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The Queen is dead... long live the King

King James I of England portrait
King James I of England
Shakespeare's last performance before Elizabeth I takes place on February 2nd. Elizabeth dies on February 24th.

James VI of Scotland is proclaimed King of England, Scotland, France and Ireland as James I. James is very enthusiastic about the theatre, and in May Shakespeare's company is given letter of patent to become the King's acting company.

Despite the general optimism that greets James I's accession, "political" sonnets written by Shakespeare at this time seem to show he finds his new role as a player/playwright/courtier hard to take. He is forty years old and, like most men of his age, probably becoming braver and more belligerent in his opinions.


King James I of England portraitJames I

Elizabeth IElizabeth I

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