William Shakespeare – great playwright
William Shakespeare is considered to be the greatest playwright in the English language and one of the most beloved playwrights in the world. His plays never grow old. He wrote 37 plays and many poems.
Very little is known about his personality and some people doubt that he had ever written anything at all – there must have been some other author, they argue.
Shakespeare was born in 1564 in Stratford-upon-Avon, England and was baptized on 26 April. He had three younger brothers and two younger sisters. His father was a glove maker who later became the mayor of Stratford. His mother was the daughter of a well-to-do local landowner.
At the age of 18 Shakespeare married Anne Hathaway, daughter of a farmer. The couple had a daughter the following year and twins in 1585.
In his late 20s, Shakespeare went to London. He joined a theater troupe and began to write plays.
In 1592, black plague devastated the city. Officials closed the theaters and other public places to stop its spread. Shakespeare then turned to writing poetry. Two years later London’s theaters reopened. By then Shakespeare had joined an acting group called Lord Chamberlain’s Men, who often presented plays for royalty.
Shakespeare’s poetry was published before his plays, with two poems appearing in 1593 and 1594, dedicated to his patron Henry Wriothesley, Earl of Southampton.
Shakespeare wrote 37 plays – tragedies, comedies, and histories. His most famous tragedies include Hamlet, King Lear, and Macbeth; comedies include A Midsummer Night’s Dream, As You Like It, and The Taming of the Shrew; histories including Henry IV and Richard II.
In about 1610 Shakespeare retired from the theater and returned to his hometown.
He died on April 23, 1616 and was buried in Holy Trinity Church in Stratford. He was 52 years old.
The first collected edition of his works was published in 1623 and is known as The First Folio.
Shakespeare had a perfect memory: he perfectly knew not only English history, but the most important processes in the European countries, ancient philosophy, law, navigation, diplomacy, medicine, knew several foreign languages, including Latin, Greek, French, Italian and Spanish.
Shakespeare’s will is the only handwritten document preserved to our days.