Even if William is considered one of the most famous writer in the world, relatively little is known about his life. He was born in Stratford-upon-Avon on 23 April 1564 and probably died the same day of the birth in 1616.
He was educated in a local grammar school and in 1582 he married Anne Hathaway, and had a daughter and twins. Nothing is known about how he began his career. While London soon became the centre of professional life, his family continued to live in Stratford. In 1592 he was already a well-known playwright. When the spread of plague closed London theatres (1592-1594), Shakespeare started to write his famous sonnets. His patron and friend was the Earl of Southampton. After the plague, Shakespeare became a member of the syndicate which built the Globe.
As a poet he wrote a collection of 154 Sonnets and two long poems, as a playwright he wrote 37 plays, which were popular with both educated and common audiences. Only half of Shakespeare’s plays appeared in print in his lifetime, some in texts transcribed by the actors known as bad quartos, because of their textual inaccuracies. Only seven years after his death, two actors and friends of Shakespeare, decided to publish a collection of his plays in the so-called First Folio where, however the plays were simply grouped as Comedies, Histories and Tragedies and not by date or chronological order. For this reason the dates and order of composition are generally difficult to establish.