Born in the country town of Stratford-upon-Avon, William Shakespeare was educated at the local grammar school and in 1588 left for London to begin a career in the theatre. Shakespeare and other actors formed a syndicate to build and operate a new playhouse which they called the Globe, and it became one of the most famous theatres of its time.
By 1597, Shakespeare had written at least a dozen plays, including tragedies and comedies, and created characters whose tragic flaws forever immortalized them in literature.
Shakespeare ranked among the foremost dramatists of his time by his contemporaries. Shakespeare was also an acclaimed poet noted for his sonnets, which he composed between 1593 and 1601. His works include Romeo and Juliet, Othello, Hamlet, Macbeth, Taming of the Shrew, Richard III, and The Merry Wives of Windsor. In 1612, Shakespeare retired from the stage and returned to Stratford. He died four years later on April 23rd, 1616.