The greatest of all English writers, William Shakespeare, is the most difficult to write about because one can describe him only with superlatives. Or one can take the easy road and say he was the most renowned dramatist and poet that the world has ever known. No other writer's plays have been performed so many times in so many countries. Nor is it easy to use the adjective Shakespearean, which correctly means "pertaining to Shakespeare" or "concerning or like the works of Shakespeare," because comparisons are heady and useless. Other than the Bible, his works have been translated into more languages than that of any book in the world.
   Not very much has been documented about Shakespeare's life. He was born in Stratford-on-Avon in the year 1564. Shakespeare's father, John, was. a fairly prosperous glove maker and dealer in wools and hides. He was mayor of the town when William was four years old. John and Mary Arden Shakespeare, had eight children, William being the third. He attended the local grammar school, but very little else is known about his childhood. After his marriage to Anne Hathaway, a woman eight years his senior, he went to London and became an actor, meanwhile writing some plays to keep the wolf from the door. His plays were immediately popular, and he became prosperous. He bought a share of the Blackfriars Theater and the Globe Theater. The few fragmentary records extant give no real picture of Shakespeare's activities in London. He withdrew more and more from acting and devoted much of his time to writing. During his last illness, he was at Stratford-on-Avon and revised his will with his lawyer, Francis Collins, on March 25, 1616. He made many generous provisions for friends, but kept the property together for his descendants, the children of his two daughters. Shakespeare died at age fifty-two.

Dictionary of eponyms. . 2013.

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  • Shakespearean — Shake*spear e*an, a. Of, pertaining to, or in the style of, Shakespeare or his works. [Written also {Shakespearian}, {Shakspearean}, {Shakspearian}, {Shaksperean}, {Shaksperian}.etc.] [1913 Webster] …   The Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • Shakespearean — (also Shakespearian) ► ADJECTIVE ▪ relating to or in the style of William Shakespeare or his works. ► NOUN ▪ an expert in or student of Shakespeare s works …   English terms dictionary

  • Shakespearean — or Shakespearian [shāk spir′ē ən] adj. of or like Shakespeare, his works, or his style n. a scholar specializing in Shakespeare and his works …   English World dictionary

  • Shakespearean — 1. adjective a) Of or pertaining to, characteristic of, associated with, or suggestive of (an English playwright), his works, or his authorship. The influence of Shakespearean works extends well into the modern era, even to such unlikely places… …   Wiktionary

  • Shakespearean — Shakes|pea|re|an [ʃeıkˈspıəriən US ˈspır ] adj [only before noun] 1.) in the style of Shakespeare ▪ Shakespearean language 2.) relating to the work of Shakespeare ▪ a famous Shakespearean actor …   Dictionary of contemporary English

  • Shakespearean — Shake|spear|e|an [ ʃeık spıriən ] adjective 1. ) written by William Shakespeare, or relating to the plays and poems he wrote: a Shakespearean play/tragedy/comedy Shakespearean characters/actors 2. ) using words in the way that is typical of… …   Usage of the words and phrases in modern English

  • Shakespearean — adjective (only before noun) 1 in the style of Shakespeare: an almost Shakespearean richness of language 2 connected with the work of Shakespeare: a famous Shakespearean actor …   Longman dictionary of contemporary English

  • Shakespearean — UK [ʃeɪkˈspɪərɪən] / US [ʃeɪkˈspɪrɪən] adjective 1) written by William Shakespeare, or relating to the plays and poems he wrote a Shakespearean play/tragedy/comedy Shakespearean characters/actors 2) using words in the way that is typical of… …   English dictionary

  • Shakespearean — I noun a Shakespearean scholar • Syn: ↑Shakespearian • Hypernyms: ↑scholar, ↑scholarly person, ↑bookman, ↑student II adjective …   Useful english dictionary

  • Shakespearean — I. adjective or Shakespearian; also Shaksperean or Shaksperian Date: 1755 1. of, relating to, or having the characteristics of Shakespeare or his writings 2. evocative of a theme, setting, or event from a work of Shakespeare < Shakespearean… …   New Collegiate Dictionary

  • Shakespearean — Shakespeareanism, Shakespearianism, n. /shayk spear ee euhn/, adj. 1. of, pertaining to, or suggestive of Shakespeare or his works. n. 2. a Shakespearean scholar; a specialist in the study of the works of Shakespeare. Also, Shakespearian. [1810… …   Universalium

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