Humanities › Literature Facts About Shakespeare A Shakespeare "Crib Sheet" Share Flipboard Email Print Heritage Images / Hulton Archive / Getty Images Literature Shakespeare Shakespeare's Life and World Studying Tragedies Comedies Sonnets Best Sellers Classic Literature Plays & Drama Poetry Quotations Short Stories Children's Books By Lee Jamieson Theater Expert M.A., Theater Studies, Warwick University B.A., Drama and English, DeMontfort University Lee Jamieson, M.A., is a theater scholar and educator. He previously served as a theater studies lecturer at Stratford-upon Avon College in the United Kingdom. our editorial process Lee Jamieson Updated July 03, 2019 Facts about Shakespeare can sometimes be hard to find! To help you sort the fact from the speculation, we’ve put together a Shakespeare “crib sheet.” This is a single reference page packed with facts—and only facts—about Shakespeare. The links are there to help you delve deeper into the subject. Key Facts About Shakespeare William Shakespeare was born on April 23, 1564.He died on April 23, 1616.The dates above are approximate because there is no record of neither his birth nor death. We only have records of his baptism and burial.If we accept the dates, Shakespeare was born and died on the same day—in fact Shakespeare’s death occurred on his 52nd birthday! Facts About Shakespeare’s Life Shakespeare was born and raised in Stratford-upon-Avon but later moved to London for work.Shakespeare had three children with his wife, Anne Hathaway.When he left for London, Shakespeare left his family behind in Stratford. He did, however, retire back to Stratford at the end of his career.There is evidence that Shakespeare was a “secret” Catholic.By the end of his life, Shakespeare was a wealthy gentleman and had a coat of arms. His final residence was New Place, the largest house in Stratford-upon-AvonShakespeare was buried inside Holy Trinity Church in Stratford.Shakespeare’s grave has a curse engraved upon it.Shakespeare’s birthday is celebrated worldwide every year. The main festival is in Stratford-upon-Avon on Saint George’s Day. Facts About Shakespeare’s Time Shakespeare was not a “one-off genius”, as many people would have you believe. Rather he was a product of his time.Shakespeare grew up during the Renaissance.Queen Elizabeth I ruled for much of Shakespeare’s life and she would sometimes come and watch his plays. Facts About Shakespeare’s Plays Shakespeare wrote 38 plays.Shakespeare’s plays are split into three genres: tragedy, comedy, and history.Hamlet is often regarded as the Bard’s best play.Romeo and Juliet is often regarded as the Bard’s most famous play.Shakespeare may have co-authored many of his plays. Facts About Shakespeare’s Sonnets Shakespeare wrote 157 sonnets.The sonnets are split into sections. The first follows the Fair Youth and the second follows the so-called Dark Lady.It is likely that the sonnets were never intended for publication.Sonnet 18 is often regarded as Shakespeare’s most famous sonnet.Shakespeare’s sonnets are written in a strict poetic meter called Iambic Pentameter and have 14 lines each. Facts About Shakespeare’s Theater The theater experience in Shakespeare’s time was very different to today—crowds would eat and talk through the production and plays would be performed in the open air.The Globe Theatre was made from the materials of a stolen theatre that Shakespeare’s theatre company dismantled at midnight and floated across the Thames River.Shakespeare described the Globe Theatre as the “Wooden O” because of its shape.The original Globe Theatre was demolished to make way for tenements in 1644 when it fell out of use.The building that currently stands in London is a replica built from traditional materials and techniques. It is not on the original site, but very close to it!Today, the Royal Shakespeare Company (RSC) is the World’s leading producer of Shakespeare and is headquartered in the Bard’s hometown of Stratford-upon-Avon.