Facts about William Shakespeare
William Shakespeare Biography
William Shakespeare is the grand literary figure of the Western world. During England’s Elizabethan period he wrote Romeo and Juliet, Hamlet, MacBeth, and dozens of other plays which continue to dominate world theater more than 400 years later.
Shakespeare handled high drama, romance and slapstick comedy with equal ease, and so famous are his words that his quotes, from “To be or not to be” to “Parting is such sweet sorrow,” take up more than 70 pages in recent print editions of Bartlett’s Familiar Quotations. His works rival the King James Bible (also produced in the 1600s) as a source of the most oft-quoted English phrases.
Shakespeare is known as “the Bard of Avon,” in a nod to his birthplace, and many of his plays were originally performed in the famous Globe Theater in London. Among his other best-known plays are the magical adventures The Tempest and A Midsummer Night’s Dream, the tragedies King Lear and Othello, and the comedies The Taming of the Shrew and Twelfth Night. He is also known for his poetry, especially his sonnets.
So mighty was William Shakespeare’s output that some scholars insist another, greater mind must have written some or all of his plays. Sir Francis Bacon, Christopher Marlowe and Edward de Vere have all been candidates. But this theory has never been proved… William Shakespeare married Anne Hathaway in 1582. Their daughter Susannah was born in 1583, and the twins Judith and Hamnet were born in 1585. Hamnet died in 1596… William Shakespeare’s precise date of birth and date of death are not known. He was baptized on April 26, 1564, and over time April 23 has become the accepted date of birth. Similarly, his funeral was known to have been held on April 25, 1616, and April 23rd is the best guess of his actual death date.