William Shakespeare
William Shakespeare (baptised
In Christianity, baptism is for the majority the rite of admission , almost invariably with the use of water, into the Christian Church generally and also membership of a particular church tradition...

 26 April 1564; died 23 April 1616) was an English
English people
The English are a nation and ethnic group native to England, who speak English. The English identity is of early mediaeval origin, when they were known in Old English as the Anglecynn. England is now a country of the United Kingdom, and the majority of English people in England are British Citizens...

A poet is a person who writes poetry. A poet's work can be literal, meaning that his work is derived from a specific event, or metaphorical, meaning that his work can take on many meanings and forms. Poets have existed since antiquity, in nearly all languages, and have produced works that vary...

 and playwright
A playwright, also called a dramatist, is a person who writes plays.The term is not a variant spelling of "playwrite", but something quite distinct: the word wright is an archaic English term for a craftsman or builder...

, widely regarded as the greatest writer in the English language
English language
English is a West Germanic language that arose in the Anglo-Saxon kingdoms of England and spread into what was to become south-east Scotland under the influence of the Anglian medieval kingdom of Northumbria...

 and the world's pre-eminent dramatist. He is often called England's national poet and the "Bard of Avon". His surviving works, including some collaborations
Shakespeare's collaborations
Like most playwrights of his period, Shakespeare did not always write alone and a number of his plays are collaborative, or were revised after their original composition, although the exact number is open to debate...

, consist of about 38 plays
Shakespeare's plays
William Shakespeare's plays have the reputation of being among the greatest in the English language and in Western literature. Traditionally, the 37 plays are divided into the genres of tragedy, history, and comedy; they have been translated into every major living language, in addition to being...

, 154 sonnets
Shakespeare's sonnets
Shakespeare's sonnets are 154 poems in sonnet form written by William Shakespeare, dealing with themes such as the passage of time, love, beauty and mortality. All but two of the poems were first published in a 1609 quarto entitled SHAKE-SPEARES SONNETS.: Never before imprinted. Sonnets 138 and 144...

, two long narrative poems, and several other poems. His plays have been translated into every major living language and are performed more often than those of any other playwright.

Shakespeare was born and raised in Stratford-upon-Avon
Stratford-upon-Avon is a market town and civil parish in south Warwickshire, England. It lies on the River Avon, south east of Birmingham and south west of Warwick. It is the largest and most populous town of the District of Stratford-on-Avon, which uses the term "on" to indicate that it covers...


1582    In Stratford-upon-Avon, William Shakespeare and Anne Hathaway pay a £40 bond for their marriage license.

1597    William Shakespeare's ''The Merry Wives of Windsor'' is first performed, with Queen Elizabeth I in attendance.

1604    William Shakespeare's tragedy ''Othello'' is presented for the first time, at Whitehall Palace in London.

1978    Censorship: the People's Republic of China lifts a ban on works by Aristotle, Shakespeare and Dickens.


Time's glory is to command contending kings, To unmask falsehood, and bring truth to light.

wikisource:The_Rape_of_Lucrece|The Rape of Lucrece

On a day—alack the day!—Love, whose month is ever May,Spied a blossom passing fairPlaying in the wanton air

Sonnets to Sundry Notes of Music, II

Crabbed age and youth cannot live together:Youth is full of pleasure, age is full of care

The Passionate Pilgrim: A Madrigal

I gyve unto my wief my second best bed with the furniture (Modern spelling: I give unto my wife my second best bed with the furniture.)

wikisource:Shakespeare's last will and testament|Shakespeare's will

Good frend for Jesus sake forbeare/To digg the dust encloased heare/Blese be the man that spares these stones/And curst be he that moves my bones (Modern spelling: Good friend, for Jesus' sake forbear, to dig the dust enclosed here. Blessed be the man that spares these stones, And cursed be he that moves my bones.)

Shakespeare's epitaph