familytree.gifWilliam Shakespeare Biography

Some Facts:

William Shakespeare
William Shakespeare

  • William Shakespeare playwright and actor, was born in Stratford-upon-Avon, England in 1564- his exact date of birth is unknown.However, there is a record of his baptism on 26th April that year. He died on 23rd April 1616. He became an established actor in London in 1585-1592.
  • He was married to Anne Hathaway, who was about 8 years older than him. This was during the lost years (1578-82).
  • Shakespeare died in 1616 at age 52.
  • Shake speare wrote 152 sonnets/poems and 37 plays
  • Shakespeare had 3 children: Susanna (born in May of 1583), Hamnet (died at age 11), and Judith
  • There are rumors that he may have bisexual, however because we cannot ask him, this theory will stay a rumor.
  • Shakespeare was born in the sixth year of Queen Elizabeth the first
  • Shakespeare died in the 13th year of King James' reign(1616).
  • Shakespeare had 3 children: Susanna Hamnet (died at age 11), and Judith
  • Shakespeare was born in Stratford, England
  • Wrote his plays in quarto texts.
  • First Folio first collection of 36 plays, playbooks, transcriptions, and memories of actors.
  • William Shakespeare was born on April 23 and died on April 23, evidence indicates.
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  • Shakespeare's name may have meant "Shaker of Spears," indicating warrior ancestry.
  • Boys and men played all the parts in Shakespeare's plays in Elizabethan times.
  • Dictionaries as we know them today were not available in Shakespeare's time.
  • He was and english poet and playwright
  • His work made a lasting impression on the theater and literature
  • He had many different plays and types of writing
  • Shakespeare had his own theater group, so all of his perfomences were done by that group in the same place
Other Info.
  • Shakespeare attended the Christian Holy Trinity Church and donated £440 in order to help with its upkeep.
  • Because of his generosity, Shakespeare was buried in the chancel
  • When Shakespeare was 11, he may have attended the grammar school of Stratford. There he would have studied theater, acting, Latin, literature and history
  • For a time after, it is said that Shakespeare and his father apprenticed
  • At the age of 18, Shakespeare and Anne Hathaway married in the village of Temple Grafton
  • One of his first known written works was Venus and Adonis (1593). It was dedicated his patron Henry Wriothesly, who was the third earl of Southampton, a man "some say Shakespeare may have had more than platonic affection for"(online-lit.).
  • Only a select few of Shakespeare's works were printed in his lifetime. They became increasingly popular and famous after his death.
  • On his tombstone it is inscribed: Good friend for Jesus sake forbeare/ To digg the dust encloased heare/ Blessed by y man y spares hes stones/ And curst be he y moves my bones
  • Anne Hathaway was buried beside him after her death in 1623


-King Henry IV, Part 1
-King Henry IV, Part 2
-King Henry V
-King Henry VI, Part 1
-King Henry VI, Part 2
-King Henry VI, Part 3
-King Henry VIII
-King John
-Richard II
-Richard III

-Antony and Cleopatra
-Julius Caesar
-King Lear
-Romeo and Juliet
-Timon of Athens
-Titus Andronicus

-Alls Well That Ends Well
-As You Like It
-Comedy of Errors
-Love's Labour's Lost
-Measure for Measure
-Merchant of Venice
-Merry Wives of Windsor
-Midsummer Nights Dream
-Much Ado About Nothing
-Pericles, Prince of Tyre
-Taming of the Shrew
-The Tempest
-Troilus and Cressida
-Twelfth Night
-Two Gentlemen of Verona
-Winter's Tale



Shakespeare also wrote poems, sonnets in particular, along with plays, by the end of his life he had written 154 sonnets. Of all of his sonnets there are three main divisions among what he wrote about. They were,
  • Sonnets 1-126, which deal with a young, unnamed lord.
  • Sonnets 127-152, which deal with the poet's relationship to a mysterious mistress.
  • Sonnets 153-154, which seem to be poetic exercises dedicated to Cupid

Shakespeare began writing sonnets over any other form of poetry because when he first started writing it was arguably the most popular form.

To see all of Shakespeare's Sonnets click here

Work Cited: