Born and died on the same date - 23rd April.
England's greatest poet and playwright was born at Stratford-upon-Avon,
the son of a tradesman and Alderman of Stratford, John Shakespeare in 1564. William, the eldest son, and third child (of eight) was baptised on 26th April 1564
and probably educated at Stratford Grammar School, but little is known of his life up to his eighteenth year.
He did not go to University and his younger contemporary and fellow-dramatist, Ben Johnson, would later speak disparagingly of his "small Latin, and less Greek" in the eulogy prefaced to the Firs Folio. However the Grammar School curriculum would have provided a formidable linguistic, and to some extent literary, education.
Although, in 1575 when he was eleven, there was a great plague in the country and Queen Elizabeth journeyed out of London to avoid its consequences and stayed for several days at Kenilworth Castle near Stratford enjoying "festivities" arranged by her host Lord Leicester. It is probable these events may have made a strong impact on the mind of young William.
At the age of Eighteen, he married Anne Hathaway, eight years his senior. Five years later he left for London. William worked at the Globe Theatre and appeared in many small parts. He first appeared in public as a poet in 1593 with his Venus and Adonis and the following year with The Rape of Lucrece. He became joint proprietor of The Globe and also had an interest in the Blackfriars Theatre.
The play writing commenced in 1595 and of the 38 plays that comprise the Shakespeare Cannon, 36 were published in the 1st Folio of 1623, of which 18 had been published in his lifetime in what are termed the Quarto publications.