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William Shakespeare

William Shakespeare

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Published by: Atul Khari on Feb 27, 2011
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William Shakespeare
From Wikipedia, the free encyclopediaJump to:navigation, search  This article is about the poet and playwright. For other persons of the same name, seeWilliam Shakespeare (disambiguation).For other uses of "Shakespeare", see Shakespeare (disambiguation).
William Shakespeare
 
, artist and authenticity unconfirmed.National Portrait Gallery, London.
Born
Baptised 26 April 1564 (birth dateunknown)Stratford-upon-Avon
 
Died
23 April 1616 (aged 52)Stratford-upon-Avon
 
Occupation
Literarymovement
Spouse(s)
Anne Hathaway(m. 1582–1616)
Children
 
Signature
William Shakespeare
(baptised26 April 1564; died 23 April 1616)
was an English  poetandplaywright, widely regarded as the greatest writer in theEnglish language and the world's pre-eminent dramatist.
 He is often called England'snational poetand the "Bard of Avon".
His surviving works, including somecollaborations, consist of about 38plays,
154sonnets, two longnarrative poems, and several other poems. His plays have been translated into every major living language and are performed moreoften than those of any other playwright.
Shakespeare was born and raised inStratford-upon-Avon.At the age of 18, he married Anne Hathaway, with whom he had three children:Susanna,and twins Hamnetand Judith. Between 1585 and 1592, he began a successful career inLondon as an actor, writer, and part owner of aplaying companycalled theLord Chamberlain's Men, later  known as theKing's Men. He appears to have retired to Stratford around 1613, where hedied three years later. Few records of Shakespeare's private life survive, and there hasbeen considerable speculation about such matters as hisphysical appearance,sexuality,  religious beliefs, and whether the works attributed to him werewritten by others.
Shakespeare produced most of his known work between 1589 and 1613.
His earlyplays were mainlycomedies and histories,genres he raised to the peak of sophistication and artistry by the end of the 16th century. He then wrote mainly tragediesuntil about 1608, including 
,
, and
, considered some of the finest works inthe English language. In his last phase, he wrotetragicomedies, also known as romances,and collaborated with other playwrights.Many of his plays were published in editions of varying quality and accuracy during hislifetime. In 1623, two of his former theatrical colleagues published the First Folio, a collected edition of his dramatic works that included all but two of the plays nowrecognised as Shakespeare's.Shakespeare was a respected poet and playwright in his own day, but his reputation didnot rise to its present heights until the 19th century. TheRomantics, in particular,acclaimed Shakespeare's genius, and theVictoriansworshipped Shakespeare with areverence that George Bernard Shaw called "bardolatry".
In the 20th century, his work was repeatedly adopted and rediscovered by new movements in scholarship andperformance. His plays remain highly popular today and are constantly studied,performed and reinterpreted in diverse cultural and political contexts throughout theworld.
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Life
Main article:Shakespeare's life
Early life
William Shakespeare was the son of John Shakespeare, a successful glover  and alderman originally fromSnitterfield, and Mary Arden, the daughter of an affluent landowning farmer.
He was born in Stratford-upon-Avon and baptised there on 26 April 1564. Hisactual birthdate remains unknown, but is traditionally observed on 23 April, St George'sDay.
This date, which can be traced back to an 18th-century scholar's mistake, hasproved appealing to biographers, since Shakespeare died 23 April 1616.
He was thethird child of eight and the eldest surviving son.

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