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Shakespeare’s MoneyHow much did he make and what did this mean?$
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Robert Bearman

Print publication date: 2016

Print ISBN-13: 9780198759249

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: April 2016

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780198759249.001.0001

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The final count

The final count

(p.146) 6 The final count
Shakespeare’s Money

Robert Bearman

Oxford University Press

This chapter analyses Shakespeare’s income both from his theatre interests and his property investments, and whether this was affected by the company’s acquisition of the Blackfriars Theatre in 1608. Further closures during times of plague may have had an adverse impact on his income, leading him to seek alternative revenue in such ventures as the publication of the Sonnets. His status is again investigated during this closing period in his life, based on the evidence of his will when compared with those of his fellow Stratford gentry and of his colleagues in the King’s Men. These comparisons reveal that, whilst in actor/playwright circles he was amongst the better off, as an equal of the local gentry he still fell short. The chapter concludes with a discussion of the reason why he chose to surrender his theatre shares at around this time, and his purchase of the Blackfriars Gatehouse in 1613.

Keywords:   William Shakespeare, theatre history, plague, Blackfriars Theatre, Sonnets, social status, will, local gentry, Stratford-upon-Avon

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