On 13 May 1568, armed forces defeated Mary, Queen of Scots at the Battle of Langside.
|Battle of Langside, by Giovanni Fattori|
|Night After the Battle of Langside, by Sir John Lavery|
He would have been 9 years old when the Marian Civil War ended.
|Mary, Queen of Scots|
The stories he heard of heroic and villainous people like Mary, Queen of Scots -- who lived during his lifetime -- would inspire his creativity which lasted his entire life.
I think that Mary Queen of Scots and her lover the Earl of Bothwell were an Elizabethan Bonnie and Clyde, lovers and outlaws both.
|Mary and Bothwell|
To a little boy like Shakespeare, who lived in a time before Twitter, TV and newspapers, one of the greatest sources of entertainment was news of any kind -- spoken between people.
Shakespeare, like anyone in England, Scotland and Europe for that matter, would have eagerly awaited the latest news about Mary, Queen of Scots.
He was an amazing storyteller because he heard amazing stories as a child.
I like to think of him, trading bits of gossip and hearsay with his Stratford friends -- all of them eager to know what Mary, Queen of Scots was up to now, where she was and where she was going, and whether she would survive from one day to the next!
He and his friends might have acted out the Battle of Langside in the same way that children today play cops and robbers, for example.
For all we know, Shakespeare was in charge of the Battle -- giving them lines to say and directing all of them!
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