The Complete Shakespeare Experience    



“The Bard of Avon”

Born 1564

Died 1616


illiam Shakespeare is considered by many people to be the best playwright (writer of stage plays) to have ever lived. He wrote nearly 40 plays in his lifetime which, even 400 years after he died, after still performed and studied in schools around the world.

Shakespeare was born in England, in a town called Stratford-upon-Avon, in England, about 100 miles from London. He had five younger brothers and sisters. His father made gloves and was the town’s mayor, a title which was then called the “bailiff.”

At 18-years-old, Shakespeare married Anne Hathaway, who was seven years old than he was and who lived in a town about 2 miles from Stratford. Not much is known about what type of work Shakespeare did before becoming involved with theater and acting, around age 25.

Shakespeare’s plays earned him a lot of money. He was able to become a part owner of the company that produced his plays and buy several large homes.

Playwright and Poet

We do know that by the time he was 28-years-old he was already working as a writer and actor in London. When a horrible disease, known as the black plague, began to make many people in England sick, the theaters were closed to stop the spread of the disease. During these years, Shakespeare turned to writing poems. He wrote 154 sonnets (a special type of short poem) and four longer poems. These poems are some of the best known and best-loved poems of all time.

Laughter and Tears

During the 20 years he worked as playwright, Shakespeare wrote 37 plays. They were either comedies, tragedies, or histories.

Tragedies tell the story of someone whose life takes a downward turn and they suffer as a result. Shakespeare’s best known tragedies are Hamlet, Macbeth, Romeo and Juliet. Comedies are funny plays and Shakespeare’s best known comedies are A Midsummer Night’s Dream, The Merchant of Venice, and The Taming of the Shrew. History plays tell some part of history as a drama imagined by the playwright. Henry IV, Henry V, Henry VI, and Richard II are some of Shakespeare’s history plays about English kings.

Beware the Curse!

Shakespeare had three children, Susanna, and twins, Hamnet and Judith. He died in Stratford near where he was born on April 23, 1616, and was buried in the churchyard there. His gravestone includes a warning that anyone who moves his bones after his death will be cursed throughout their life.

John Shakespeare’s house, thought to

be William Shakespeare’s birthplace.

Like Us


John Shakespeare’s house, thought to

be William Shakespeare’s birthplace.