William Shakespeare was one of the greatest dramatists all over the world. He was a poet, too. He was born in Stratford upon Avon in 1564. At the age of eighteen he married Anne Hathaway, who was eight years older than himself. She was from the nearby village Shottery. A few years later he moved to London, where he works as an actor and playwright.
Shakespeare wrote thirty-seven plays and 154 sonnets (a kind of poem). His most famous plays are the five greatest tragedies – Othello, Macbeth, Romeo and Juliet, Hamlet and King Lear. He also wrote several historical plays. Eight of these plays were about English kings, including Richard II, Henry V and Richard III. Others dealt with Roman history and included Julius Caesar and Anthony and Cleopatra. But not all of Shakespeare’s plays were serious. He also wrote comedies-A Midsummer Night’s Dream, Twelfth Night, Much Ado about Nothing, The Merchant of Venice, As You Like It, The Comedy of Errors, The Taming of the Shrew.
Shakespeare died in Stratford on 23 April 1616, but his plays are still very popular today. They have been translated into several different languages, and many of them have been made into films, both in English and other languages. Shakespeare’s plays are about the great issues of life-love, hatred, jealousy, power, ambitions, death and so on. So, his plays are just as relevant today as they were in the sixteenth century. To shove this, modern directors sometimes do the plays in modern dress, and one of Shakespeare’s plays has been turned into a modern musical. His romantic tragedy, Romeo and Juliet, was the basic for the musical West Side Story.
STRATFORD UPON AVON
Stratford is situated 150 km north-west of London in Warwickshire. It is a small town with 20000 inhabitants but 250000 tourists come here every year to see this town and the beautiful countryside around. Stratford is called the hearth of Britain. It was a market town at Shakespeare’s time. Tourists can see the house where Shakespeare was born. It is a small house with a garden in Henley Street. Shakespeare is buried in the Trinity Church where his monument is placed. Shakespeare holds a quill pen in his hand. It must be renewed from time to time because isn’t made of stone.
When Shakespeare was in London, he earned a lot of money and bought a new big house in Stratford. It was called New Place. But tourists can’t see this house where Shakespeare died because it’s later owner pulled it down.
If tourist want to see some of Shakespeare’s plays, they can go to the Royal Shakespeare Theatre. There are only Shakespeare’s plays on the programme of this theatre.