William Shakespeare

April 23, 1564 - April 23, 1616

Born on April 23, 1564 at Stratford-on-Avon, William Shakespeare is known as one of the most famous poets to have ever lived. He was born to John Shakespeare and Mary Arden. He had two older sisters, Joan and Judith, and three younger brothers, Gilbert, Richard and Edmund. Shakespeare was probably educated at the King Edward IV Grammar School in Stratford, where he learned Latin, Greek, and read the Roman Dramatists. He married Anne Hathaway, who was seven or eight years older, and raised two daughters: Susanna and Judith.

Shakespeare wrote many sonnets, but they weren't published until 1609. The Sonnets of Shakespeare consisted of 154 sonnets, composed of three quatrains and a couplet which would later be recognized as Shakespearean. He also wrote plays, of which include the famous Romeo and Juliet, Hamlet, and Macbeth. However, because of his modest backgrounds, some scholars were skeptical of his playwriting skills. The majority of Shakespearean scholars agree that Shakespeare did indeed write his own plays. His dramatic genius was not discovered until the 19th century, and his plays are still appreciated even today.

Sonnet 18

Shall I compare thee to a summer's day?
Thou art more lovely and more temperate.
Rough winds do shake the darling buds of May,
And summer's lease hath all too short a date.
Sometime too hot the eye of heaven shines,
And often is his gold complexion dimmed;
And every fair from fair sometime declines,
By chance, or nature's changing course, untrimmed;
But thy eternal summer shall not fade,
Nor lose possession of that fair thou ow'st,
Nor shall death brag thou wand'rest in his shade,
When in eternal lines to Time thou grow'st.
So long as men can breathe, or eyes can see,
So long lives this, and this gives life to thee.