William Shakespeare Synopsis Breviate
William Shakespeare, English playwright and poet, is widely regarded as the greatest writer in the English language and the world’s preeminent dramatist. An authoritative account of Shakespeare's life does not exist, but it is commonly accepted that he was born in 1564, and it is known that he was baptized in Stratford-upon-Avon. At the age of 18 he married Anne Hathaway, who bore him three children. Between 1585 and 1592 he began a successful career in London as an actor, writer, and part-owner of the theater company, the Lord Chamberlain's Men, later known as the King's Men. Shakespeare produced most of his known work between 1590 and 1613. His early plays were largely comedies and histories. Next he wrote mainly tragedies until about 1608, producing plays such as Hamlet, King Lear, and Macbeth, considered some of the finest in the English language. In his last phase, he wrote tragicomedies and collaborated with other playwrights. He appears to have retired to Stratford around 1613, where he died three years later. Shakespeare was a respected poet and playwright in his own day, but his reputation did not rise to its present heights until the nineteenth century. The Romantics, in particular, acclaimed Shakespeare's genius, and the Victorians hero-worshipped him. In the twentieth century, his work was repeatedly adopted and rediscovered by new movements in scholarship and performance. His plays remain highly popular today, consistently performed and reinterpreted in diverse cultural and political contexts throughout the world. His surviving works consist of 38 plays,154 sonnets, two long narrative poems, and several other poems. His plays have been translated into every major language and are performed more often than those of any other playwright.