William Shakespeare was the most remembered and famous playwright of all times. His work is commonly assigned to all levels of educational assignments from grade school through journalism doctorate. His 37 plays and 157 sonnets are the cornerstone of all English literature, and still quoted in conversations all over the globe. It seems only fitting that his own ancient but renowned theatre was called the Globe in premonition of his long lasting and world wide fame
William Shakespeare, the most famous playwright, poet and actor to ever live, was born in April, 1564. lived in the era of the Black Plague, and other devastating pestilence and disease. Shakespeare grew up in Stratford on Henley Street which is about one hundred miles northwest of London. He lived with his Father, John Shakespeare, his mother Mary Arden Shakespeare, and his seven siblings, Joan, Margaret, Gilbert, Richard, Edmund, the younger Joan, and Anne. Joan, Margaret, and Anne died in childhood.
At age 15, William Shakespeare purchased the second largest house in Stratford probably with his own earnings. William married 26 year old Anne Hathaway, when he was 18 years old. They had 3 children, Susanna, Hamnet and Judith. Hamnet and Judeth were twins, Hamnet died at age 11. Anne lived in the house at Stratford and rarely left home. William however found it more convenient to live in London at times, from around 1601. He invested substantially in real estate in Stratford, both land and rental properties, and was thought of as a businessman in Stratford.
Shakespeare wrote 37 plays and 154 sonnets in his lifetime, many when he was very young. By the year 1597, 15 of his 37 plays were already being performed. Shakespeare worked at the Globe Theatre directing and coaching his own plays, as well as spending countless hours writing all those plays and sonnets, yet he still found time to be active at the Christian Holy Trinity Church where he was a lay rector, and took an active interest in community and local business affairs. Shakespeare died April 23rd 1616
- William Shakespeare Biography: Absolute Shakespeare offers a biography, quotes and essays, as well as information about his plays, sonnets, and poems.
- Shakespeare Biography at AbsoluteShakespeare.com: A Well Designed site, offering extensive biographical information on the great bard.
- Shakespeare’s Life-Folger Shakespeare Library: A collection of biographical links presented in chronological order.
- William Shakespeare Biography: Includes a detailed critical essay concerning Shakespeare’s life and times.
- William Shakespeare Biography – William Shakespeare Childhood, Life & Timeline: A concise account of Shakespeare’s life.
William Shakespeare’s plays are commonly divided by genre’. Ten tragedies, 17 comedies, seven histories, 157 sonnets and three long poems are to his credit. These works have all been extensively studied and copied more than any other body of literature in history. Among the best known and widely appreciated are his tragedies, many of which also document historical figures, such as Julius Caesar, and Anthony and Cleopatra. Even the fictional tragedy characters seem to have such realism that it seems unlikely that they did not live at some time and place.
The wit of his comedies is not lost on modern audiences, and they are widely enjoyed by all readers. Another note to his credit is his use of iambic pentameter. By using a rhythm to the words, rather than rhyming his work is infinitely more translatable. Any word for word translation would reflect his poetry as well as the original English so that his poetry does translate well into other languages. Shakespeare is one of the greatest and most timeless writers. The works of Shakespeare have endured for centuries, and will live on for many centuries to come.
- Romeo and Juliet – List of Scenes: Entire work online listed in order of scenes presented.
- Shakespeare’s Comedy vs. Tragedy: Studies the commonalities between Romeo and Juliet and A Midsummer Night’s Dream.
- Othello: Entire work with a drop-down list of scenes.
- Hamlet – List of Scenes: Entire work online listed in order of scenes presented.
- The Tragedy of King Lear by William Shakespeare – Read Online – The Literature Page: Entire work online listed in order of scenes presented
- Macbeth Plugged: A complete, on-line version of the Shakespearean tragedy.
- Titus Andronicus – Entire Play: Online version of the entire tragedy.
- Timon of Athens – List of Scenes: Entire work online listed in order of scenes presented.
- Coriolanus – List of Scenes: Entire work online listed in order of scenes presented.
- Antony and Cleopatra – List of Scenes: Entire work online listed in order of scenes presented.
- The Life and Times of Julius Caesar – List of Scenes: Entire work online listed in order of scenes presented.
- All’s Well That Ends Well – Entire Play: Read the original play and enjoy. It’s a story of intrigue and love, with countesses, kings and clowns.
- As You Like It – Entire Play: Romance and a study of what is true, honest and important in life and love.
- The Comedy of Errors – Folger Shakespeare Library: A synopsis style article of this great comedy by the bard.
- Cymbeline: Enjoy reading the entire play on line.
- Love’s Labor’s Lost: Includes a complete summary of each scene.
- Complete Text of Measure for Measure: Follow the links to each scene, as you make your way through this fascinating story.
- The Merry Wives of Windsor – Shakespeare in Quarto: A historical reference about the writing, publication and performance of the play, with theories of possible real life inspiration for the subject, followed by a synopsis of the play
- Merchant of Venice (complete text) Open Source Shakespeare: Enjoy reading the full text of this classic play.
- Midsummer Night’s Dream – The Play: One of the more famous of the Shakespearian comedies.
- Much Ado About Nothing – Entire Play: The entire play is available for your reading pleasure.
- Full Text of “Pericles Prince of Tyre”: The story of the Pericles is recounted in this story.
- The Taming of the Shrew: The entire play including the explanation of the characters is available from this site.
- Full Text of “The Tempest”: Read the full version of this classic work on line.
- Troilus and Cressida (complete text) Open Source Shakespeare: Read this less commonly discussed play by William Shakespeare.
- Twelfth Night – Entire Play: A rare look into the mind of William Shakespeare, and a tale you must read.
- The Two Gentlemen of Verona: A faithful e-text version of this play made available by the University of Virginia Library.
- The Winter’s Tale by William Shakespeare – Project Gutenberg: Project Gutenberg is an excellent resource for e-books. You may read on line or download this book. Use the sidebar for access to more books.
- Henry IV, part 1 – List of Scenes: The complete text of this play is online here for your reading pleasure.
- The Life of King Henry the Fifth at Absolute Shakespeare: A brief synopsis followed by links to the entire play. Other plays by Shakespeare are also available on this site, if you prefer the layout.
- Full text of “Shakespeare’s Tragedy of King Richard the Third”: The full text with notes.
- The Life and Death of King John: Enjoy the full text, of the history of King John by Shakespeare.
- The Famous History of the Life of King Henry the Eighth at Absolute Shakespeare: A background of the story followed by the full text of the play.
- The Life and Death of Richard the Second / William Shakespeare: An e-book featuring full text of Shakespeare’s account of Richard the Second.
- The Sonnets: Links to read each one of Shakespeare’s sonnets on line.
- A Lover’s Complaint: The entire poem with a modern English translation is available on this site.
- The Rape of Lucrece – Open Source Shakespeare: A compete text on line edition of this long poem, and links to the other poems and more information on Shakespeare on this site.
- The Full Text of VENUS AND ADONIS” with Guide: This award winning guide offers a complete full text version of the poem, and many useful resources on the subject of Shakespeare.
- A Funeral Elegy for Master William Peter: The complete text of Shakespeare’s stirring elegy.
- The Passionate Pilgrim: The full text of Passionate Pilgrim is available on this page.
- The Full Text of The Phoenix and the Turtle: Read the full text of William Shakespeare’s poem on line.
- Oregon Shakespeare Festival: Details and information on attending the Oregon Shakespeare Festival.
- Welcome to the Utah Shakespeare Festival: An invitation to the 50th anniversary Utah Shakespeare Festival.
- The Old Globe: This modern day theater in California, honors Shakespeare with an annual Shakespeare festival.
- Shakespeare’s Globe: See this faithful reproduction of the original Globe, Located in London.