William Shakespeare is one of the most notable poets and literary influencers of all time. Not only was he a poet, but he was also a playwright and actor. He was born in 1564 and his birthday is commonly celebrated on April 23. This is also believed to be the date that he died in 1616.
Surviving records note that William Shakespeare’s parents were named John and Mary. Together, they had eight children. His father, John, was an important figure in the town of Stratford by fulfilling civic positions. This elevated status meant that he was able to send William and his siblings to school.
When Shakespeare turned eighteen, he married Anne Hathaway who was twenty-six. This marriage was considerably rushed because Anne was already pregnant by the time of their wedding. Together they went on to have three children.
Altogether, in the span of his time being a playwright and poet, he made thirty-eight plays, two narrative poems, 154 sonnets, and a variety of other poems. No original manuscripts of his have been recovered. It is only attributed to Shakespeare’s company that any plays have survived through time. They collected them after his death and preserved them over time. These writings were brought together in what is known as the “First Folio.” this contained thirty-six of his plays, but none of his poetry.
William Shakespeare’s legacy is rich and diverse. His plays have spawned countless adaptations across many genres and cultures. He continues to be one of the most important literary figures of the English language.
For more on poetry, check out this article on Lord Byron.