William Shakespeare the Great Bard of Stratford

William Shakespeare

The Complete Works By Linda Alchin

The Life, Times, Works and Biography of William Shakespeare
Quotes - Plays - Sonnets - Pictures - Timeline- Facts - Biography - Poems - Bubonic Plague - Globe
Biography - Dictionary - Elizabethan Theater - Identity Problem - Biography - Black Death - Stratford.

The World of William Shakespeare and details of his biography have fascinated people for centuries. The questions and mysteries which surround the Great Stratford playwright and his biography, life, times and works (including his plays, sonnets and poems) are legion:


William Shakespeare Site Map

William Shakespeare Biography
William Shakespeare FactsQuotes re William Shakespeare
William Shakespeare PlaysPictures of William Shakespeare
William Shakespeare Quotes William Shakespeare Sonnets
William Shakespeare First FolioWilliam Shakespeare Poems
Shakespeare and the Elizabethan TheaterWilliam Shakespeare Dictionary
William Shakespeare and the Globe TheaterWilliam Shakespeare Identity Problem
  • How many plays did William Shakespeare write? Check out Play Chronology
  • Was he influenced by other Elizabethan Poets and Authors? See the William Shakespeare Biography section
  • How many sonnets did the Great Bard write? See the Sonnets section
  • When were Shakespeare's plays performed and published? In which theater ? See the William Shakespeare Plays section
  • What was life like for William Shakespeare during the Elizabethan era?
  • What are the known facts about William Shakespeare the great Stratford Bard? See the William Shakespeare Biography section
  • What of William Shakespeare the actor, and what is known about his fellow actors and their theater ? See the Biography section
  • What facts are known about the Elizabethan Stratford Playwright and his family? See Biography section
  • What exactly was the 'First Folio'? Is Shakespeare's picture an accurate portrait? See William Shakespeare Pictures and Biography
  • Why is there so much controversy about the biography of the playwright? See Biography section
  • What is the so-called William Shakespeare Identity Problem about? What facts are available?
  • Which plays did William Shakespeare the actor perform in?
  • Which sonnet and play quotes attributed to William Shakespeare are most memorable?
  • What pictures of Shakespeare are available ? - See our Picture section

Biography - William Shakespeare - Family Life

The Biography Section provides information regarding Shakespeare's ancestry, his parents (John Shakespeare and Mary Arden), his childhood, his education, his family, parents, brothers and sisters, his marriage to wife Anne Hathaway, his children and Grandchildren, Sir William Davenant ( possible an illegitimate son of William Shakespeare ) his associates and his career and life in Elizabethan England.

  • Ancestors of the playwright - History and facts about the family tree of William Shakespeare of Stratford, Warwickshire
  • Mother and Father of William Shakespeare - Biography of Mary Arden and John Shakespeare and their lives in Elizabethan Stratford
  • Brothers and Sisters of William Shakespeare - Lives and Biography of the Great Bard's siblings: Joan, Margaret, Gilbert, Anne, Richard and Edmund
  • Wife of William Shakespeare - Anne Hathaway - courtship, wedding, marriage and legal documents
  • Biography of Anne Hathaway - Wife of William Shakespeare - her biography including family, life in Stratford, marriage, children and grandchildren
  • Children and Grandchildren of William Shakespeare - Biography of Judith, Hamnet Susanna - Shakespeare, Richard and Thomas
  • Biography - Sir William Davenant, actor - Godfather  was William Shakespeare - Also rumoured to be the Bard's illegitimate son

The Biography William Shakespeare - Early Life in Stratford
Details of Shakespeare's childhood, education, his marriage and life in Elizabethan Stratford, England together with pictures are included in the following sections in the Biography section:

  • William Shakespeare Full and Short Biography - Life History and Biography of the Great Bard of Stratford - Elizabethan Playwright and Actor
  • Childhood of William Shakespeare - Early years of the great Bard's life in Elizabethan Stratford
  • Education of William Shakespeare - Biography includes the Petty school and King Edward VI Grammar School - The Tudor alphabet
  • Life in Elizabethan Stratford - Entertainment, Acting troupes, & family ties
  • William Shakespeare Biography - The Lost Years from leaving school to marrying Anne Hathaway
  • William Shakespeare Biography - The Lost Years 1585 - 1592 between William Shakespeare marriage to Anne Hathaway and the London Theatre

The Facts - the Documented Facts about William Shakespeare
Confusion regarding Shakespeare's name is explained. The facts detailed about William Shakespeare are taken from  written evidence available from the Elizabethan era. The written evidence includes details of all of the known facts taken from official records and there is also a section relating to William Shakespeare's last will and testament. The known facts about William Shakespeare, the Great Stratford Bard, have all been included in his biography and the William Shakespeare Timeline. The main source of the William Shakespeare facts are official documents that are still available for inspection. These documents include all of the facts available relating to legal documents. Other facts have been gleaned from another legal document, Last Will and Testament of William Shakespeare. Church records, including those at Stratford, detail major facts and occurrences such as baptism, marriage and death associated with William Shakespeare. A final definitive resource for known facts about William Shakespeare can be found in the numerous William Shakespeare Timeline categories that have been collated. William Shakespeare quotes and facts ascertained from his fellow actors and playwrights from the Elizabethan era.

  • Facts - Interesting Facts about the Life and Times of  the bard of Stratford, Actor and Playwright
  • The Last Will and Testament of William Shakespeare - Second best bed left to his wife and gifts to fellow actors

More Facts ! - William Shakespeare Timelines
The comprehensive William Shakespeare Timelines allows a correlation between William Shakespeare and his biography and the important historical events & people who shared his World. The timelines cover his mother and father, his wife (Anne Hathaway), his children (Judith, Susanna and Hamnet) his grandchildren (from Judith's marriage to Richard Quiney) and the major people and events of the Elizabethan era.

  • Family Timeline - Time lines for all  family of William Shakespeare - timelines for ancestors, parents, siblings and children
  • Elizabethan Timeline 1531 to 1592 - William Shakespeare Time line with key dates and events of the era  
  • Elizabethan  / Stuart Timeline 1593 to 1646 - William Shakespeare Time line with key dates and events of the era

Pictures / Images of the William Shakespeare
An excellent selection of good quality pictures have been included hoping to answer questions as to the  appearance of William Shakespeare. As the great Bard did not come from a noble background no portraits or pictures of William Shakespeare, or pictures of any members of his family, were commissioned. Neither is there any evidence that William Shakesreare commissioned his own portrait or pictures in his later, prosperous years. There is no evidence that a portrait or pictures were ever painted of William Shakespeare whilst he was still alive, nor is there any written description of his physical appearance. The pictures included are the William Shakespeare Chandos picture, the Stratford portrait and the Sanders picture. Other Shakespeare pics and  likenesses include the best known engravings such as the Martin Droeshout engraving from the First Folio and the William Marshall engraving used on the 1640 authorised edition of William Shakespeare's poems. Pictures of his likeness can also be obtained from the various statues and memorials - the best known being the William Shakespeare Stratford bust and the Poets Corner memorial in London's Westminster Abbey. The following Pictures section will enable comparisons to be made of all of the likenesses of William Shakespeare:

  • William Shakespeare Pics - Painting - Engravings and Stratford, Sanders Portraits and Chandos Shakespeare Pics / Portrait / Picture
  • Memorials / Statues of William Shakespeare - Pictures from Poets Corner Westminster Abbey, Gower, Roubilliac bust, Stratford

37 Plays the complete works!
There is a section dedicated to each of the 37 plays attributed to the Bard of Stratford which feature:

  • An 18th century picture from each of the William Shakespeare plays
  • Background and History from each play
  • Plot Summary of each play
  • First Performance and Publication dates and details of each of the  attributed plays
  • Most Famous Quotes from each of the William Shakespeare plays
  • Characters in each of William Shakespeare plays
  • Full Text and script of each of the plays by the great Stratford Bard

The top six most popular plays by William Shakespeare
To compliment the section on the plays we have provided a Dictionary which explains the forgotten words of olde English which are featured in the great plays. The top six most popular plays by William Shakespeare are:

  • Hamlet - most famous of the William Shakespeare plays
  • Othello - second most famous of the William Shakespeare plays
  • Macbeth - third most famous of the William Shakespeare plays
  • Romeo and Juliet - fourth most famous of the William Shakespeare plays
  • The Tempest - fifth most famous of the William Shakespeare plays
  • Julius Caesar - sixth most famous of the William Shakespeare plays

The William Shakespeare Plays Section
The Plays section includes details of all the William Shakespeare plays as follows:

  • Full Text and script, characters, plot summary, quotes of each of William Shakespeare 37 plays
  • Chronology of Plays First performance and publications
  • List of all Published Editions of the works of William Shakespeare

William Shakespeare - First Folio
The First Folio contained approximately 900 pages containing 36 plays attributed to the playright after his death. The fellow actors of William Shakespeare, John Hemminge and Henry Condell, were the editors of the collection. The William Shakespeare plays were categorised as Comedies, Histories and Tragedies. The content of the First Folio was registered on 8th November 1623. Unauthorised and inferior text copies of William Shakespeare's plays are called Quarto Texts.

  • First Folio - Description of William Shakespeare Quarto Texts and first published plays as Comedies, Histories and Tragedies

Quotes about William Shakespeare and his life works
If you have not got time to study each one of William Shakespeare's plays in detail, we hope that you might read the Plot Summary and Quotes from each of them - the fast way to become familiar with the plots and characters in the great works of William Shakespeare. This facility would, no doubt, have been appreciated by the cynical Oscar Wilde  who said:

"Now we sit through Shakespeare in order to recognize the quotations!"
- One of the William Shakespeare Quotes by Oscar Wilde (1854 - 1900)

The most celebrated authors, actors, politicians and scholars have all read the works of William Shakespeare and their quotes on the man and quotes about William Shakespeare's works are interesting. Views of such celebrities and their quotes are  detailed in the quotes section entitled ' Quotes about '.

  • Quotes and Quotations about William Shakespeare by Ben Jonson, Oscar Wilde, Keats, Milton, Wordsworth and Coleridge

Famous Quotes by William Shakespeare
We unknowingly use countless quotes by the great playwright in our everyday language. The section entitled William Shakespeare Quotes will provide many surprises! There are quotes from all of the most celebrated plays. Quotes from Hamlet, quotes from Othello, quotes from Macbeth, quotes from Romeo and Juliet, quotes from the Tempest and quotes from Julius Caesar. You will be surprised at the number of his quotes that you use in everyday conversation.

  • Famous Quotes and Quotations from the plays of William Shakespeare - Julius Caesar - Romeo and Juliet, Hamlet and Sonnets about Love

Sonnets and Poems by William Shakespeare
The section on the Bard's Sonnets is easy to navigate either by the number of the sonnet, or by the first line. The most famous sonnets by William Shakespeare are:

  • Sonnet 029 - When in disgrace with fortune
  • Sonnet 116  - Let me not to the marriage of true minds
  • Sonnet 126  - O thou my lovely boy
  • Sonnet 130  - My Mistress' eyes
  • Sonnet 18 - Shall I compare thee to a Summer's day?

The sections entitled "Sonnets" and "Poems" details the following information:

  • Full texts of the 154 love sonnets accredited to William Shakespeare
  • Texts of the poems of William Shakespeare - Venus and Adonis, Rape of Lucrece, Lover's Complaint and Phoenix and the Turtle

William Shakespeare and the Globe Theater ( Old Globe and New Globe Theatre )
A full description of the old Globe Theatre detailing the structure and layout together with a comparison to the new London Globe Theatre has been included where the Bard's plays are still performed. The Globe section will provide access to comprehensive information and facts on the following:

  • Old Globe Theater - History  - construction and audience of the famous London Playhouse Theatre
  • Old Globe Theater - Pictures from engravings theatre by Van Vissher, Norden and Holler London Maps
  • Old Globe Theater Structure - Construction, design theatre, stage, gallery, audience capacity and heavens
  • Old Globe Theater Timeline - Time line of original theatre built 1599 and re - built 1614 - key dates
  • New Globe Theater modelled on the original - Pictures, stage, replica, model theatre
  • New Globe Theater - Structure, layout, design, dimensions and construction based on the original theatre, London
  • New Globe Theater Timeline - Time line of the replica Globe theatre of  William Shakespeare and Bear Garden Museum, Bankside Southwark
  • Visiting the New Globe Theater - London theatre vacation guide with pics, Elizabethan, Shakespearean map and Modern map of the Bankside and theater areas of London

William Shakespeare and the Elizabethan Theater
Information about Elizabethan inn-yards, playhouses, and theaters together with their locations (check out the London Map for more details). Contemporary playwrights and Elizabethan plays and actors have not been forgotten! Concise description of all the old London Theatres are available from the Elizabethan Theater link.

  • Elizabethan Theatre - Descriptions of all London Theaters including Swan, Rose, Bear Garden, Cockpit, Hope, Curtain Theaters
  • Elizabethan Theatres - Theaters, Amphitheatres, playhouses and Inn-yards in London with names, pictures and descriptions
  • Elizabethan Theatre Facts - Structure and design
  • Elizabethan Theatre Locations - Map of William Shakespeare's Elizabethan London with theater names, locations of individual theaters on a Theater Map
  • Elizabethan Playwrights and Authors - Plays and Books by Christopher Marlowe, Beaumont, Fletcher, Middleton, Kyd and of course William Shakespeare himself!
  • Elizabethan Acting Troupes who visited Stratford - Lord Strange's, Leicester's, Essex's, Berkeley's and Worcester's men

Questions about William Shakespeare Answered?
Conspiracies & Spies, Secret Societies & Lies! Is this the biggest cover-up of the last 500 years? Answers to the vast majority of questions can be found in the biography and other sections of this site. However, the mystery surrounding the Shakespeare Identity Problem and conspiracy theory we leave to you! We have provided some clues to help solve some of the issues and set a challenge which we believe will be extremely intriguing! Once you enter the web of intrigue you will explore all of the famous events and people who lived during the Elizabethan era. To help further in understanding the William Shakespeare Identity problem we have detailed names of the main contenders. Warning! The Quest to solve the Identity Problem surrounding identity problem are not for the feint hearted! What we can guarantee is that you will become completely fascinated by the whole subject. We have even developed a theory in relation to the engraved picture of William Shakespeare by Martin Droeshout on the First Folio. Many questions have been raised about what the playwright actually looked like. We have comprehensive examples of all the famous pictures, portraits, statues and memorials of William Shakespeare! 

The William Shakespeare Identity Mystery
Can you solve the mystery surrounding the life, works and time of William Shakespeare?

  • Mystery of the William Shakespeare Engraving on the First Folio - Martin Droeshout engraved portrait - William Shakespeare Identity Problem
  • Mystery of the Marshall Engraving of William Shakespeare on the 1640 edition of Sonnets - Engraved portrait of - William Shakespeare Identity Problem
  • The Identity and Authorship problem surrounding William Shakespeare - the Clues, the contemporaries and Contenders
  • Authorship /  Identity problem - new theory re picture of collar and doublet - conspiracy of Who Wrote William Shakespeare

Quotes - Plays - Sonnets - Pictures - Timeline- Facts - Biography - Poems - Bubonic Plague - Globe
Biography - Dictionary - Elizabethan Theater - Identity Problem - Biography - Black Death - Stratford

William Shakespeare Educational Resource - Author and Referencing
Suitable for college students, or those studying GCSE Shakespeare working on William Shakespeare coursework or essays. Use the contents of this Site to research and write a Shakespeare essay or for background information for those in theatre performances acting Shakespeare reflecting on Globe life and to help with Shakespeare translations. The contents of William Shakespeare. info are subject to Copyright Laws - the name of the Website Author is Linda Alchin.  The referencing protocol is suggested as follows:

Alchin, L.K. William Shakespeare info (the Complete Works online)
e.g. Retrieved June 7 2015 from www.william-shakespeare.info

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