William Shakespeare

William Shakespeare (1564-1616) was an English poet and playwright. He was born in Stratford-on-Avon and had a successful career as an actor and playwright in London where he was also the owner of a theatre company known first as The Lord Chamberlain’s Men, and later as The King’s Men. He wrote about 38 plays: comedies, tragedies and history plays based on English history as well as a number of plays about classical characters. He wrote 154 sonnets which are also famous and popular. We do not know many details concerning Shakespeare’s life. Also, there is some uncertainty as to the authorship of some of the plays. Shakespeare’s most famous plays are: Tragedies: Romeo and Juliet, Hamlet, Othello, King Lear, Macbeth; comedies: A Midsummer Night’s Dream, Much Ado About Nothing, Twelfth Night; history plays: Richard II, Henry IV 1-2, Henry V, Richard III. Some of the plays were published during Shakespeare’s lifetime, but in 1623 the so-called First Folio was published. This is a collection of most of Shakespeare’s dramatic work. His sonnets were published in 1599. Shakespeare’s plays remain popular today and are performed and read all over the world.