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William Shakespeare

William Shakespeare is perhaps the greatest English writer. He was born in Stratford-upon-Avon probably on April 23rd 1564. William was the older son of John Shakespeare who was a wool trader. William did not have a lot of formal education, but he went to the grammar school in Stratford. He learnt Latin here, but unfortunately he had to leave school because his father had financial problem, and as a teenager William helped him in the family problems, but his real interest was in writing.
When he was 18 he married Anne Hathaway and they had three children.
In 1587 he went to London, where he began to act in and write plays. In the following years he gained a vast reputation as a playwright: he wrote historical dramas, tragedies, comedies, (among them, Richard II, Romeo and Juliet and A Midsummer Night's Dream), and also poems. In 1599 he and his company built the Globe Theatre on the south bank of the river Thames.
You can see the reconstruction of it today on the river Thames in London. Most of his famous plays were performed there, such as Hamlet. He continued to write for another ten years. During the last part of his life, Shakespeare returned to his Stratford-upon-Avon, where he died on April 23rd 1616. He is buried in the churchyard in Stratford.

Shakespeare's plays are still very popular today. They have been translated into many different languages and they are performed in theaters all over the world.

Romeo And Juliet

This is the most famous of all Shakespeare's plays, first printed in 1597. It is a story of passionate young love, in the beautiful Italian city of Verona. Romeo and Juliet are the star-crossed lovers, who meet, fall in love, and promise to be true to each other for ever. A simple love, with the saddest of all possible endings. Love is strong, but not as strong as family tradition, or hate, or revenge.
Like young people all over the world, Romeo and Juliet want the right to decide their future for themselves, but in the end the state and their families are too powerful for them. Romeo and Juliet cannot live without each other, and if they are not allowed to marry and live together, there is only one way out. The play was also adapted to the ballet, becoming one of the most famous in the world.
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