3. What do you know about Shakespeare?

the Globe theatre

What do you know about Shakespeare's life and works? 

William Shakespeare was born in 1564 in Stratford-upon-Avon, in England. Sometime before 1590 he left Stratford and went to London.

London's first theatre opened in 1576. Shakespeare worked as an actor and then started writing plays too. In 1593 the plague killed thousands of people, and theatres were closed. During this time William started to write poems instead of plays. His short poems are called sonnets.

Shakespeare helped build a new theatre, called The Globe. It opened in 1599. It was round and had space for 3,000 people. At The Globe some people stood in front of the stage and others had seats. The audience shouted, clapped, booed and laughed while they watched plays. No women acted in Shakespeare's time: men and boys played all the parts.

Shakespeare wrote comedies, like A Midsummer Night's Dream and Twelfth Night, histories, like Henry V, and tragedies like Hamlet and Romeo and Juliet. Shakespeare became rich and famous. He had houses in London and in Stratford. He died when he was 52 on 23 April 1616. 

It's your turn!

  • Have you ever seen or read a play by Shakespeare? What was it? Did you like it? 
  • Listen to a summary of some of Shakespeare's most famous plays on the LearnEnglish Teens website, and tell us about it in the comments! 


Average: 5 (2 votes)
Profile picture for user RRogick

Submitted by RRogick on Mon, 01/04/2024 - 22:47


I've never seen or read a Shakespeare play. I always thought it would very difficult for me, but I'll watch the videos and try to get it. 

Submitted by Adane Getachew on Mon, 01/04/2024 - 17:06


I have read many of Shakespeare's plays and even take part as an actor in many of them, playing the likes of Iago and puck. I also made a mini show based on "All the world is a stage' monologue. I really like his works!

Profile picture for user assuntaboscarino

Submitted by assuntaboscarino on Mon, 01/04/2024 - 13:12


Shakespeare: a unique world of wonders. Always gripping and leading to a universe of wisdom and fun. I have read many of his works and watched his plays on tv or any possible film which talks about his masterpiexes. Will is as essential to the world as Dante to Italy. Sheer perfection.  His alleged Sicilian origin and his links to the Florio family is one of the most intriguing stories about his mysterious life.  Not to mention the alleged 155th hidden sonnet among his 154 ones  about which the Sicilian writer Elvira Siringo writes. The proof of a superior poet mind.