary
William Shakespeare

William Shakespeare was an actor as well as a writer. He was part of a small troupe known as the Chamberlain's Men and, after 1603, the King's Men. He not only acted with the group, but also held shares in the company and was part of the consortium that built the Globe Theater in 1599. Shakespeare wrote his plays for performance, not for publication. It does not appear that he took any part in their printing. Nineteen plays appear in individual quarto volumes before appearing in the First Folio. Some were printed from texts reconstructed from memory by one or more actors, and others were supplied to the printer by the company.

His achievements were many. He developed dramatic techniques for conveying a sense of his character's psychological identities. In verse he perfected the dramatic blank-verse line. His plans have been reinterpreted by succeeding generations. The history of Shakespeare criticism and of Shakespeare in the theater is an important part of the cultural history of the modern world.

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