William Shakespeare

1564 - 1616

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William Shakespeare (c. 23 April 1564 – 23 April 1616) was an English playwright, poet, and actor. He is widely regarded as the greatest writer in the English language and the world's pre-eminent dramatist. Read more on Wikipedia

Since 2007, the English Wikipedia page of William Shakespeare has received more than 48,158,241 page views. His biography is available in 215 different languages on Wikipedia (up from 212 in 2019). William Shakespeare is the 3rd most popular writer (down from 2nd in 2019), the 3rd most popular biography from United Kingdom and the most popular British Writer.

William Shakespeare is most famous for writing the plays Hamlet, Romeo and Juliet, and A Midsummer Night's Dream.

Memorability Metrics

  • 48M

    Page Views (PV)

  • 89.43

    Historical Popularity Index (HPI)

  • 215

    Languages Editions (L)

  • 11.78

    Effective Languages (L*)

  • 7.35

    Coefficient of Variation (CV)

Notable Works

Romeo and Juliet
Performing Arts, courtship, Drama
Set during five of the most intensely dramatic days ever portrayed, ROMEO AND JULIET was probably written in 1594 or 1595, and first published in a 1597 edition, as transcribed by actors who had performed it. Other editions appeared later, but even the more authoritative versions, such as that of 1599--probably drawn from Shakespeare's own manuscript copies--lack the detailed stage directions present in the actors' transcription; thus, modern editions incorporate several sources. ROMEO AND JULIET is among the most oft performed of Shakespeare's works, and it has been among the most beloved since its earliest days on the stage. Though the title page of the 1597 edition declares that ROMEO AND JULIET had been performed and enjoyed many times prior to its publication, the first extant direct record of the events of a production refer to a 1662 staging, in which the play was probably adapted or altered--adaption was particularly popular in the 17th century. One London stage ran different conclusions on alternative nights; audiences who went home glum on Friday could be uplifted by the play's ending if they returned on Saturday night. The story of ROMEO AND JULIET was derived by Shakespeare from many sources. The version most contemporary to his own was the 1562 poem "The Tragicall History of Romeus and Iuliet" by Arthur Brooke, which itself was an adaptation of a French piece by Pierre Boaistuau, which Boaistuau had adapted from the Italian. Indeed, aspects of the tragic story have recurred throughout Western literature since at least the third century. Shakespeare greatly intensified the pace by compressing a piece which had unfolded over the course of several months into the space of five days--a period in which much transpires at daybreak, including the famous balcony scene where Romeo declares, "But soft, what light through yonder window breaks?/It is the east, and Juliet is the sun." Romeo is forced to approach Juliet in secret because of the impassioned rivalry between his family, the Montagues--and Juliet's, the Capulets. Despite the intensity of their family's mutual disdain, the young lovers strive to marry. However, fate intervenes to keep them apart, and, when the Montagues and Capulets discover the folly of their ways, it's too late for Romeo and Juliet.
English literature: Shakespeare criticism, English literature: Shakespeare texts, Shakespeare
The Tempest is a play by William Shakespeare, believed to have been written in 1610–11, and thought by many critics to be the last play that Shakespeare wrote alone. It is set on a remote island, where Prospero, the rightful Duke of Milan, plots to restore his daughter Miranda to her rightful place using illusion and skilful manipulation. He conjures up a storm, the eponymous tempest, to lure his usurping brother Antonio and the complicit King Alonso of Naples to the island. There, his machinations bring about the revelation of Antonio's lowly nature, the redemption of the King, and the marriage of Miranda to Alonso's son, Ferdinand.
Julius Caesar
Antoine (Marcus Antonius), Assassination, Assassins
Presents the original text of Shakespeare's play side by side with a modern version, discusses the author and the theater of his time, and provides quizzes and other study activities.
Merchant of Venice
Drama, Jews, Moneylenders
An international team of scholars offers: • modernised, easily accessible texts • ample but unobtrusive academic guidance • attention to the theatrical qualities of each play and its stage history • informative illustrations, including reconstructions of early performances The Merchant of Venice has been performed more often than any other comedy by Shakespeare. This edition pays special attention to the expectations of its first audience, and to our modern experience of seeing and hearing the play
Shakespeare plays, texts, Teatro, Muerte
In this quintessential Shakespeare tragedy, a young prince's halting pursuit of revenge for the murder of his father unfolds in a series of highly charged confrontations that have held audiences spellbound for nearly four centuries. Those fateful exchanges, and the anguished soliloquies that precede and follow them, probe depths of human feeling rarely sounded in any art. The title role of Hamlet, perhaps the most demanding in all of Western drama, has provided generations of leading actors their greatest challenge. Yet all the roles in this towering drama are superbly delineated, and each of the key scenes offers actors a rare opportunity to create theatrical magic. As if further evidence of Shakespeare's genius were needed, Hamlet is a unique pleasure to read as well as to see and hear performed. The full text of this extraordinary drama is reprinted here from an authoritative British edition complete with illuminating footnotes. (back cover)
Drama, Regicides, Kings and rulers
The play concerns a trusted general who secretly lusts for power. Encouraged by the prophecies of three witches and urged on by his ambitious wife Macbeth commits regicide. Left fearful and superstitious by this desperate act he is driven to a spiralling course of murder and outrage, almost inevitably culminating in his own death. One of Shakespeare’s most popular tragedies, Macbeth is ostensibly based on the Scottish king although the story represented in the play bears no relation to historical fact as the true King Macbeth was well respected by his contemporaries. This book includes the hero Macbeth becoming more and more evil after he gets told his "destiny" by the witches and becomes greedy with power.

Page views of William Shakespeares by language

Over the past year William Shakespeare has had the most page views in the with 5,404,588 views, followed by Spanish (983,029), and Russian (520,326). In terms of yearly growth of page views the top 3 wikpedia editions are Albanian (731.27%), (707.87%), and (684.77%)


Among writers, William Shakespeare ranks 3 out of 7,302Before him are Homer, and Dante Alighieri. After him are Johann Wolfgang von Goethe, Edgar Allan Poe, Fyodor Dostoevsky, J. R. R. Tolkien, Lord Byron, Voltaire, Hans Christian Andersen, Leo Tolstoy, and Victor Hugo.

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Among people born in 1564, William Shakespeare ranks 2Before him is Galileo Galilei. After him are Pieter Brueghel the Younger, Christopher Marlowe, William Adams, Paulo Miki, David Fabricius, Ahmad Sirhindi, Hans Leo Hassler, Francisco Pacheco, Henry Julius, Duke of Brunswick-Lüneburg, and Federico Borromeo. Among people deceased in 1616, William Shakespeare ranks 1After him are Miguel de Cervantes, Tokugawa Ieyasu, Vincenzo Scamozzi, Inca Garcilaso de la Vega, Maria Anna of Bavaria, Jacob Le Maire, Andreas Libavius, John Adolf, Duke of Holstein-Gottorp, Simeon Bekbulatovich, Magdalene of Brandenburg, and Agnes Hedwig of Anhalt.

Others Born in 1564

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Others Deceased in 1616

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In United Kingdom

Among people born in United Kingdom, William Shakespeare ranks 3 out of 8,785Before him are Isaac Newton (1643), and Adam Smith (1723). After him are Charles Darwin (1809), Elizabeth II (1926), Lord Byron (1788), Charlie Chaplin (1889), Francis Bacon (1561), Elizabeth I of England (1533), John Locke (1632), Winston Churchill (1874), and James Watt (1736).

Among WRITERS In United Kingdom

Among writers born in United Kingdom, William Shakespeare ranks 1After him are Lord Byron (1788), Agatha Christie (1890), Charles Dickens (1812), Jane Austen (1775), Arthur Conan Doyle (1859), Daniel Defoe (1660), Emily Brontë (1818), Virginia Woolf (1882), Charlotte Brontë (1816), Lewis Carroll (1832), and Mary Shelley (1797).