|The Bard - William Shakespeare|
Of all the famous English writers, probably thebest knownis William Shakespeare.
He was born in Stratford-upon-Avon in 1564 on April the 23rd. His father was an important man in town so Shakespeare had a goodupbringing. Shakespeare probably went to school (although no recordssurviveto prove this) but not university. He got married when he was 18 to Anne Hathaway and thecouplehad 3 children.
Shakespeare wrote 38 plays and 154 sonnets (a sonnet is a kind ofpoem). He began working in his home town of Stratford but by 1592 was writing in London. He became rich enough to buy a house in the capital and one in Stratford.
He wrote sad stories called tragedies, like Romeo and Juliet, funny stories orcomedies,romanticstories and stories abouthistorical figuressuch as Julius Caesar.
Shakespeare died on his birthday in 1616, almost 400 years ago. But why is his work still popular today?
His work looked atcommon human themes, such asbetrayal, murder,lust, power,ambitionand love. These themes are as much a part of human nature today as they were all those years ago and are the themes we see in modernsoap operasand Hollywood films. Even though histheatre, The Globe, burned down in 1613 it wasrebuiltin London in 1997 and you can still see his plays performed there today.
Shakespeare'sinfluenceon the English language can still be felt today. We talk about "fair play", meaninghonest behaviourbut this phrase was first used by Shakespeare. Hecoined the phrase"you can have too much of a good thing". And it was Shakespeare who came up with the expression to disappear "into thin air" which we still use today when we lose something.
Shakespeare’s work has beentranslatedinto every major language in the world. And perhaps we'll still be as fascinated by his work 400 years from now
as we've been for the last 400.