William Shakespeare (/ˈʃeɪkspɪər/; was an English poet, playwright and actor, widely...

Shakespeare was born and brought up in Stratford-upon-Avon. At the age of 18, he married Anne Hathaway, with whom he had three children: Susanna, and twins Hamnet and Judith. Between 1585 and 1592, he began a successful...

Shakespeare produced most of his known work between 1589 and 1613. His early plays were mainly comedies and histories and these works remain regarded as some...

Many of his plays were published in editions of varying quality and accuracy during his lifetime. In 1623, John Heminges and Henry Condell, two friends and fellow...

Shakespeare was a respected poet and playwright in his own day, but his reputation did not rise to...

William Shakespeare was the son of John Shakespeare, an alderman and a successful glover originally from Snitterfield, and...

Although no attendance records for the period survive, most biographers agree that Shakespeare was probably educated at the King's New School...

At the age of 18, Shakespeare married the 26-year-old Anne Hathaway. The consistory court of the Diocese of Worcester issued a marriage licence on 27 November 1582. The next day, two of...

After the birth of the twins, Shakespeare left few historical traces until he is mentioned as part of the London theatre scene in...

"All the world's a stage,...

It is not known exactly when Shakespeare began writing, but contemporary allusions and records of performances show that several of his plays were on the London stage...

...there is an upstart Crow, beautified with our feathers, that with his Tiger's heart wrapped in a Player's...

Scholars differ on the exact meaning of these words, but most agree that Greene is accusing Shakespeare of reaching above...

Greene's attack is the earliest surviving mention of Shakespeare's career in the theatre. Biographers suggest that his career may have begun any time from the mid-1580s to just before Greene's remarks. From 1594,...

In 1599, a partnership of company members built their own theatre on the south bank of the River Thames, which they called the Globe. In 1608, the partnership also took over the Blackfriars indoor theatre. Records...

Some of Shakespeare's plays were published in quarto editions from 1594. By 1598, his name had become a selling point and began to appear on the title pages. Shakespeare continued to act in his own and...

Shakespeare divided his time between London and Stratford during his career. In 1596, the year before he bought New Place as his family home in Stratford, Shakespeare was living in the parish of St....

Rowe was the first biographer to record the tradition, repeated by Johnson, that Shakespeare retired to Stratford 'some years before his death'. He was still...

Shakespeare died on 23 April 1616, at the age of 52. He died within a month of signing his will, a document which he begins by describing...

He was survived by his wife and two daughters. Susanna had married a physician, John Hall, in 1607, Shakespeare signed his last will...

In his will, Shakespeare left the bulk of his large estate to his elder daughter Susanna. The terms instructed that she pass it...

Shakespeare was buried in the chancel of the Holy Trinity Church two days after his death. The epitaph carved into the stone slab covering his grave includes a curse against moving his bones, which was carefully...

Sometime before 1623, a funerary monument was erected in his memory on the north wall, with a half-effigy of him in the act of writing. Its plaque compares him to Nestor, Socrates, and...

Shakespeare has been commemorated in many statues and memorials around the world, including funeral monuments in Southwark...

Most playwrights of the period typically collaborated with others at some point, and critics agree that Shakespeare did the same, mostly early and late in his career. Some attributions,...

The first recorded works of Shakespeare are Richard III and the three parts of Henry VI, written in the early 1590s during a vogue for historical drama. Shakespeare's plays are difficult to date, however, and studies of the...

Shakespeare's early classical and Italianate comedies, containing tight double plots and precise comic sequences, give way in the mid-1590s to the romantic...

In the early 17th century, Shakespeare wrote the so-called "problem plays" Measure for Measure, Troilus and Cressida, and All's Well That...

In his final period, Shakespeare turned to romance or tragicomedy and completed three more major plays: Cymbeline, The Winter's Tale and The Tempest, as well as the collaboration, Pericles, Prince of Tyre....

It is not clear for which companies Shakespeare wrote his early plays. The title page of the 1594 edition of Titus Andronicus reveals that the play had been acted by three different troupes. After the plagues of...

After the Lord Chamberlain's Men were renamed the King's Men in 1603, they entered a special relationship with the new King James. Although the performance records are patchy, the King's Men performed seven...

The actors in Shakespeare's company included the famous Richard Burbage, William Kempe, Henry Condell and John Heminges. Burbage played the leading role in the first performances of many of Shakespeare's...

In 1623, John Heminges and Henry Condell, two of Shakespeare's friends from the King's Men, published the First Folio, a collected edition of Shakespeare's...

In 1593 and 1594, when the theatres were closed because of plague, Shakespeare published two narrative...

Published in 1609, the Sonnets were the last of Shakespeare's non-dramatic works to be printed. Scholars are not certain when each of the 154 sonnets was composed, but evidence suggests that Shakespeare wrote sonnets throughout his...

"Shall I compare thee to a summer's day?...

The 1609 edition was dedicated to a "Mr. W.H.", credited as "the only begetter" of the poems. It is not known whether this was written by Shakespeare himself or by the publisher, Thomas Thorpe,...

Shakespeare's first plays were written in the conventional style of the day. He wrote them in a stylised language that does...

Soon, however, Shakespeare began to adapt the traditional styles to his own purposes. The opening soliloquy of Richard III has its roots in...

Shakespeare's standard poetic form was blank verse, composed in iambic pentameter. In practice, this meant that his verse...

After Hamlet, Shakespeare varied his poetic style further, particularly in the more emotional passages of the late tragedies. The...

Shakespeare combined poetic genius with a practical sense of the theatre. Like all playwrights of the time, he dramatised stories from sources such as Plutarch...

Shakespeare's work has made a lasting impression on later theatre and literature. In particular, he...

Shakespeare influenced novelists such as Thomas Hardy, William Faulkner, and Charles Dickens. The American...

In Shakespeare's day, English grammar, spelling and pronunciation were less standardised than they are now, and his use of...

Shakespeare was not revered in his lifetime, but he received a large amount of praise. In 1598, the cleric and author Francis Meres singled him out from a group of English...

Between the Restoration of the monarchy in 1660 and the end of the 17th century, classical ideas were in vogue. As a result, critics of the time mostly rated Shakespeare below John...

During the Romantic era, Shakespeare was praised by the poet and literary philosopher Samuel Taylor Coleridge; and the critic August Wilhelm Schlegel translated his plays in the spirit of...

The modernist revolution in the arts during the early 20th century, far from discarding Shakespeare, eagerly enlisted his work in the service of the avant-garde. The Expressionists in Germany and the Futurists in...

Around 230 years after Shakespeare's death, doubts began to be expressed about the authorship of the works attributed to him. Proposed alternative candidates...

Some scholars claim that members of Shakespeare's family were Catholics, at a time when Catholic practice was against the law. Shakespeare's mother, Mary Arden, certainly came from a...

Few details of Shakespeare's sexuality are known. At 18, he married the 26-year-old Anne Hathaway, who was pregnant. Susanna, the first of their three children, was born...

No written contemporary description of Shakespeare's physical appearance survives, and no evidence suggests...

Shakespeare's works include the 36 plays printed in the First Folio of 1623, listed according to their folio classification as comedies, histories and tragedies. Two plays not included in the First Folio, The Two...

In the late 19th century, Edward Dowden classified four of the late comedies as romances, and though many scholars...


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