For centuries people have been fascinated by the works of William Shakespeare. His comedies, histories, tragedies and poems have been translated into every major language and are still entertaining people today, almost four centuries after his death.
Considered to be the greatest poet and playwright of the English language, William Shakespeare was born in a small market town called Stratford-upon-Avon in England. For this reason, he is commonly known as the “Bard of Avon”. His actual birth date is unknown, but most researchers agree that he was born on April 26th, 1564. As a young boy, he studied in the local grammar school where it believed he had to study Latin texts as was typical in all grammar schools of the time. He however did not go to any university.
Around the age of eighteen, Shakespeare’s girlfriend Anne Hathaway, who was eight years senior to him, got pregnant and so they married in 1582. Within six months she gave birth to their first daughter and the following year she gave birth to twins. One of the twins, his son Hamnet, died suddenly.
To seek his fortune, Shakespeare went to London and started acting. Most of the plays he acted in were his own creation. One of Shakespeare’s first plays was a trilogy about the king Henry VI. At his peak, he was authoring two plays a year. By 1597, he had completed 15 of the 37 plays he wrote, including his most famous play,’ Romeo and Juliet’.
Shakespeare was part of the theatre group called ‘the Lord Chamberlain’s Men’. They changed its name to ‘the King’s men’ when King James became their patron. This was very unique honour bestowed to them and they performed many times for the royal court. Shakespeare also acquired partnership deeds to the largest amphitheatre of the time called ‘The Globe’. It has been re-built and even today hosts many plays in London.
Shakespeare’s plays are categorised into historical plays like ‘Henry V’, tragedies like ‘Hamlet’ and comedies like ‘As You Like it’. During his free time, when the theatres were closed he wrote poems like ‘A Lover’s Complaint’ and ‘The Rape of Lucrece’. In addition, he wrote nearly 150 sonnets.
Shakespeare is credited with inventing the concept of the tragic romance. He is responsible for shaping the English language and giving it more than 3000 words. He has inspired many authors and artists over the centuries. His deep insight into human conditions makes his works relevant even today. A poet, playwright and wordsmith, William Shakespeare is widely considered the most influential author in human civilization. So treat yourself to something special and enjoy the works of one of the greatest ever writers.