1564 - 1616

English writer


Shakespeare was known as the greatest dramatist and finest poet who has written in the English language.


Shakespeare was born April 23, 1564, in Stratford-on-Avon.

William's mother's name was Mary Arden. She came from a very wealthy family. Mary had eight children.

William went to Stratford Grammar School where he got all his formal education. At age seven, Shakespeare studied classics in Greek and Latin.

In 1568, Shakespeare's father was elected Bailiff, (mayor) the highest civic honor that a Stratford resident could receive.

In November, 1582, Shakespeare married Ann Hathaway. Shakespeare married at age 18; Ann married at age 28. On May 26, 1583, Ann gave birth to their first daughter, Susanna. In 1585 a set of twins was born, Judith and Hamnet. Hamnet died at age 11 in 1596. No evidence was found of Shakespeare between the years of 1585-1592. These years were called "The Hidden Years."

Shakespeare left London in 1611 and retired.

William made his will on March 25, 1616, and died at the age of 52, on April 23, 1616, his birthday. The cause of his death is unknown.


From 1594-1608 Shakespeare worked for the London Theatre World. Some plays he wrote were Hamlet, Julius Caesar, Richard the Third, and Romeo and Juilliette. These plays were all tragedies. He also wrote A Midsummer Night's Dream, which was a comedy.

In 1609 Shakespeare's 154 sonnets were published. Shakespeare had the most magnificent sonnets. 126 sonnets were to a young noble man. Another 26 concentrated on a woman. After his death in 1623, Shakespeare's first folio was published, by his friends. The folio included 154 sonnets, 37 plays and 2 long poems. Another sonnet was "The Phoenix and the Turtle.''

Shakespeare also wrote narrative poems including "Adonis and Venus" and "The Rape of Lucrece."

Shakespeare also changed and invented words. He made up spelling and a very lyrical language. His invented vocabulary is still being used today.


Shakespeare had great influence on culture throughout the world. His writing is still studied today. Shakespeare influenced literature and is looked up to for his great works. His plays are still being produced today, and made into movies.

The Global Theater is where most of Shakespeare's plays took place


1. [http:/168.216.18/projects/shakesp./shakesp.htm]. "William Shakespeare."

2. Plowden, Alison. Elizabethan England. London, The Readers Digest Association Limited, 1982, pp. 160-161.

3. Wadsworth, Frank W. "William Shakespeare." World Book Encyclopedia, 1983 ed., vol. 17, pp. 268-295.

This page was prepared by Meghan and Angela, Grade 8, Riverdale Junior Secondary School.