William Shakespeare


William Shakespeare (1564-1616) was an English playwright, poet, and actor, widely regarded as the greatest writer in the English language and the world’s pre-eminent dramatist. He is often called England’s national poet and the “Bard of Avon.” His extant works, including collaborations, consist of some 39 plays, 154 sonnets, two long narrative poems, and a few other verses, some of uncertain authorship. His plays have been translated into every major living language and are performed more often than those of any other playwright.

Early Life and Career: Shakespeare was born and raised in Stratford-upon-Avon, Warwickshire. At the age of 18, he married Anne Hathaway, with whom he had three children: Susanna and twins Hamnet and Judith. Sometime between 1585 and 1592, he began a successful career in London as an actor, writer, and part-owner of a playing company called the Lord Chamberlain’s Men, later known as the King’s Men.

Major Works: Shakespeare produced most of his known work between 1589 and 1613. His early plays were primarily comedies and histories and are regarded as some of the best works produced in these genres. He then wrote mainly tragedies until about 1608, including “Hamlet,” “Othello,” “King Lear,” and “Macbeth,” considered some of the finest works in the English language. In his last phase, he wrote tragicomedies, also known as romances, and collaborated with other playwrights.

Legacy: Shakespeare’s influence extends far beyond his lifetime. His plays remain highly popular today and are constantly studied, performed, and reinterpreted in diverse cultural and political contexts throughout the world. His works have profoundly impacted the English language and literature, and his plays have been adapted into numerous films, TV shows, and other media.


Selected Plays:

  • Romeo and Juliet
  • Hamlet
  • Macbeth
  • Othello
  • King Lear
  • A Midsummer Night’s Dream
  • The Tempest
  • Much Ado About Nothing
  • Julius Caesar
  • Henry V


  • Shakespeare’s sonnets, a collection of 154 poems, are a profound exploration of themes such as the passage of time, love, beauty, and mortality.

Narrative Poems:

  • Venus and Adonis
  • The Rape of Lucrece
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