William Shakespeare (1564â1616), English playwright, poet and writer. Shakespeare is considered the greatest writer of the English language. His work has been translated into every major language and his plays are performed worldwide. He wrote 38 plays, 154 sonnets, 2 long narrative poems and a number of other poems. He was born in Stratford-on-Avon in 1564 and married Anne Hathaway when he was 18. He was a successful actor and playwright in London and part-owner of the playing company The Chamberlain's Men, later known as The King's Men. He retired to Stratford in 1613. This woodcut dates from 1880.
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