There have been many great writers in the history of English literature, but there is no
doubt about which writer was the greatest. Many people consider William Shakespeare to
have been the best writer who ever lived.
William Shakespeare was born in the town of Stratford, England, in the year 1564. When
he was a young man, Shakespeare moved to the city of London, where he began writing
plays. His plays were soon very successful, and were enjoyed both by the common
people of London and also by the rich and famous. In addition to his plays, Shakespeare
wrote many short poems and a few longer poems. Like his plays, these poems are still
Shakespeare’s most famous plays include Romeo and Juliet, Macbeth, Hamlet, King Lear,
Othello, and Julius Caesar. Usually, Shakespeare did not invent the stories that he told in
his plays. Instead, he wrote his plays using stories that already existed. However,
Shakespeare’s plays told these stories in a more interesting way than ever before. Some
of the stories were tragedies, some were comedies, and some described historical
In his plays, Shakespeare revealed a very wide knowledge of many areas of life. The
characters in his plays discuss many different topics, often with the knowledge of
experts. But what is even more impressive about these plays is Shakespeare’s use of the
English language. His vocabulary was very large, and Shakespeare seems to have
introduced many words to the language! Also, many of the phrases that are said by
Shakespeare’s characters are now used in everyday conversation. Today, writers often
use quotations from Shakespeare’s plays in their own works.
But perhaps even the most impressive features of Shakespeare’s plays are the
characters within them. The many characters in his plays seem very different from each
other, but they seem very realistic. The emotions they feel, the words they say, and the
actions they perform are all easily understood. Many people who watch one of
Shakespeare’s plays will find that they know people who remind them somewhat of the
characters in those plays.
Shakespeare died in the year 1619, but his writings are still popular today, 400 years after
they were written. The poems and plays are greatly admired by experts in literature, but
also by people in general. Each year, hundreds of thousands of people enjoy attending
performances of Shakespeare’s plays. No other writer in the English language has
remained so popular for such a long time.