William Shakespeare's work has shaped English literature, language and thought for over 400 years. Scholar Alan Craven names him the "greatest dramatist, the greatest poet and the greatest prose writer" in the English language. Shakespeare's coined words are incorporated into the language today as common parlance; his genres led to modern literary genres and his plays transformed theater. Most importantly, Shakespeare's work changed the way Westerners think about humanity, ethics and themselves.Know More
T.S. Eliot once said that Shakespeare and Dante divide the modern world between them. In other words, all literature and thought in the Western world today derives either from Shakespeare's passionate, broad understanding of humanity or Dante's equally passionate but strictly moral understanding. MIT's Professor Alexander Huang points out that Shakespeare's work informed and influenced the founding fathers of the United States from Jefferson to Lincoln. He was the most influential English-language writer of the English-speaking world.
Beyond that, Shakespeare shaped the English language itself. When he wrote his plays, French was considered the language of culture and English literature consisted of only a handful of works. Shakespeare modernized the English language. He introduced or recorded for the first time in his plays thousands of new words, many of which became household words. Hundreds of phrases and aphorisms - including the phrase "household words" - were also introduced in his work.Learn more about Plays
William Shakespeare's theater company was called the Lord Chamberlain's Men. Lord Chamberlain's Men ran under the patronage of Henry Carey, as he was Lord Chamberlain at the time. It was established in 1594 under the rule of Elizabeth I.Full Answer >
As of 2015, an online summary of the play "As You Like It" by William Shakespeare can be found at the CliffsNotes website. The site is free to use and does not require registration.Full Answer >
William Shakespeare wrote "Macbeth" as a way to express his patronage of King James I. Shakespeare uses "Macbeth" to please the king in various manners, with one of them alluding to the dreadful fate that befalls anyone who tries to take over the throne.Full Answer >
Although William Shakespeare was born in Stratford-on-Avon, north of London, he spent most of his career living and working in London. Between 1590 and 1613, he wrote and acted in plays that were produced at the Globe and Blackfriars theaters and at court.Full Answer >