Beinecke Rare Book & Manuscript Library

Beinecke Digital Collections

William Shakespeare

William Shakespeare (bapt. 26 April 1564 – 23 April 1616)}} was an English poet, playwright and actor, widely regarded as the greatest writer in the English language and the world's greatest dramatist. He is often called England's national poet and the "Bard of Avon".}} His extant works, including collaborations, consist of approximately 39 plays, 154 sonnets, two long narrative poems, and a few other verses, some of uncertain authorship. 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, Warwickshire. At the age of 18, he married Anne Hathaway, with whom he had three children: Susanna and twins Hamnet and Judith. Sometime between 1585 and 1592, he began a successful career in London as an actor, writer, and part-owner of a playing company called the Lord Chamberlain's Men, later known as the King's Men. At age 49 (around 1613), he appears to have retired to Stratford, where he died three years later. Few records of Shakespeare's private life survive; this has stimulated considerable speculation about such matters as his physical appearance, his sexuality, his religious beliefs, and whether the works attributed to him were written by others. Such theories are often criticised for failing to adequately note that few records survive of most commoners of the period.

Shakespeare produced most of his known works between 1589 and 1613. His early plays were primarily comedies and histories and are regarded as some of the best work produced in these genres. Until about 1608, he wrote mainly tragedies, among them ''Hamlet'', ''Othello'', ''King Lear'', and ''Macbeth'', all considered to be among the finest works in the English language. In the last phase of his life, he wrote tragicomedies (also known as Provided by Wikipedia
Showing 1 - 16 of 166 for search: 'Shakespeare, William, 1564-1616', query time: 0.36s
View: List list Grid grid

Help

Expand Your Search

Search our local catalog, finding aids, and more.


Need assistance?

Ask a librarian.