William Shakespeare

April 26, 1564-April 23, 1616
Stratford-upon-Avon, United Kingdom

William Shakespeare was born and brought up in Stratford-upon-Avon. He was probably educated at the King's New School in Stratford. At 18 years, he married Anne Hathaway and had three children: Susanna, and twins Hamnet and Judith. He died at 49 years on April 23, 1616. Few records of Shakespeare's private life survive, and there has been considerable speculation about such manners as his physical appearance, and religious beliefs.

Shakespeare produced most of his known work between 1589 and 1613. His early plays were mostly comedies and histories. In his last phase, he wrote tragicomedies or romances, and collaborated with other playwrights. He is often called England's National Poet and the "Bard of Avon." He wrote 38 plays, 154, sonnets, two long narrative poems, and a few other verses.

Sample Poem:

Blow, Blow, Thou Winter Wind

Blow, blow, thou winter wind,  

Thou art not so unkind   

  As man’s ingratitude;

 Thy tooth is not so keen,

Because thou art not seen,    

 Although thy breath be rude.

Heigh-ho! sing, heigh-ho! unto the green holly:

Most friendship is feigning,most loving mere folly:

  Then, heigh-ho, the holly!

This life is most jolly.

  Freeze, freeze, thou bitter sky,

  That dost not bite so nigh   

  As benefits forgot:

 Though thou the waters warp,

    Thy sting is not so sharp    

 As friend remembered not.

Heigh-ho! sing, heigh-ho! unto the green holly...