William Shakespeare

William Shakespeare

Playwright


Biography


William Shakespeare was an English poet, playwright, and actor, widely regarded as the greatest writer in the English language and the world's pre-eminent dramatist. His birth (and death) are both said to be on April 23 (1564 and 1616, respectively). One of eight children born to John Shakespeare and Mary Arden, his youth was spent in Stratford-Upon-Avon, England before heading into London to become the playwright known today. When he was eighteen, he married Anne Hathaway, an older woman of twenty-six. He had three children: Susanna, born in 1583, and twins, Judith and Hamnet, born in 1585. The author of 38 plays, 154 sonnets, and additional poems, William Shakespeare is often called England's national poet and the "Bard of Avon". Read his full biography on Wikipedia: wikipedia.org/wiki/William_Shakespeare.


Shows by William Shakespeare

Title
Synopsis

In the Catalan region of Rossillion, a lower-born woman by the name of Helena becomes the ward of the Countess, when her father passes away. Helena is helplessly in love with the Countess’ son, Bertram, and convinces her to g... read more

Antony & Cleopatra concerns the scandalous affair between the Roman general Antony and the Egyptian queen Cleopatra. Antony, a well-respected warrior and one of the three rulers of the Roman Empire, spends his time in Egypt c... read more

In one of Shakespeare’s most beloved romantic pastoral comedies, we follow the young heroine Rosalind from the court of her vindictive uncle, Duke Frederick, into the Eden-like Forest of Arden, where her banished father is li... read more

In Shakespeare’s shortest play and one of his most farcical comedies, we see the problem that arises when one loses their identity. The story follows two sets of twins, separated at birth: The Antipholuses and their servants... read more

Shakespeare’s tragedy, Coriolanus, starts in Rome, where rioting is taking place over grain stock that has been withheld from the ordinary citizens, leaving them starved. Two Roman leaders, Caius Martius and Menenius Agrippa,... read more

One of Shakespeare’s last plays, and one of his few genre-bending romances, Cymbeline contains story elements and themes from many familiar tragedies, including his own. Considered one of Shakespeare’s greatest heroines, Imog... read more

Prince Hamlet of Denmark is not a happy camper. He has just been hurried back home from University to learn that his father the King is dead, and that his mother has already jumped into “incestuous sheets” by marrying his... read more

The second Henry IV play opens with Prince Hal and his longtime mentor and friend, Falstaff, together, once more. The criminals and lowlifes with whom Hal and Falstaff consort are winning some power, and Falstaff is recruitin... read more

William Shakespeare's Henry IV Part I is based on the life of King Henry IV of England and his son, Prince Hal, who eventually is crowned King Henry V. At this time, King Henry has deposed King Richard II and now sits on the... read more

Under sinister pressure from the Church of England and the Archbishop of Canterbury, the young King Henry the Fifth is lured into claiming much of Medieval France as property of the English Crown. After being insulted by The... read more

At the beginning of Henry VI, Part 1, King Henry V's funeral is taking place, and messengers arrive with news of trouble in France. The noblemen rise up and plan tasks to reclaim their land from the French. The new king, who... read more

This play follows King Henry VI, beginning with his marriage to French Margaret of Anjou. She is a student of William de la Pole, a noble who seeks to influence the king's behavior through his relationship with Margaret. Me... read more

This play rounds out the trilogy of Henry VI plays. These plays plus Richard III make up the play cycle often called "The War of the Roses". In King Henry VI Part 3, King Henry VI and York come to an agreement that Henry w... read more

In Great Britain in the 1500s, Cardinal Wolsey is a powerful and ruthless man who has made many enemies. He has the Duke of Buckingham arrested on charges of treason. Henry VIII is good friends with Wolsey, but Queen Kather... read more

Julius Caesar has just emerged victorious in a series of Roman civil wars and has become extremely popular with the populous. A fellow general, Cassius, organizes a group of conspirators -- including Caesar's close friend, Br... read more

King John holds the throne of England illegitimately, having stolen it from the rightful heir, his nephew Arthur. Supported by his powerful mother, Queen Elinor, John decides to go to war with France. Arthur's mother, Const... read more

The aging King Lear resolves to turn his kingdom over to his three daughters – once each tells him how much she loves him. This test of eloquence yields consequences Lear little expects when the favored Cordelia says nothing... read more

King Ferdinand of Navarre has sworn an oath that for three years, he will transform his kingdom into an “academe” . His subjects will reject the world’s pleasures, including women, in favor of an ascetic lifestyle and a compl... read more

Heroic Macbeth has just won two victorious battles for Scotland, when he encounters three weird sisters who tell him this is only the beginning of his path to glory: Macbeth, they say, will become Thane of Cawdor, and then K... read more

The Duke of Vienna, Vincentio, leaves the city on a diplomatic mission. While he is away, he places Vienna in the care of his subordinate, Angelo, who decides to tighten the city's anti-fornication laws. A young nobleman, C... read more

In the melting pot of Venice, currency opens many doors. A multicultural metropolis, Venice welcomes its arms to all – so long as they come prepared for the brutality of the business of trade. Young Bassanio wants to take a... read more

A Midsummer Night’s Dream is a story of four interconnecting plots, all leading to the celebration of the wedding of Duke Theseus and the Amazon Queen, Hippolyta. We see the fairy King, Oberon, and his wife, Tytania, quarrel... read more

In one of the most famous of literary love quadrangles, A Midsummer Night’s Dream tells the tale of Hermia, Demetrius, Lysander, and Helena; four misguided lovers whose journey into the woods lands them in even more trouble,... read more

The Bard’s famous comedic romp known for the brilliant war of words between the feisty Beatrice and the staunch bachelor Benedick, Much Ado About Nothing plays out amidst the brittle high spirits of a post-war house party. W... read more

Shakespeare’s Othello is one of his most intimate and devastating tragedies of all. It is a story about society, status and the nature of the outsider – but it is also a story about the love and trust between friends, and be... read more

At the beginning of every act, John Gower, a 14th century poet, introduces the action with a poem. Antiochus, king of Antioch, is offering his daughter to whomever can figure out a riddle. Pericles figures it out instantly,... read more

Richard III is the last of Shakespeare's War of the Roses plays, which cover the great wars between the houses of York and Lancashire. At this point, Edward IV has firmly consolidated power, but his scheming brother, Richard... read more

Shakespeare’s Romeo and Juliet is a love story for the ages. The Capulet and Montague households have been embroiled in a bloody fight for as long as anyone in Verona, Italy can remember. The death toll is mounting, and it... read more

Modest and beautiful young Bianca is the most coveted young maiden in Padua...but no one can marry her before a match is found for her wild, willful, “shrewish” older sister, Kate. Kate has tormented and frightened every man... read more

For twelve years, Prospero, the exiled Duke of Milan, has been living on a remote, uninhabited Mediterranean Island with only his daughter, Miranda , Caliban , and Ariel . Prospero has learned the magical arts through deep me... read more

Timon holds a massive banquet and hands out money freely to everyone there. Only Apementus, a cynical philosopher, receives none. Timon finds out that his friend Ventidus, is in prison, and pays his bail. He then holds a m... read more

Shakespeare’s most gruesome effort as a dramatist begins with an argument over succession to the throne of Emperor in Rome, progresses through a series of awful rapes and murders, and ends with nearly everyone who speaks in t... read more

In the later years of the Trojan War, Troilus, a prince of Troy, tries to woo Cressida, a fellow Trojan. They fall in love, but she is sent as a part of a prisoner exchange to the opposing camp. Diomedes, a Greek prince, fl... read more

Often lauded as one of the most structurally perfect comedies ever written and beloved by audiences for generations, Twelfth Night; or, What You Will is a masterpiece. Shipwrecked on the shores of the strange land, Illyria,... read more

Two Gentleman of Verona follows two best friends: Valentine and Proteus. Valentine is about to depart Verona for the more cosmopolitan city of Milan, while Proteus is staying behind to woo the lovely Julia. Proteus’ father ha... read more

At the opening of The Winter’s Tale, the Sicilian King Leontes and his beloved, pregnant wife, Hermione, try to persuade their dear friend, King Polixenes of Bohemia, to stay longer in their royal court. When Hermione proves... read more

Overview

Show Categories
Play, Opera
Genres
Comedy, Dark Comedy, Drama, Historical/Biographical, Romance, Fairy Tale/Fantasy, Farce, Horror

Clips