- from Shakespeare
William Shakespeare has been called the greatest writer in the English language.
From about 1590 to 1613, he wrote 36 plays. He wrote tragedies (Hamlet) and comedies (A Midsummer Night’s Dream). He also wrote histories (Henry V). Today, his plays are performed all over the world. They’re often performed in different languages. Yet Shakespeare didn’t think they were important enough to publish. He also wrote “serious” poetry, including 154 sonnets.
Shakespeare is best known as a writer. But he was also an actor and a businessman. He was a part owner of the Chamberlain’s Men. That was a group of “players” (actors) who performed at the Globe theater in London. Playwright Ben Jonson called Shakespeare the “Sweet Swan of Avon.” Later, Shakespeare was nicknamed the “Bard of Avon.” Bard is an old word for “poet.” The Avon is the river in Stratford, the English town where Shakespeare was born. Swans still swim along the river in Stratford-upon-Avon.