William Shakespeare
AUTHOR

William Shakespeare

William Shakespeare was born in Stratford-upon-Avon in April 1564, and his birth is traditionally celebrated on April 23. The facts of his life, known from surviving documents, are sparse. He was one of eight children born to John Shakespeare, a merchant of some standing in his community. William probably went to the King's New School in Stratford, but he had no university education. In November 1582, at the age of eighteen, he married Anne Hathaway, eight years his senior, who was pregnant with their first child, Susanna. She was born on May 26, 1583. Twins, a boy, Hamnet ( who would die at age eleven), and a girl, Judith, were born in 1585. By 1592 Shakespeare had gone to London working as an actor and already known as a playwright. A rival dramatist, Robert Greene, referred to him as "an upstart crow, beautified with our feathers." Shakespeare became a principal shareholder and playwright of the successful acting troupe, the Lord Chamberlain's Men (later under James I, called the King's Men). In 1599 the Lord Chamberlain's Men built and occupied the Globe Theater in Southwark near the Thames River. Here many of Shakespeare's plays were performed by the most famous actors of his time, including Richard Burbage, Will Kempe, and Robert Armin. In addition to his 37 plays, Shakespeare had a hand in others, including Sir Thomas More and The Two Noble Kinsmen, and he wrote poems, including Venus and Adonis and The Rape of Lucrece. His 154 sonnets were published, probably without his authorization, in 1609. In 1611 or 1612 he gave up his lodgings in London and devoted more and more time to retirement in Stratford, though he continued writing such plays as The Tempest and Henry VII until about 1613. He died on April 23 1616, and was buried in Holy Trinity Church, Stratford. No collected edition of his plays was published during his life-time, but in 1623 two members of his acting company, John Heminges and Henry Condell, put together the great collection now called the First Folio.

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Best Sellers

    • Classic BBC Radio Shakespeare: Tragedies

    • Hamlet; Macbeth; Romeo and Juliet
    • By: William Shakespeare
    • Narrated by: full cast, Paul Scofield, Peggy Ashcroft, and others
    • Length: 7 hrs and 23 mins
    • Original Recording
    • Overall
      4.5 out of 5 stars 61
    • Performance
      4.5 out of 5 stars 58
    • Story
      4.5 out of 5 stars 55

    Three powerful radio productions from the BBC archives starring Ian McKellen, Ronald Pickup and Paul Scofield and a host of celebrated acting talent....

    • 2 out of 5 stars
    • Abridged

    • By Jennifer Sheridan on 07-08-17

    Regular price: $21.31

    • The Tempest

    • By: William Shakespeare
    • Narrated by: Sir Ian McKellen, Emilia Fox, Scott Handy, and others
    • Length: 2 hrs and 7 mins
    • Unabridged
    • Overall
      4.5 out of 5 stars 325
    • Performance
      4.5 out of 5 stars 296
    • Story
      4.5 out of 5 stars 294

    Sir Ian McKellen, fresh from his performance as Gandalf in Lord of the Rings, is Prospero, and heads a strong cast in Shakespeare’s last great play....

    • 5 out of 5 stars
    • A stellar performance by a stunning cast

    • By Jeremy R. Snyder on 02-18-14

    Regular price: $16.81

    • Julius Caesar

    • By: William Shakespeare
    • Narrated by: Andrew Buchan, Sean Barrett
    • Length: 2 hrs and 16 mins
    • Unabridged
    • Overall
      4.5 out of 5 stars 1,139
    • Performance
      4.5 out of 5 stars 1,023
    • Story
      4.5 out of 5 stars 1,024

    Julius Caesar is one of Shakespeare’s most compelling Roman plays. The plot against Caesar and the infamous assassination scene make for unforgettable listening....

    • 4 out of 5 stars
    • The fault, dear Brutus, is not in our stars

    • By David on 04-05-14

    Regular price: $12.59

    • Macbeth

    • By: William Shakespeare
    • Narrated by: James Marsters, Joanne Whalley, Josh Cooke, and others
    • Length: 1 hr and 59 mins
    • Original Recording
    • Overall
      4.5 out of 5 stars 284
    • Performance
      4.5 out of 5 stars 258
    • Story
      4.5 out of 5 stars 256

    Infamously known as the cursed Scottish play, Macbeth is perhaps Shakespeare’s darkest tragedy....

    • 5 out of 5 stars
    • Might want to Read Along

    • By SydSavvy on 02-03-14

    Regular price: $6.95

    • Much Ado about Nothing

    • Arkangel Shakespeare
    • By: William Shakespeare
    • Narrated by: Saskia Reeves, Samuel West, Paul Jesson, and others
    • Length: 2 hrs and 8 mins
    • Original Recording
    • Overall
      4.5 out of 5 stars 83
    • Performance
      4.5 out of 5 stars 71
    • Story
      4.5 out of 5 stars 66

    Young Claudio has fallen for the lovely heiress Hero, who also loves him. Their path to the altar looks smooth, until the evil Don John intervenes....

    • 4 out of 5 stars
    • Live in thy heart, die in thy lap

    • By Darwin8u on 06-29-17

    Regular price: $13.96

    • Othello: Fully Dramatized Audio Edition

    • By: William Shakespeare
    • Narrated by: full cast
    • Length: 2 hrs and 59 mins
    • Original Recording
    • Overall
      4.5 out of 5 stars 112
    • Performance
      4.5 out of 5 stars 96
    • Story
      4.5 out of 5 stars 98

    This new full-cast recording - based on the most respected edition of Shakespeare's classic - expertly produced by the Folger Theatre, is perfect for students, teachers, and the everyday listener....

    • 4 out of 5 stars
    • Good cast

    • By Becky on 06-06-17

    Regular price: $13.99

    • King Lear

    • Arkangel Shakespeare
    • By: William Shakespeare
    • Narrated by: Trevor Peacock, Clive Merrison, full cast
    • Length: 3 hrs and 8 mins
    • Unabridged
    • Overall
      4.5 out of 5 stars 97
    • Performance
      4.5 out of 5 stars 87
    • Story
      4.5 out of 5 stars 86

    This shattering drama of isolation and loss is one of the greatest tragedies in world literature....

    • 5 out of 5 stars
    • tragedy par excellence

    • By turbopro on 08-10-16

    Regular price: $17.47

    • Othello

    • Arkangel Shakespeare
    • By: William Shakespeare
    • Narrated by: Don Warrington, David Threlfall, Anne-Marie Duff, and others
    • Length: 3 hrs and 1 min
    • Original Recording
    • Overall
      4.5 out of 5 stars 70
    • Performance
      5 out of 5 stars 63
    • Story
      4.5 out of 5 stars 62

    This great tragedy confronts the mystery at the heart of evil and contains some of Shakespeare's most magnificent dramatic verse....

    • 5 out of 5 stars
    • Heartbreaking

    • By Tad Davis on 02-17-17

    Regular price: $17.47

    • The Merchant of Venice

    • Arkangel Shakespeare
    • By: William Shakespeare
    • Narrated by: Trevor Peacock, Bill Nighy, Haydn Gwynne, and others
    • Length: 2 hrs and 16 mins
    • Original Recording
    • Overall
      4.5 out of 5 stars 89
    • Performance
      4.5 out of 5 stars 83
    • Story
      4.5 out of 5 stars 82

    In Shakespeare's most controversial play, the opposing values of justice and mercy must be resolved....

    • 4 out of 5 stars
    • One Of Shakespeare's Best

    • By M. J. Christensen on 06-07-15

    Regular price: $13.96

    • King Lear

    • By: William Shakespeare
    • Narrated by: Paul Scofield, Alec McCowen, Kenneth Branagh
    • Length: 3 hrs and 6 mins
    • Unabridged
    • Overall
      4.5 out of 5 stars 70
    • Performance
      4 out of 5 stars 59
    • Story
      4.5 out of 5 stars 61

    The tragedy of King Lear receives an outstanding performance in an all-star cast led by Britain’s senior classical actor, Paul Scofield....

    • 5 out of 5 stars
    • This cold night will turn us all to fools & madmen

    • By Darwin8u on 11-01-17

    Regular price: $18.60

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