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William Shakespeare wrote 13 comedies 13 historical plays 6 tragedies 4 tragicomedies 154 sonnets as well as three long poems Venus and Adonis The Rape of Lucrece and A Lovers Complaint before he died on his birthday in 1616 at the age of 52 Considered perhaps the best dramatist ever to live he is still also considered one of the best poets ever to write in the English language William Shakespeare was born on April 23 1564 to John Shakespeare and Mary Arden in Stratford-upon-Avon who by todays standards would be considered middle-class John Shakespeare was an alderman and was later elected mayor of Stratford which was the highest post a man in civic politics could attain William Shakespeare was the third out of eight children born to the Shakespeares Little is known about Shakespeares childhood other than he went to the Stratford Grammar School and never proceeded on to Oxford or Cambridge In 1582 at the age of 18 William Shakespeare married Anne Hathaway who was 26 The next year Susanna Shakespeare was born and two years later followed twins Judith and Hamnet Between the years of 1585 and 1592 are known as the lost years These are the years where there is little evidence of what William Shakespeare was doing or where he was living It is believed that it is during this period Shakespeare moved to London and served an apprenticeship in one of the theatres there It is unknown which theatres Shakespeare wrote and acted for before 1594 There is evidence though that in 1594 Shakespeare became a stockholder in a company called The Lord Chamberlains Men which for its time was one of the most popular acting companies in London It is also known that by 1594 Shakespeare had written at least six plays that had already been produced In addition to being a stockholder and acting for The Lord Chamberlains Men
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