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William Shakespeare Biography: Life, Education, Works & Achievements 

William Shakespeare is the most famous writer of all time, regardless of language or tradition. Whether or not you read literature, you are bound to read his work even in school. Apart from this, he is highly crucial for UGC NET as questions about his life, numerous works, and even events related to him are asked every year. However, although he is a famous writer, people don’t know much about his life and education. So, let’s deeply dive into William Shakespeare’s Biography, life, education, works, and other miscellaneous things.

UGC NET English Literature Notes

William Shakespeare’s Life (1564-1616)

Even though a great deal of information is known to us about his life, one thing to note is many of these facts are not concrete, and thus experts do not agree on many things. Plenty of facts are a fair estimation, like his birth date, his play being performed, and more. With that out of the way, let’s start with his birth date, experts believe he may have been born on April 23rd April. Coincidently, the 23rd of April 1616 is when Shakespeare died. However, from the church record, we learn that he was baptized on the 26th, 1564, in the parish church at Stratford-on Avon. This is why he is also known as Bard-of-Avon.

He married at the age of 18. A bond dated 28 November 1582, clearly states the evidence of Shakespeare’s marriage to  Anne Hathaway of Stratford. One fascinating piece of trivia is that the bride was 8 years older than Shakespeare. He had three children with her, a daughter named Susana and twins Hamnet and Judith.

William Shakespeare’s Life in Chronology
Date Event
1564 William Shakespeare is baptized in Stratford-upon-Avon, England.
1582 At the age of 18, Shakespeare marries Anne Hathaway, who is eight years older than him.
1583 The couple’s first child, Susanna, is born.
1585-1592 Referred to as Shakespeare’s Lost Years. Nothing concrete is known. During this phase, he began a successful career in London as an actor, writer, and part-owner of a playing company called the Lord Chamberlain’s Men.
1589-1613 Shakespeare produced most of his works.
1594 onwards Shakespeare’s plays were performed only by the Lord Chamberlain’s Men.
1597 He bought the second-largest house in Stratford.
1599 A partnership of company members built their own theater named Globe at the south bank of the River Thames.
1616 William Shakespeare dies in Stratford-upon-Avon at the age of 52 within a month of signing his will for unknown reasons. He is buried in the Holy Trinity Church in Stratford-upon-Avon.

William Shakespeare Education

Not much is known about his education and academic pursuits, if any, he was involved in. It is believed that early on, Shakespeare followed the occupation of a butcher, a glover, and a farmer, just like his father. It is widely accepted that he attended the grammar school of the town, of Stratford, where he would have been taught Latin, rhetoric, and classical literature. His contemporary and great scholar, Ben Jonson, confirms that Shakespeare knew “small Latin and less Greek.” Barring these facts, there is hardly any concrete evidence of any other educational pursuit of Shakespeare.

William Shakespeare Works

William Shakespeare wrote most of his work during the period of 1592-1611. During this phase, he wrote comedies, historical plays, and great tragedies. However, he also wrote two long narrative poems, namely “Venus and Adonis” (1593) and “The Rape of Lucrece” (1594). In 1609, a collection of Shakespeare’s sonnets was printed by Thomas Thorpe, who dedicated the volume to a certain “Mr W.H.” as being  “the online begetter” of the sonnets. The identity of Mr W.H. is not known. Given all the manuscripts of the plays have perished, the order of the play is an estimation based on various evidences of when the play was performed among other things. With that in mind, let’s look at the order of his plays.

William Shakespeare’s Works in Chronology
Dates of Play Works
1591-1592 Henry VI Part 1
Henry VI Part 2
Henry VI Part 3
1593 Richard III
The Comedy of Errors
1594 Titus Andronicus
The Taming of the Shrew
Love’s Labour’s Lost
Romeo and Juliet
1595 A Midsummer Night’s Dream
The Two Gentlemen of Verona
King John
1596 Richard II
The Merchant of Venice
1597 Henry IV Part 1
1598 Henry IV Part 2
Much Ado About Noting
1599 Henry V
Julius Caesar
1600 The Merry Wives of Windsor
As You Like It
1601 Hamlet
Twelfth Night
1602 Troilus and Cressida
All’s Well That Ends Well
1604 Measure of Measure
1605 Macbeth
King Lear
1606 Antony and Cleopatra
1607 Timon of Athens (unfinished)
1608 Pericles
1609 Cymbeline
1610 The Winter’s Tale
1611 The Tempest
1613 Henry VIII (in part)


William Shakespeare’s Achievements and Influence

William Shakespeare’s achievements and influence in the world of literature and the arts are immeasurable. As a playwright, he wrote some of the most iconic and enduring works in the English language, including “Romeo and Juliet,” “Hamlet,” and “Macbeth,” exploring themes of love, ambition, and the human condition with unmatched depth and complexity.

His innovative use of language, including the invention of new words and phrases, enriched the English vocabulary. Shakespeare’s influence extends beyond literature into theater, as his plays continue to be performed globally, shaping the way we understand and appreciate drama. Moreover, his profound insights into human nature and society remain relevant, making him a timeless source of inspiration for writers, artists, and thinkers across generations.

William Shakespeare Death

In the early 17th century, Shakespeare retired to his hometown of Stratford, where he invested in real estate and became a respected figure in the community. He died on April 23, 1616, at the age of 52. The cause of his death remains unknown, though some theories suggest it may have been related to illness. Shakespeare’s legacy endures today, and his works continue to captivate audiences, inspire writers, and leave a profound impact on the world of literature and the performing arts.

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When was William Shakespeare born?

William Shakespeare was baptized on April 26, 1564, in Stratford-upon-Avon, England. His exact birth date is not known, but it is believed to be a few days before his baptism.

Who did Shakespeare marry, and how many children did he have?

Shakespeare married Anne Hathaway when he was 18 years old. They had three children: Susanna and twins Judith and Hamnet.

What is known about Shakespeare's education?

Shakespeare likely attended the grammar school in Stratford-upon-Avon, where he would have been taught Latin, rhetoric, and classical literature. There is little concrete evidence of any other formal education.

How many plays did Shakespeare write, and what are some of his famous works?

Shakespeare wrote approximately 39 plays. Some of his famous works include "Hamlet," "Romeo and Juliet," "Macbeth," "Othello," "A Midsummer Night's Dream," and "Julius Caesar."

When did Shakespeare die, and where is he buried?

William Shakespeare died on April 23, 1616, in Stratford-upon-Avon at the age of 52. He was buried in the Holy Trinity Church in Stratford-upon-Avon.

What is Shakespeare's contribution to the English language?

Shakespeare's works have contributed numerous words and phrases to the English language, enriching its vocabulary and expressions.

How did Shakespeare's works influence literature and drama?

Shakespeare's plays explored a wide range of human emotions and themes, creating complex characters and enduring stories. His works have had a profound influence on literature and drama, inspiring countless writers and playwrights.

About the Author

I'm a content writer at Adda247, specializing in blog writing for National and State Level Competitive Government Exams for the Teaching Vertical. I research and curate genuine information to create engaging and authenticate articles. My goal is to provide valuable resources for aspiring candidates while promoting Adda247's mission.

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