The impact of Shakespeare's investment

In 1594, William Shakespeare made a move that gave him financial stability and, some say, changed the way he wrote plays: he purchased a one-eighth share in the Lord Chamberlain's Men. One of those people is Dr Bart van Es of Oxford University's Faculty of English Language and Literature, who claims that the purchase gave the playwright a better relationship with and understanding of actors.

"Shakespeare is known as the first playwright with deep, distinctive characterisation and I believe he developed this because of his relationships with the company's principal actors, which comes across in his plays after 1594," explained Dr van Es, who believes that the early plays were written to achieve fame and fortune, while the later reflect Shakespeare's understanding of the actors' personalities.