William Shakespeare


A picture of the author William Shakespeare

The Bard

I once recall hearing or reading a quotation expressing the following idea . . .

If you want to be famous in your lifetime;
become an actor.
If you want to be famous forever;
become a writer

Nobody has driven that point deeper than William Shakespeare; the actors of his day are unknown -- buried deeply in the dust of history -- but Shakespeare's name is known to the entire world in nearly every language. The incomparable poet and playwright is widely considered to be the world's pre-eminent dramatist, leaving a legacy of approximately 38 plays, 154 sonnets, and two long narrative poems (there is some disagreement over exact numbers because scholars debate over which work should and should not be attributed to Shakespeare).

His most prolific period was between 1589 and 1613. Up until 1608 his output was dominated by tragedies, including Hamlet, King Lear, Othello, and Macbeth. He then turned his attention to tragicomedies (romances) and collaborative efforts with other playwrights.

While famous and respected in his own time, it wasn't until the nineteenth century that his fame ascended to a point of reverence and global renown.


Sonnets

Shakespeare's Sonnets are adored throughout the literary world. Here are some reader favorites to get you started:

"Sonnet 18"

"Sonnet 116"

"Sonnet 1"

"Sonnet 73"

"Sonnet 29"

Consider visiting American Literature's collection of Shakespeare's Insults on Pinterest.

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Plays

Poems

Sonnet 1
Sonnet 2
Sonnet 3
Sonnet 4
Sonnet 5
Sonnet 6
Sonnet 7
Sonnet 8
Sonnet 9
Sonnet 10
Sonnet 11
Sonnet 12
Sonnet 13
Sonnet 14
Sonnet 15
Sonnet 16
Sonnet 17
Sonnet 18
Sonnet 19
Sonnet 20
Sonnet 21
Sonnet 22
Sonnet 23
Sonnet 24
Sonnet 25
Sonnet 26
Sonnet 27
Sonnet 28
Sonnet 29
Sonnet 30
Sonnet 31
Sonnet 32
Sonnet 33
Sonnet 34
Sonnet 35
Sonnet 36
Sonnet 37
Sonnet 38
Sonnet 39
Sonnet 40
Sonnet 41
Sonnet 42
Sonnet 43
Sonnet 44
Sonnet 45
Sonnet 46
Sonnet 47
Sonnet 48
Sonnet 49
Sonnet 50
Sonnet 51
Sonnet 52
Sonnet 53
Sonnet 54
Sonnet 55
Sonnet 56
Sonnet 57
Sonnet 58
Sonnet 59
Sonnet 60
Sonnet 61
Sonnet 62
Sonnet 63
Sonnet 64
Sonnet 65
Sonnet 66
Sonnet 67
Sonnet 68
Sonnet 69
Sonnet 70
Sonnet 71
Sonnet 72
Sonnet 73
Sonnet 74
Sonnet 75
Sonnet 76
Sonnet 77
Sonnet 78
Sonnet 79
Sonnet 80
Sonnet 81
Sonnet 82
Sonnet 83
Sonnet 84
Sonnet 85
Sonnet 86
Sonnet 87
Sonnet 88
Sonnet 89
Sonnet 90
Sonnet 91
Sonnet 92
Sonnet 93
Sonnet 94
Sonnet 95
Sonnet 96
Sonnet 97
Sonnet 98
Sonnet 99
Sonnet 100
Sonnet 101
Sonnet 102
Sonnet 103
Sonnet 104
Sonnet 105
Sonnet 106
Sonnet 107
Sonnet 108
Sonnet 109
Sonnet 110
Sonnet 111
Sonnet 112
Sonnet 113
Sonnet 114
Sonnet 115
Sonnet 116
Sonnet 117
Sonnet 118
Sonnet 119
Sonnet 120
Sonnet 121
Sonnet 122
Sonnet 123
Sonnet 124
Sonnet 125
Sonnet 126
Sonnet 127
Sonnet 128
Sonnet 129
Sonnet 130
Sonnet 131
Sonnet 132
Sonnet 133
Sonnet 134
Sonnet 135
Sonnet 136
Sonnet 137
Sonnet 138
Sonnet 139
Sonnet 140
Sonnet 141
Sonnet 142
Sonnet 143
Sonnet 144
Sonnet 145
Sonnet 146
Sonnet 147
Sonnet 148
Sonnet 149
Sonnet 150
Sonnet 151
Sonnet 152
Sonnet 153
Sonnet 154
All The World's A Stage

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