William Shakespeare

William Shakespeare

William Shakespeare (Apr 26 1564 – Apr 23 1616) was an English writer of poetry and plays, widely considered one of the greatest English writers ever, and is likely the greatest playwright in all of western history.

About William Shakespeare

Shakespeare was raised in Stratford-upon-Avon. He began acting and writing as a young man, as the theater as we know it was just being developed. Previously, there were traveling troupes of actors doing short productions, but large permanent theaters were just coming into vogue. The public began to demand fresh new plays weekly, and Shakespeare and a handful of other writers suddenly found a huge demand for their skills.

While many great writers were working, Shakespeare quickly rose through the ranks (possibly helped by the fact that he was a part owner in one of the more popular theaters). Many of his plays have been lost to time, but the remaining work includes about 38 plays, and 154 sonnets. While most people have heard the names of at least some of his great works, few realize the impact his writing has had on western culture.

The epic tragedy King Lear, for example has been adapted into both novels and graphic novels, and dozens of film versions exist. Shakespeare's Hamlet is the second most filmed and adapted story in western literary history: Disney's 'The Lion King' and the TV show 'Sons of Anarchy' are both direct adaptions of Hamlet.

While history is full of writers and playwrights who have achieved great fame and success, William Shakespeare is one of very few who is literally in a class of his own.

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