Heritage > Famous Britons

William Shakespeare

Born: 1564 Died: 1616

There can be no more famous English writer than the man we all know as the 'Bard of Avon'. William Shakespeare was born of quite humble stock in the turbulence of sixteenth century England. It is said that from little acorns mighty oaks grow and it is from such a modest beginning that Shakespeare became probably the world's most famous writer of plays, essays and also over 150 sonnets (14 line verses).
His plays are formulated in rhyming couplets with the essence of each line equally as confusing as it is crystal clear.

The theatre of sixteenth century England is a million miles away in terms of fashion and respectability that the modern Thespian enjoys. It says a great deal of Shakespeare's work, or at the very least his perseverance, that such jewels of English literature as 'Hamlet' and 'Macbeth', his longest and shortest works respectively incidentally, have survived to become standards of modern drama workshops.

His writing not only seems to enlighten the motivation, the soul if you will, of such esteemed characters as Lady Macbeth but to bring the very character to life for the reader or theatre-goer. Through his words we feel the loves, loathes, fears and desires of a wide range of characters from any number of works. So prolific was Shakespeare that there are those who claim that 'he' was more than one person, perhaps even another person entirely. As with any legend the rumours are as readily disproved as they are proved.

A native of Stratford-upon-Avon in the county of Warwickshire Shakespeare's memory provides a major percentage of the towns income. Ann Hathaway's Cottage, Anne being his wife and mother of his children, being the main focal point for visitors far and wide.

The recently resurrected Globe Theatre in Greenwich, South London, where Shakespeare's plays were performed in his lifetime, stands as testament to the affection and esteem in which his work is held to the present day.

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