William Shakespeare (/ ˈʃɛkspir /, in English / ˈʃeɪkspɪər /; Stratford-upon-Avon, April 23, 1564 - Stratford-upon-Avon, April 23, 1616) was an English playwright and poet, regarded as the foremost English writer and generally regarded as the most eminent playwright of Western culture.
He is considered the most representative poet of the English people and nicknamed the "Bard of the Avon" (or simply "The Bard") or the "Swan of the Avon"; of his works have been found, including some collaborations, 37 plays, 154 sonnets and a number of other poems. His plays have been translated into all the major languages of the world and have been staged more often than any other opera; he is also the most cited writer in the history of English literature and many of his linguistic expressions have entered everyday English.
Although the exact chronology of his works is still at the center of numerous debates, as well as the authorship of some of them, it is possible to place with sufficient certainty the time of composition of most of his works in the approximately twenty-five years between 1588 and 1613. Able to excel in both tragedy and comedy, he was able to combine the popular taste of his time with a complex characterization of the characters, a refined poetics and a remarkable philosophical depth.
Although he was already popular in life, he became immensely famous after his death and his works were exalted and celebrated by numerous and important personalities in the following centuries. The scarcity of surviving documents concerning his private life has given rise to numerous conjectures regarding his physical appearance, his sexuality, his religious beliefs and even the attribution of his works. An asteroid was dedicated to him: 2985 Shakespeare.
Shakespeare lived between the sixteenth and seventeenth centuries, a period in which the transition from medieval society to the modern world was taking place. In 1558 Elizabeth I of England had ascended the throne of her reign, inaugurating a period of artistic and cultural flowering that took her name from her. William's father, John, moved from Snitterfield to Stratford-upon-Avon in the mid-sixteenth century, where he became a glover and tanner.
John first appears in historical records in 1552. A document informs us that John Shakespeare rented a wing of what would later become famous as the poet's birthplace, located on Henley Street. In 1556 John increased his properties by purchasing landed property and the other wing of his birthplace, which at the time was a separate structure.
John married Mary Arden, daughter of wealthy farmer Robert Arden. Mary was her youngest daughter, however she was probably her father's favorite as when he died, towards the end of 1556, he left his estate and harvest of her land to her. The marriage took place between November 1556, the month in which Robert Arden's will was drawn up, and September 1558, the month in which her first daughter was born.
Beginning in the autumn of 1558, John Shakespeare's political career began: he was sworn in as one of the four constables. From 1565 he was Aldermanno, ie a member of the Stratford City Council; in 1568 he held the most important office in the city for a year, that of bailiff. Reaching the maximum citizen recognition, he decided to turn to the College of Heraldists to receive a coat of arms, but he was unable to obtain it. Between 1570 and 1590, debt-ridden John Shakespeare had financial problems, which led to the end of his public career and the sale of some possessions.
Youth in Stratford
William Shakespeare's baptismal date in Stratford-upon-Avon appears to be April 26