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William Shakespeare

William Shakespeare
Born Unknown (baptised 26 April 1564)[1]
Stratford-upon-Avon, England[2]
Died 23 April 1616[2]
Stratford-upon-Avon, England[2]
Nationality English
Occupation Playwright, actor
Known for Plays and poetry
Shakespeare Memorial Theatre, Stratford-upon-Avon. Shakespeare's Memorial Theatre opened in 1879 and burned down in 1926. It was replaced by the Royal Shakespeare Theatre

William Shakespeare (26 April 1564 (baptised) – 23 April 1616) was an English author who wrote 37 plays and also 2 very long poems in his lifetime. He lived in Stratford-upon-Avon, in Warwickshire, England. His plays are still performed today. He is often quoted in modern writing.

By 1594 he was an actor in The Chamberlain's Men acting company.

His plays are of different kinds, or genres. There are histories, tragedies and comedies. These plays are among the best known in English literature and are studied in schools around the world. Shakespeare wrote his works between about 1590 and 1613.

Shakespeare has been credited for adding new words and phrases to the English language and for making some words more popular.[3]


He married Anne Hathaway, a woman eight years older than he was. He had three children, Susanna (married John Hall), Hamnet Shakespeare (died at the age of 11 due to unknown reasons) and Judith (married Thomas Quiney).[3] By 1592 he had become an actor and was becoming well known as a writer of plays. At the time of his death in 1616, only some of his plays had been published in single editions. The plays were collected and published in 1623, six years after he died. There is proof that people in Shakespeare's time thought highly of him. After his death, even his rival Ben Jonson said,[4]

"Triumph, my Britain, thou hast one to show,
To whom all scenes of Europe homage owe.
He was not of an age, but for all time!"

He was involved in the building of the Globe Theatre in 1599.[5]

Who wrote "Shakespeare"?

About 150 years after Shakespeare died, some writers began to say that the work called "Shakespeare" were not really written by William Shakespeare. They had various reasons for saying this. For example, the person who wrote "Shakespeare" knew a lot about other countries (especially Italy), but William Shakespeare never left England. Several other writers of "Shakespeare" have been suggested, such as Francis Bacon, Christopher Marlowe, and Edward de Vere, 17th Earl of Oxford. Most scholars believe that William Shakespeare did write the works that bear his name,[6] but the idea that someone else "wrote Shakespeare" is still talked about.

List of Shakespeare's plays

Shakespearean tragedies

Shakespearean comedies

Shakespearean histories

Lost plays


  1. "What year was Shakespeare born?". Shakespeare Birthplace Trus.
  2. 2.0 2.1 2.2 "William Shakespeare". 2013. Retrieved 6 March 2013.
  3. Vernon, Jennifer (April 22, 2004). "Shakespeare's Coined Words Now Common Currency". Retrieved March 27, 2011.
  4. Jonson, Ben 1996. "To the memory of my beloued, The AVTHOR MR. WILLIAM SHAKESPEARE: AND what he hath left vs", in Shakespeare, William; Hinman, Charlton (ed.); Blayney, The First Folio of Shakespeare. 2nd ed, New York: W. W. Norton & Company, ISBN 0393039854
  5. "BBC News | ARTS | Painting sparks bard debate". BBC News (London: BBC). April 22, 2002. Retrieved March 27, 2011.
  6. Montagne, Renee (July 3, 2008). "Who wrote Shakespeare's plays? Debate goes on". Minnesota Public Radio. Retrieved April 14, 2011.

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